Posted by: Kingsguru21 | November 29, 2010

Ranking the Kings trade assets (hysteria edition)

We’ve all heard the stories about this team. If it isn’t Paul Westphal’s rotations, it’s DeMarcus Cousins being an immature twat. Let’s step back a minute and assess the trade value of this team since, in my opinion anyway, this group should be split up.

I’ve said it from day one, and I still think it to a large extent: The Kings made a gamble these young guys would come together. It was a gamble that has went poorly in large part because I see the issue of this team is that most of the young guys believe that the problem is they don’t get the ball enough.

Unless you’re Tyreke, and he has the ball in his hands almost every possession down the floor, this isn’t the case. So let’s examine what kind of trade possibilities all these guys have.

Untouchables

1) Tyreke Evans is on this list. Yes, he’s struggled. Yes, he’s not perfect. Yes, he’s probably not ever going to be John Stockton. All of which I’m okay with. Let me point out the first month of the 2nd season for Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo.

2a & b) DeMarcus Cousins & the 2011 1st round pick. Right now, I would say the 2011 1st is more valuable if only because of said young player could be the right mix changer. But the draft is too far away, and if DMC ever figures it out at some point (and he’s done some things well up to this point),

As far as the draft pick, I like Jan Vesely. He may or may not be available when the Kings pick in 2011. (Assuming they keep the pick.)

Cousins may be one of those guys whose growing pains initially are steep and at the end of the day, that may be the best thing that can happen for him. It’s too early to say that he’s not talented enough to be a part of the core (he’s talented enough but nowhere consistent enough yet to be that guy) and it’s too early to throw him under the bus. DMC was a guy we all needed to be patient with the ups & downs. Yes, I thought more ups would happen earlier than later. Sometimes things are a blessing. Sometimes not. I’m willing to wait this out since DMC is nowhere near a polished finished product.

Worth keeping but worth trading for a better player

3) Omri Casspi leads this list. (Although, Jason Thompson could easily be flip flopped on this list and I wouldn’t mind. Suggest why in the comments) If Casspi was a clear cut part of the core of this team, and I don’t think he is anywhere near showing that yet, then I’d agree he’s untradeable within reason. But, he’s not.

4) I think Jason Thompson is more of a known quantity, and because he’s an usually healthy, relatively productive big, he has some value. Nothing great, nothing what Kings fans most likely would expect. Just that you would be able to get something for him.

There is value but probably not what fans think

5) Carl Landry. Landry is easier to move than Dalembert because A) he is making 3 million dollars and B) he is a quality teammate who goes out and gets his job done. He’s liked by a lot of teams in the NBA. While he’s only been in the league for 4 years, he is 27 years old and that hurts his viability to a lot of teams (especially young teams).

That said, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Landry moved in a deal that brings back something of modest value. Let’s be honest: Landry’s value is modest and that’s the return the Kings will get if they move him.

6) Samuel Dalembert is an interesting case. He’s a veteran, you know what he brings, but the problem is that he is expensive. (This was why Philly had to settle on Hawes and Nocioni.) Unless the Kings are getting a big bucks guy like Elton Brand (the Kings don’t want him for lots of reasons I’m sure) because he has a big contract and might still prove to be as productive as he has in the past, there’s a risk there. That’s why Philly would do a deal dumping Brand’s contract. What’s in it for the Kings? Very little me thinks. If you’re image of Brand being a star is still your image, I think you’re wrong. Even with Brand’s play this season.

The other option is trading for a superstar like Carmelo Anthony where a lot of cap relief could be involved, but I doubt the Kings will do this for a lot of reasons. One, I don’t think the Kings have much trade assets that the Nuggets are interested in, and B) I don’t think the Kings want to use all of their cap space to make it possible that the Nuggets end up under the luxury tax line after a deal. That’s why I see Melo heading east to New Jersey (they are the front runner), and Billups heading to a team like Sacramento (if they make that kind of decision) if the Nuggets can get under the tax with a deal.

