2012 NBA Draft Results, Grades, Free Agency and Rookie Camp

This post is mostly just a steal from late June entries into my Kings Off-season post here.

Sacramento Kings logo

Sacramento Kings logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

June 25th:
Decent choices at the 5th pick?  That’s what Kings officials are saying as we get close to the June 28th Draft Day.  Read what they are saying HERE.
June 27th:
Tomorrow is the NBA Draft and today’s Bee article says that “the Kings have options at #5″ but really the options that are laid out are “trade the pick” or “keep the pick”.  What other options are there at this point?  Either you have decided to trade and move up in the draft (the Kings don’t have the horses for that) or trade down in the draft (the Kings made a bad decision to do this last year.  Do they want to risk a tenuous connection to Sacramento fans and dump the pick again?) or keep the pick (knowing there just isn’t much there unless someone falls into their lap).
My suggestion?  Keep it and hope for that perfect storm that would allow the best player (well 2nd ) to fall their way like Cousins did two years ago.  That means Harrison Barnes or even Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would slip and for that to happen the Bee is right that the Bobcats need to take Robinson.  If that one thing happens Thursday then we better hope the Kings kept #5—-or made an amazing trade.
The trades talked about in the Bee don’t seem amazing.  The trades seem like Jimmer Fredette “pull your hair out” trades.  I just don’t see trading #5 so someone else can trade for Dwight Howard.
Where will you be on Draft Day June 28th?  How about one of the Neighborhood Draft Day Parties??  There will be Draft parties at five locations hosted by the Kings from 4pm to 7:30pm.
Where are the parties?
All five parties are free to the public, with doors opening at 4 p.m. at the following locations:

Find out more about these parties HERE  from the press release.  You will be able to mingle with Kings players Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson and Hassan Whiteside, Kings Dance Team members, Breakers and Slamson

