Posted by: Kingsguru21 | December 5, 2010

Mavs recap (sort of), should the Kings trade for Iguodala, it could be worse with regards to the Arena issues, and this is me being me

I’m not in the mode to write specific topics, but I am in the mood to talk about a few things that have caught my attention.

In regards to last night, I think Aykis had a quality recap of the game itself. I don’t really like to repeat stuff that I would be saying. But there are wrinkles to the game I’d like to add.

* Tyreke Evans scored 14 points in the 1st qtr and 16 in the 1st half. After scoring 25 for the game, and tallying 8 assists, I thought Tyreke Evans showed many good things in his performance. He took open jump shots with confidence and aggressiveness. He even scored using his left hand in the 3rd qtr. Dallas kept doubling and denying him the ball at every opportunity.

This is part of Tyreke Evans’ education folks. Just imagine if he keeps growing and is 25 years old. Scary, no?

* DeMarcus Cousins showed why the Kings were so high on him at draft time. He also showed why he struggles so much this season after the first 18 minutes. In the first 18 minutes of the game Cousins had 13 points and 8 boards. He finished with 17 pts and 11 boards. Welcome to the DeMarcus Cousins roller coaster.

* Carl Landry was not excellent last night. Which was unfortunate because Jason Thompson and Donte Greene were far better in their individual performances.

* Paul Westphal is an idiot. Except when he’s not. Except when he’s not. Except…except…except. The problem with this team that there isn’t a clearcut route to getting things accomplished. The veterans, guys like Dalembert, Landry, Udrih and Garcia all bring their advantages and disadvantages. Landry is becoming less of a keeper in my eyes if only because it’s clear that the Kings have other low post options that make sense. On the other hand, I don’t know which players the Kings are guaranteed to keep or move at this point. That’s how much of a roller coaster this group has been in performance.

* One thing I know is that there has yet to be a game where every individual played well. I thought the Dallas game came close, but Landry’s awful performance was a problem. Did Landry lose the game? Did Greene and Thompson’s not playing for long stretches of the 2nd half cost the Kings the game? I don’t know to be honest.

I do know that the Kings are not as savvy or execute as well as Dallas does now. Again, this is part of the learning curve of a young team and the difficulty of coaching a team like Sacramento. Look at the box score and you’ll notice the Kings didn’t turn the ball over excessively (11 times for each team). Notice that each team shot effectively from the field. The Kings simply fouled more than the Mavs and that was the difference.

* I do not miss Luther Head. I am, though, impressed with Pooh Jeter and how he ran the offense last night. He found guys (particularly Cisco in that minute stretch where he scored 8 points including those 2 dramatic 3’s) in rhythm, directed the offense and seemed to be in tune of how things are supposed to work. Of all the signings over the summer, the one that perked my ears more than any of the other’s was Jeter. I’m hoping I’m right.

* I hate complaining about the ref’s, but that non 24 second violation that led to a Dirk Nowitzki dunk was complete crap. It happens to young teams, and goes to veteran teams unfortunately, but it’s still crap. I’m not going to blame the refs for the Kings losing and not able to match the composure and poise of the Mavericks. I’m just going to say that the ref’s, for all the crap they take, sometimes deserve it. Those is one of those instances.

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Dallas 92.0 114.1 53.3% 31.6 16.2 12.0
Sacramento 112.0 54.8% 14.5 16.7 12.0

 

Here is the box score.

******

There is some discussion of whether the Kings should trade for Andre Iguodala.

I get why the Kings would want AI2. He can handle the ball, he can pass, he plays defense, is very durable (has missed a total of 6 games in his entire career) and is 27 years old. The downside is that Iggy can be turnover prone (then again who isn’t), can’t shoot from the outside effectively and has 43 million owed to him for the next 3 seasons (after this season) that includes a player opt out (ETO specifically).