Value is in the mind of the beholder

7) Donte Greene. The difference between Greene and Casspi is that Greene is on his 3rd season, has had multiple run-in’s with multiple head coaches, and, to boot, doesn’t seem to be consistent. Until Greene puts together a really strong whole month (and not 3 games), let’s hold off on the idea that Greene suddenly has value to a lot of other teams. He doesn’t at this point.

8 & 9) Beno Udrih and Francisco Garcia are in the same boat. Their contracts aren’t ideal (or are bad if you’re blunt), but they can be dealt with the right mix of pieces coming back to the Kings (mainly money coming back to the Kings in a bigger contract). Otherwise, and I don’t personally mind, you’re going to see them on the Kings for awhile. I think they are ideal bench players for this team.

No trade value to other teams

10-14) This is the boat Luther Head, Darnell Jackson, Antoine Wright, Pooh Jeter and Hassan Whiteside are in. Forget Whiteside as he is the Kings project right now and was just put in the NBDL today. Wright was waived officially just after I wrote this the first time. (This is a rewrite.)

Head has no value to other teams because most likely they seem him as a player on a struggling team that is so bad defensively that he sticks out. That isn’t exactly enticing to other teams who actually play NBA caliber defense. This is equally true of Darnell Jackson but on a lesser scale since he hasn’t played a lot of minutes.

Where at least Head and Whiteside could have value in some way or another, you can bet Wright and Jeter have no value to other NBA teams. Plus, any of the 4 could be acquired rather easily because of the minimum traded player exception.

Synopsis

I’m open to trading anyone except Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and the 2011 pick. I would even trade future draft choices if the Kings could get a superstar I wanted (this list is few & far between but Chris Paul is on the list for certain).

I don’t think Omri or JT have as much trade value as Kings fan hope or expect, but I do think they are still very tradeable. On the other hand, it’s very clear this is a young team that hasn’t put the pieces together and needs some veteran savvy and skill that they just don’t have yet. That means trading some of the young talent to help the most important pieces (DMC & Reke) grow. I’m sorry, but Donte, Omri, JT and everyone else on the roster can be replaced. DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans don’t grow on trees and if you’re going to build a roster around them, you need to be committed to that and not spend your time believing every young player will develop and grow into the star that fans envision. It just doesn’t work that way.

Here’s an omelet analogy: You need to break a few eggs to make an omelet. It was always unrealistic to expect all these young players to develop their games without a few veterans who were perfect compliments (and I’m less amenable to trdading Dalembert than it might have seemed in my blurb) to these kids. My view is that unless you’re a part of the core now, you’re not necessarily a part of the core 2 years from now. I’m not worried if Donte Greene becomes an All-Star 5 years from now in Detroit or Denver. I am worried if Donte Greene can’t be a rotation player for the Kings here and now. In the same way that another team might benefit from a lack of player growth here in Sacramento, the Kings can benefit from other players lack of growth elsewhere. This isn’t just a Paul Westphal or Geoff Petrie franchise issue; it’s really a NBA issue that dates back to the beginnings of basketball. Players develop and grow at different rates and ways. There are all kind of opinions, but the least useful of them is playing the “what if” game. The “what if” game is what I think, more than any single thing at the moment, is getting fans worked up to the point where every loss is the apocalypse and every victory is a failure because the team isn’t winning by 40 points.

Look at the big picture. Being manic depressive about the Clippers or Bulls game isn’t very useful. Let’s expand our thinking and optimism. Please?!?!?!?!?!?!?

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Responses

  1. Good stuff Pook and I have to agree with everything. Daly is a bit confusing right now but if he’s not traded (and I don’t think he will be) he’s going to less confusing next season. I have thought that the reason that the Kings traded for Daly, besides getting rid of Hawes and Noc was the ability to pick up a salary placeholder while also getting more interior D.