Read the Bee article HERE
The Bleed Black and Purple blog had a very good post just a few days ago about that #5 spot the Kings find themselves holding, saying that it is
“…not hard to question the happenings in Sacramento over the last six-seven years. As owners, the Maloofs have repeatedly said they are going to spend to get better.”
Ain’t that the truth, so even in easier drafts anything from the mouths of Kings would be hard to decipher.  As today’s Bee article explained well, Draft Day in the NBA people say a lot of things.  And none of it is true.  So sometimes if you really want to confuse people….you tell the truth.
“…back to the basketball side of things. Petrie has been on the hot seat for some time now. And let face it, Mikki Moore signings will do that to a fellow. But let’s not kid ourselves; most of Petrie’s mishaps are a direct result of the Maloofs not opening the checkbook”  That fellas is the honest to gosh truth.
We are entering a new era in the NBA. The Lakers, Spurs, Suns, Celtics and Mavs all look like they are headed for rebuild mode. The Grizzlies, Clippers and Timberwolves are on the rise. Will the Kings even be in the discussion? Does the same group that put together the Webber/Divac team have it in them to do it again? Do Kings fans even believe they can do it again.”
Read the Bleed Black and Purple blog HERE
Trade rumors?  The big one in the Bee (can any rumor be true if it is published in the Bee?) is Kyle Lowry of the Rockets for the Kings #5 plus Houston would add their #14 & #16 picks.  There must be something else in the mix (John Salmons anyone?) for it to make any sense.  But does it make sense at all?  Apparently that “other” is Tyreke Evans.  ‘Reke hasn’t lived up to his ROY expectations but he is still the 2nd best player on this team and has abilities that could make him an All-Star.
Not someone I would want to trade for 14 and 16 in a weak draft.  “The rumors will continue, but this deal seems highly unlikely unless the Rockets sweeten the offer. More to come in the days ahead
3:58 pm it does not seem the Kings will be making that trade to the Rockets for their #14 & 16 plus Kyle Lowry as sources have confirmed(via Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated)  that the Rockets moved their #14 pick to Milwaukee along with Samuel Dalembert who will join his 3rd team in 2 years and 4th team in the last 3 seasons after his big year just 3 seasons ago.
Donte’ Green will not be resigned by the Kings according to Carmichael Dave who spoke to Green today.
Speaking of SI, here’s a Mock Draft at SI today “with movement in the top five, trade chatter and misdirections galore. ”  I won’t ruin it for you but they show Robinson going #2 to Charlotte which means the Kings would really get some decent choice with #5.  Except of course it is the Kings 2012 version which means drama up the ying-yang.  Check it out at the link above.
Now the Kings drama swirls around “we want a Center” when it has all been “we want a SF” and “we want a PF”.
I guess it is easy to understand all of the dysfunction.  This is the Kings after all.  And, truth be told they need a Center to back up Cousins.  And a Small Forward.  And really a Power Forward.  Really.  So what do you do?  You don’t have a good enough team to select a back-up Center with #5.  Maybe they entertain trade offers and drop down to take a back-up IF they gget a quality PF in return.  Quality not crap.  And not a SF, you have a good one in Evans.  Treat him right, give him a spot and let him grow.  SF or SG but plus him the fuck in and leave him alone.  Smart seems to be able to coach the kid.
Maybe Drummond could learn to play PF/C, but as far as I can see he is a project.  And I don’t see a good player coming to the Kings to make this trade worthwhile.
The Lakers are so interested in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist that they are dangling Pau Gasol for a Top 5 pick and a player.  Gasol is not a bad player to have and is certainly an improvement over MKG at this point.  But what about in 3 years?  Do you make that trade now?  I would say yes depending on the “player to be  named”.  This from Lakers Beat Writer @Mike_Bresnahan of the LA Times.  A rumor from someone in the know.
And will the Lakers trade their 60th pick in the 2012 Draft?
And Chad Ford from ESPN Sports Nation during his internet chat today:
Let’s put it this way. If the (Charlotte) Hornets wanted to trade the draft rights to Davis today … I think there is only three players they COULDN’T trade him for: LeBron, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. Normally I’d add Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose to the mix. But with Dwight Howard threatening to bolt Orlando, of course the Magic would do the deal. And given the seriousness of Rose’s injury, I think the Bulls would seriously consider pulling the trigger too. Remember, Davis is from Chicago as well.
Apparently Metta World Peace could be part of a Gasol package deal.  Does that entice the Kings??
So with 24 hours to go, what do I want to see happen as a Kings fan?  Who do I want assuming Davis is already signed and has his first All-Star birth lined up after his Rookie-Of-The-Year award ceremonies…
Hell I want Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.   Davis won’t be there.  Robinson goes second.  Of all the other guys on the board MKG is the guy.
Doesn’t play the position the Kings need to fill.  So start working on trades.  Decent trades cause you won’t get great ones.
MKG is tough as nails and everywhere he goes his teams just win.  And win.  Every level, every team.
Don’t get me wrong he has holes in his game.  Someone says he is like Scottie Pippen.  But today if you have or you can get a good shooter and then get the modern-day Scottie Pippen for the next 10 years do you take that player??  Hell yes.
So pray Charlotte takes the next big man with Thomas Robinson, and leaves MKG on the board.
And pray the Kings have just been misdirecting folks because Ford is 100% right:
“FORD: And don’t get me started on the Kings. They have five guys on their roster that care nothing for defense or chemistry and want to jack up 20 shots a night. They finally get a chance at a guy who can make a huge impact on the floor without the ball in his hands and their response is to trade the pick.”
Ok, just for the giggles…

SIMMONS: ”’…Moving on to Sacramento’s no. 5 pick, we might make some history here, Chad. Even though it would be foolish to overpay in a trade for someone like Andre Drummond (who has all the textbook Thabeet/Kwame/Darko red flags), but you know someone might … only Geoff Petrie is the one trading the pick, which means we might be headed for a double rainbow of dumbness. After all, Petrie was the guy who dumped a mildly annoying contract (Beno Udrih) for a mildly disastrous contract (John Salmons) so he could move back three spots and make the worst lottery pick of the 2011 draft (Jimmer Fredette). He’s capable of anything. That makes me wonder if we could see a trade like this: Detroit deals Tayshaun Prince (expires 2015) and the no. 9 pick to Sacramento for the no. 5 pick and Salmons’s contract (expires 2015). Sacramento stays in the top nine and adds an unselfish veteran swingman who won’t really help them because it’s not like they can compete for a title; Detroit sneaks into the top five and rolls the dice with a Drummond/Monroe tandem that will eventually fail. Everyone loses!

