Posted by: Kingsguru21 | April 22, 2009

More Rubio/Coaching Hyperbole

To start, you should probably read Sam Amick’s blog entry from late last night. Then, you probably should read his article for the daily edition. Then read Ailene Voisin’s column entry.

There is some interesting points, and some scary idea’s being thrown out there as I was reading all of this, being tossed about.

The biggest fear I think the Kings have is that Rubio will decide, after drafted, to stay in Europe for a year or two. This is a problem. If he isn’t coming over this year, than what’s the point of picking him? However, I have a feeling the Kings will select him (if they have the high enough pick to do it), and they won’t worry about Dan Fegan’s posturing.

This is what Voisin wrote that concerns me:

Fegan’s hope is that by announcing his client’s intentions early, Joventut officials will compromise to avoid having an unhappy star on their roster.

Okay,I get why Fegan is doing this. He’s trying to save Rubio some money. But, if you’re Rubio’s team, DKV Joventut, why would you care if Rubio’s unhappy? It hurts him as much as it hurts them. I think Fegan is playing a losing hand, and is trying to figure out where else he can take this thing. The problem is, he just doesn’t have that type of leverage anymore. 15 years ago, yeah he did, but now? No.

Here’s the deal folks, and I wrote about this extensively yesterday, is that Fegan and Rubio are going to have to eat that bad buyout. If Rubio is as good as Fegan believes (and I don’t believe Fegan would go through this for anything less than a near franchise or franchise talent), then he probably won’t get 2 lengthy contracts over the course of his NBA career, but two. But here’s the problem: JKV knows this too. Which is why, at the end of the day, Rubio will have to decide if he wants a lot of money, a whole lot of money, or really a whole lot of money. Because, the sooner he gets his first contract is the sooner he gets his second contract, and so on and so forth. Jason Kidd got 2 very long deals over the course of his career. If Rubio is anywhere that good, than so will he. And, none of this includes the huge endorsement and hype opportunities that comes with leaving his Spanish team at this juncture.

In otherwords, we’re watching a lot of hyperbole and talk. It all means something, but the Kings won’t sacrifice a top pick on a kid that won’t come over. They just won’t. Which means the Kings are stuck (if they have the first pick), with Blake Griffin, and I’ve heard of worse things.

If this seems like a repeat (almost to a word), it is. I just thought I would re-iterate this so I could make my point again: Voisin probably doesn’t understand this as well as someone who has spent months (me through Draft Express–and other bits & pieces here & there) trying to figure out if Rubio can come over. Fegan is a hardliner who will always do whatever he can to get his client the best available situation. But, does Rubio have more to lose by only bluffing and not being serious? It’s rather easy to make that argument.

The only good thing that Voisin has done is mention that Rubio’s buyout is probably 7 million euro’s, and she said that works out to about about 9 million US. (That may or may not be true. I did it on a translator calculater several months ago and it was slightly higher. So that either means she’s rounding down for simplicity—always possible and not a big deal–or the value of the euro has gone down.)

The good thing is that Voisin’s article HAS started to close some of the gap of what an everyday fan of the Kings who doesn’t spend a lot of time not following this. Also, there is the important point that she works for a newspaper that will limit what she will say due to trying to create another facet of content down the road. Keeping people coming back to read what she has to write is an important function of how these articles get pushed, particularly after the awful season the team had.

But according to sources close to the team, Natt is expected to be informed by the end of this week that he won’t return as head coach. Petrie said he is scheduled to leave Friday for Europe, where Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio is on his list of must-see prospects.

I want to make this clear right here & now: This is not an attack on Kenny Natt the man. When your job is in the public spotlight as Natt’s was as the interim head-coach , people are going to have opinions on how you do it. Natt knows that. With all that being said, Natt was professional, and demanded accountability as best he could. He didn’t conduct himself poorly, and will probably end up landing a NBA staff job over the summer.

