Just a few short seasons ago, Sacramento Kings swingman Francisco Garcia was emerging as a very solid NBA guard. With a 4.2 win share in just his third season (2.4 offensive, 1.8 defensive), Garcia was not only making his name in Sacramento, but making one across the league. The Louisville product not only had an ability to guard multiple positions with tenacity, but he could also handle the rock and knock down shots from the paint to the arc. By no stretch of the imagination was he on his way to stardom, but with an all-around game, Garcia looked to be a long term part of the Kings’ future. But literally with a pop, the once talented 27 year old (at the time) saw his NBA future change as the exercise ball he was lifting weights on burst, fracturing his arm just months after fracturing his finger. From that point on, Garcia was never the same, his numbers down, culminating with them bottoming out this past season as he struggled to see the floor.
March 09, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings shooting guard Francisco Garcia (32) smiles as he warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at Power Balance Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
Now on the wrong side of 30 and on what will be an expiring contract (Kings own a team option they’ll decline at season end), Garcia looks to be playing his final season in purple and black. How will it go? The question is answered below…
Scott – While Kings fans appreciate Garcia’s loyalty, leadership and attitude, gone are the days in which any legitimate contributions will be expected from the veteran. Injuries have dominated Garcia’s career and while he has always shown the ability to be a good role player in spurts, his jump shot remains erratic. His minutes would be better served going to younger options, but again, with the Kings lack of skill at the three-spot, Garcia will see the floor and can be counted on for small, steady production.
Marilyn – Garcia was the go-to guy not too many seasons ago, but that now seems like a distant memory. He was at his peak, in terms of his shooting career, in the 2008-09 NBA Season, averaging 12.7 points per game and sporting a three-point shooting percentage of .398, the highest of his career. He is a man with great pride, for himself, his family, and his native country. Born December 31, 1981 in Santo Domingo, he represented his country, the Dominican Republic, this past summer, scoring 28 points, to lead his team, just one game shy of obtaining an Olympic berth. As a reserve on the Kings, we have watched his value diminish with injuries and bad luck. I don’t have a lot of hope that he will bounce back to his prior performance levels. He has a $6.1 million dollar salary for this season, with a team option for $6.4 million in 2013-14. This makes him an expiring contract for a team who may not want to keep him. This could be his last season with the Sacramento Kings. Whatever happens, I hope this will be a good season for him and that he will finish out his NBA career, here or elsewhere, with the respect he so much deserves.
Bryan – Despite Cisco’s struggles ever since the injury, I’ll give the guy this – he tries. He works his tail off. He’s a great teammate and while maybe not the best of leaders, he certainly has given it his best effort when the Kings lacked any voice. That said, the days of Francisco being any type of impact player are over, which is a tough pill to swallow for those of us who watched he and Kevin Martin look like a solid backcourt duo just a few seasons ago. The lack of any true talent at the three should get Cisco some floor time, assuming he stays healthy, but Cisco is nothing more than a low minute bench player at this point. He can still be successful in short bursts, but the Kings best option is to let their youth take the floor time and let Cisco be the player-coach he seems to enjoy being.