Posted by: Kingsguru21 | August 15, 2009

Are the Kings better off than they were 2 years ago? (Or a year ago? Or 6 months ago? Or……)

There is always going to be arguments over whether the Kings should have traded Mike Bibby, Ron Artest, Brad Miller or John Salmons for what they did. But, are those arguments valid?

I suppose I should do this in chronological order.

Mike Bibby. There is a small prevailing opinion that the Kings lost that trade. I usually let it go because, even though I disagree with the sentiment that Sam Amick spreads from time to time with that nonsense, it’s just not worth it. Some people just are not usually equipped to handle the reality of what the NBA is. The reality was that Bibby was paid better than Chauncey Billups, and MIGHT have had half the value Billups did at that time. I don’t think saying might is too weak of a word, but I definitely think it might not be strong enough to describe how little value Bibby had to most teams around the league. Not a single rumor ever netted the Kings anything beyond a quality rotation player.

I’m going to quote myself here:

Suckaz want big men with tons of upside and 50 million contracts looming in the off-season. Smart people want young cheap bigs with upside on a limited scale.

I have never liked, and never will, Josh Smith. I don’t think the Hawks would have bothered giving him up in that deal just because he was looming in Free Agency. (Pretty interesting he ended up getting 58 million on the open market. That’s what David Lee was hoping for this year. Oh well D-Lee.) At the end of the day, I’m not sure Kings fans can even remember who came in the Bibby trade other than Shelden Williams. And, Williams ended up being shipped out a year later with Bobby Brown for Rashad McCants and Calvin Booth which was financially related because of Bobby Brown’s player option (that he exercised) for the upcoming 09-10 season. Saving 750K is saving 750K.

The truth is that I don’t think the argument, really, that the Kings chose a bad time to trade Bibby is really the case. I think it’s the first time Geoff Petrie & Co. (new term for management; shocking I know) felt they COULD. By that I mean, it was the first time they felt they had a player who could run their offense without a steep dropoff. Sometimes fans forget that just because you’re team is bad, you still have to have players who could actually do things for you. Like run your offense for instance. That was always the problem with the timing of trading Bibby. In 2007, with Musselman still installed as the fearless leader (head coach), GP & Co. wanted to see the season run it’s course. (This probably has to do with Geoff Petrie being one of the calmest men in basketball.)

By 2008, Bibby got hurt, and there was extended opportunity to see Beno run a team. The Brass (GP & Co.) felt that was the best time to trade Bibby as there was still a player on the roster (Beno) who could run the team effectively in Bibby’s absence. That’s why he was traded when he was.

I’m going to quote someone from Sactown Royalty (a reader named My Losing Season) who is arguing, not the trades themselves, but the timing:

As I’ve said before I think the biggest problem with the Bibby and Miller trades was not the players they got back, but the timing of the decision to unload those guys. If they had dealt those guys two to four years earlier when their stock was high, they would likely have gotten talent and draft picks in return. Instead they foolishly clung to the notion that a Bibby/Miller/Peja (later Bibby/Miller/Artest) core could compete for a championship. I fell for that logic at the time; a lot of us did. But in hindsight it seems downright ridiculous.

There is 2 problems here. One, was that Artest in fact did keep the idea that Bibby and Miller could have been part of a championship core with Artest. Of course, I don’t have to explain what happens next to Kings fan after that 1st round exit.

So, you go from a coach who can handle Artest’s emotional quirks, and utilize him differently than his next 2 coaches did, to a coach who told Artest to hit the boards more often. Yuh. Management has made mistakes, and quite often. Most businesses do as it happens.

Most businesses aren’t dependent on fans to buy tickets or talk about them. That’s the difference.

Of course, that doesn’t mean fans are better off running the team than, say, Geoff Petrie or his merry band of geriatrics. When you have a combined 200 years of experience in the NBA in your front office, you’re bound to know quite a few things about the game that your fans don’t.

Now, it’s not to say I haven’t criticized Geoff Petrie. I have, and hell, I’m still proud I called him Don Quijote. (As opposed to Don Quixote.) What is perplexing is the reason’s I chose to criticize GP & Co. for not dealing Artest at the 2008 trade deadline. (Which is, by my opinion, a mistake.)