FORD: Agree that Petrie is doing the GM equivalent of impaired driving with this pick. Kings fans are watching, horrified, as he weaves back and forth across the road. The question isn’t whether he collides into the telephone poleit’s when. And no, Joe Dumars already drafted Darko. He’s not going to move up to do it again. At no. 9? Maybe, but Drummond is much safer at 9 than at 5.

SIMMONS: You’re right, this is crazy … let’s just do something sane. With the fifth pick for Sacramento, I’m taking Thomas Robinson … a.k.a. the rich man’s Carl Landry. Stick him with DeMarcus Cousins and, at the very least, you’ll be pounding the boards and making opponents miserable every game. But if the Kings can get an offer like “Parsons and the 14th/18th picks” or “Rudy Gay straight up” or even “Andre Iguodala straight up” for this spot, they should grab it. You know, unless MKG is sitting there.

(Thinking.)

Oh, god. They’re going to screw this up, aren’t they?

ok I’m thru laughing.  Because I read the last sentence.

I’m taking my head out of the NBA Draft Day rumormill.  It is getting viscious

And Simmons & Ford agree in their dual mock drafts.  Robinson goes to Sacramento.  Great choice but I don’t think Robinson drops past the #2 hole.  He has been sitting there in nearly every draft I have seen or heard about.

Of course, maybe it’s all misinformation and MKG goes to Charlotte meaning that Robinson survives for the #5 pick.  Could be why Sacramento has turned down all of these crazy fantasy trades and lives to take their pick (???)

Donte’ Greene says good bye to Sacramento, the fans and all of his friends.  For the comedy alone, plus some games that were strangely very very good, I will miss Donte’ and some city will be glad to have him and probably at a good price.

This is such a strange sports league.

Nighttime rumors the night before the Draft.  What?  Like 18 hours to go?  And HoopsRumors are still boiling!!!

Plus the 5 Hottest rumors out there ZZZZZzzzzzzz…..

June 28th:

Kings could fill the need at SF    But if they do fill that need what do they do with Tyreke Evans??  Plus him in at SG where he should have been since Day 1 after he was drafted?  Or trade him?  Cause they do keep trying don’t they?

Aare they predicting MKG cuz otherwise I am tired of this crap.

and another last minute Mock-Draft, this one from Sacramento.  Who do you think the Kings get??  Anthony Davis?  oh WTF???

PF Thomas Robinson!  I cannot argue with this pick at all.  Not like last years’ debacle.  Yes there are question marks

..  But this kid should have gone second in this draft and could surprise everyone and turrn out to be ROY, you just never know.  Simmons and Ford above were right on in their mock dual-draft.

17+ points and 11+ rebounds, leading the Kansas Jayhawks to the NCAA Championship game.  And the Kings get him filling a big big hold next to Cousins.  This could make the frontline of the team the best your frontcourt in the league.

Who will want to rebound against Cousins and the new kid Robinson??  I would have been happy with MKG but Charlotte took him instead of Robinson and look who the hell Sacramento got??  Excellent!!

It seems like a steal to me.  And hear that sound?  Kings fans are finally celebrating.

The Kings traded their 2nd Round pick to the Indianapolis Pacers in order to fi,l a much needed hole.

