The Sacramento Kings new front office has been busy. Sure, there have been some swing and misses with players like Jose Calderon and Andre Iguodala. But one thing is obvious, this team will look a lot different come game one of the 2013-14 season.
With the signing of Carl Landry on Saturday, the Kings big men have been put on notice in a similar way that the guards were on draft night. Someone just lost their spot in the rotation and possibly on the roster.
The Kings have a variety players in the post and the team could easily walk into the season with what they have. But it is more likely that another move is on the horizon.
Before casting your vote on who should stay and who should go, let’s take a closer look at the men in question.
Cousins wants it all and he wants it now. At least that is what his agent would have you believe. The soon-to-be 23-year old center is packed with potential, but through his first three seasons in the league, he has been more pain than production. If Cousins is going to get paid the dollars he wants, he is going to have to play nice and grow up.
Pete D’Alessandro and Michael Malone flew to Alabama on Wednesday with former NBA player Junior Bridgeman to have a sit-down with Cousins. They came away preaching that he is still the cornerstone of the Kings franchise.
Cousins will once again work with Team USA this summer. The Kings have their fingers crossed that somewhere along the way, the incredibly talented Kentucky product will fall in line and reach his enormous potential.
2012-13 Stats: 17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 46.5 percent from the field, 30.5 minutes per game
Thompson is entering his sixth NBA season and is playing for his fifth head coach. Could you imagine having to prove yourself all over again every single year on the job? With each new coach comes a new system, a new role and a new player waiting to take his job. Remember J.J. Hickson? How about Thomas Robinson? And now Carl Landry…for a second time.
Thompson is the Kings’ most versatile big. At 6-foot-11, 250-pounds, he has the size and strength to play both power forward and center. He has developed a left hand and a couple of post moves to go with his 18-foot jumper. He is a jack of all trades big, who is under a reasonable contract for the next four seasons. More than that, Thompson is a positive force in the locker room and one of the NBA’s good guys.
He has beaten out Landry for the starting position once and if he is on the roster come November, you can pencil him in as the starter next to Cousins.
2012-13 Stats: 10.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 50.2-percent field goal, 27.9 minutes per game
Patterson came over mid-season from Houston in the Thomas Robinson trade. Although he was a starter with the Rockets, he transitioned to a role off the bench for Keith Smart‘s last season in Sacramento. Patterson instantly found a niche as a stretch four with 3-point range, shooting a whopping 44.4 percent from distance in 24 games with the Kings.
At 24-year old, Patterson is just coming into his own. While he lacks a go-to post move, he is a knockdown perimeter shooter and has high basketball IQ. The one thing that holds Patterson back is that similar to Landry, he is not a great rebounder and lacks elite size for the power forward position.
It will be interesting to see what the Kings do with Patterson. He is a restricted free agent at the end of the year and a former Kentucky teammate of Cousins, but he projects as a solid stretch-four off Sacramento’s bench. Now if he can transition to the small forward spot, the Kings might have a permanent spot for him in the starting lineup.
2012-13 Stats: 10.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 51.2-percent field goal, 25 minutes per game
Hayes is in entering year three of his four year deal. At this point, he has been a major disappointment. Known for his stout defense and solid locker room presence, Hayes has struggled with his weight and production. He also has not had the impact on Cousins that the Kings were hoping for when they inked him to a $22.4-million dollar deal after the lockout.
There are plenty of teams in the league that would love Hayes on their bench, but very few willing to pick up the final two years and nearly $12 million left on his deal. Stats don’t always show Hayes’ impact on a game, but it is hard to see him as anything other than a fifth big at this point.
2012-13 Stats: 2.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 44.2-percent field goal, 16.3 minutes per game
Landry is a fan favorite and an absolute gem in the locker room. Like Hayes and Patterson, he perfected his trade as a member of the Houston Rockets. After a being dealt for Marcus Thornton at the 2011 trade deadline, Landry is back for a second tour of duty with the Kings.
Similar to Patterson, Landry is an undersized power forward and a marginal rebounder. But he is a proven bench scorer with incredible patience in the post and he is a player that fully understands a role. Landry played for coach Michael Malone in both New Orleans and Golden State. Pete D’Alessandro made the former Purdue Boilermaker his first ever free agent acquisition and the price of four years at $26 million was steep.
Landry is part of the plan moving forward. The soon to be 30-year-old forward should anchor the Kings’ second unit like he did in Golden State a year ago, giving coach Malone much needed consistency off the bench.
2012-13 Stats: 10.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, .8 assists, 54.0-percent field goal, 23.2 minutes per game
With the signing of Landry, there should be at least one corresponding move. While the Kings have depth, this group is lacking a true defensive stopper and shot-blocker. If Patterson can steal some minutes at the small forward, this group might work in the short-term. But the way the Kings are currently constructed is not an ideal situation.
Who is the odd man out on the Kings frontline?
- Chuck Hayes (87%, 759 Votes)
- Patrick Patterson (5%, 48 Votes)
- Jason Thompson (4%, 39 Votes)
- They all stay. (4%, 32 Votes)
- DeMarcus Cousins (0%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 877