Although Francisco Garcia might be the longest tenured Sacramento King, his role was at an all time low this year, despite the fact that the Kings struggled to find a willing body at the small forward position.
The seven year veteran who’s struggled to find court time, mostly due to injury in previous seasons, found himself on the outside looking in – only playing in 49 of the Kings’ 66 games, just breaking 15 minutes a contest. When Garcia did see the court, it wasn’t pretty. The former Louisville star shot a career low, 37% to go along with an even more woeful 29% from behind the arc and couldn’t find enough game to outplay struggling talents in Donte Greene and Travis Outlaw.
Already an “aged” draftee as Garcia came out of Louisville at 24, the 30 year old swingman seemingly appears to be on the downside of his career, expedited by the rash of injuries (and oddities) that have surrounded his Sacramento Kings tenure. The five year, $30 million dollar contract Garcia signed with the Kings starting for the 09-10 season is finally beginning to run its course as he’ll enter what will undoubtedly be his final year as a King, at least on this mini-albatross of a contract (2013-14 is a team option, which should obviously be declined).
One of the NBA’s true great guys and hard nosed players, Garcia is universally loved by the Kings fandom for his contributions off the court and his heart on, but it appears the curtain is slowly closing on the Dominican’s favorite son, at least from a basketball perspective. And although his on-court skills are slowly diminishing, Garcia has proven himself to be a fantastic leader and just as solid of a teammate, which in this day and age, isn’t easy to find. Hopefully Garcia goes out with a bang in 2012-13.
Season Grade: D+