The Sacramento Kings are in the middle of a major rebuilding process not only on the court but off the court as well. It is nice that they are going to be getting a new basketball venue come 2016 and that the new ownership group led by Vivek Ranadive, as well as the City of Sacramento and Mayor Kevin Johnson, are committed to making Sacramento an attractive destination for NBA players to play as well as fans to take in a game.
But what difference does all the improvements around the team make if the team still stinks on the floor. The Kings have a huge summer ahead of them with a lot of hopes hanging in the balance and tough decisions to be made when they present themselves.
It is well documented that Rudy Gay can either take his $19.3 million to stay in California’s capital or can turn down the money to go play elsewhere thus gaining his basketball career freedom for the first time ever. Also on the docket could be the decision to match a dollar for dollar deal when it comes to point guard Isaiah Thomas. Thomas is coming off of a season where he averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists for Sactown which is a drastic improvement for the young player out of Washington.
The only problem with Thomas is that he is a defensive liability at the point and his score first mentality may not fit what the Kings envision going forward. Thomas and Gay’s futures with the team will affect what the Kings decide to do come June 26th on draft day. Regardless of their decisions the bottom line is that the Sactown needs to pick up some shooting desperately for the team to make any kind of improvement in 2014-15.
When you boast one of the preeminent big men in the game in center DeMarcus Cousins, it would be smart to surround him with some deadeye shooters to kick the ball out to. That is one thing the Kings do not have. In fact, Sacramento was the fourth worse team in the league shooting the 3-ball at a 33.3% clip. In today’s NBA that is not going to get it done.
That is why when you look at mock drafts where the Sacramento Kings are concerned you see names of sharpshooters like Doug McDermott out of Creighton or Rodney Hood from Duke connected to Sactown’s No.8 pick in the draft. At the same time, however, if the Kings do not match an offer sheet for Isaiah Thomas they could be looking at drafting a point guard like Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, UCONN’s Shabazz Napier or even Tyler Ennis out of Syracuse.
The decision that Rudy Gay makes and the contract offers that Isaiah Thomas could field will have a definite domino effect when it comes to the decisions the front office of the Kings will make this offseason. This is going to be a difficult yet exciting offseason for Kings fans but one thing is for sure–if the Kings don’t bring in any shooting this offseason it is a waste of time. You can’t have bad three point shooting in today’s NBA. Stellar shooting wins championships, ask the San Antonio Spurs!