The Sacramento Kings were pretty awful once again last year.
After yet another bad start, the Kings fired head coach Paul Westphal and replaced him with Keith Smart who appears to have had more success relating to the team's young players.
DeMarcus Cousins showed improvement while Isaiah Thomas was also developed nicely in his rookie season.
That development didn't help much in the win column though as the team finished 22-44 and were no where near the playoffs.
Formidable Frontcourt - Kings fans should be salivating at the future potential of a Robinson-Cousins front court. Given time to develop their chemistry, that duo could become one of the most feared big man tandems in the NBA. Throw in Jason Thompson and the Kings have the ability to go big and pound the ball inside with the best in the NBA. If the Kings run their offence through the interior like they should, it will also help their outside shooters as opponents are forced to collapse into the paint.
Making The Leap
Cousins averaged 18.7 points and 11.0 rebounds last season. Can he reach All-Star status?
Score Some More - The Kings problem was stopping the ball last year, not scoring it. The Kings finished the 2011-12 season averaging 98.8 points per game, good enough for sixth in the NBA. They could easily improve on those numbers and eclipse 100+ points per contest this season with the talent they have on offence. All of their starters can fill the hoop and reserves like John Salmons, Aaron Brooks and even Jimmer Fredette can also light it up if they get hot.
Leaky Defence - As good as the Kings were at scoring last season they were even better at letting their opponents score. No team was worse in points allowed than the Kings who gave up an atrocious 104.4 points per game. The Kings made no major moves other than drafting Thomas Robinson to shore up their defence this off-season so it's reasonable to assume the Kings will once again be among the NBA's worst. defensively
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It's entirely possible that the talented young Kings won't share nicely.
DeMarcus Cousins is 22nd overall and should give you a double-double in points and rebounds.
Problems With Sharing - The Kings have a lot of good scorers on the roster but they are not long on facilitators. Last season the Kings were 26th in the NBA in assists. Their biggest off-season acquisition was Aaron Brooks who is yet another player that is more of a shoot-first guy than a true point guard. With so many guys who want to shoot the Kings really need a better ball distributor.
Ignore The Rumours - The uncertainty surrounding the Kings' future in Sacramento looms like a black cloud on the franchise. The constant distraction of where the team will end up will not make things any easier on the young team.
X Factor: DeMarcus Cousins
He is the team's star but his development is key to the Kings success. He has been labelled as having a bad attitude and poor team guy in the past but is evolving into a terrific NBA talent. He could be primed to make a big jump to a true All-Star level, and if he does it will mean big things for the Kings' future.
What to Expect
There are reasons to feel positive about the Kings future with some of the young talent they have. Unfortunately the future isn't now. The Playoffs seem like a pipe dream at this point as the team is likely a year or two away from becoming a legitimate threat. Another trip to the lottery is the most likely outcome for the Kings this year.
Tim Chisholm's Offseason Grade
The Kings continued to prove this summer why they have fallen so far from the NBA's vanguard.
They drafted Thomas Robinson in June, then gave Jason Thompson $30-million this summer to keep playing Thomas's power forward position.
They signed Aaron Brooks, who is yet another pseudo-point guard and another guy (along with Tyreke Evans, John Salmons, Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette) who needs the ball in his hands to be effective.
There is no balance on this roster and every move seems to be made with no consideration for the pre-existing makeup of the team.