Saturday, January 22, 2011

Midseason Sacramento Kings Trade Value Report Card

Okay, the Kings suck.

Let's get that out of the way quickly.

But oddly, they have some very marketable pieces. They have attractive expiring contacts and solid role players.

Who should stay and who should go?

Well, we're gonna make it easy for you. Take notes, Mr. Petrie.

Tyreke Evans
Value: High
What should the Kings do? Move him for a strong offer.
The Skinny: Evans should be the centerpiece for the team's future, right? After all, they built his rookie season into a dramatic sports event and plastered his image across the side of the arena. I say no. I say he's not the centerpiece and, in fact, he's an impediment. First of all, let's start with the fact that this is a 21-year-old guy with chronically bad ankles and feet. That does not bode well for the future. Secondly, Evans is not a smart player. Nor is he particularly athletic. Yet when he is on the court, he demands to be the center of the offense. The result is either feast or famine. I'd rather trade him for a young, talented point guard and a first-round pick. It has to be a great offer, though. True talent in return.

DeMarcus Cousins
Value: Fairly high
What should the Kings do? Hold onto him unless a ridiculous offer comes to the table.
The Skinny: He's got skills, but will he mature before he implodes? That's the gamble. He has just as much chance as becoming Benoit Benjamin as an All-Star. Right now, I don't think you could get equal value for him so I'm pretty sure I'm not dealing him. But at the right price, he's not untouchable.

Carl Landry
Value: Average
What should the Kings do? Trade him.
Landry has to be dealt. There's no other option. He's leaving the Kings after this season and the Kings can't be left with nothing to show from the Kevin Martin trade. You also can't deal him simply for financial relief. That would be a sign of ultimate surrender for the team. At the very least, get a middle to late first rounder or a nice shooter.


Sam Dalembert
Value: High
What should the Kings do? He's gone.
The skinny: Dalembert owns a huge expiring contract. For that reason alone, he's a big bargaining chip. He's also a very good defensive big man and would be a nice cog for a playoff contender. So long, Sam, we hardly knew ye.

Donte Greene
Value: Low
What should the Kings do? Hold him until he has a pulse.
The skinny: Easily the most disappointing player on the team this year, Greene should be showing flashes of potential. Instead, he's showing flashes of bust. He not worth much on the trade market right now and you can't take a chance and deal him for a bag of chips. I say wait until he shows some skills and then re-evaluate. Unless, of course, you need to use him as a piece in a blockbuster deal, which is almost certainly not going to happen.

Omri Casspi
Value: Rising fast
What should the Kings do? Maybe the only player on the team I'd rate as untouchable.
The Skinny: Casspi has captured the attention of teams around the league for good reason: He just might be the one player on the team to realize his potential. He is improving in every aspect of his game. An intense, emotional player, he is shooting better and rebounding way better. Give him two years and he might become one of the best small forwards in the game. There is no way you get equal value for him right now.

Beno Udrih
Value: Highest of his career
What should the Kings do? Only package in deal that involves a good young point guard.
The skinny: Udrih has been the steadiest of the Kings players this season -- and that's not saying much. But he is having a career year and a lot of teams would love him as a bench player. That being said, he is the only legitimate guard talent on the team besides Evans. You can't trade him unless you get some credible help in the backcourt.

Jason Thompson
Value: Medicore
What should the Kings do? Let him ripen.
The skinny: Mismanaged by the Kings, Thompson should be much further along in his career. Fans from other teams constantly dream up trades to land the big man, mistakenly thinking he's better than he's shown. I think that might be true. Dealing him now could end up a huge mistake.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Boring and irrelevant, the Kings have hit rock bottom

A friend of mine came up to me the other day and made a casual remark about the Kings.

"You know, at this point, it doesn't really matter to me whether the team stays or goes," he said.

Now this guy is a fan. He goes to games. He follows the team.

So that statement is truly indicative of the demise of this team.

The city has lost their passion. The Kings create no buzz. Apathy rules.

Losing is a lot of the reason. They are a mostly awful team, lacking in fundamentals, scarce in true game-changing talent

They are also boring. They give you no reason to root for them. They don't play as a team and they have no player who can ignite the fans on a regular basis.

