• Russell Schmidt

NBA Future Rankings 29. Sacramento Kings


*Photo via Huffington Post

The Sacramento Kings have a superstar center in DeMarcus Cousins, a coach that wants him gone and a front office that wants to keep him. Welcome to dysfunction ladies and gentlemen. Sacramento hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2005 – 06 season and this offseason may have lit the fuse for an in house explosion this upcoming season. Just take a look at coach, George Karl, coming over to speak with Boogie during a summer league game. Awkward doesn’t do that video justice.

The Kings appear to be more of an E! network reality show than a NBA basketball team. After single handedly shutting down the Dallas Mavericks offense the second half of last season, Rajon Rondo finds himself in Sacramento on a 1-year, $9.5 million “prove it” deal. If Rondo doesn’t perform well, the Kings will legitimately be a circus. If he’s able find his form, there is a possible bidding war on the horizon which will cost Sacramento if they want to bring him back.

After drafting Thomas Robinson with the 5th overall pick in 2012, Sacramento traded him four months into his rookie season. This summer the Kings were at it again, trading the 8th overall pick in 2014, Nik Stauskas along forwards Carl Landry (2YR/$13MM), Jason Thompson (2YR/$13.7MM), a top-10 protected pick in 2018 (unprotected in 2019) and the rights to swap first round picks in two drafts to the Philadelphia 76ers as a salary dump. But don’t worry Kings fans, Sacramento used their new found cap space to sign Rondo, Marco Belinelli (3YR/$19MM), Kosta Koufos (4YR/$33MM) and Omri Casspi (2YR/$6MM).

*Photo via NBC

Sacramento found themselves back in the lottery this season and drafted center Willie Cauley-Stein with the 6th pick. Sacramento has a formidable starting 5 with WCS, Boogie, Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore and Rondo with Koufos, Darren Collison, Casspi and Belinelli coming off the bench. But can Cousins coexist with George Karl just months after Karl wanted him out?

With Cousins under contract for three more seasons at a bargain of $50.8 million, the time for Sacramento to get the most bang for their buck is now. But with a revolving door in the Kings front office, this franchise gives unstable a new meaning. To make matters worse, the Western Conference is loaded and Sacramento’s absolute best case scenario is a 7th seed in the postseason, with a far more likely scenario of missing the playoffs. Another pill Kings fans may have a tough time swallowing is that any first round pick outside of the top-10 in the next two drafts will be sent to the Chicago Bulls.

Even with a superstar center on a cap friendly deal and plenty of cap space next season, Sacramento is in limbo. Questionable trades, signings and a lack of stability have made the Kings into the NBA’s premiere dysfunctional organization. With their train seemingly unable to find its course, the Kings could find themselves in a far worse situation in the next three to five years, without DeMarcus Cousins.

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Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com, NBA.com, ESPN.com

Salary cap and contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com, Hoopshype.com, Basketballinsiders.com

Future draft commitments and rosters information courtesy of RealGM.com

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