2012/2013 Sacramento Kings Season and the NBA

Special logo marking the Kings' 20th anniversa...

Special logo marking the Kings’ 20th anniversary in Sacramento (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post will cover the 2012/2013 season of the Sacramento Kings, and the rest of the NBA and maybe even some league issues.

The post covering the summer and the Pre-season of the Sacramento Kings can be found HERE.

The Kings opened their season with a three game road trip and lost every game, looking bad in one of those games.

They returned to Sacramento and won their home opener.  They won their 2nd game at home and are now 2-3 and are now sitting in the middle of their conference while early on the Los Angeles Lakers are shocking their fans by being firmly in last place with only five games played.

In the meantime, the Kings are in the rumor section once again about a possible move.

The rumor?  Well, it is a warmed over one from this summer when the Kings were said to be moving to Virginia Beach.  Everyone denied it and the city held their public meeting about the proposed Virginia Beach Arena without mentioning Sacramento or the Kings.

Since then there have been more rumors including yesterday and todays rumors that the ownership of the Sacramento Kings , the Maloof family, did indeed have meetings with the Virginia Governor about moving their team, the current Sacramento Kings, to Virginia Beach.

Citing anonymous sources, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported Thursday that a representative of the Sacramento Kings met recently with the Virginia governor about the possibility of moving the team to Virginia Beach

If true, not only were the fans in both cities lied to, but meetings between the Maloofs and Virginia’s Governor not only occurred but occurred around the time that the Maloof’s pulled the plug on a new Arena in Sacramento.  The Maloof’s pulled out of their quasi-agreement with Sacramento saying the financials “didn’t pencil out” but did not make any offer to work things out with the City that has supported them for so many years.

Anyway…check out the article here.

November 11th:
Happy Veteran’s Day!! 
The Kings play without DeMarcus Cousins (Center) and Rookie Thomas Robinson (Forward) and the Lakers run right over them!

Both players were out because of league imposed suspensions.

The Players Association is appealing the Cousins’ suspension, saying the 2 game penalty is too severe. “The immediate goal is to get the suspension lifted” prior to the Kings game on November 14th.  Check the story out HERE.

They have Tyreke Evans on the floor but Evans just has not found his groove on Offense.  He has played very good defense, but like most of the Kings has suffered on the offensive side.

The Kings want Evans to shoot the frigging ball, but too often he is passing,  the opposite problem from his first few years in the league.  The team needs him to contribute more baskets and get to the Free Throw line more often as well.

So now the Lakers with one win move up to a tie for 3rd in the Conference and the Kings drop back down to a spot they know much too well…..last.

Robinson returns for the next game while Cousins is out for one more.

November 20th:

The Kings cannot win a game or attract fans to watch them during their worst start in 20 years..  The Kings are struggling on offense and their new defensive focus.

The fun of a 5-1 pre-season seems long past as the Kings lost heir 4th game in a row early in this 2012/13 season.  They don’t seem like a “family” that most people would want to spend Thanksgiving with, and this holiday dinner could get contentious.

The Kings play the Los Angeles Lakers in their next game so things won’t get easier fas for them.  Gobble Gobble.

DeMarcus Cousins—-December 31st:

I was going to await the New Year, but I just couldn’t…

DeMarcus.  Suspended again, this time by his own Coach for whatever was said to/about Coach in the locker room at halftime.

Fist Coach left him in the locker room after the outburst.  Then Coach suspended him and sent him home.  No one would say exactly what prompted the suspension, except DeMarcus saying he needs o learn to “keep (his) mouth shut”.  I have never seen the Kings so quiet.

But I have rarely seen the social media world so active.  Everyone wants to hate on DeMarcus.  It is so easy.  He makes it even easier.  Big.  Rich.  Young.  Sometimes foolish.  Yes, DMC…sometimes.

The suspension lasted what…..two games?  And then he was back.  No one would say why and no one would say who made the decision except it seemed as if it was definitely not the Coach.  Petrie?  Owners?  He was back with a new Agent….Fegan.  The agen who has helped many NBA players secure a trade when they wanted ou of a current situation.  Was it the agent?.