If I were the Kings, I’d very much toy with moving Donte Greene, Carl Landry, a protected 1st rounder (top 10 in 2011, top 5 in 2012 and unprotected in 2013) would be my preferred scenario. Do the Kings do that? Should they?

It’s a conundrum of an up & coming young team. The Maloofs and Geoff Petrie have said they would do deals that make sense, but does this deal make sense? It’s a bit like the Emeka Okafor quandry made just over a year ago: It makes you better but does the cost make sense?

Again, it’s difficult to say. But let me highlight a very important point and difference between Okafor/Iguodala for a moment:

This isn’t just one move to pick up a very good player with an expensive contract; it’s a paradigm shift in how the Kings will be doing business for the next 5 years. That’s a question that, frankly, I don’t want hinging solely on Emeka Okafor’s contract. I especially don’t want that question hinging on whether Tyreke Evans and Jason Thompson become All-Star/Franchise Level players so quickly into their career’s. The preferable time would to be doing this over the summer. I’m not sure this deal can be achieved over the summer, for several reasons, but mostly because there isn’t any 2011 luxury tax relief for the Hornets by waiting, which is why the Kings are considering doing it now.

Lots of differences this time around. Kevin Martin isn’t around anymore for one. Jason Thompson isn’t your best big, and with Dalembert/Cousins around, you have a possibility of drastically improving your defense on the perimeter with one of the 5 best perimeter defenders in the NBA.

On the balance, I would say the Kings need to consider any deal that makes this team better this season, and for the seasons upcoming. I would say the Kings need to get more veteran savvy and talent to help this young core grow. I’m perfectly certain in stating that I don’t think at least one (if not two) of Landry, Thompson, Greene, Dalembert or Casspi is on the roster past the summer.

The fact is that youth almost always doesn’t win in the NBA sans the 09-10 OKC Thunder (which is not a comparison the Kings fans should be making at this point). Is Iggy’s contract pretty? No, but it’s part of the issue with the Sixers wanting to deal him: That contract is strangling them (along with Brand’s) and they aren’t good enough to work around it and let the deal play out until they can get something better. But it’s also worth noting that they could be exploring trading Iggy in a deal that gets them back more than what I’ve proposed. That is the problem with making deals. NBA teams are all doing so for their own good.

I think there are multiple positives to trading for Iggy (which is not a deal until today I had positive thoughts of). One is that the Free Agent market isn’t ideal for the Kings and their needs. Trading for Andre Iguodala may be the best single the Kings can make considering all the challenges this team is facing. And, so what if Iguodala isn’t the best shooter in the world? So what if Tyreke is not the best shooter out there. It gives the Kings a great deal of flexibility in terms of lineup’s with Iggy out there, and that’s rather important. He can handle the ball which, in my view, is a bigger deal for this team than anything else.

The reason I’ve changed my view is for several reasons. Casspi needs a guy like Iggy who can help him create his shot. That’s a nice balance and opportunity for the Kings to pursue. Also, the fact that Thompson, Cousins, Udrih, Garcia as perimeter shooters (or can shoot that shot at a high clip effectively) changes the scenario a great deal.

The Kings probably won’t get a better return for Landry, Greene, a 1st round pick and their cap space than Andre Iguodala. Maybe they don’t do it because of the price, or because they simply can’t afford to take the risk. However, if the Maloof’s can’t afford to take the risk of Andre Iguodala, who is to say they can afford to take other risks down the road? This is not a Derek Smith situation for the Kings.

All things considered, I can see only a few minor reasons for not doing the deal. From the Kings perspective, and the players involved, it’s worth the money.

******

Yesterday, I was reading about the Hornets situation in New Orleans. It’s gotten to the point where the Hornets are not drawing enough so that they can opt out of their deal with the state of Louisiana on the arena in New Orleans. For all Kings fans who are feeling down and out of it about the Kings arena situation, can you imagine anything worse than paying for a new arena to get a team to come and then watch that team walk away 10 years later after several difficulties to draw people?