On the other hand, did he exactly show great fortitude by not dealing Artest? That I’m not sure of at all. The difference between the 2008 trade deadline and the end of July was Aaron Brooks and Donte Greene/Aaron Brooks. Suddenly, along with the pick (that became Omri Casspi), you have cap relief (Bobby Jackson), and 2 young players with potential contribution talent (Greene/Casspi). Did that show great internal strength on Petrie’s part? Not really, no. He had no way to know that Houston would ultimately make a play for Artest again given what was available in the draft. Personally, I think Petrie was content to wait until the 2009 trade deadline until his deal came along. It just so happened (and those of us as Kings fans should be grateful) that that deal came sooner.

Houston fans may not care about that. But, if you’re willing to argue the idea that Houston knew it was taking a risk, and felt satisfied with that risk, it tends to change the value of the Artest deal. The whole thing revolved then, as now, around Yao Ming’s health. What has changed in a year’s time?

(On a side note, here was all of my thoughts on the Artest deal if you’d like to read them.)

As far as whether or not the timing of the Bibby deal was right, or wrong, I don’t know. Personally, I think it was too late, too. But, Otis29 once pointed out something that I think makes a lot of sense in a comment (of which I’m going to paraphrase):

You sometimes forget you’re not a casual fan.

Seriously, even though it’s all of 8 words, it’s still the most salient of points. Casual fans didn’t even see a trainwreck coming when Eric Musselman was hired. (Or diehard fans.) They didn’t even see it until about March of ’07. By then it was obvious. Even then, the team was still in playoff contention (amazingly).

Casual fans sell tickets. Casual fans get excited about players who are a bit past their prime. Casual fans buy tickets at much higher prices because they have business and it’s worth showing a customer what Arco is like when it’s buzzing on a regular night.

The point?

Casual fans root for guys like Mike Bibby because he is intimately connected with the very best of moments in the Sacramento era. That’s why trading him was done when it was done. Mike Bibby was the effective face of the franchise after Chris Webber was traded, and while I don’t have numbers in front of me, I’m willing to bet he was the highest selling jersey after C-Webb was traded. (Even if that means little, it still means something.)

The point?

Mike Bibby had monetary value to the franchise in a business sense until about 2007. Then, Reggie Theus is hired, he breaks his hand in training camp that year, and only plays a few games. It was clear to everyone (in February of ’08) that Bibby had to go. Up until that point, only people like me were even stumping to trade Mike Bibby. (And, I am, as then, thrilled with what the Kings got.) So what happened in February in ’08? Beno Udrih happened.

I know this probably won’t make sense to people like HighTops and My Losing Season, but the reality is that economics drove Bibby and Artest as a pair from the Maloof’s end. They not only sold some tickets to the casual fans (who probably didn’t get it), but they also generated a ton of extra attention from news outlets outside of Sacramento along with whatever story was happening with Ron Artest that day.

The Maloof’s need as much of that attention as possible to maintain the Kings as a franchise that’s economically viable. I know that seems like a bad business decision, but the only thing the Kings delayed by trading for Artest was delaying the inevitable rebuilding that the franchise is in the process of now.

Mike Bibby was worth 3 (small) expiring contracts and a limited upside player in Shelden Williams. The Hawks were thrilled that they had those asset’s to give up, and the Kings didn’t exactly have 5 offers to sort through. That was always the problem with Mike Bibby. By the time he was reaching the end of his contract, he became easier to deal because his contract was no longer over-paying him. Besides, how many Kings fans wanted to trade Bibby in 2005? (Die-Hards or no?)

Is that great value? No, but it’s not expensive value either. The Kings also chose in the off-season of 2008 (after trading Artest) to extend Francisco Garcia (a move that I definitely supported and could work out well depending on how well Garcia plays under Westphal). Personally, I think of the Bibby trade as a shifting of asset’s from Bibby to Martin, Williams and Douby (in terms of money). There isn’t a team in the NBA that wouldn’t consider a 3 for 1 player trade in terms of money when they aren’t making as much.

The Maloof’s and Geoff Petrie have made mistakes. The biggest mistake was Ron Artest, and the 2nd biggest mistake was Eric Musselman. (One could argue vice-versa, but I don’t. Without trading for Artest, there isn’t this illusion that Adelman doesn’t coach defense.)

But, what Kings fans forget is that many teams make those kinds of mistakes. What the Kings are doing now is moving on. By trading Bibby in February, and Artest in August, of ’08, the Kings accomplished a heavy start on the rebuild.