And today Ailene Voisin’s article in the Bee.  I rarely agree with Voisin.  But sometimes she provides significant depths of insight that most male writers cannot plumb.  Sometimes she surprises me.  rarely does DeMarcus surprise me.  It would surprise me if he learns to keep his mouth shut as he says he wants to do.

Now that he’s back, what do you do with DeMarcus Cousins? Coddle him? Ignore him? Trade him?

You don’t trade him. You monitor his behavior, maintain certain standards and keep a velvet hammer within reach, but you don’t trade him. The Kings’ front office folks – regardless of whether Geoff Petrie re-signs or retires – need to do their jobs and let Cousins learn how to do his.”

After you read that article and understand the importance of teaching and not trading Cousins understand this:  last night Cousins scored the first triple-double of his career helping the Kings to defeat the Boston Celtics with 12 points, 10 rebounds and ten assists while receiving the game ball from his teammates.  Cousins assisted two of his teammates to reach season highs in points and another (Salmons) to score 23 which seems like it should be a season high (!!!).

Understand this:  the last time a Kings center scored a triple double was 2007 and the last time any Kings player hit those numbers was a Kings guard in 2010.

Cousins has the talent, the body,  the ability, the desire and the youth to achieve triple doubles often and for a few more years.  He expects rebounds and wants assists and baskets come, even on a poo shooting night.

January 5th:
Why do I say don’t trade cousins?  Games like last night show that he is learning.  This would be his senior year in college.  31 points and 20 rebounds against the Raptors.
Yes, the Raptors are a bad team, but the Kings were just as bad and the game was in Toronto.
He added some steals, only 4 fouls and 4 turnovers it was a MONSTER game forr Cousins and the Kings.  Cousins helped to lead the Kings to a victoy that pulled them out of the Pacific Division basement.

NBA And Sacramento Kings Post-Summer League 2012, Trade Rumors and Training Camp

This post will focus on the Kings and the NBA after summer league 2012 and probably up to or thru training camp.

First we have Sacramento Kings Offseason Moves & Analysis from the folks at Sheridan Hoops. as they do a good job of analyzing each team in the league quickly.

July 22nd:

Trade Rumors:  These guys at Gather say that Jimmer Fredette may be traded to the Utah Jazz.

I would not be unhappy, depending on what comes back to the Kings, but I would be surprised.  Other than his last game this summer, Fredette has not shown anything trade worthy.

The Kings however, have loaded up their back court, even adding Aaron Brooks these past few days and with another SF in the wings come training camp in Tony Mitchell it would be rough to trade guards without getting something in return and I’m not sure the Jazz have that “something”.   Brooks had Tweeted “Sacramento Kings” back on July 16th before jumping on a plane to come out to the State capitol.

The backcourt squeeze is on. The Kings’ roster included guards Marcus Thornton (6-4), Isaiah Thomas (5-9), Jimmer Fredette(6-2) and Francisco Garcia (6-7) even before coach Keith Smart revealed plans to move Tyreke Evans (6-6) from small forward to shooting guard.”

Trading Fredette would not be a bad idea if the owners are willing to walk around with more egg on their faces for a series of bad moves in 2011…a series of bad moves.

July 23rd:

Mitchell is likely to be called in for the Kings training camp.

Mitchell kind of separated himself a little bit,” Smart said. “He has the right size as a small forward. Obviously, we have a ton of players at that position that he plays, but nevertheless he’s not a guy you take off your radar because you see the size.

“A long athletic player that can be physical, and I like the way he attacks the rim.”

Mitchell was undrafted after leaving Alabama after his junior season following a suspension for violating team rules. In looking for a summer-league team, Mitchell believed the Kings would be a good fit because of their uptempo style.”