Say whatever you want about the Maloof’s, and their wallets, but let’s be honest here: George Shinn has been notoriously cheap at every step of the way. At least the Maloof’s care enough about the team to say they want to keep the Kings in Sacramento (and part of that is a business decision no doubt), and claim they are willing to do what it takes to keep the Kings in the EC.

In otherwords, it can be worse. New Orleans is perfect proof of this exact point.

******

I know it’s easy to be negative about this team, but I refuse to maintain that stance. I refuse because there is a legitimate scenario to get a high quality NBA player like Andre Iguodala, that a draft pick (especially if the Kings continue to lose at a top 3 worst record rate) could mean in another mega player that could legitmately produce an upswing for the franchise.

Today may not be pretty, but rebuilding is rarely pretty or simple. You can always hope for what the Oklahoma City Thunder experienced last season, but it’s not likely. It’s also worth noting that the Thunder won 20 & 23 games before winning 50 games. Just because one team did it doesn’t mean it’s imminent another young team will do so.

It’s easy to talk about every negative of Paul Westphal and complain about what he doesn’t do. I experienced the flip of this with Rick Adelman: He got criticized for not making a team that was the 8th seed into a lock championship contender. Fans get emotional and demanding and quite often expect more than is realistic for a team to accomplish.

What I know is that when Paul Westphal gets consistent performances from players, and then yanks their minutes around, that’s an issue. Of course, I don’t think players should get minutes because they are young, or because they are old. Is it easy to make a rotation with continuity by switching players minutes around? Of course it isn’t. It also isn’t easy to stay competitive if you’re just giving minutes to young players because they are the “future”. There isn’t any real competition in that. Maybe some don’t care, but I’m not convinced that method works in the NBA. I’ve seen the Kings and other teams try it. It works if you have Tyreke Evans or DeMarcus Cousins, but it doesn’t necessarily work with Omri Casspi or Donte Greene. They don’t bring the same level impact of the former 2 listed. That’s the issue with this team.

If for nothing else, that’s another reason to want Andre Iguodala. it would create a pecking order of players that would make it easier for Westphal (especially in reality and not just in theory–which is most of the stuff that’s being thrown around now) to distribute minutes. Who is the 2nd best player on this Kings team? If you can answer that, your’e smarter than Paul Westphal because he doesn’t know. He has opinions on who COULD be that player, but who is that player TODAY?

This is rebuilding. Rebuilding patiently, wisely and with the nod of always trying to get better is a wise route to go. Would I trade Kevin Martin for Andre Iguodala? I think I would given how the roster has been filled out since the Martin deal.

Do I think Tyreke Evans is on his way to becoming a superstar? Yep. Am I excited about DeMarcus Cousins? He has his moments, and some of them are quite exciting. Do I think Donte Greene and Omri Casspi are both part of the future core? No. Do I think Jason Thompson is perfect and has automatically earned more minutes? That’s a matter of opinion. Should Paul Westphal be fired? If you get a clearcut improvement than of course. Otherwise, no.

Have I irritated you yet? Good. Now go away.

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Responses

  1. I don’t like the idea of committing 10 million a season for the next 3 or 4 seasons to Iguodala. We basically know what we are getting out of Iguodala & nothing more. The only positive I can see trading for Iguodala is he is a quality veteran player & Kings certainly need one of those at this point but again at his price it’s not worth the risk for what he is. Trading for Iguodala would be a desperate move for the Kings & a sign of impatience. If your going to commit 60 or 70 million or whatever is left on his deal than they should hold out and wait for a better player to come around because Iguodala is a nice all around player but that’s it & I don’t think he’s going to get much better at this point.