The legacy, for most fans, is that the Kings took too long to rebuild. I agree, but I’m not sure it makes a great deal of difference. The Kings wouldn’t be 2 years closer, in all likelihood, to a goal of winning a championship if they start the rebuild in 2006 instead of 2008. That’s the way it is. You need impact game changing players to win a championship. (You also need players who fit in perfectly with those stars.) There is no guarantee of whom you’ll get in the draft. There is no guarantee. As the saying goes: “Hindsight is 20/20.”

The Brad Miller and John Salmons trade was very different. Very very different. At that point, the Kings were trying to rebuild and maintain a competitive core. And, Geoff Petrie deserves blame (for believing that core would ever be greatly competitive beyond 25-30 wins), and credit for not taking longer to assess how to fix the damage.

This is exactly what MLS, HT, and Lietothegirls (lttg) have confused. John Salmons isn’t worth more at the 2010 trade deadline (unless he becomes that much of a better player–which at 29 is not a high likelihood) than developing Donte Greene and Omri Casspi, while playing Andres Nocioni at the position, and trading them for different talents down the road.

Moving Salmons was about saving money in the interim, and development of Casspi/Greene in the long term. That’s what it was always about. In the NBA, I find that very few trades are done on an equal talent level. Either the team gets draft considerations, cash (sometimes both), a good player, or a combination of all 3. Mostly what happens with most NBA team is they take risks (Isiaah Rider for Steve Smith is a great example of this–for those whom remember that doomed trade) and they end up badly.

What has happened, though, is that more NBA teams are better run now than they have been, say, 10 years ago. Some teams (like the Wizards) have gotten far more competent management in that time. That makes it hard to trade Kenny Thomas and Beno Udrih for a Star. You trade a Super-Star to get a Super-Star. Brad Miller and John Salmons were not Super-Stars. Brad Miller was no longer an All-Star. Salmons was a competent role player on one of the league’s most un-competitive teams. How is that going to change greatly if you don’t trade them?

The problem I see (like this Cowbell Kingdom article by Evan) is that people often revise history (you know: what actually happened and all that good bullshit) to fit the circumstances of their point. Evan, again, made this point in the column he penned a few days ago at CK:

The Webber Deal: Webber was awesome, a perennial all star and our main guy. Peja was thought to be ready to take over, but in the deal we needed to at least get a solid starter in return. What did our franchise cornerstone fetch us? Kenny Thomas, Brian Skinner, and Scoreless Williamson. Sure Webber’s contract was pretty loaded and he was injury ridden, but that’s a pretty low package. Necessary? Perhaps. Was it the best deal? Maybe. But that’s a dilution of talent in a major way. We saw a similar deal with Mike Bibby leaving town. Again, another big contract and another player that was probably on his way out. The return from the Hawks? Sheldon Williams, Anthony Johnson, Tyrone Lue, Lorenzen Wright and a 2nd rounder. Both deals were perhaps our best offers and financially motivated, but never the less diluted our talent. We were worse off.

You mean Chris Webber after micro-fracture surgery isn’t as good as Chris Webber without it? You mean, really? I’m shit-shocked on that one I might add.

I’m going to re-quote some of this stuff:

What did our franchise cornerstone fetch us?

Chris Webber wasnt, by that point, a franchise cornerstone. You don’t think a franchise level player wouldn’t have fetched more than Kenny Thomas, Corliss Williamson, or Brian Skinner? Chris Webber was NO LONGER that player. Evan, you might want to recognize that. (You might want to watch games pre and post injury if you are no longer convinced.)

The whole reason I bring this up is that Cowbell Kingdom is a Kings blog that is part of the TrueHoop network. There are far more people who will read that piece that will ever read this. (Thank God. I’m becoming convinced that it is a role of a major corporation multi-national to make people as stupid as possible at all possible times.) Of course, my elitist snobby opinion of corporations aside, the point is that when people don’t really think about what it is their writing (and I’m not sure how anyone could argue that Webber was a franchise player by the time he was traded in February 2005) it can lead to mis-conceptions. That is the worst mis-conception of them all. That the Kings traded their franchise player. (Jerry Reynolds said as much in his bright breezy memoir. Well, as much as a book about the Kings could be bright & breezy. Speaking of dark moments, RIP Ricky.) Why would a franchise trade their franchise player? They wouldn’t. (That was a JR paraphrase btw.)

