A New Kingdom in Sacramento?
The Sacramento Kings have had a big week in free agency. The team locked up George Hill and Zach Randolph to multi-year deals on Monday. Then on Thursday night, the team inked Vince Carter to a one year deal.
All three deals signed were pretty good value. A rebuilding team like Sacramento usually has to overpay for free agents, but in this case they got all three players for good value.
With Dave Joerger at the helm, it makes sense that Randolph and Carter signed on in Sac-town. Joerger was their coach in Memphis so the connection is there.
Hill was signed at a deal that many could have expected: 3 years at $57 million. No one expected it from the Kings though. In fact, no one expected any of these signings from a team that just traded its franchise player this past February.
The aforementioned Cousins trade set the table for the Kings' offseason. The team acquired the Pelicans draft pick, which it flipped for the #15 and #20 picks in the draft.
With those picks, the team selected Justin Jackson from the NCAA National Champion UNC Tar Heels and Harry Giles out of Duke. With their own pick the team drafted D'Aaron Fox out Kentucky. Fox projects to be one of the top players in the draft class after a stellar year under John Callipari.
The Kings have added useful veterans and drafted extremely well. The times seem to be changing in Sac-Town.
The Kings could take their time with their new draft picks. The team has several young players already in place, like Willie Cauley-Stein, Malachi Richardson and Buddy Heild, who will benefit by playing alongside the newly acquired veterans.
Fox can play behind Hill in a reserve role. Joerger could also play him alongside Hill, who isn't a ball dominant point guard. Hill is capable of doing plenty of damage off the ball as a spot up shooter.
Giles could be brought along very slowly following an injury riddled college career. There is no need to rush him along when Randolph, Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Kosta Koufos are all ahead of him on the depth chart.
Jackson could slot in at the small forward as a starter or behind Carter as a glue guy off the bench. His versatility could help unlock some fast-paced small ball lineups.
There is no shortage of rim-running bigs, 3-point snipers or competent floor generals in Sacramento. The team has a modern look and feel. Joerger is a capable coach with a roster that has intriguing potential.
For the first time in a long time, the Kings look capable of making noise in the West. While it could be tough for the team to sneak into the playoffs with the Western Conference looking more loaded than it's ever been, the team finally has a direction.
The Kings should surprise some teams this season. They have the ability to compete now while also having the flexibility of getting better later. If things go sour early on, the team has veteran trade chips that could help fuel another teams title run.
It is too early to tell if the Kings will be a great or even good basketball team in the coming years. Following the Cosuins trade, which looks great now given what it took to acquire stars like Jimmy Butler and Paul George, the team seemed to be facing a tough rebuild. Now it seems like the team is building the right way.
For Kings fans that haven't seen the playoffs in over a decade, that's a damn fine start.