The Kings traded their pick for…..Cash!  Cash?  These great business men of the Maloof family turned down an Arena the city was going to build for them ….. need cash?  I think they got $3

SB Nation’s Tom Ziller has sorted through all the facts, and has ultimately decided that Robinson was a great pick up for Sacramento, but giving their second-round pick away was far from being smart. Overall, he gave them a B as part of his NBA Draft grades. Here is some of his commentary:

Second-round picks don’t require guaranteed contracts and don’t carry cap holds. It’s ridiculous for a bad, cheap team to sell the No. 36 pick when plenty of promising prospects were available. The Kings should know better, having picked up Isaiah Thomas (an All-Rookie team honoree) at No. 60 last year. For a team that needs everything to go right to compete, you can’t start cutting off your own limbs for firewood.

SB Nation is right on

But getting Robinson really is a bit like Christmas in June.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Geoff Petrie this happy. When he approached the gathering of media types in the practice facility late Thursday night, he was almost giddy. As coach Keith Smartnoted, Robinson was the “clear cut” choice within the organization if he was available. And, of course, no one thought he would be available

This is all started because Charlotte Bobcats owner/boss Michael Jordan decided to take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist instead of grabbing Robinson or moving the pick. MJ, of course, has never lacked guts. He drafted Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison- tough even for the game’s greatest player to live down – but that didn’t stop him from following his instincts again on Thursday.” 

But doesn’t it just make sense for the old Jordan to draft the new Pippen?  Thank you MJ.

It’s like the one article in the Bee started today…”Thomas Robinson at #5?  You gotta be kidding me!”

Read more here.
The fans are hapopy with the Robinson pick judging by the fan poll over on the SacTown Royalty blog.  Vote yourself or just check out those results.
Ball Don’t Lie grades the NBA Draft over on Yahoo
Sacramento KingsAdditions: Thomas RobinsonGrade: A+Perfect pick, perfect timing. Robinson may never be an All-Star, but that’s what DeMarcus Cousins is for, and Robinson will be his brutal helper as the Kings try to bang their way back toward respectability.(That didn’t sound right.)Best — every year a power forward gets taken high in the lottery and is expected to show all sorts of touch and handle on the fly. Robinson won’t work with those expectations, though he has that talent, in his first year. Again, that’s what Cousins is for, and we really hope there’s no on-court chemistry hiccup that we’re missing as we regard their respective games.’Bleacher Reports predicts Robinsons’ 2012/13 Season, and make predictons for every NBA rookie drafted June 28th:Thomas Robinson Predicted Stats: 12 points and nine rebounds per gameThomas Robinson will fill a big need for the Kings in the toughness department. His bullying ways around the rim will be needed, and he’ll continue to rebound well as a rookie. His scoring will go down as he’ll have many more players to share the ball with, but he’ll still get a decent 12 points a game.Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated says of the Kings pick:ASacramento Kings No complaints here — from me or the Kings.  Upon review, it appears that Sacramento was prepared to draft Dion Waiters at  No. 5 rather than opt for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or perhaps even Harrison  Barnes, if all three were available. But they never had to make the tough choice  when Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson fell to them. He will  be a force in the frontcourt with center DeMarcus Cousins, who is quickly  becoming one of the best big men in the game. The Kings haven’t addressed their  need for more defensive presence down low, but Robinson was too good to pass on  here. The only downside? The pressure on the Kings intensifies yet again,  because this is the second time in three years that a big-time big man fell  their way (Cousins was the fifth pick) and it’s time for them to start turning  this talent into wins.
Read more from Amick and SI here  but oh my god if they had picked Waiters in the Top 5 when MKG was on the board which is what Amicj is suggesting the Kings would have done.Waiters in the 2nd five is a good pick, but in the Top 5??  No. No, no, no, no, no, no……nbadraft dot net give their grade and analysis:

Sacramento
Draft Grade
Additions Analysis
B
Picks: No. 5 Thomas Robinson The Kings were at the bottom of the NBA in so many categories last season. They were a bad defensive team who did not share or shoot the ball well offensively. Robinson is not going to be able to help alleviate all their problems, but he should help them improve upon the 29th ranked defensive rebounding percentage (70.5%) and gives them a boost at the power forward position going forward. One also has to hope that his focused, aggressive style of play rubs off on some of his teammates.

