Poll: Who should the Sacramento Kings start at power forward on opening night?

Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry. (Photos: Steven Chea)

DeMarcus Cousins feels that he’s best suited for the position.  But after the Sacramento Kings lost out on the Greg Oden sweepstakes, the 22-year-old big man will likely continue to play center.  Despite missing out on Oden, head coach Michael Malone has plenty of options when it comes to deciding who to pair Cousins with on the Kings’ frontline.

Jason Thompson

2012-13 season statistics: 10.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 50.2-percent shooting from the field in 27.9 minutes per game

Thompson started 81 of the Kings’ 82 games last season.  However, that number could change based on the new players who’ve joined the team this year.  The 27-year-old veteran has all the tools you could ask for in a big.  He’s athletic, strong and has great size, which makes him versatile enough to play both front court positions.  But in terms of fit, Thompson plays much better with Cousins off the court than on it.  The two players have very similar skill-sets and also have the same kind of weaknesses.  Thompson might be the ideal player to spell Cousins rather than play alongside him this upcoming season.

Carl Landry

2012-13 season statistics in Golden State: 10.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 0.4 blocks, 54-percent shooting from the field in 23.2 minutes per game.

Landry may have signed a new $26-million deal this offseason to rejoin the Sacramento Kings.  But that doesn’t mean he’s been brought back to assume a starting role in the capital city.  With the Golden State Warriors last year, he started just two games in the regular season and three in the postseason, thriving off the Warriors’ bench behind All-Star power forward David Lee. During his last stint in Sacramento, Landry played alongside Cousins before, only to net mixed results.  Like Thompson, the veteran power forward may be best suited coming off the Kings’ bench.

Patrick Patterson

2012-13 season statistics in Sacramento: 8.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, 49.4-percent shooting from the field, 44-percent shooting from 3-point distance in 23.2 minutes per game.

Patterson arrived in Sacramento from the Houston Rockets at last year’s trade deadline.  The adjustment couldn’t have been easy for the 24-year-old power forward, who went from starting for a playoff contender to coming off the bench for a cellar dweller.  But Patterson didn’t complain and did what what was asked of him, starting just three of his 24 appearances with the Kings last season.  If Luc Mbah a Moute is the Kings’ starting small forward, Patterson might be the best fit at power forward  His ability to space the floor with his shooting is an asset the Kings would need next to Mbah a Moute, who is known much more for his defensive prowess than offensive abilities.

Chuck Hayes

2012-13 season statistics: 2.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.2 blocks, 44.2-percent shooting from the field in 16.2 minutes per game.

Since coming to Sacramento as a free agent before the lockout-shortened season, Hayes has been a disappointment.  Many pinned their hopes on the 30-year-old big man becoming a calming veteran influence in the Kings’ locker room much like Vlade Divac was in the early 2000s.  But because of inconsistent playing time and health issues, including a heart-condition scare and a separated shoulder in his first season with the Kings, Hayes has had trouble making a dent.  Despite his struggles, Hayes is still one of the better post defenders in the league and is the best passing big man the Kings have.  With the younger duo of Thompson and Patterson in place plus the addition of Landry, the ninth-year veteran must prove to Malone that he’s worthy of a spot in the rotation, let alone in the starting lineup.

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Jonathan Santiago
Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.

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