The Future Kings
Rapid summary of the Kings season! The Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay is out for the year, they have Tyreke Evans again, and there were rumors of Sam Hinkie joining up. Let’s talk about the Kings again!
Over their last seven games they have gone 3-4 with their last game an impressive victory over the Timberwolves. Buddy Hield was the star of that game with a career-high 22 points and 4-6 from three. Then when I was looking at the Kings’ previous games, I noticed another stat-line from their game on March 24th against the Warriors: their young power forward Skal Labissière almost notched a triple-double. Skal had 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. So let’s look into the young players on this Kings team.
Now before I get into their stats, I did find it very funny that the only young player the Kings actually drafted is Willie Cauley-Stein. Skal and Buddy were both gained via trade. The Kings' 2016 picks are currently going in and out of the G-League.
While looking at Skal’s other games, I saw another stand-out game against the Suns when he packed in 32 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes. Now you do have to consider that it was just the Suns, but that is still an impressive stat-line for a rookie to put up. So there is a lot of potential in this young guy. Here are his stat-lines for the past three games:
He’s showing potential on the boards. His field goal numbers aren’t great, but he is a work in progress. He went 11-15 during his monster game against the Suns. So there is a future with Skal as a solid starting four, especially when you pair him with…
WCS has pretty much been a double/double machine for the Kings this season, especially since the Cousins trade. He is easily the best player the Kings drafted since Isaiah Thomas. Hopefully they realize they have talent and don’t trade him away for nothing. Here is a screenshot of his recent game stats:
You have to consider when the Cousins trade happened before you judge based on regular season stats. He will be a solid piece for the Kings going forward. I think he benefited from being behind Kosta Koufos and DeMarcus Cousins. Now, back to the player that originally had me thinking about this…
Buddy has been a solid player. With realistic expectations and without the spotlight on him, he has played really well for a rookie. Unfortunately, Vivek robbed him of those low expectations by making him the key piece in the DeMarcus Cousins trade. Here is his recent stat line, and also his per-game stats on the Kings compared with the Pelicans:
As you can see, he has been putting up mostly double-digits in scoring, solid rebounding numbers, and fluctuating assist numbers. His stats on the Kings have improved over his numbers on the Pelicans, but being a key piece in the offense will do that for almost any player. We will see what happens as he continues growing as a scorer.
To wrap up, I think the pairing of WCS and Skal is a great combo for the Kings to build on for the future. Along with Buddy Hield and Ben McLemore, I think this is a solid young core to build around. I do believe they need a star point guard and a solid three and I think this team could finally get to the playoffs.
Future Kings Predictions:
I see WCS becoming the leader of this team eventually.
Don’t be surprised if you hear that the Kings offer big contracts to: Jeff Teague, Nick Young, Dion Waiters, Jeff Green, Joe Ingles, Otto Porter, or Derrick Rose.
Don’t be surprised if the Kings draft Malik Monk or Frank Ntilikina with their first pick.
The Buddy Hield/Skal pick-n-pop becomes dangerous.
That’s all the Kings talk I have for today. Once again be sure to follow me on Twitter @LikeMikeNba