So everyone seems to think the Kings did well and grades all seem to be B or A.

June 30th:

Meet Thomas Robinson the Kings first round Draft pick and a 2011/2012 First Team All-American

Where:            Arden Fair plaza area in front of Nordstoms

When:             Today, June 30th at 3pm

Free Agency

The Draft is over and the team and fans are about as happy as they could be given the spot the Kings drafted in.  Now the Free Agency period begins at Midnight Eastern time (9pm Sacramento time) tonight and players can be signed July 11th

The Kings first focus will be Jason Thompson, a restricted Free Agent whom the Kings want to resign.

Beyone that the team chose not to nake an offer to Donte’ Green freeing up his salary of $2 million  and will decide if they want to conpete for their own unrestricted Free Agents:

Terrance Williams

Williams played well in the 18 games he spent in Sacramento after he was signed last season.

Expiring Contracts

Francisco Garcia

I have not been impressed by Garcia for 3 or 4 years at least and would have traded him if given any chance at all.  Somehow he has become the veteran with the longest time in Sacramento and it’s time to end that relationship.  He is a good cheerleader on the bench but his jump shot is suspect and his paycheck is too large to retain him unless he wants to take a very significant pay cut.

The team is $15 million under the Salary Cap, but in piblic don’t seem willing to spend money on players like Guard Andre’ Miller.  They arre interested in Nicolas Batum from Portland but Batum is a restricted Free Agent and Portland has said they will do everything to keep him.  Batum could fill the hole at SF immediately.  I miss Gerald Wallace, but don’t see the team paying his salary of $9 million.

Everyone knows what the Kings need:  Defense, a quality SF, help at PG (although views on what kind of help are wide and varied), a player with a quality jump shot, a leader, and a shotblocker unless Hassan Whiteside is healthy and ready.

Robinson fills a need at PF and was the “best available” player, but he does not “fix” the Kings.

So let Free Agency begin and hope that the Kings can pick up someone decent and makes good decisions about their own guys, JT and Cisco.  Then with a decent trade the Kings will be improved over last season.  I hope.

So who are the 2012 NBA Free Agents?

From Hoops World here is the list of every free agent in the league.  They list restricted and unrestricted players, explain the requirements for both types of free agents and all of the options.  It ain’t easy folks.  Check out the list HERE.

Logts of Free Agent rumors HERE  Including Dwight Howard wants Orlando to trade him to the (now Brooklyn) Nets.  (??) Gerald Wallace may be going to the Nets too.  Deron Williams may be heading that way too and suddenly the Nets would open their Brooklyn life with a competitive team.

And the Clippers offered big extensions to Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.

Hoops Hype is always a great spot for NBA rumors, draft, trade or free agency.

July 2nd:

We have Petrie’s update on Free Agency for 2012.

Petrie’s first action as the Free Agency period opened on June 30th was to reach out to Jason Thompson’s agent.

Our first phone call was to Leon about Jason,” Petrie said. “We talked …and put a proposal in front of him and we’ve made a number of calls on different players. And today we had lunch with Ryan Anderson.  We’re continuing to monitor things. Restricted free agency on both sides is a little bit different.”

Anderson and Thompson are both Restricted Free Agents.  Anderson grew up in the Sacramento area and led Oak Ridge High School to the CIF State title as a Junior.

Maybe the Kings actually have their eyes on another Orlando player given the fact that Anderson is a restricted FA …..so, maybe Dwight Howard?  Since he is asking hard and often to be traded.  Plus the fat that Orlando has said they are willing to trade him.

And it seems that Howard’s latest trading spot (Brooklyn Nets) has all but closed up after a very big trade where they gave away five of their players.  I’m not sure they have anyone to trade anymore.  Maybe a multi-team trade with Sacramento in the mix for someone if not Howard?  I would love to have Howard but we really have no place for him to play without trading a handful of players and gutting the team given that the Kings do not have many players Orlando may want.