    The case you made for Iguodala was that he can help the team with the things he does: ballhandling & passing. This is exactly what I thought a guy like Kyrie Irving can do for them in the upcoming draft & I want Evan Turner who has all the tools to do everything Iguodala can do but for sure has more star potential over him. The Kings couldn’t get Turner or just didn’t really aggressively attempt to but that’s fine. The better move for this franchise in the long run is the draft a player like Kyrie Irving who can handle the ball unbelieveably and get into the lane & how would you use his lack of jumpshot as a reason for the Kings not being interested in him yet they would go after Iguodala? Irving’s shot isn’t great but it’s averge & he is only 19. Iguodala is 26 years old and still can’t shoot a jumper worth a shit. Also consider the facts that you mentioned about what the Kings would have to give up it’s not worth it. Iguodala wouldn’t fit in the backcourt with Tyreke either that’s just 2 big time slashers but different type of slashers who can’t shoot the ball consistently. Move Iguodala to the SF I think the Kings ball movement would be better but defenses would pack the paint even MORE and I think Tyreke might struggle even more if Iguodala gets traded to the team. I know Kings have been playing probally worse basketball than anybody in the league right now but they should try to stay patient & don’t pull the trigger on any deals unless it’s a big splash deal. I’m not saying I don’t want to break up this team because I certainly do as I agreed with you that Tyreke & Cousins are the only locks & the rest can get moved elsewhere as long as the right deals come along but trading for Iguodala isn’t one of them. Kings are in desperate need for a veteran player & I have no problem with them making a move for one as long as they don’t have to commit long term money to a player like Iguodala. In my opinion what’s best for the team is too just continue building through the draft & bring in a few veteran players at the right type of price & committment.

    Even after this awful season so far I still believe Demarcus Cousins has had some high moments & Tyreke is eventually going to get it together & become the consistent star that he was destined to become. With there development & bringing in a top 3 pick this upcoming draft with a player with the talent of Kyrie Irving. Mixing them 3 up with a few young players & bring in a few solid veteran players I think they could make a push for the playoffs as soon as next season. I’m not really sold on PW as the long term coach to this team but firing him in the middle of the year isn’t going to do anything & I don’t see any reason to move him until they find the right type of coach to fit the team.

    • First, Iguodala doesn’t have 60 million. It’s something like 40-46 million. That’s a rather large difference. Andre Iguodala is not Gilbert Arenas.

      You’re not going to convince me that Evan Turner is that valuable. Sorry KF123.

      The problem with veterans is that many of them require multi-year contracts to play for you. Your idea is sound in theory, but in reality it’s a lot more complicated than that. The NBA (and any league really) is one that requires, as teams require it, that you give something up to get something in return. Getting veteran players comes at a cost, and often it’s at young players expense in terms of both PT and trading potential talent.

      So you don’t want Andre Iguodala and that’s that. But I doubt the Kings will draft Kyrie Irving now (I know the injury announcement hadn’t been announced when you wrote this) because of that injury. There isn’t a significant body of work for them to draw off, and that is one way they evaluate prospects.

      Thanks as always for commenting.

  2. Irritatingly wonderful assessment, now going away!! Great stuff as usual, pookey

    • Thanks Sam. Too bad much of the same stuff applies two weeks later. Such as life with a young team learning the ropes of the NBA though.

  3. Since the Wizards just made a big deal they are probally just trying to ship off most of there veterans & rebuild obviously. So how about the idea of the Kings offering them something for Josh Howard? He’s had his problems in the past but if he gets his game on he can be a better player than all the veterans we were talking about picking up. The only problem is I don’t think Wizards are looking to move him desperately like they might be trying to move Carter or somebody else and the Kings don’t really have many trade assets that they would want. But If the Wizards were interested I think I would pull the trigger on the deal.

    • I wouldn’t be that opposed to Rashard Lewis. Josh Howard? No thanks. The thing is that Lewis’ contract won’t be absorbed by the Maloof’s and Petrie at this point because it will hurt their cap flexibility for the ’11 summer. They won’t do that.

      Anyway, I doubt anybody on the Wizards are of big interest to the Kings. Just my opinion on that.


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