As the roster sits today, the Sacramento Kings have only two players over the age of 25 – the 31 year-old John Salmons, who was acquired on draft day in a trade with the Bucks, and Francisco Garcia, the longest tenured King, who will be 30 on December 14th. It’s strange how time flies. It seems like only yesterday that Francisco was a rookie riding the pine for a Kings playoff team that included Mike Bibby, Brad Miller, Ron Artest, Bonzi Wells and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
These clips below bring us back to a different Cisco. Injuries have derailed and slowed the 29 year old wing over the last three years. Three seasons ago it was ankle injuries that cost him 27 games. Two seasons ago, a freak accident in the weight room resulting in a catastrophic arm injury, costing Cisco all but 25 games. Last season, Garcia missed 24 games with a left calf strain that took a long time to heal because of a set back during recovery. By seasons end, Garcia appeared worn down, not entirely unexpected after missing so much time during the year.
More after the jump…
Francisco still brings a lot to the table. On a team that desperately needs leadership and three-point shooting, Garcia is a perfect fit. He is widely considered the leader of this young team, although not a vocal leader on the court. He is still a deadly threat from behind the arc, even after coming off of one of his worst shooting seasons in his career. The Kings were hoping for a super-sub when they drafted Garcia and gave him a healthy contract extension when it was time to resign him. What they got was a solid rotational player who understands his role both on and off the floor, but who has not had the best of luck with injuries and recovery times.
2011-12 is a big season for Garcia. John Salmons has been brought in to take over the starting small forward spot. With Tyreke Evans manning the point and Marcus Thornton (assuming he is resigned) starting at the two, Garcia is going to have to fight for minutes with reserves Donté Greene, Tyler Honeycutt and, in a round about way, Jimmer Fredette. With the myriad of injuries behind him, lets hope we see the Cisco of old this season for the Sacramento Kings.