OK, enouggh on that……

So far the Kings are playing a waiting game with Terrance Williams, a full Free Agent G/F who provided spark in 18 games last season.

One King who should lobby for Williams’ return is Jimmer Fredette. No one was better at setting up Fredette than Williams.”

Things seem very quiet on the Free Agent front in Sacramento given that there are more than 170 Free Agents in the NBA.
July 5th:
The Kings seem to be focused on bringing in F-Ryan Anderson if they can.  Check today’s article from the Bee  And then vote in the blogs Poll here  You saw what my thoughts are a few days ago.  He wouldn’t be bad with his 3 point shooting and connections in the area.
Fredette stars on the Kings Summer League team.  But Thomas Robinson will be the star
What are the keys to ensuring that the Kings get a playoff berth in 2013?  Well, the Bleacher Report says:
The Sacramento Kings are one of the league’s best up-and-coming teams, and if they improve quickly, they have the chance to make the playoffs next season.

They have an explosive young backcourt, consisting of Mr. Irrelevant Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton. 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans is a good scorer for them from the perimeter, and young post-players Thomas Robinson and DeMarcus Cousins round out the starting lineup.

The team has a lot of potential, and each player is 25 years old or younger. With age, though, comes inexperience, and Thornton is the only starting King not on his rookie contract; all five have no more than four years of NBA experience.

Here are four things that the Kings need to do if they want to make the playoffs next season.

  1. bring Tyreke Evans in off the bench
  2. integrate Thomas Robinson quickly
  3. establish a go-to scorer in the clutch
  4. improve defensively
July 7th
Certainly loos like Sacramento will not get a decent player during the Free Agent period, although F Ryan Anderson is still out there.
July 8th:
So much for Anderson.  Reports tonight are that Ryan Anderson will go to New Orleans in a sign & trade.
Orlando Magic forward Ryan Anderson is reportedly heading to the New OrleansHornets in a sign-and-trade deal for center Gustavo Ayon.The Orlando Sentinel reported on Sunday that the 24-year-old forward was on the verge of signing a four-year deal with the Hornets worth about $36 million.Rather then match the offer sheet for Anderson, Orlando opted to discuss a sign-and-trade deal with New Orleans.”

It is disappointing because it seems the Kings certainly could have made an equal offer.  Now all of those 3 pointers will fly in New Orleans.
Read more here
Kings and Thompson agree to a contract.  Jason Thompson, a restricted Free Agent belonging to the Kings, agreed to the contract the team offered to him the first day of Free Agency.  It does not seem that he had discussions with any other teams, but  the Kings drafted someone (Robinson) who plays Thompson’s position (Power Forward) and brought Ryan Anderson in for some semi-serious discussions, who also plays PF probably had him wondering WTF?
In the end the Kings did not sign Ryan and so finally get to sign Thompson.
The Kings will have three players who can play Power Forward, including Chuck Hayes, and Hayes & Thompson can both  back-up at Center.
The Kings and Thompson can sign that contract in a few days and then this post will (finally) come to an end!
Photo Gallery of the 2012  Sacramento Kings Summer Mini-Camp features Fredette and Robinson.
Robinson, the Kings 1st Round pick for 2012, signs his contract and participates in Rookie camp.
Per the NBA’s rookie pay scale, rookies can sign for 80 to 120 percent of a set first-year salary.       For the No. 5 pick (Robinson), that amount for the 2012-13 season is $2,812,200, with $2,938,700 the following season. Teams hold options for the third and fourth seasons.”

Read more here
Fredette gets an opportunity during mini-camp & summer league.  Coach Smart worked out with him.  Guard Isaiiah Thomas is finishing his college degree this summer which gives Jimmer Fredette full “Point Guard” duties during this camp.
And I think that’s what we’re focusing around him,” said Bobby Jackson,the Kings’ summer league coach. “He’s going to have the ball in his hand at the end of the game, in game situations. He’s got to learn how to make calls, know who’s hot and who’s not hot, and that’s part of being a point guard.“He’s going to have a lot of freedom to do a lot of things, play at point and just run the team. We just want him to flow into the offense, if he sees some mismatches, take advantage of it, and just show us he can be that point guard that he was in college.”

