The reports, be it initial ones dating a few weeks back to the more updated ones from Sam Amick involving the potential departure of Sacramento Kings GM Geoff Petrie are to be taken with a grain of salt, but the question begs – what happens if Petrie was to leave?
A few weeks ago, the Kings organization was a fantastic opportunity for any potential general manager – a young, talented roster with significant cap space. A new arena was on the horizon, the dust finally ready to settle on the locale of the franchise. Outside of a few major markets, you’d struggle to find a better situation – but how quickly things can change.
Now, with the arena project all but dead, the Kings are in limbo – both on court and from a front office standpoint. Will the franchise remain in Sacramento? If not, where will they play? What type of financial commitment will the Maloofs make towards the Kings now? And the future? What members of the family would you be dealing with? Just Joe and Gavin? Or would there be more hands in the cookie jar? What self-respecting general manager would put himself in this situation by choice?
I’m hard pressed to think the Kings could bring in any prominent GM given the current situation. Sure, there are former “name” general managers out there like Kevin Pritchard (former Blazers GM, currently working player personnel with Pacers) or Kiki Vanderweghe (early 2000′s Denver Nuggets GM) who is currently doing TV work for the Los Angeles Clippers, but are the Kings really even an option for them? With so many question marks surrounding the team, would they risk one of their final opportunities with owners who may not give much of a budget over the league minimum salary? Would the Maloofs even pay them, as GM’s, a league average salary? It’s almost setting yourself up for failure. If there’s any positive for a potential Petrie replacement, it’s the loyalty that’s been shown by the Maloof family towards their architect, but I have a feeling that said loyalty will stop when Petrie walks out the door as he’s the final remaining piece of the glory years that the Maloofs can hang onto.
More likely than not, the Kings would promote from within or find a young basketball mind hoping for an opportunity. Maybe that’s not the worst thing in the world, especially for those tired of Petrie’s continued stagnation, but is the grass greener? Or will the Maloofs opt to not pay their water bill? We’ve seen how they go through coaches…
The Maloofs have denied teams the opportunity talk to Geoff Petrie before, so the fact that they’re willing says a lot. Do I think Petrie will leave? Probably not – but if there is a place that could push the temptations over the edge, it’s Portland, despite his ugly exit years ago.
Either way, for the Kings, life without Petrie has a lot of question marks and no answers.
And just think, it could always be worse.