Even off the court, the team has no personality. Tyreke Evans can barely mumble through an answer to a reporter's question. DeMarcus Cousins, who has the most potential, hasn't caught on to the fact that he can own this town by opening up just a little bit.

Even with all that, the Kings have become someting much worse than boring.

They have become irrelevant.

They mean almost nothing to the day-to-day lives of average Sacramento residents. Nobody rushes to read about them. Nobody clamors to get tickets. And nobody seems to care about the fortunes of the team.

Sure, there are still some diehards out there, but they are dwindling.

The franchise is in freefall and there is no solution.

Not with bankrupt owners who are fighting for their financial lives. Not with players who care more about personal stats than team play.

And not with a fan base that has lost its personal stake in the team's future.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Such a sham: The Top 10 rejected new names for Arco Arena

The Kings have become a sham of a team. Now, they are preparing to associate with an alleged sham of a company.

The Bee is reporting that the Kings are ready to announce the new naming rights to their arena.

Think shady. Very shady.

Power Balance, a company that makes colorful silicone wrist bands, will reportedly be the new name on the side of the arena.

Here's what David DiSalvo of Psychology Today wrote about the company:

About 2.5 million people have spent $25 or more on a little rubber bracelet called Power Balance. Perhaps you've heard of it (or are wearing it). Its makers claim that it "resonates" with the body's "energy flow" producing extraordinary balance, flexibility and strength in its users.

Well, at least that's what they used to claim. Now, in a show of candor rare among hucksters (unless they're being threatened by industry watchdogs, which they are), they're admitting that the product isn't backed by an iota of credible scientific evidence. They'll even send you a refund if you feel you were duped by their advertising.

Yikes. Doesn't give me the warm fuzzies. He went on:

Products that seem to work via mysterious means inaccessible to scientific investigation are more than likely bullpucky and always have been. Their makers have always used sophistry and fuzzy explanations to sell them, and have always relied on the power of suggestion to propel the pucky as far as it'll go. The game never really changes; the shysters just develop craftier ways to circumnavigate our judgment and appeal to what we really want -- an easy way to feel better, look better, and be better.

I guess you can't be choosy when your team is bleeding money. With the Palms Casino in free fall and attendance at games fizzling fast, the Maloofs grabbed for the cash. But when websites like Deadspin are already taking shots at the deal, you know it might not be a great idea.

Their headline: "Arco's New Name Will Be A Glorious Tribute to Large-Scale Consumer Fraud."

Amazingly, it could have been worse. Kings Talking Points was lucky to gets its hands on the 10 rejected names for the arena.

Have a look:

1. Sylvia Brown Arena

2. BP Spill Palace

3. Piltdown Man Pavillon

4. Bernie Madoff Arena

5. The Ponzi Palace

6. Subprime Mortgage Stadium

7. Nigerian Email Arena

8. The Barry Bonds-Mark McGwire Home Run Chase Palace

9. Justin Bieber Pavillon

10. Weapons of Mass Destruction Stadium

Friday, January 7, 2011

Revealed: Top secret and embarrassing cost-cutting efforts by the Sacramento Kings

With talk of the Palms Casino in financial trouble, it's no surprise that the Kings are looking at all types of methods to save money.

Thanks to an insider in the organization, Kings Talking Points has learned about some extremely serious measures currently being implemented or considered by the team.

Have a look:

Heating bills have gone through the roof in recent months. Kings players have been ordered to share showers to save on hot water. Sam Dalembert and Pooh Jeter enjoy their time together, although Jeter usually just gets only drippings when he stands beneath the big man.

Maintenance workers have been told to remove the giant "O" from Arco on the side of the building to save on electrical costs. "Arc Arena sounds cooler," Gavin Maloof allegedly said. "And nobody likes gas companies these days, anyway. Screw 'em."

Grant Napear allegedly threw a fit when the Kings told him his salary would be cut. Napear said he would reduce his use of silly hyperbole if he could keep his pay at the same level, but Joe Maloof allegedly told him "If you don't like that, you don't like semi-bankrupt, cut-rate, cost-cutting, cheapo franchises."

