This season was yet again a disaster for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins is a superstar, but his disgruntled attitude is something to deal with. Going into this offseason, the Kings most important topic to address is their situation with Cousins. Will he be a King next season or will they find an offer to deal him with? After management finds an answer to that question, the offseason for the Kings will look a whole lot cleaner. However, for the sake of this forecast, I am going to look at what would happen should Cousins remain with the Kings.
Here are the per game stats for the 2015-2016 Sacramento Kings:
W-L FG% 3P% FT FTA ORB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 33-49 .464 .359 18.5 25.5 10.6 24.5 8.9 4.5 16.2 20.4 106.6
And these are the per game stats for their opponents:
W-L FG% 3P% FT FTA ORB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 49-33 .462 .366 17.7 23.2 11.3 24.2 8.8 5.3 16.0 22.0 109.1
The first problem with the Kings current roster is that their secondary scorer is Rudy Gay, at 30 years old. With a team that only wins 33 games in a season, one would hope that they would be developing a young prospect for that Robin role to DeMarcus Cousins’ batman. To me, targeting a youthful scorer on the wing would be a top priority for the Kings. The team was probably hoping for Ben McLemore to fill that role, but it never happened for them. They are also probably losing Rajon Rondo in free agency, so the point guard slot will be yet another hole to fill.
In terms of the draft, the Kings hold the #8 pick, and will likely look to take one of either Buddy Hield or Jamal Murray, should either be available. However, I think that is doubtful that either slides that far. In my spreadsheet, Hield has an ADP of 5.18 and Murray is at 5.91. They could also easily look at Kris Dunn out of Providence for their point guard slot, even if he is not as good of a shooter as the other two. He is a very solid point guard who has one of the highest floors in this draft. Should the Kings draft Dunn, they will have filled the void that Rondo will leave. However, if those three are gone, I think the Kings will look for a big man to pair up with Cousins. Henry Ellenson would be a nice option due to his shooting touch and versatility at 6-10. With Cousins also extending his range (made 70 threes this season), that could be a deadly front court. Another nice pick would be Marquese Chriss, who has been steadily rising up draft boards since the end of the season due to his great potential.
Before looking into signing anyone in free agency, the Kings will want to see what kind of offer their current player Seth Curry will search for this offseason. Although his elder brother is the two-time reigning MVP, Seth shot the ball at a 45% clip from the 3-point arc this season, and it would not surprise me if he was offered a contract near almost $10M/year. Aside from Curry, the Kings will look for younger solutions on the wing, especially at the small forward position. If they look to add a secondary scorer behind Boogie, those players would likely be Harrison Barnes, Evan Fournier, or Nicolas Batum. The hard part about luring any of those players is that Fournier and Barnes are RFA’s who will look for big pay checks and Batum is almost a sure thing to stay in Charlotte. Still, there are lots of questions with the Kings that makes predicting their options very difficult
Overall, the Kings are in a weird position. They have a superstar in Cousins, but very little young talent to build around him. With a top-10 pick again this year, maybe they can get something going, and if they trade Cousins, we could easily see a completely different roster next season. Soon enough we will get answers as to what Vlade Divac is looking to do in Sacramento.
Next Offseason Forecast: Denver Nuggets (33-49)
Previous Offseason Forecast: New York Knicks (32-50)
And that’s all I have for now, so this is me…signing off. -Lukas.