By Jake Barrett
The Kings have been incompetent for over a decade, yet basketball twitter has been propping their lucky move up in the 2018 NBA as the feel good story of the offseason. The Kings are the joke of the NBA, they have the one GM in Vlade Divac who does not know the rules of the league. In 2016, Adam Silver intervened in the 76ers process by “introducing” Jerry Colangelo to sixers’ ownership, who hired him as an advisor, and later hired his son, Bryan, to become GM after Sam Hinkie “resigned”. Using Basketball Reference, I am going to systematically prove that the Kings should be shunned as an NBA team and that Adam Silver should intervene in the Kings’ toiling in nothingness or else he is truly the giant fraud he has presented himself to be thus far.
-Draft: Took Willie Cauley-Stein sixth overall.
I was a very big Cauley-Stein fan coming out of college, but he has done nothing but disappoint me since he entered the league. He may be a backup center one day, but as a defensive stopper in college he only started playing defense last year.
-July 9: Traded Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, Nik Stauskas, 2019 unprotected first round pick, and the ability for the Sixers to swap 2016 and 2017 first round picks to Philadelphia for two second stash players that will never come over.
This trade was justified as a salary dump. Zach Lowe later reported that Vlade Divac did not know that the stretch provision on contracts existed at the time of the trade. It is clear, Sam Hinkie fleeced Vlade Divac, now the 2019 Kings’ pick one of the most valuable trade asset in the NBA. The Kings traded all those assets in order to sign Kosta Koufos, Omri Casspi and Marco Belinelli to multi-year deals and Rajon Rondo to a one year deal. The Sixers later swapped 2017 picks with the Kings because the kings moved up in the lottery. This trade alone is a fireable offense and Divac made it in his first month.
-Draft: traded the eighth pick for the 13th pick (Georgios Papagiannis), 28th pick (Skal Labissiere) and the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic. Also traded Marco Belinelli for 22nd pick (Malachi Richardson).
In a unique way to build a team, the Kings decided to draft only busts this year. The Belinelli trade was a great one that was spoiled by them drafting a person who cannot play basketball. The draft expert consensus said Papagiannis should have been drafted in the mid to late second round. Bogdan Bogdanovic was a great pickup, he came over in 2017 and is one of three rotation players on the Kings’ roster.
-Free Agency: Signed Arron Afflalo, Garrett Temple, Matt Barnes and Anthony Tolliver to multi-year contracts. Also later signed Ty Lawson to a one year deal.
A who’s who of washed up veterans and bad players. The Kings continue to show they do not understand how to construct a roster or evaluate NBA players.
-February 20: Traded Omri Casspi and Demarcus Cousins to New Orleans for Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, Buddy Hield, NO’s 2017 first round pick and PHI’s second rounder.
The Kings continued failure to surround Demarcus Cousins with NBA players ultimately came back to bite them, and they continued their losing ways by trading him for little return. Divac repetitively brought in centers rather than bring in players at positions of need, like point guard, or any other position besides the 5. Their entire organization was in love with struggling rookie Buddy Hield and they banked on him being a star, which is bewildering. In the end they received Hield, number 10 overall and number 34 overall for a top 4 center in the league.
-Draft: took De’Aaron Fox fifth overall, then traded the 10th overall pick for 15th overall (Justin Jackson) and 20th overall (Harry Giles). They also took Frank Mason in the second.
De’Aaron Fox is a good player, he projects to be a starter eventually. If he ever gets a jump shot he has all star potential. Justin Jackson was a good college player, but needed a lot of work and under the Kings’ tutelage, he will not be much. Harry Giles is adamantly defended, but he has lost his explosiveness, his best trait coming out of high school, due to multiple knee injuries. I do not think Giles was a good pick. Frank Mason will be a middle of the road backup point guard, which is mediocre, but something nonetheless.
Now the Kings have the second pick and will pick either Luka Doncic or Deandre Ayton. This franchise will still receive the benefit of the doubt for some reason, but the smart money is on them continuing to fail to develop drafted players. Adam Silver made the wrong decision to attack an organization with a plan in the process 76ers while the directionless Sacramento Kings will continue to wallow in horrible decisions and patchwork rosters.