    Daly’s salary got the King’s to the minimum while at the minimum bringing in a player who comes with a set of skills that aren’t likely to disappoint. At $13 mil he doesn’t make much sense but at whatever he signs for after the lock out he’s going to be a good piece who will continue to do what he does and not cry about touches. If he was a horrible fit he could be traded at the deadline and might be.

    Reke and DMC? yes and yes. Gotta keep’em.

    Omri and JT – I would probably lump them together but no biggee. JT picked the right time to remind the Kings and show the rest of league that they would be foolish to overlook his big man and awesome team mate skills. Put it this way, I don’t believe he’s going to be playing for the vets minimum next contract. I still have a good deal of optimism regarding Omri’s value but am wishing he hadn’t fallen off so much towards the end of last season and hasn’t shown much so far this season. Personally, I would like to keep them but if they are part of a trade that brings back more value to the team? Oh well.

    2011 Kings draft pick – who knows, maybe this is the year we get the first pick. Regardless, this should be a very good pick, valuable to the rebuilding Kings as well as being very attractive to the rest of the league. I’m hoping we don’t end up worst team in the league again but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

    Kings cap space – Unless the Kings make a big cap sucking trade at the deadline which could be a good thing, the team should be well positioned to welcome in the new CBA whenever that happens and could allow the Kings to get the high level vet who has eluded them so far in this go round.

    • Well, first off, excellent comment BJ.

      The reason that there is a separation between Omri and Donte is for several reasons.

      1) Youth. Omri’s younger and been in the league one less year.
      2) He hasn’t had the run-in’s with PW, Natt and Theus that Donte has had. Teams do take that stuff into account when deciding how desirable a young player is. You may not care, I know I don’t really care, but other teams do.

      As far as Daly, I’d do the Hawes/Noc deal every time. Regardless of the consequences (and there has been consequences).

      As far as the draft pick, I don’t even want to think about it until May. Or at least right now I don’t want to.

      I still think the Kings cap space is in play for this season if the right player comes back. Unless it’s a Tayshaun Prince/Chauncey Billups type, I’m not sure there is many other players out there that will help the Kings.

      • Tayshaun Price started off his career basically in the playoffs & going deep in the playoffs every season so he’s been frustrated the last few years on being with shitty teams right? especially this season I think getting into arguments with there coach is obviously just an extension of him being frustrated of the team in general if you know what I mean. So with that being said what makes you think he’s going to come to the team that has the worst record in the league right now & hasn’t made the playoffs in 4 seasons? That wouldn’t make any sense at all for him to sign with the Kings as a FA unless they throw a ton of cash at him & since he’s already won a championship I guess that would be a reasonable idea for him but no way in hell I would ever do that. So unless a trade comes with Prince I don’t see him coming to the Kings & I think you could say the same with Billups.

        • My idea was trading for Prince. It was never signing him as a FA. Part of that is due to the CBA, and part of it is I think it would make sense to trade some of the young players for Prince. It accomplishes 2 things really.

          • I think trading for him is possibile & it coulp help this team but the issues are his contract to me. Isn’t his contract up after this season? So he if he gets traded before deadline will he just leave the Kings & they get nothing? What’s Prince contract situation? because unless something magical happens while Prince is on the Kings I don’t see him committing to the team at all. So how long do you plan on having Prince with this team exactly? a half a season? or longer?

            • I’m willing to take the risk of Prince leaving at the end of the season. Either way, his current contract (around 11 mill) is too high for the long term. That’s another reason to want him.

              As far as long term with Prince, that would depend on money and how he performs. There is no guarantee.

