|Picking 7th is the Sacramento Kings. This year their net GM is Benoit Dujardin. The Kings select: Antwan Jamison, SF, 6-9, North Carolina.|
I. TEAM NEEDS/HISTORY
The 1998-99 season is going to be the beginning of a new era for the Sacramento Kings. Mitch Richmond left via trade a few weeks ago, while young talents Stojakovic and Webber arrived. The Kings have been underachieving for the past 10 years, and never had a winning season in Sacramento. The reasons for this lack of success: bad luck, and bad managment.
BAD LUCK: the Kings have not been able to land a great player via the draft because they have never been lucky with the NBA draft lottery. Actually, they DID land a promising talent a few years ago. But Bobby Hurley, who could have become one of the best players at his position, never really came back from the car crash he endured during his rookie season.
BAD MANAGMENT: the Kings have never found a way to give more credibility to their franchise. They have not been able to sign a well known coach. And their last GOOD trade was the one of which brought Richmond for Owens a few years ago. And finally the team officials where not able to keep together the good team they had built (remember the Edney-Richmond- W.Williams-B.Grant-Polynice starting five with S.Smith coming off the bench). Now the team is facing an exciting challenge during this offseason: rebuilding the franchise with 2 great young talents (Stojakovic and Webber). They'll have plenty of room under the cap to re-sign Williamson and to welcome one or two good free agents.
Now, let's have a look at who the Kings have in their current roster, then we'll see what they can get through the draft and free agency.
II. Player Analysis
Richmond is gone... So now, the Kings have the WORST backcourt in the NBA.
Chris Robinson: was part of the trade that brought Thorpe in SACTO. He has shown some nice thing during the last weeks of the regular season. A free agent that the Kings should re-sign.
Anthony Johnson: one of the best guards ever... selected in the second round of the Draft. But not a good overall playmaker. He could develop into a decent third guard, but the Kings must not spend to much money re-signing him this summer (hey there are maybe 15 better guards in CBA and Europe!!!).
Mahmoud Abdul Rauf: can anyone can explain me how a guy who was so good with Denver has lost his game coming in to Sacramento??? He's not gonna be re-signed. He'll need a lot of luck to find a team for next year.
Terry Dehere: not a good player by the NBA standard, but good enough to play for the Kings. He has an option for one more year, and I think he'll take it because he will not be able to find another team.
Tariq Abdul Wahad: the first french native to ever play in the NBA has been a bust so far. But, when given some playing time, he has shown some interesting athletic abilities... He could become a good scorer. He'll be a King for at least two more years.
Predrag Stojakovic: this young European superstar may quickly become an NBA All Star. He has great range, and a great body. He'll have plenty of opportunities to score in the post Richmond era.
Corliss Williamson: will he be able to be as good while playing with a garanteed contract? That's a crucial question for the Kings. They must not follow the Juwan Howard example (really good player before signing a $100 million contract).
Billy Owens: this guy has been underachieving with the kings for a couple of years. But he still manages to get 8 rebounds and to score 13 points per game. It would be nice to re-sign him this summer, but since Stojakovic is here, the Kings must not spend too much money one Owens.
Chris Webber: will his EGO let him play with the Kings? If he works on his game and stays out of troubles, he could be the corner stone of this franchise's future. Maybe playing with friend Owens will help him (maybe not, since playing with Howard did not prevent him from getting in troubles with the Wizards).
Lawrence Funderburke: he is free agent this summer, but the Kings should re-sign him. He is a blue collar forward with a great will to win.
Olden Polynice: has had a terrible second half this season. His bad behavior during the last month of the season may cost him his spot in the roster.
Michael Stewart: a fan favorite who does not have much skills. The Kings will re-sign him. He's going to be the black Kurt Rambis for Sacramento.
III. My Selection
Antawn Jamison. The best player available.
Getting this new James Worthy (strong small forward) would allow the kings to trade Webber's big EGO (and big contract) for help in the back court. Jamison is a great rebounder and a great scorer inside...
Sacramento would be really happy to have the following starting five next year:
With Williamson, Funderburke, Wahad and Owens coming off the bench.
IV. Who they probably take
Because the team has many free agents, the Kings will draft the best talent available. They would be happy to get some help in the backcourt. That's why they'll consider Vince Carter and Larry Hughes first.
THEY'RE GOING TO DO THIS SUMMER<\h2>
The first priority was signingStojakovic. This has been done last week, so now, they can consentrate on the free agents market and on the Draft. The Kings need everything except Forwards. They'll try to sign Divac who recently said he would like top play with his friend Stojakovic. They'll also make offers to Isaac Austin and Matt Geiger. In order to reach the playoffs next years, the Kings must sign a good playmaker. They could try to trade for Steve Nash or Nick Van Excel, or sign free agents Kevin Johnson or Rod Strikland.
|Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner|