What separates the Sacramento Kings from a team that goes deep into the playoffs? In my thinking, they must construct a roster with a minimum of three All-Stars.
Think, for years the San Antonio Spurs soared with Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker. When Ginobili began to fade, along came Kawhi Leonard. With Duncan on the verge of retirement, they enticed LaMarcus Aldridge to join.
Think back two years when the Golden State Warriors were the champs with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers had LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love.
In ’86-’87, the Los Angeles Lakers had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and James Worthy—all Hall of Famers.
In ’07-08, the Boston Celtics had Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett. And in ’85-’86, the Celtics had Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, and Kevin McHale —five Hall of Famers!
But the Kings, since drafting DeMarcus Cousins, have not made the playoffs. I believe he needs two more All-Star caliber teammates to be able to finally reach that goal. Rudy Gay was almost one, but there are just too many small forwards around the league to crack the national balloting. It’s a fantasy, but if the Kings had only had the wisdom to keep Isaiah Thomas, the second piece would be there now. And that kind of spacing might have lifted Gay to All-Star status.
All along, the problem has been poor draft picks and acquisitions by the front office and/or the owners of the Sacramento franchise. Perhaps Malachi Richardson or Skal Labissiere will be the boost needed for the Kings to regain playoff status?
There’s endless blather in the sports press of trading DeMarcus Cousins. This would only force the Kings’ front office to shop or draft three All-Stars having given up their sole gem in the hope of rebuilding. The bottom line? Keep DeMarcus in Sacramento.