All that being said, Natt never did much as a head coach. He ran out ill-advised smaller lineups consistently, didn’t use his talent to channel the good flows his team (occasionally) created to win games. He routinely got out-coached every night. The problem with Natt was never the man; he wasn’t suited for the head man job.

Geoff Petrie had this to say:

“We have a coach right now,” Petrie said. “That situation is still being evaluated. There obviously needs to be resolution, and there will be.”

Petrie was just as vague with the media afterward as he had been during the event.

“It’s still under evaluation,” he reiterated. “And when we have something to say about it, we’ll say it.”

I like this “proceeding with stately caution” truthfully. There’s no need to rush anything. It’s not like Phil Jackson is on the market, and needs an answer by tomorrow. (Ditto with the other high end coaches.) One of the things that’s happened with the last 2 coaching searches is that it happened in quickly, or dysfunctional manner. Musselman was fired 2 days after the season. And, that was a problem for one reason. Petrie didn’t exactly figure out the whole scenario of what went wrong. This time, he has to do that. He’s not exactly young anymore (wasn’t then either), and there’s only so many shots to get this thing right. He has to proceed and get enough informaton on where he thinks he can take the “good ship Kings” in June 2009 and beyond. Without those pieces of information (minor perhaps), he probably can’t make as good as a decision on the draft in June. And, the draft in June means almost as much as the next head coach. Without the evaluation period of the players here, you need to figure out where you want to take this thing. The right information has to present itself before you make that decision.

This is, to recap all of this nonsense up, good and positive signs. This is Geoff Petrie, and how he operates.

Now, to the bad:

While Jordan is believed to be one of the many, the former Wizards coach made it clear on a Washington Post Live television show Tuesday that he is ready to coach again. And when asked about the Kings’ position, Jordan did little to dispute the idea that he wants to return to the place where he coached late in the 1996-97 season (going 6-9) and the entire 1997-98 campaign (27-55).

I like Eddie. I think he’s a terrific coach. I just don’t see how he can make an offense (and help fix the defense) fly higher than any other coach could to the extent that it needs to to justify his hiring. I like Eddie. I do. He’s a class guy, and a quality offensive coach. Always has been, and I suspect, always will be. But, the Kings NEED more than that. And, maybe there is a better situation out there for EJ than Sacramento (like Philly). I’m just saying that Eddie Jordan is not the ideal candidate given that his history for coaching defense with offensive players. Or, his history of playing young players. None of them strike me as a solid way to go.

I can only say Mike Budenholzer so many times. I won’t bother again. I went into Ettore Messina yesterday. I won’t bother again. It’s just that I hope Eddie Jordan’s reputation was a product of where he was coaching, and not of his total views as a head coach. I can live with Eddie, but until it works out, I’m not sure I will feel anything but un-easy. Even though taking an unknown in Reggie Theus didn’t work, that doesn’t mean it can’t work out if Petrie is doing the search.

Gavin Maloof said that in the town hall BBQ:

“We’re here to win, to spend the money to get the talent,” Maloof continued. “We’re not looking for midlevel (exception) guys. We’re looking for greatness. That’s what you have to get in this league. To really win a title, you need two great players and a very good player. That’s what our goal is.”

There’s good and bad news here. The good news is that they won’t go after any mid level players through free agency. The bad news is that they might go after Hedo Turkoglu because they think he can fit the “very good player” mold. These guys haven’t quite shaken the glory years out of their system, and unless Petrie thinks he can maintain that level (I don’t), then it’s likely I don’t see how this works. But, Geoff Petrie doesn’t play typical, and when the Kings have done that, they’ve suffered.

I think the team should pare down it’s acquisitions through the Free Agency market, and target select available players on short term contracts (like Kwame Brown) that don’t cost a ton of money next season (Kwame would cost 4 Million), and that don’t drain the cap beyond 2010. There is a projection that the salary cap will go down 2 years in a row which means the Kings will likely be very near the salary cap level anyway.