Read more here.
Mini-controversy brings out another side of DeMarcus  Cousins.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo characterized him as “immature” and “with a long way to go” during a teleconference with reporters Saturday.  Instead of behaving as if he is immature, Cousins waited 36 hours before saying anything and then when he did, Cousins went directly to Colangelo and had a conversation, asking the former Coach “Why?” & “:How was I being immature?”  Cousins says Colagelo never really gave an answer, but he impressed many with the manner in which he handled the mini-controversy which “began when Cousins stepped onto the practice court Friday and became too physical for his own good. Or, according to some of the USA Basketball types who watched the part of the session closed to the media, too physical and too aggressive for the good of the team.”
The Sacramento Bee is definitely right when they say “This is not a low-IQ player, which is another reason coach Keith Smart is Cousins’ most enthusiastic cheerleader, and he spent most of the offeason training in Sacramento for this very Select Team appearance.The Kings types in general – even those who once concurred with ex-coach Paul Westphal’sunflattering opinion – have come to understand this about their big man: They need not be afraid. You can actually talk to him. You can actually coach him. As his mother, Monique, said of her son, he is equal parts teddy bear and excessively ferocious competitor.”Folks who are not part of the Kings team need to recognize this and begin to treat Cousins as an adult.  They may be surprised about the man they meet.

Read more about DeMarcus Cousins, the USA Team and Chairman Colangelo  here:
July 11th:
As one of the rookie guards at the Kings’ summer league minicamp darted across midcourt with the ball Tuesday, Thomas Robinsonslid in front of him and drew contact.Both hit the floor, staying down momentarily before being helped up by teammates. Robinson, the Kings’ first-round draft choice, walked away. The scrimmage, one drill near the end of one practice, resumed. Throughout the gym, bodies exhaled.“Yeah, you get a little worried when you see him hit the floor,” said Alex EnglishI remember when LeBron James came in the league, how he used to drive to the hole, and he was so big and strong that people would get out of his way,” English said. “He’s kind of like that.“I mean, he’s not that player. But when he goes to the hole, he goes hard. He goes strong. He’s got a lot of power.”

Read the remainder of the article in the Bee.
July 13th:
NBA Summer League:Kings team roster and summer league schedule are here
There are five (5) games starting tonight against Charlotte and ending July 19th against Boston.
All games can be watched online HERE  at $4.99 broadband and on iOS
The Kings, barring some amazing trade, will continue to bemoan the lack of a decent SF.  They continue to forget that they screwed themselves out of the opportunity to draft one of the best young forwards in the league when they decided to drop their draft spot in 2011 and move down a number of spots just so they could draft Jimmer Fredette.  During the season the kid who was picked last in that same draft, Isaiah Thomas, took Fredette’s position and even moved a veteran off the PG spot.
And that SF they chose NOT to draft?    Well, from the BleacherReport dudes:

Age: 21

Experience: 1 Year

Kawhi Leonard broke out as one of the most promising young players in the NBA, pairing fearless and efficient perimeter defense with rapidly improving shooting skills. In 2013, Leonard will continue to build on that success, establishing himself as a future face of the Spurs’ franchise.

Leonard will crash the boards, defend an opponent’s best player and shoot in the clutch. He will also put up efficient numbers on his way to becoming one of the game’s fastest-rising players.

Projected Season Averages

10.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.5 SPG, 43.1% 3PT

Anybody want a re-do??

The same guys offer these words about Thomas Robinson:

Position: Power Forward

Age: 21

Experience: Rookie

Thomas Robinson is going to have a stellar rookie season. He’ll contribute in every facet of the game, effectively forming one of the best young frontcourts in the NBA. He’ll offer tough interior defense and a great motor to a Kings team in dire need of such additions, as well as a respected offensive attack.

