Sometimes you can’t put your finger on it. I mean, I really like Carl. I like him as a player. I love his efficiency. He’s not really a guy that will rock the boat and frankly is pretty much the ideal teammate. So, what’s my rush to move the guy!?!?
I’ve made it well clear in the past that I believe Landry will have a solid opportunity to cash in come the off-season. Yes, the NBA will probably go into a lockout and it’s possible player salaries will be reduced (probably not by 30% like the Owner’s want, but, that’s a whole different topic). But when you look at the premium on NBA big men, especially ones that can score like Landry, teams will always overpay – he’ll certainly have his choice of suitors. And that’s another issue right there. If Landry was to return to Sacramento, the Kings would most certainly have to overpay him. The Kings aren’t the most attractive destination, the team is heavy in big men (even if Dalembert was to leave) and the Kings haven’t shown much promise so far this year in terms of progression. To be flat honest, I question if Landry would even return given the option unless he was leaving a huge offer on the table from Sacramento.
Landry is certainly a good talent which is elevated by his ability to score as a big man. Unfortunately, he has a bit of the Kevin Martin syndrome, where scoring effectively is his best quality. Outside of his effectiveness, his game is average to below average in pretty much every other area. I don’t want to call him a one dimensional player, he’s more than that…but not by much.
The Kings can’t afford to let Landry walk for peanuts at season end, but at 27 years of age and a limited game outside of his scoring ability, I have a difficult time finding reason to pay him a type of contract I expect him to get once the season completes. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love Landry back at a salary towards MLE type money but to expect that is simply wishful thinking. The Kings can’t compete with the premier teams in the league when offering MLE type dollars and paying anything over that (especially to a team under the cap as Sacramento is) is a poor business decision.
Am I more comfortable with Jason Thompson going forward as the Kings power forward of the future? Honestly, I’m not sure. I actually like Jason more as a backup center/power forward but as a stop gap until the Kings can find one, I think I’d be okay with it.
If Carl was signed long term and wasn’t a financial risk to the Kings, he’d make a great sixth man. But his potential price tag, age when compared to the rest of the squad, and somewhat limited game outside of scoring…it seems to me that moving Landry is the best move for the Kings.