Uniform washing was reduced in November. The players only get freshly laundered uniforms after victories. A recent 8-game losing streak resulted in an awful stench wafting through the arena. One Kings dancer fainted and was carried off the court in a wheelbarrow. The stretcher had been sold on Ebay.

Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie was ordered to dump salaries at every turn. He currently has ads on Craigslist in 20 NBA cities offering Carl Landry to any team in exchange for a Starbucks gift card.

Slamson was told that his t-shirt cannon was being confiscated. The depressed Lion sulked for three days before rollerblading into a concrete wall in total despair.

Finally, souvenir quality will soon take a serious dip. Official Kings jerseys will be made of burlap. And shockingly, we were informed that all autographed items in recent months were actually signed by a young slacker named Lil Jacob, who is spending untold hours in the bowels of Arc Arena with a dull Sharpie.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

See Kings run. See Kings win.

Run. Run. Run.

This should have been the strategy for the Kings all season.

They are young. They have fresh legs. And they usually do a good job of rebounding.

On Thursday night, in front of a national audience, they pushed the action and they pushed the Nuggets out of Arco Arena.

Tyreke Evans ran. Pooh Jeter ran. Carl Landry ran. Omri Casspi ran. Francisco Garcia ran. DeMarcus Cousins didn't run, but he bumped and bruised, played defense, rebounded, and make some damn fine shots.

The result: The most impressive effort of the year.

Sure, the Nuggets were sleepwalking, but no matter. This was the blueprint for Sacramento success for the rest of the season.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

DeMarcus Cousins may be the real deal, but should Kings consider the crazy thought of trading Tyreke Evans?

Is it a coincidence that the Kings moved the ball better in the final five minutes of Sunday night's victory over the Suns without Tyreke Evans on the court.

No, didn't think so.

Suddenly, without Evans on the floor, the Kings managed to quickly get into their offense and, lo and behold, didn't seem to force any passes.

Incredibly, in the span of a dramatic week, rookie DeMarcus Cousins has become the focal point of the offense. He was a revelation against the Suns.

Cousins sees the court. He makes the right pass almost every time. Yes, sometimes he forces his shot a bit too much, but he's improving every game. If you can keep him from tossing a Molotov cocktail into his future, he could be the real deal.

It's completely different for Evans.

He simply does not help the Kings when he's on the floor. Sure, he can score in bursts on occasion, but he has become more of a hindrance to the team's cohesiveness. You can blame the aching feet for some of his woes, but you can't blame the feet for his awful decision making and his inability to figure out how to be a team player.

So here's a sinful thought to consider: What if the Kings entertained trade offers for Evans?

Okay, forget I just wrote that.

Then again, maybe not.

ESPN reported on Sunday that teams are inquiring about the availability of Omri Casspi. The Kings would be foolish to deal Casspi. He might have more upside than any player on the team.

But Evans? What about Evans?

Desperate times demand desperate measures.

They could surely land some ripe talent for him. Maybe a first-class point guard.

No, it's silly. Why would the Kings trade Evans?

Guy was rookie of the year. You don't trade him.

Forget I wrote that. He's only going to get better, right? Right? Right?

Look, Evans have been terribly mishandled by the Kings. They plugged his square abilities into the round hole of point guard and handed him the keys to the franchise.

Now, you watch him on the court and he sometimes looks lost. Paul Westphal hardly ever puts him in position to utilize his talents properly. And no matter how much we hear about his improved outside shot, it's just not there. Never has been.

It comes down to this: What would make the Kings a better team? A healthy Tyreke Evans or a top-notch point guard?

We saw a little hint in the final five minutes against the Suns -- and Pooh Jeter ain't even close to a top-notch point guard.

All right, I'm just a knee-jerk observer offering a silly thought based on small sampling of time.

Forget I wrote that.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pathetic excuse for an NBA team

Way to build on the momentum of that thriller against the Grizzlies.



Lousy basketball.

The Kings are far and away the worst team in the NBA.

Not even worth posting about.