Wow – scroll back about 6 months and imagine having this conversation. No, Cisco wasn’t the best player on the squad…but he was one of the better (which said more about last years team than Cisco). But now with the emergence of Donte Greene and rookie stud Omri Casspi, where does the wingman fit once he returns in late January?
With Kevin Martin returning as early as the middle of this month, the Kings are now stacked at the wing. Many felt Cisco could play the backup point guard role with the struggles of Beno Udrih, but Beno is playing the best basketball of his career and the options are slowly fading for the one time cog in the Kings lineup.
I’ve always been a firm believer in the method of a player not losing his job due to an injury, but, how do you even find 20 minutes a night for Francisco with the way things are currently going? Personally, I’m all for sending Nocioni to the end of the bench….but at the same time, he’s trade bait (I guess…assuming somebody wants him), so, throwing him on the end of the pine to rot much like they did Kenny Thomas won’t do anything for his already small value. You could send Sergio Rodriguez to the end of the bench, but he’s also played well and has had some elite stretches on the court – especially when paired with Beno Udrih.
So really, what do you do if you’re Paul Westphal? Who’s going to be the odd man out? Will it be Cisco himself?
Sure, this is all too premature to really decide – nobody even knows if Cisco will return to being the same player and if he does, when? An injury so serious to your shooting hand could be devastating and even change the way one shoots. Maybe it’ll be Cisco himself who becomes the odd man out – but what a shame if that turns out to be the case.
Personally, there is no better time to move on from Andres Nocioni. While I understand he brings toughness to the Kings, something they’ve lacked for so many years prior, his streak shooting and very questionable decision making as well as shot selection tends to rain on any Kings parade. He’s not very athletic and has shown to be a mild cancer in his short time in Sacramento with his constant hissy fits to Argentinian news outlets.
The Kings shouldn’t expect much in a return for Nocioni – maybe he can even be a piece in a bigger deal, but with the emergence of Greene and Casspi, along with the return of Martin and outstanding play of Beno Udrih – somebody is going to be left out.