By the time the Kings get around to dumping an ineffective Brad Miller and John Salmons (likely to be at the peak of his value), they are no longer even a team that is greatly competing. By the time the Kings trade Miller and Salmons, the Kings have been blown out by 45 & 48 points (Boston & Phoenix respectively). Now, the Kings lost by big margins after the trade, including one loss by 28 points to Phoenix, but there wasn’t incredibly awful blowout’s after Miller and Salmons were traded. Why? Because Miller no longer could influence the direction of the team would be my guess. I don’t know the answer, but I can’t figure out how having more cap space in 2010 (7 million or so) would be of great help to a team that will likely lose 55-60 games again. Especially when (at least) a 1/3 of the league will have similar aspirations.

Let me name teams that will have cap space in 2010: New York, Chicago, LA Clippers, Memphis, Atlanta (if Joe Johnson leaves), some may say Dallas will have cap room, but I heavily doubt it (it will depend on how many contracts that are opted out of and how far the cap drops; make no mistake, though, Dallas won’t have much room either way), Houston, Miami, Milwaukee (definitely dependent on whether Michael Redd opts out or not–he probably will), Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma City, Phoenix (depending on how many contracts are moved/opted out), San Antonio (depending on contracts–again), Toronto might (this is similar to Dallas), and Washington (Wizards) might have a few bucks (but not very much like Dallas and Toronto).

The real players here are the big cities and teams with valuable players they could execute a sign and trade with (which very much will be in play). Say whatever you want about players and teams doing that, but any team will do what they think is possible to make their team better and save money (whenever possible).

With at least 9 teams with actual real live cap space one way or the other next off-season (Kings, New York, LA Clippers, Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, Houston, Oklahoma City, Minnesota, and New Jersey), that is not actually a swell marketplace with at least other 6 potentially active teams (with cap space created by players leaving) on the market. 15 teams is half the NBA. 9 teams is nearly a 1/3 of the whole league.

The Kings are not playing the odds that they will have something marketable in 2010. That’s the reality. Having cap space to play with to make a trade is nice (which the team will still have), but at the same time, part of trades is usually giving up a bad contract to make the other team pay a price for taking back a player. This is, after all, a competitive league. It’s why Michael Heisley trades for Zach Randolph knowing that his contract is big for the next 2 seasons, but beyond that (sort of), it creates excess amount of cap room for the team. It turns out that having a flexible payroll is pretty important in the NBA. Go figure.

My point here is that the Kings have 3 ways they can improve their team. One is through the draft (saying a top-5 pick to be greedy), one is through trades, and one is through free-agency. Given that the team is not likely to win much next season, which of the 3 options do you think is most likely to offer the most long term impact? I pick draft, and every time. I believe, and I believe the NBA has done a great job of enforcing this, that the idea of cyclical power is available because the draft is not a guarantee to change your team with the 1st overall pick (or a top 3 pick). The draft is ALSO not a guarantee for anybody to win the 1st overall pick. You make the deals you wish to, but, at the end of the day, the draft usually offers the greatest potential long term impact of other options available. And, this is more than the majority of time this is true.

San Antonio (the big 3 all drafted). LA (This team has a mix of trades and draft picks/young players on their roster–it’s too complicated, but other than Artest, and Shaquille O’Neal–which happened during a different CBA in effect in 1996–what big name Free Agent has signed in LA?) is a great example of how important the draft is. (Even though LA has not gone over that route completely in it’s time as a franchise, it will be interesting to see what happens when this current era ends.) Boston is another great example of a team with a mix of players. Several of their stars (Pierce, Rondo) were drafted or acquired on draft day. Both Garnett and Allen were traded for. Some of their other players (Perkins, Powe–well until recently–Davis) were drafted as well. The biggest FA acquisitions for Boston? Eddie House and Brian Scalabrine. Rasheed Wallace is obviously expected to have the biggest impact. He is not the player he was 3 years ago, either.

I think I’ve made my point, but I could continue. Orlando’s core of players are probably the most interesting example of what having cap room and valuable young talent means. In 2007, Orlando has a ton of money under the cap and decides to over-pay Rashard Lewis. 2 years later, they make a trade involving Rafer Alston (which included their 1st rounder in the 09 draft to get Alston as part of that original trade), Tony Battie and Courtney Lee (drafted) to get Vince Carter. Now, the Magic have Carter, Lewis, Dwight Howard (drafted), Jameer Nelson (drafted) and Marcin Gortat (drafted–and time will tell whether keeping Gortat makes sense).

