The Sacramento Kings are entering their first offseason with George Karl as the head coach. This season has been just like the past few for the Kings. Players like DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay both average over 21 points and the Kings still lose. Darren Collison, who they signed to replace Isaiah Thomas has been injured since February 7th. The Kings franchise is trying so hard to be good, but they always fall short of expectation. They are in a great position in the draft with their pick expected to be in the top six. In draft and free agency, the Kings will be looking to acquire a power forward, point guard, and another scorer. Lets take a look at who could be heading to the Capital of California next season:
Rajon Rondo is a true point guard that plays his best when he can control the pace of the game. DeMarcus cousins said Rajon Rondo is “Absolutely” the best point guard in the NBA. Making Rondo happy is the key. He is unhappy in Dallas and he is causing problems with the coaching staff. George Karl has shown in the past he doesn’t like head cases on his roster. To keep DeMarcus happy, Rondo may have to bee the move.
Reggie Jackson is the clear backup plan is Rajon Rondo signs elsewhere. Jackson has proven starter worthy in Detroit averaging 17.7 points and 9.0 assists per game. He is only 24 so he has many years ahead of him. He is expecting a contract near $14,000,000 per season. The Kings have the money and are desperate for a point guard who can stay healthy. The draft is weak at point guard outside the top five, so if they can’t acquire a star they have to sign Jackson.
Josh Smith has proven this season he can destroy a team and help another contend for an NBA title. If the Kings sign him, they better be signing the John Smith we are seeing on the Houston Rockets. The Rockets look unstoppable down low when Josh Smith plays next to Dwight Howard. Howard is never healthy and DeMarcus has been durable. Josh Smith and Rajon Rondo are all good friends, and Sacramento looks like a reasonable destination to play together again.
Justice Winslow’s stock is rising after the NCAA March Madness Tournament, He has taken the status of the best wing in this draft. Jeff Goodman tweeted this earlier this season:
Coach K told me that last wing player he had who could guard as well as Justise Winslow out of the gate was Grant Hill.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) December 4, 2014
He can spot up the three point shot with an unreal amount of potential on defense. This puts another three point shooter on the Kings roster. Winslow’s upside makes him hard to pass on with a pick outside the top five.
Willy Cauley-Stein is the best defensive prospect in the 2015 NBA Draft class. The Kings need another big man to play next to DeMarcus Cousins and Cauley-Stein fits that role. He is a blocking and rebounding machine. His defensive presence will impact immediately. He is a freak athlete who can run the court and defend the perimeter. He forced Jerian Grant to miss the three to advance to the final four. Cauley-Stein would be a smart pick for the Kings.
Emmanuel Mudiay’s draft stock sliding is great for the Sacramento Kings. It is a lottery so if the Kings get lucky and land a top five pick they could be able to scoop up Mudiay. He is being compared to John Wall. He is 6’6″ who can control the pace of the game. The only risk is we haven’t seen him play many games at a high level of basketball. He needs to develop a shot. A shot could turn Mudiay into a star.
The Kings management, players, and fans are sick of losing. With the money to spend and the salary cap rising after next season, the Kings can afford a big contract this free agency. DeMarcus Cousins has to play the role of recruiter because he is under contract for three more seasons. George Karl has proven with a good team he has the coaching ability to win an NBA championship. It is time the Kings build a team, not individual players.