Thursday, June 23, 2011

John Salmons? Worst. Move. Ever.

It's 2 p.m. on draft day and I'm hallucinating.

Somebody just tweeted that the Kings acquired John Salmons from the Bucks in a swap of draft choices. And that Beno was gone.

Jokesters, those twitter folks.

See, nobody in his right mind thinks that adding another selfish shoot-first player with a bloated contract to the Kings is a good idea.

Right?  Right?


Now things might change.  Maybe Geoff Petrie has some great move from 1998 up his sleeve, but this is it.

It's 10:30 at night and my nightmare has not subsided. We really did trade for the most sullen player in the NBA.

But there's a bright side:

The Kings drafted Jimmer Fredette.

Only maybe it ain't so bright, because the Kings have seemingly decided to give him the keys to the franchise without a learner's permit.  He will be running the team this season, whether he's ready or not.

You can't blame the Maloofs.  They want to sell tickets.  But they are making Jimmer the new face of the franchise.  In fact, he's the third different face of the franchise in three years, an NBA record.

Will he be good?  Who the hell knows?  We thought Bobby Hurley was gonna be good.

Meanwhile, if the Kings had only stood pat, they would have been in position to snare Brandon Knight, who dropped to 7 and was there for the taking.

Even scarier is that right now the team has no point guards to back him up.  As in zero.  Beno would have been nice to keep.  He had his best year ever and brought a certain level of maturity to floor.

Instead, we get the brooding and immensely enigmatic John Salmons, who has to be dancing a jig about returning to Sacramento.  Just a horrible move.  It makes no sense on any level.

Who is running this asylum?  The Maloofs?  Petrie?  Deranged elves?

Can anyone say the Kings are better with Jimmer and Salmons than Jimmer and Beno?  Or Brandon Knight and Beno?  Or Tony Parker and Richard Jefferson?  Just baffling.

Petrie needs a break from this trade stuff.  He needs a break from basketball.  And the Maloofs, who have him bent over and awaiting their commands.

The Sacramento fans deserve better than a trade for an unlikable retread from five years ago.

They should have just drafted Jimmer with the 7 and spared us this ridiculousness.  But the Kings were afraid of looking foolish by drafting him so high.  So they traded down to look more basketball brainy and instead made them look even more foolish.

Petrie better have some answers... some deals... some great ideas... because draft day was a mess.

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kings shouldn't settle for anything less than a blockbuster trade

So all of a sudden the Kings want to win right now.

They've been linked to trades for Tony Parker and Ray Felton.

One problem:  While both of them are nice players, neither will help them win now, unless winning now means winning 32 games instead of 24.  Parker has been an All-Star, but he's also been surrounded by amazing talent.  He does not shoot well from the outside.  And he is injury prone.  He'd definitely give the team a lift, but I don't believe he's enough of a difference maker to warrant the move.

Look, there are just too many talented teams out there.  The only way to break through is by acquiring a top tier talent who can change the outcome of a game on his own.

If the Kings want to win now, they are going to have to package their most valuable assets and swing for the fences.

That means dealing Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins and getting star talent. Maybe combined with  shooting for the No. 2 pick in the draft.

I'm totally on board with that strategy.  The Celtics did it a few years back when they made their up-and-coming power forward Al Jefferson part of a package for established star Kevin Garnett.

And the Kings are in a glorious position to make such a deal.  They are under the cap -- far under the cap -- so they don't have to worry about salaries matching up.

It's time for Geoff Petrie to live up to the dusty genius label that has faded dramatically after a dormant decade.

Be bold.

Make the Kings matter again.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Time for the Kings to end their passive approach to acquiring players

Should the Kings be wheeling and dealing on draft day?

Damn straight.

After five years of a dormant approach to garnering talent, it's time to let Geoff Petrie loose.  

The Kings have a lot of nice pieces and a No. 7 pick. It's time to get aggressive.  Package the picks and some players for a talented veteran.  Maybe try to move up and snag Derrick Williams.  Move down, grab a vet, and pick up Jimmer.

All I know is this:  The Kings can't just sit on their hands.  The Maloofs talked a big game about opening their wallets.  Now it's time to put up or shut up.

Contrary to dire reports about their finances, the Maloofs do have substantial money in the bank.  They are better off than it seems. 

So let's have some fun.  Let's give the fans a reason to get excited, even though they probably won't see the players until January due to the lockout.

Make a deal.  Make a lot of deals.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why I would blow up the Kings

The building blocks are there.

The team is ready to take the next step.

Add a piece or two and they are ready to make a playoff run.

This is conventional wisdom about the state of the Kings.

I don't buy it.  Not for a minute.  And that's why I think the time is perfect to do the unthinkable.

Hire a great coach, explode the roster with daring trades, and buy strong into the the talent market.

This might sound completely insane, but stick with me for a moment.  The King are not a good team, but they do have some very marketable pieces.  Personally, I don't believe Tyreke Evans or DeMarcus Cousins are the type of players that will lead your team to the promised land.  In fact, I'm pretty sure of that it's downright delusional.

Neither is a great team player.  Neither has a great work ethic.  And Cousins, in particular, just seems too risky to bet on in the long-term.  But they do have value around the league.

Right now, the Kings have a chance to remake the team in a way impossible over the past decade. They have a ton of cap room and they'll be competing for players against teams who will most likely be facing a hard cap.

So here's my 5-step plan:

BLOCKBUSTER 1: Trade Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson and the No. 7 to the Timberwolves for Kevin Love and the second pick.  With the second pick, select multi-talented forward Derrick Williams out of Arizona.  Kid is gonna be a stud.

FREE-AGENT SIGNING NO. 1:  J.J. Barea, point guard, Mavericks.  He looked a little Nash-like for Dallas and would bring energy and speed to the Kings immediately.  An unrestricted free agent, he might be available at the right price since Mark Cuban won't be able to throw money past the hard cap.

FREE-AGENT SIGNING NO. 2:  Marc Gasol, center, Memphis. One of the top centers in the league.  Young, underrated, skilled. He restricted also, so you'll have to pay big.

BLOCKBUSTER 2: Trade DeMarcus Cousins to the Wizards for athletic monster Javale McGee and the 18th pick in the first round.

DRAFT SELECTION: With the 18th pick, select 6-8 shooting whiz Jordan Hamilton out of Texas.

Your new starting five:
JJ Barea
Marcus Thornton
Derrick Williams
Kevin Love
Marc Gasol

Your bench:
Jordan Hamilton
Javale McGee
Omri Casspi
Beno Udrih
Donte Greene

Now you need a coach.  I heard Rick Adelman is available.

Okay, we're set.

Now let's go win a title.