Posted by: Kingsguru21 | October 21, 2009

Will the Kings pick up Donte Greene’s option?

Recently, there has been a ton of speculation about Donte Greene (especially from yours truly). How he fits into the long term plans is certainly a question, but more importantly, how does he fit into the short term plans?

I think it’s pretty clear that Greene will get a chance to prove himself, up to a point, to Paul Westphal and his staff. The problem, as it generally is with young players, is that development is not as simple as 1-2-3 A-B-C. It doesn’t happen in the same interval or rate as everyone. Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi have done very well this pre-season by most accounts; Donte Greene has not.

With Evans you could expect that. (You expect top 5 picks to be better than the guys drafted in the 20’s initially.)

Omri Casspi, also, has done a good job so far playing in a fashion that forces Paul Westphal to think about how to give him minutes. When you’re a rookie, and the 23rd overall pick, this makes a great deal of sense.

Which brings me to Jason Thompson and Donte Greene. Well, Donte really, but this applies to both (and really only Donte) at the present time: Will the Kings pick up the option?

I think with JT we can safely assume that will happen. So far, the Kings have done not so.

For some reason, most teams don’t really bother picking up the options for players until October. (I’m not really sure why.) If the Kings were looking to force Donte Greene into seeing something, or understanding something a bit better, than I suppose you could argue this is leverage.

But, why?

Donte Greene is slated to make 870K this season, just a bit over 930 K next season, and if he makes it to the 4th year on his rookie contract, just under 1.7 Million.

This is not exactly break the bank dollars even in a rough economy by NBA standards.

What I don’t understand why the Kings would use pre-season to measure Donte’s progress or as a way to motivate him. What I don’t understand is why there isn’t any patience to developing Donte as he is already lagging behind Omri Casspi. (Which is not a great shock if you ask me.) If anything, I think Omri Casspi’s development so far says more about Omri Casspi than it does about Donte Greene’s development up to this point.

I’m not arguing Donte Greene has played perfectly, that well, or even within reason quite yet. I’m not arguing that. But, why would you dump Donte so early into his career?

I can only think of 3 reasons.

1) He’s lazy and doesn’t really put in the extra work
2) He won’t listen to the coaching staff
3) His extra curricular affairs make it difficult to get him to accomplish 1 and/or 2

I doubt he’s lazy. I doubt he hasn’t put in some extra work to become better as a player. I also don’t think he’s tuning out Paul Westphal and the coaching staff. What could he possibly be doing in his personal life that would make it so that the Kings wouldn’t pick up his option?

Now, again, I’m not arguing Donte Greene is a perfect finished product. If he was, I’d think he’d be the starting SF for the Kings right now. But even the Kings gave Quincy Douby 3 years before waiving him. They at least gave him more of a chance than I have a feeling they will give Donte Greene.

And, why? It’s all personality. I don’t think he’s the type of kid that Geoff Petrie prefers, in terms of personality, and I don’t think he’s a Paul Westphal player in that he’s anything other than a player that he inherited on the roster. On one hand.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this. All I do know is this:

Teams have until the October 31 preceding the player’s second season to exercise their option for the player’s third season. Likewise, they have until the October 31 preceding the player’s third season to exercise their option for the player’s fourth season (see question number 50 for more information on options). If the team invokes both options (keeping the player for all four seasons) then the player becomes a restricted free agents following his fourth season (see question number 36 for more information on restricted free agency). If the team declines either option, then the player enters free agency as an unrestricted free agent.

Now I can guarantee Jason Thompson will be picked up on his rookie deal. I just wonder if the Kings will exercise the same judgment with Donte give his talents and abilities. Yes, I know he’s still raw, but if they were expecting him to absolutely show how great he was by this season, I think GP & Co. were overestimating him a bit.

Either way the next 10 days should be, at the very least, interesting.

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Responses

  1. I think you are getting ahead of yourself Pook. If the team had already picked up JT’s option your point would be more valid. We don’t know what the FO is going to do.

    I would agree that PW has probably been underwhelmed by é’s preseason so far and with good reason.

    There is a good economic reason to pick up the option, if nothing else as you mentioned above, he’s a cheap body who gets along with the young core and other than BJax’s car hasn’t caused any trouble that we are aware of.

    Prior to the start of training camp I thought Donté
    had until the end of the 09-10 season to continue his career with the team. As the preseason games have rolled out I have started to believe that his King’s career is coming to an end.

    Whatever the reason, something is not happening with Donté, something we are simply not seeing. é looks like a player, until recently you and others have made the point that he was the one young player with the most potential of the young core.

    He has had one good game last season, I think it was against the Knicks, where for one quarter he played inspired ball on both ends of the court. Other then that, seriously, not much objective proof he belongs in the league.

    I have no idea whether the FO is going to pick up
    é’s option or not. I’m guessing right now it’s about 50/50 with a feather lying on Donté’s side of the scale. It could go either way and for é’s sake I hope they do but if they don’t pick up his option I don’t see him turning into a superstar for anybody else.

    We won’t be losing much if he’s not on the team next season. It could be as simple as a matter of fit and he could still be feeling the effects of the chaos that ruled the team last year. From my point of view the main reason they pick up his option is that it gives them another contract to use as a trading piece.

    • First, great comment BJ. Second, I hope you’re right that the team picks up his option so he has this season to help prove himself. I don’t think one pre-season is enough time to fully develop a project. Why take the player in the first place if that was the case?

      I agree with that Donte could be a nice trading chip as well. We shall see BJ.

  2. Option #4, pookey. It could be that the staff just doesn’t think he is now or will be a good NBA basketball player. He’s an athlete, no doubt – but so far his actual basketball skills don’t seem to be translating on the court.

    • I just think it’s too early to say what he’s doing one way or the other quite yet. I’m hoping that this pre-season has opened up Donte’s eyes.

      Thanks for stopping by Otis.

  3. I’m with you on some of this Pook- First up, Donté is a low cost roster filler that can be waived later, even if his option has already been picked up. He has a lot of potential and hopefully he can figure out a way to convert that into production. I think his “extra-curricular” behavior may be the biggest issue. This is a young team and the last thing you want is a guy who wastes time that could be better spent on less talented players who produce at a higher level. I say let Donté go to Reno for a month or two to work out the kinks while placing strict restrictions on his code of conduct.

    Let D- Greene see what kind of Youtube viewership he gets from the “biggest little shit hole in the world”. If Greene flames out in Reno we can make the first “YouBoob” video- a tribute to all the dick heads in the world with tons of talent and either no heart or no brains.

    • LOL @ the YouBoob video JJ. That I would like to see. (Not Donte flaming out though.)

      As far as what Donte does outside of basketball? I mean, that’s subjective.

      I just don’t think Donte has adjusted the way PW & the staff were hoping. There are plenty of Donte Greene’s in this league who took time to adjust and figure out the NBA. He has things you can’t teach in a basketball player. I just wish the team was more willing to work with him on the long haul than they seem to right now.

      Maybe he’s going to flame out no matter what the Kings did. If that’s the case, that’s the way the NBA usually works for players picked at the bottom of the 1st round.

  4. […] Donte Greene? Yeah, that’s another story. […]


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