I don’t care what angle the team takes, or what angle the team is after here, what this team needs to do is let Geoff Petrie run the team. (I agree with Ziller on that.) What Petrie needs to do is find the right coach, and the right talent to fit the players he brings in through the draft (that’s the most important thing outside of the next head coach). Without any of those things, this team might be dead in the water for good. Or, it might end up reviving itself for good. We shall see.

UPDATE: Via (Andrew Nicholson), there is footage of the Town Hall BBQ up that Amick reported on in this morning. Hope everyone watches it.



  1. Petrie needs to run the team you said it… we have all (well a lot of us) harping on this all season. Geoff has been enacting his vision of the team since Theus was hired. We traded Bibby, we traded Artest, we traded Miller, Salmons… the draft we picked up skilled big men who can run the floor pass shoot rebound decent have the ability to play both ways.

    Also, I think Kwame Brown would be a good third defensive minded rebounding big. I have thought that for a long time. He rebounds at a decent clip… really worked on his turnover issues in LA and defends well one-one and blocks a decent amount of shots.

    With offensive minded players around him he would not be asked to do anything out of his element and I cannot see him going back to Detroit.

    As always good work pookey.

  2. Thanks sellout.

    As far as Kwame Brown, I think people are really missing the boat on him. I’m convinced that him, or Amir Johnson could be had for cheap. (Maybe even Jason Maxiell could be had, but I doubt it.)

    I would rather the Kings take a few players in the draft, and pluck a player like Brown, than make some big ass splash that gets them on headlines, or some bullshit like that. That’s what got this team in trouble in the past.

  3. I agree… we need a splash, but at the same time we need the team to speak for itself and WINNING to speak for the team. I keep thinking about Keon Clark he was not a “petrie” kind of guy… neither was Pollard. But they had a use and a purpose energy big man who boards and plays D. We need that guy.

    Amir interests me even more because he is WAY younger than kwame and could grow with our “core” more. Kwame is not old…but i think he is 25 or 26 now. Same age as Garcia and younger than Noc’ a good range but if we get Rubio (who is 18) OR Griffin (who is 19-20?) we need to think about who fits in with the younger guys (JT/Hawes/Greene/Rubio(Griffin) Martin does IMO he reminds me a bit of Reggie Miller the last time the Pacers were really good (03-05) before the implosion and before injuries destroyed the team. He scores so well and easily and can drain the three ball and has shown flashes of closing games out well.

    In any case, im excited for this summer and seeing what happens.

  4. Kwame is 27 now, and turns 28 next March (2010).

    As far as Rubio’s age, he will be 19 when the season starts.

    I have no issue with Amir Johnson, or trying to get him. I just don’t think it’s possible or likely, that despite reduced playing time, the Pistons will be willing to trade him. Maybe the best thing the Kings can do with regards to Johnson is wait for him to become a Free agent, and if Kwame doesn’t work out (assuming you pick him up), then you go after Amir in 2010 when the Pistons can’t stop you.

  5. As much as we’ve been on the same page with Rubio, we haven’t been 100% on the same page with the coaches.

    I think I’m more excited about EJ than you are, but ultimately it is bigger than that. What this team needs more than anything is a guy who knows how to be the Head Coach of the team. I think that’s the common downfall of Muss, Theus, and Natt. None of them knew how to be The Man, the one who earns the respect. I think Jordan could be that guy. I don’t know enough about Messina or Budenholzer to determine one way or the other if they could be that guy. But to me, that is what is the most important.

    We need someone with a clear vision, a clear direction, and the ability to earn the respect of the team.

  6. Well G, it’s hard to say.

    I would sum my opinion up as this: I’m more skeptical of EJ than I am of a Budenholzer/Messina type hire.

    With that being said, I want the head coach first before I want the Kings to work out players. Whomever Petrie is going to take, the head man has to know that Petrie is in control, and won’t overthrow the process because he’s trying to get a player that will help him win more games in 2010. Yanno?

    This isn’t a big deal for the top pick the Kings have. This is a much bigger issue I see with the 23rd and 31st overall pick.

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