Samuel Dalembert Out 4-6 Weeks
This from the Kings media release:
The injury may sideline Dalembert the next four to six weeks.
With the season set to start in two weeks, this puts Dalembert’s return well into the month of November and maybe even early December. While it comes as a big loss to the interior depth the Kings acquired this off-season, there may be a silver-lining in it for the rookies on the team.
DeMarcus Cousins will now be afforded the opportunity to start for the entire season if his play allows it. Before I think it would probably have behooved Coach Westphal to roll with his veterans in Dalembert and Landry while making Cousins and even Jason Thompson earn their minutes and any starting opportunities. But now that the Kings’ depth has taken a decent-sized hit, Westphal may have no choice but to start DeMarcus right away. By doing so, Cousins immediately has the chance to make a significant impact on the Kings.
Cousins is probably going to be on the outside looking in on the popular opinion of who should be Rookie of the Year (John Wall and Blake Griffin are the overwhelming favorites) for most of the season. But with the opportunity to start right away, play starter minutes and build the same type of résumé as his fellow rookie cohorts, Cousins will now have the exact same chance to win the coveted rookie honor.
Not only does Cousins benefit but the Kings still need a fourth big man to slide into the rotation and are lacking a serious shot-blocking threat the absence of Dalembert leaves. Enter Hassan Whiteside. Stretch is still really raw in skills and nursing his strained left patellar tendon in his knee but he’ll most likely be cleared to play long before Sammy starts trying to get back in game shape. While Whiteside shouldn’t expect many chances to crack the rotation this season, he’ll be given one almost instantly and it’s his to seize.
The Kings will miss Sammy’s presence in many ways but it opens up more of a door to the future for the Kings young interior. Hopefully for Kings fans, they take advantage of the situation and earn their stripes early in the season.