  2. I agree with most of your post besides a few things that you confused me on. I think you have the right intentions on acquiring a playmaking PG like Chris Paul because watching the Kings this season there main weakness is a PG to setup the offense and using there passing abilitys to get the team involved. I like Tyreke Evans a lot and I think he is a talented passer but he’s a good passer the way Dwayne Wade is a good passer. They both demand a lot of attention because there driving abilitys so that opens up a lot of passing lanes for them which I have no problem with. But I think the Kings #1 goal to improve this roster is to get that PG who can set up the offense and the way the Hornets are playing this season I don’t see Chris Paul being an option at this point, even if they struggle in the years to come and he demands a trade he would go someplace like NY or Orlando definitely not Sacramento.

    The most valuable assets for this team are Tyreke, Cousins, & the 1st round pick I definitely agree with that. Although what you make out of that 1st round pick is what’s going to be important for this franchise obviously & I have no idea why you want Jan Vesely who isn’t a shooter\scorer & isn’t that good of an athlete & does not have close to an NBA body. I realize a lot of players coming into the draft don’t have NBA bodies but in his case being a player from Europe they usually don’t improve there bodies dramatically even playing years in the NBA. I think what the Kings should look for in this draft is a PG like Duke’s Kyrie Irving who is a nice passer and can run a team offensively. Also his quickness with Tyreke’s strength in the backcourt would give teams huge problems inside & that’s when you can build shooters around these guys.

    Nice post though, glad to see you posting again consistently.

    • Thanks for the KF123. I’ll try to post consistently as often as I can. It is tough right now though. I haven’t even watched the Indy-Sac game because I couldn’t find an internet stream. (I have broadband; just not an internet connection. Argh!!!) 1 note: Don’t use faggot again. (I’m not going to use racial epithets. I’m the only person who gets to make the exception though.) I’m a relaxed moderator, but I’m not going to tolerate that. I don’t care what language you use out there; don’t use it here. This is your warning, and I’m being nice because I don’t think you meant anything other than you don’t like Vesely.

      At any rate, I disagree about Wade vs Evans. Wade was always a better playmaker, and I believe we’d see less struggles out of Evans and the Kings if he could be a playmaker as Wade was early in his career.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/w/wadedw01.html

      Wade avg’d 4.5 assists with Odom on the team his rookie season. I don’t really think Evans is on that level because you have to remember how slow Miami was during Wade’s rookie season (and primarily throughout his career). Pace matters because less shots were taken, and hopefully you can see where I’m going with this.

      I don’t think the Kings have a shot at Chris Paul. If they do, I hope they take a shot at him without giving up Reke or DMC. I’d absolutely give up the 2011 1st rounder.

      As far as Jan Vesely I think he’s plenty athletic:

      Needless to say, we disagree.

  3. By the way, you never really gave me your opinion on the Kings lack of playmaking at the PG position & why on god earth wouldn’t they look for a PG in the draft? Especially the paste there record is on right now they could land a superstar type PG like Kyrie Irving.

    • I don’t know if Kyrie Irving is the right choice. He’s more of a score first guy like Tyreke, and I don’t know if it really matters than he can shoot. I think the Kings have thought about whom they want if they get up that high. Quite honestly I think there is a lot of issue’s with this, and I don’t really know if Irving is the right guy.

      That said, Kylie Irving will be in the conversation if the Kings are still in the hunt for a top 5 pick. They’ll look at a ton of guys. It’s too early to think about the draft.

      As far as the PG point, I don’t really care who is the PG. It doesn’t matter to me as i don’t think PG or SG matters. I think it matters if you have a guy who can help Tyreke in some weak area’s. Some of the stuff that has bothered me with Tyreke is missing shots that he should be making even if it’s not in his comfort level.

      I’m not worried about the lack of playmaking because I think that’s a strength of DeMarcus Cousins. (It’s one reason I’m less concerned about him than I was in June. I didn’t realize he had passing talents that he had.) Having said that, I am worried that Beno & Tyreke don’t play enough together when it counts.

      Anyway, I think playmaking isn’t really the issue right now anyway. It’s finding a rhythm for DMC & Reke and having the team play off that.


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