The Sacramento Kings kicked the tires on big name free agents Andre Iguodala, Jose Calderon and Greg Oden this summer, but came away empty. They let Tyreke Evans shop himself and eventually find a new home in New Orleans. There has been a lot of noise regarding who the Kings could have had, but very little chatter about who they actually got.
While general manager Pete D’Alessandro failed to land an All-Star level talent, he did bring in four rotational players who will challenge for starting positions in training camp.
Greivis Vasquez was a revelation last season for the New Orleans Hornets. The fourth-year guard out of Maryland made major strides during the 2012-13 season, averaging nearly 14 points and nine assists per game. He is the anti-King. A true pass-first point guard, Vasquez figured out how to translate his college game to the pro level last season. He will compete for the starting point guard position in training camp against fan favorite Isaiah Thomas.
With the seventh pick in the NBA Draft, the Kings landed a top tier talent in shooting guard Ben McLemore. He had a rough time in Las Vegas during summer league, but most experts are high on the Kansas product. He can shoot, finish at the rim and even play defense, but he might be a year or two away from making a major impact. He will compete with veterans Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette for the starting shooting guard position during training camp, but if the Kings aren’t in contention for a playoff spot by mid-season, McLemore should steal the bulk of the minutes.
Carl Landry is a reporters dream. The power forward out of Purdue is always honest and always ready to chat. He brings an advance post game and a level of professionalism that the Kings desperately need. Whether he will compete for a starting position of not, is up to coach Malone. The two spent last season together in Golden State with the Warriors. In a perfect world, Landry is the first King off the bench, providing toughness and scoring from the power forward position.
Last on the list is veteran small forward Luc Mbah a Moute. He is a prince, a defender and a raw offensive weapon. If he is healthy, he has the potential to be a game changer for the Kings as a shut down defender. If he doesn’t recover from knee issues, he will join a long list of wings who have failed to move the needle in Sacramento. Mbah a Moute will compete with John Salmons for a starting gig when camp opens, but he better be ready to compete.
D’Alessandro didn’t break the bank to improve the team, but he replaced four of the top ten players on a 28-win roster. This is a tough call. We have a gritty point guard, a potential star shooting guard, a pro’s pro and a defensive stalwart. Who is your favorite addition?