Now, I realize the Kings are not in a position that Orlando is in, but THAT IS MY POINT. Making a big time Free Agent splash usually requires a tremendous leap of faith on the part of the Free-Agent that the team will be worth signing (or making the commitment) with long term. How many people thought Orlando was a championship caliber team in 2007 when Rashard Lewis signed there that summer? I’m not even sure Orlando fans believed it at the time. But, Lewis has become valuable because of what he does as opposed to how much he’s getting paid to do so.

Which brings me back to the whole ordeal in the first place of whether it makes sense that the Kings got back the value that some expect in the Webber, Bibby, Artest, Miller/Salmons deals. The truth is, as it always will be, that the Kings will always be in somewhat of a difficult position when it comes to signing players. Over-paying them (even if they are your own Free-Agent) is probably something that the team will always consider when it comes to paying players. My hope is that that changes as the team can afford (especially if it gets harder for other teams to sign another’s Free Agent) can play some hardball on the total dollar and years. But, that’s the point here. The big contracts of Webber, Bibby and Miller were probably inflated. Without those inflated dollars, do they have as much value to the franchise and fans because they are constantly bitching about their contract? Lots of teams have that problem, and it’s always going to be an issue. Rarely do we ever hear about that problem with Kings players and that reason is because players are usually well paid in the EC. There is a method to that madness.

Now, does that mean I’m going to cry about Beno Udrih and claim he should be traded? That would be nice, from a financial perspective, but it’s highly unlikely. Given Beno’s production with accordance to his contract, he’s not likely to be traded until a year (or at the trade deadline before his final option year) from his contract expiring. No team wants to take on long term dead weight just to make a deal. Taking another team’s problem is just bad business. That’s what some fans forget from time to time. That’s what I think a few Kings fans (generally) are forgetting in all of this.

It’s always easy to say that Salmons and Miller could have fetched more at the 2010 deadline (instead of the 2009 deadline) from a NBA player perspective. Which may, or not, be true. That’s not the point. That’s not the reasoning behind dealing either beyond the financial point (that will always be brought up). Make no mistake, part of the reason the deal was made was from a financial perspetive. But, I think the financial aspect was more important to getting the Maloof’s to agree to doing the deal than the main motivation behind actually completing the deal itself. (The financial deals were the one’s where the Kings were wise. The Cassell, Soloman and Diogu deals all helped the team financially. Any fan should hope their ownership is doing what it can to make themselves more financially fortified in a tough time.) You add to all of the cash garnered in the trade deadline deals, and then factor in the medical retirement of Shareef Abdur-Rahim with the money received from the luxury and escrow tax.

I will also add that you factor in the waiving of Moore and Douby–with Cassell being waived, and then Solomon a little more than a month later–and you had a team attempting to change it’s culture.

According to Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ, there was 87.3 million of tax payed out from 7 tax paying teams (Knicks and Mavericks made up 46.2 million of that alone). The Kings share of that was 2.91 million. (Every non-tax paying team gets 1/30th of the tax money collected. No tax team gets a share of that.) On the other hand, however, every team does get a share of the escrow tax, and, according to Coon’s FAQ, again, that share is $6,467,847. That’s about 9.37 million dollars of benefits. All in all, I would say that between this (which to be fair the Maloof’s have received in previous season’s), and the (around) 2 million in cash that was netted from the trades at the deadline day have given them something of a buffer room. What’s really dangerous, though, is if the Maloof’s have relied on this money to help fund the Kings. That is bad business practice, and I hope that is not happening. (I don’t think it is.)

So, to wrap this up, does it matter with regards to the timing that the Kings have undertaken to rebuild? Well, in my humble opinion, not really. When is not as important, but “how” is far more important given the circumstances. To be blunt, the fact that the Maloof’s and Geoff Petrie have realized they needed to rebuild was the first step. Until then, the reality was that both parties were trying to avoid that particular step. It seems pretty important to note that some of the depth that may pay off for the Kings in the next few years (Hawes and Thompson) came as part of a team still trying to compete. This wrinkle may end up netting the Kings more talent through the draft (Martin–2004, Garcia–2005, Douby–2006, Hawes–2007, Thompson–2008, Greene–2008, Evans–2009, and Casspi–2009) when you have 7 current players under contract (if you decide Brockman will be signed right now is up to you–I’m thinking it will carry onto training camp) that you’ve drafted or traded before their rookie seasons, that says you’re thinking about young talent and how it works for you.

