How Will The Sacramento Kings’ Power Rotation Shake Out?

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 11: Zach Randolph #50 and Kosta Koufos #41 of the Sacramento Kings (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 11: Zach Randolph #50 and Kosta Koufos #41 of the Sacramento Kings (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings have an incredibly crowded power rotation, to say the least. With at least eight players vying for a rotation spot, how will it play out?

On the outside looking in

The likes of Skal Labissiere, Kosta Koufos, Deyonta Davis, and potentially Zach Randolph will likely find themselves battling for a rotation spot all season.

Skal Labissiere has been up and down in his career thus far and has not shown more than occasional flashes of his potential. Skal’s ability to garner playing time for himself relies solely on his ability to develop his game and string together a more consistent season.

Kosta Koufos has been solid for the Kings the last couple years. The only issues for him are not only is the rotation crowded, but the Kings are likely to embrace a fast-playing style. Can Koufos keep up in those lineups? We will know after preseason but it is difficult to see him playing as much as he did last year. With that said, he is still a solid reserve and there is plenty of value in that.

Deyonta Davis might not make it out of training camp with the Kings. But if he impresses, however, and the Kings keep him on the roster heading into the season, he will surely be a guy on the end of the bench.

Zach Randolph is the tricky one as he played a lot last season. He is also thirty-seven and saw his playing time cut dramatically at the end of the year. Will that trend continue? Or will it revert back to how it was up until the All-Star break? Only Dave Joerger knows that answer right now, but the season opener should give us all a better idea.

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Starters and primary reserves

Willie Cauley-Stein is the only sure thing as the starting center right now. He will certainly open the season as the number one guy, barring injury, and it is likely Giles will be his primary backup.

Cauley-Stein has a lot riding on this season, and to an extent, so does Giles. Having them locked in at one-two in your center rotation is not the worst situation for a team to have. Power forward, though, could go several ways.

Dave Joerger should absolutely trot out Marvin Bagley III as the starter. On the other hand, Joerger likes his veterans. For that reason, it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility that Nemanja Bjelica or Zach Randolph open the year as the starter, with Bagley as the first guy off the bench.

It is also worth noting that the pairing of Willie Cauley-Stein and Zach Randolph played sixteen minutes a night over the course of 50 games last season. They were not terrible together and were actually one of the better scoring lineups the Kings had all year. They still ended with a -3.9 net rating, but that is more indicative of the five-man lineups they played in.

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Closing thoughts

The Kings have an absolute logjam at power forward and center. The rotation will probably be changed throughout the season as well, making things a headache all year or until the trade deadline comes along.

A rotation of Bagley and Cauley-Stein as starters, with Bjelica and Randolph as reserve power forwards, while having Giles, Koufos, and Randolph all getting time at the five is ideal. It gives the young guys priority playing time while still keeping the veterans in the mix for stability. Training camp and preseason will be the first time we get a look at what Joerger is thinking, so it is imperative to keep close tabs during the early stages of the season.

Unfortunately for Sacramento, the guard and small forward situations are in a similar predicament. The coaching staff certainly has their work cut out for them.