Ahhhhhhh, it’s that time of year again where we see asinine rumors of which 90-95% add up to nothing. Should be a very unproductive week for Kings fans as we wait to see the smoke clear.
I wouldn’t bet on the Kings trading Isaiah Thomas and I also would tell a section of the Kings fan base to appreciate what you have in him and maybe to even stop doubting the kid because he has made a lot of people look foolish. How many point guards right now are truly an upgrade over him offensively that we can actually get at this time? Yes, his defense sucks, but everyone sucks on defense so get that argument out of here.
There just aren’t many better point guards out there that are available for this team. This morning, I contemplated Jeff Teague as a possibility but then realized there were other things about Isaiah that were equally as important. He has the intangibles that take years to be discovered in point guards (leadership, fearlessness, super sized chip on shoulder, accountability, etc.) that has kept what was such an unstable team environment from falling on its face despite all of its inconsistencies. He is the same personality everyday and demonstrates a work ethic that needs to be the example for the organization going forward. He has earned the nice contract he will get this offseason and will never relax and he always, as he likes to say, “stays paranoid”.
I mean where the hell would this team be without Isaiah Thomas? I just couldn’t do it for anything less than a top 5 point guard with commitment to re-sign for the long-term.
It looks like Marcus Thornton is on his way to Brooklyn based on Adrian Wojnarowski’s most recent update and that is a good thing. I thought it would be very difficult to move his deal but that’s why teams like the Nets and the Knicks exist. It’s been a fun ride Bayou Bomber! You gave us some thrills with your clutch shooting and hot streaks back when you were one of the main guys on this squad. Best of luck in the BK but we need that cap space more than your 15% field goal percentage.
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal wrote about discussions of a possible trade involving Jarrett Jack for either Marcus Thornton or Jason Thompson. I would love to get rid of Thompson’s long-term deal to get back a position of need in back-up point guard. If Jack can be anything like Golden State Jarrett Jack (minus the “4th quarter he thinks he’s the best player on the team” moments), the Kings will have a veteran who has played under Mike Malone’s system that can bring veteran leadership (whatever the heck that is) and playoff experience to a team in need of more of it.
While losing JT really sucks because I am a fan of his hustle and heart, the Kings really need to clear his deal. It makes no sense for this team to be closing in on the luxury tax when the organization is not even sure if it can do much beyond compete for an 8th seed next season. There’s still ways to go with this roster post-deadline.
Any kind of defensive role player or a 2nd round pick for Jimmer Fredette would be a steal at this point, granted the Kings don’t seem to have the JIMMAH in their long-term plans based on not picking up his option in October (by the way has anyone checked on that or is it just assumed he’s gone?). I hope he finds success and never stops shooting where he goes. Thrive Jimmer at your next stop!
On the rest of the season
I’m not sure how this team is going to acquire defensive players or if they are banking on defensive improvement from the majority of the current crop of players. This is one of the many things to watch over the next 29 games as well as any rumor on Rudy Gay’s impending decision to opt out or pick up his 19 million dollar option.
I want to see the Kings find their offensive production again with Rudy, Cuz and Isaiah in the line-up. I want to see Ben McLemore get as many reps as possible and start looking more fluid and confident as the season finishes. I want to see McCallum get a chance to run the offense and see if he can be a good defender. I want to see Derrick Williams on the fast break more and spending more possessions catching the ball with a live dribble rather than in an iso situation where he has to create his own shot. Build his confidence and put him in spots to succeed.
Finally I want to see this team play at least .500 ball to finish the season. That would get them over 30 wins which would be an accomplishment, despite what some fans may think, in what has been the biggest transitional season in franchise history.