Issue # 2: Rotations
Last year, the Kings had some time at the beginning of the season to experiment with lineups and rotations. This time around, that window will not exist to the same extent. Opponents will bring their A-game every single time they face the Kings now. So, they will have to do the largest part of the work when it comes to rotations in training camp.
That all starts with introducing the new additions to Kings’ basketball, especially Sasha Vezenkov. The top of the roster is already set, filled with returning players, but Vezenkov is the one new player expected to have an immediate impact.
A popular question among fans is whether or not Vezenkov will replace Harrison Barnes in the starting lineup. To start the season, we should definitely expect the starting five to be the same as last season with Malik Monk, Davion Mitchell, Trey Lyles, and Vezenkov as the main players off the bench.
In training camp, the coaching staff will have a chance to figure out who to pair Vezenkov with and find the answers to many questions. Can his shooting open up the floor for Domantas Sabonis? How much will he benefit from De’Aaron Fox’s ability to get in the paint? Can he and Trey Lyles form the backup frontcourt?
That last question brings us to the Kings’ center rotation. Given how he played last season, Lyles could certainly be the first big off the bench, but that would make the team incredibly undersized. Other, bigger options are JaVale McGee and Alex Len, which makes for a solid big-man rotation on paper, even though it also comes with plenty of questions. The most important ones might just very well be which version of McGee the Kings will get and whether or not they will simply have to adapt the center rotation depending on matchups.
Last but not least, Coach Brown will have to figure out how lower-profile players Chris Duarte and Kessler Edwards fit into the rotation or if there is any room for the two-way players to get some burn occasionally.
While this is not an issue that only plagues the Sacramento Kings but most teams in the NBA, there is a lot of work to do, and it will take up a huge chunk of training camp.