When Geoff Petrie acquired Travis Outlaw earlier this season after he was amnestied by the
New Jersey Brooklyn Nets, I couldn’t believe it. While the Kings were clearly challenged at the small forward position, how Travis Outlaw was the answer – especially given that his addition added a four year, $12 million dollar contract to the Kings’ book, I had no idea.
I still have no idea.
But it’s not Outlaw’s fault he’s overpaid and really has little place on the Kings roster. If anything, he’s a guy who wants to get better, even as going as far as to say he’d like to play for the Kings Summer League team this year which is always nice to hear. That all said, his 2011-12 season was downright awful.
Although there was some improvement come the second half of the year, Outlaw’s first half was like a horror movie, shooting a woeful 29% in the seasons first 20 games. With more turnovers then assists, more fouls then steals and blocks combined and a disaster from behind the arch, shooting at a 16% clip, it was pretty amazing that Outlaw could find any time on the court, let alone the near 11 minutes he averaged. But that might have said more about the Kings forward problems then it did Outlaw, himself.
Thankfully though, for both Outlaw and the eyesight of King fans, the second half wasn’t as bad as the first. It was still bad, of course, but anything was an improvement over those opening half numbers.
Outlaw improved his second half shooting to a much more manageable 38%, doubling his three point percentage to 34%. Outlaw’s assist numbers went up as did his blocks and steals and his defense was, at least respectable, at times.
The seasons final month was Outlaw’s brightest as he put up 8 points a game on 42% shooting along with a steal a game, although those numbers came in over twenty minutes a game – so even at his best, it wasn’t all that good.
Thankfully, the 2012-13 season will be a clean slate and Outlaw can hopefully re-write his Kings tenure, but his opening act was nothing short of a disappointment.
Season Grade: F