Thomas Robinson will be in the discussion for Rookie of the Year. Until then, he’s a member of this honorable list.

Projected Season Averages

11.6 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.0 BPG, 0.8 SPG

It didn’t happen tonight though as Robinson said “I wanted to do so good and I did just the opposite.”  In a game that featured Robinson and the player many expected to be the Kings pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  MKG wowed the crowd with his Scottie Pippen imitation and it wasn’t like the Kings made a mistake and failed to draft him, Charlotte surprised everyone picking NMKG with the 2nd selection leaving Robinson for the Kings.

“(Robinson) brings energy and toughness,” said Bobby Jackson, who is coaching the Kings squad, “and he plays hard all the time. Allthe time. But his passing has probably impressed me more than anything. He can take the ball off the rim and dribble the length of the court like a point guard.”

Read more here
Meanwhile Jimmer Fredette really struggled in the first summer game of his 2nd year in the NBA.  The team gave Jimmer the reins in the summer league, while Thomas returned to school to finish his degree.
The first night of Jimmer Fredette’seducation as an NBA point guard via the NBA summer league looked like a repeat of a bad game from his rookie season.Fredette shot 2 of 11 amid constant pressure from the Bobcats. Fredette finished with seven points, two assists and three rebounds in a 121-87 loss Friday night at Cox Pavilion……”At some point, (Fredette)  has to figure it out,” said Kings summer league co-head coach Bobby Jackson. “I want him to be a bit more aggressive on the pick-and-rolls. He’s got to understand that’s what guys are going to do because he can shoot the ball. He didn’t shoot the ball well (Friday), but he’s got to be the guy that’s aggressive and gets us in our stuff. … He’ll figure it out….…”(Fredette’s) got to be aggressive at all times,” said Thomas, who watched the game from the bench. “He’s got to be aggressive to score. He’s such a good shooter, it’s something he’s great at. I think he’s just a little timid out there, kind of like during the season, a little too unselfish. He’s going to have a good week once he gets the jitters out.”

Read more here
July 14th:
Conversation with Gavin Maloof at the halftime of todays game with the Lakers.
Lakers led by 1 point at halftime, but the Kings won the game by 12.
July 17th:
Kings picked up Free Agent Guard AAron Brooks who has been playing with their Summer League team and playing well.  Brooks played in China last season.  He was locked out and then the rules when the lock out ended kept him (and others) overseas, but it may have done him well because he certainly got more court time there than he would have here.
He may take minutes that otherwise would have gone to immer.
The Kings then solidified a trade with the Toronto Raptors for Small Forward James Johnson.
The $2.8 million that Johnson was owed for the upcoming season hardly seems onerous for a player that started 40 games last season, even if it did put the Raptors near the cap (the team also signed Quincy Acy on Monday and were expected to finalize Jonas Valanciunas’ contract later in the week). A direct comparison to Fields, whose contract averages out at $6.33 million per season, reveals that Johnson held a head-to-head advantage last season in scoring (9.1 to 7.2), rebounding (4.7 to 3.0) and assists (2.0 to 1.4) and is just 16 months his senior.”
Lots of talk from yesterdays Grant Napear Show here.
What does the Brooks signing and the trade for Johnson mean to Fredette, Salmons, Evans and the other Kings?  And are more moves anticipated in SacTown??  For me?  Not much…yet.  And, yes I damn sure hope so.  But check out the article at the link from the Bleacher Reports.
July 20th:
At this point it looks like SF Tony Mitchell may be the first Summer League player to be picked up by the Kings.  A combination of the right spot (Small Forward), the right size (long is a phrase you hear describiing many players these days) a very athletic forward Mitchell was undrafted after leaving Alabama after his junior season following a suspension for violating team rules.
Read more about him here and expect Mitchell to oin the team for regular practice camp.
Robinson and Fredette finish camp strong, both playing well in the final game of Summer League.

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