Despite the signings of Zach Randolph and George Hill, the Sacramento Kings shouldn't lose sight of the future.
The signings of both Zach Randolph and George Hill undoubtedly improved the Sacramento Kings roster. One of Dave Joerger's favorite players from his time in Memphis, Randolph provides the team with an excellent low-post scorer and rebounder. Hill gives the team a solid point guard who is both a capable defender, a strong three-point shooter and a steady ball-handler.
While both players will help the team's win-loss record this season, coach Joerger should not to be too heavy-handed with minutes to both players. Neither Randolph (36 years old) or Hill (31) fit the timeline of the strong young core the team has assembled, but should both be able to contribute to the team's growth, both on the court and off of it.
Despite some off-court and locker room issues earlier in his career, Zach Randolph has become a much better teammate as he has matured. Despite a larger than (I) expected contract, at this point in his career, Randolph should be able to embrace his dual roles as rotation contributor and mentor to players like Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Harry Giles.
George Hill has been the consummate professional since he came into the league. Despite likely playing in front of 5th overall pick DeAaron Fox to start the season, Hill has the ability to play some shooting guard alongside Fox. He should also help Fox break down film, as well as give him direction during timeouts.
While reaching the postseason should be the goal of every team, the Western Conference is as stacked as its ever been. A few injuries on some of the fringe playoff contenders, along with the expected development of guys like Fox, Cauley-Stein, Labassiere and Justin Jackson, could give the Kings a chance to play meaningful games in April. Even if the opportunity presents itself to make an improbable playoff push, I hope that both the coaching staff and front office don't slow the development of their exciting young core by overplaying their veterans this season.