At some point every team has to build through the draft, and every team has to get a player (like Tyreke Evans possibly could become) that will be an impact superstar level player if they want to win a championship. It’s just that simple. I don’t know how to put it any other way. The Kings are not likely to get that player without being involved in the draft.

Which brings me to the next point.

The potential 2010 draft is stocked full of young big men with significant upside who would have pushed Jordan Hill out of being a lottery pick if all of them were available or had decided to declare. Derrick Favors, Cole Aldrich, Donatas Motiejunas are the 2nd, 4th and 5th picks on DX’s 2010 mock draft (it’s very early I realize). But, right behind them is Ed Davis (6th), John Henson (8th), Greg Monroe (10th), Patrick Patterson (who declared and pulled out of the 2009 draft, is 12th at the moment), Solomon Alabi (who is racing up the charts with his steadily improving play, is 13th), and Jan Vesely (who plays at Partizan Belgrade–the same place where Vlade Divac played, and more importantly a noted hotbed for young player development in Europe–is currently 14th) make up your lottery pick big men. That’s 9 big men out of 14 spots. The Kings needed help up front, in the backcourt, and they need great talent. It says something that the 2009 draft was heavy in Guard’s (and the Kings got their probable target when things were all said & done), and it probably says something more that the 2010 draft (which is considered much deeper) could net the Kings either A) a star, B) a rotation quality big if they aren’t high enough to pick said star or C) a very good player regardless of the position.

Tell me how the Kings spending money to get 5 extra wins helps a team that is badly in need of franchise players and great talent.

My suggestion. Enjoy the Kings where they are at in their current situation. Don’t worry about Udrih or Nocioni’s long term contracts right now. Udrih is not likely to be traded, and Nocioni might not be traded for another year until GP & Co. is convinced that Greene/Casspi can take over at the SF spot. It’s usually a good idea to make sure that young players can actually play in the NBA before you commit the spots to them. Plus, both are making less than the NBA Veterans minimum right now as a 2nd year player and rookie. I can live with that every time.

I can also live with not having a backup C on the 2009-10 roster if there is a player of that caliber (or hopefully a franchise level star) coming in the 2010 draft. In fact, I would laugh at everyone who thinks having a backup C is that big of a deal. Many teams have 7 footers and hardly play them. What would be the point to having a player who can’t play?

Frankly, my route to seeing the Kings succeed is see them stay pat, make a minor move dealing Nocioni or Rodriguez for cash/draft picks, and see which players work long term together (or not). I hope the Kings play JT @ Center some so he can improve his abilities there. (That, though, is not a given, however.) I hope Paul Westphal brings in a system with reasonable continuity. I hope the Kings can get a draft pick high enough to take Derrick Favors. (I ain’t going to lie. He would be my primary target at this stage.) I also hope the Kings don’t get blown out by 45 or 48 points again. (I can live with 3 or 4 25-30 point blowouts during the season.) But, that doesn’t mean I believe the Kings got low-balled for Miller/Salmons, Bibby, Artest or Webber. Those trades were part of changing the team for a more modern face.

It sucks to say, but right now the Kings have bottomed out. They can’t get any worse. But, they can get better in the next few seasons if they stay patient, have a high draft pick (because Favors is very likely to go top 3), don’t get ahead of themselves trying to make a trade that is imprudent (see Smith, Derek), and don’t spend money on a Free Agent that will only help the team for the next few seasons. If this is about winning a championship, spending money to make fans happy over the summer (this year or next) does jack diddly shit. And, ladies & germs, dogs cats and other worthless animals, good day folks.



  1. You’re absolutely right. The immediate future doesn’t exactly look bright for the Kings, but with a few more moves they can work their way back to contention. The trades from last season brought back some worthwhile pieces, but still, a foundation of Tyreke Evans, Kevin Martin, Jason Thompson, and Spencer Hawes should at least be worth watching.

  2. […] As discussed here last week, I pointed out why I thought the Kings made the right decisions to trade the notable players that have driven the Kings to their greatest success this decade (and in franchise history). […]

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