Despite the new arena, a confusing off-season from the Kings organization allows little to be excited about. Rondo's exit was no surprise, allowing Darren Collison to take back his old starting position. Ty Lawson comes into the team as a wild card coming off a disappointing and distracted prior season looking to turn his career around. Further, the addition of Arron Afflalo and Matt Barnes gives the Kings some veteran leadership and will contribute immediately, while Garret Temple and Jordan Farmar strengthen their depth and ballhandling.
The Kings will look to change their image and clinch a playoff berth for the first time in a decade. With some new backup pieces and the development of defensive stud Willy Caulie-Stein, the pressure is on to make Sacramento a team where players want to come and play again. A fresh change of scenery with a new arena and new coach, Dave Joerger from the Memphis Grizzlies, will be the launching pad for the Kings return to the playoff stage. All the while superstar center DeMarcus Cousins is surrounded in speculation and rumor, and another failed season could mean a total rebuild and the end to the Boogie era in Sacramento.
|Anthony Tolliver Detroit Pistons
Arron Afflalo New York Knicks
Garrett Temple Washington Wizards
Georgios Papagiannis NBA Draft
Matt Barnes Memphis Grizzlies
Skal Labissiere NBA Draft
Ty Lawson Houston Rockets
Jordan Farmar Memphis Grizzlies
|Quincy Acy Dallas Mavericks
Marco Belinelli Charlotte Hornets
Rajon Rondo Chicago Bulls
Seth Curry Dallas Mavericks
Sacramento Kings Depth Chart
Rotation Player Projections
Starting Point Guard
This will be Collison's third year with the team and despite the upcoming suspension, should remain the starter so long as he can play. Similar suspensions have amounted to as much as 25 games. Ty Lawson should be the interim starter during Collison's suspension, with veteran Jordan Farmar backing him up. Details of this latest signing have yet to be released, but Farmar played his only 12 games last season under Joerger in Memphis.
Starting Power Forward
Joerger has made no real statement on who will start, but Willie Cauley-Stein and Omri Casspi should both be major rotation pieces. WCS will get plenty of run as a backup center and defensive anchor, while Casspi can stretch the floor and play Small Forward. If WCS can make any noticeable step forward this year, he should remain the starter, if only for his defense. Add some Matt Barnes to the mix and none of them are worth drafting in standard leagues.
Rise in Value
We may never see the Ty Lawson we saw in Denver ever again, but improving on last year's numbers wouldn't be too difficult. The Kings lack competent ball handlers, while the Pacers and Rockets already had plenty. Any improvement would come at serious value when he is going to be a late-round flier at best on draft-day only because of Collison's suspension. Still, after chances to turn his career around with the Pacers and Rockets his upside is not taken without grave danger of a complete flop.
Decrease in Value
The UCLA product could end up making some noise from injuries in front of him or a Rudy Gay trade, but the 36-year-old will have a decline in production sooner than later. For what it's worth he did play under Joerger last year in Memphis at both Forward spots, and he is a versatile and scrappy player, but needs a strong compliment of minutes to be fantasy relevant in standards.
He's only a backup center, without the athleticism or skillset to play much Power Forward. With Willie Cauley-Stein entering his second year and a few small-ball Power Forwards on the roster, he's unlikely to be fantasy relevant except in the deepest of leagues.
It can be frustrating for fans and fantasy owners when such a dysfunctional franchise limits a player with such raw talent. Cousins is not without fault here, but eventually, winners get sick of losing. Last year his games played were limited by a shutdown, but Boogie will play through nagging pain for a playoff team. Unfortunately, the Kings made no great strides this off-season in becoming more competitive, but an 8th seed performance is not completely out of the question. The upside here is Boogie has slimmed down, had the opportunity to play for Team USA, and will likely run the offense much like Joerger had Marc Gasol doing in Memphis. The downside could be another frustrating year of unfocused, unprofessional basketball by the entire organization. He will fall in some drafts because of the uncertainty surrounding him, but he's still worth a first-round pick.
Gay recently announced he would opt out of his contract next year, thereby cutting ties with Sacramento. While the Kings will continue looking to deal Rudy, the return might not be ideal for the veteran Forward in his contract year. He is a very consistent player and returned 5th round value last year with his lowest points output in the last eight years, but depending on when and where he is traded, he could be taking on a diminished role. Age catches up with every player eventually, but the 30-year-old likely has a couple more years in the tank and could return some consistent value if he drops below his ADP a bit.