Read more here:
The Rumor Mill dot Com    Inside Hoops   and Hoops Hype keep track of all of the NBA rumors for you during what may be the time period with the least real-news going on.  But that will not stop folks from making things up just so we can all talk about it!!!
Although the Free Agent deals have mostly quieted down, some remain and here is a good analysis and list of the best 15 of the remaining FA’s.  Kirilenko would be a good fit for the Kings and they have good communication with hin after last season, but they have to get rid of someone to clear cap room now with their two recent signngs.
July 26th:
Former Kings Point Guard Bobby Hurley, who was so severely injured in an automobile accident during the 1993-94 NBA season, near the old ARCO Arena after a game, is now an Assistant Coach at Rhode Island.
Hurley assists his brother, Coach Dan Hurley and aspires to someday be a Head Coach.
Read more about Hurley here.
July 28th:
Jason Thompson is ready to embrace his role after re-signing with the Kings.
On a team full of what coach Keith Smart describes as alpha males trying to define their place atop the team hierarchy, Thompson prefers simply to fit in and do the little things not associated with star players.The Kings re-signed Thompson to a five-year contract worth $30.2 million shortly after the NBA moratorium on transactions ended at midnight July 11……”Some guys are going to have to play different roles,” said Thompson, the Kings’ first-round draft pick in 2008. “Some guys can score a lot, and that’s what they’re known to do, but maybe if they can take some steps back in scoring and get more assists, rebounds and diving for loose balls, it makes a great team.”

Read more here.
Thompson believes the addition of Aaron Brooks will help (defense) process, too. Coach Keith Smart began the process of organizing the offense and looking to shore up the Kings’ defense at the point of attack by starting Isaiah Thomas at point guard.“(Brooks) can only help Isaiah with him maturing and being that floor general that we need,” Thompson said.If the entire team doesn’t mature and learn to work together on both ends, the Kings are in for another season in the 20-win range.”

Read more here
And the Kings will open the 2012/2013 season with a three-game road trip, starting in Chicago, then in Minnesota and ending in Indiana. They won’t have a home game until November 5th against the Warriors.
The Kings will face a very difficult start to the season, and could easily be in a 3 game hole when they return home, and facing the Golden State in their firt Home Game may not be easy.
The keys may be can the Kings make a trade for veteran strength that would provide support and cohesion at Center?  Someone who can come off the bench and play strong defense, help Cousins mature into the type of All-Star player many expect him to be and have the respect of his teammates??  Is there such a player, can the Kings get him and would he want to be in Sacramento during this mess of a time?
August 1, 2012:
The Kings announce Their 2012 Pre-Season schedule as follows:
Oct. 10 vs. Phoenix, 7 p.m. Oct. 15 vs. Portland, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 vs. Golden State, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 at Los Angeles Lakers (in Las Vegas),
7 p.m. Oct. 21 at Los Angeles Lakers 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 at Phoenix 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Los Angeles Lakers (in San Diego) 7 p.m.

The regular seasons starts for the Kings at the end of October with a thrree-0game road trip, returning to Sacramento for the first home game on November 5th.
August 8th:
ThBleacher Reports guys say Isaiah Thomas could win Most Improved Player in 2013.
How  do they decide that this early in the Pre-pre-season??  In 2012 “(Thomas) played with a ton of heart, kept up with the league’s best point guards, created shots for others and came up with big baskets seemingly every time the Kings needed one.”
In 2013 “With Thomas likely getting the nod to start at the point guard position this season, and having a full offseason this time around, he should be a strong candidate for the Most Improved Player Award.Interestingly, newly acquired Aaron Brooks received the aforementioned award after the 2009-10 season in which he averaged 19.6 points per game and 5.3 assists while starting all 82 games for the Houston Rockets.”Will Power Balance arena be renamed Sleep Train?  Just getting a name that lasts a full season and a contract that does as well would probably make the Kings happy.The Kings partnered with ARCO got 25 years in the naming of their arena.  Last year they went with Power Balance, the new company who made sports wrist bands.  More money in the five year contract, especially in year 5 when the Kings take would increase from $750,000 to $2.35 million.Problem is Power Balance filed for bankruptcy before year one was even finished.  Read more at the link above.

And the Kings extended Coach Keith Smart’s contract an additional year, thru 2013/2014.

The Kings could have waited a few months and made Keith Smartprove himself more before deciding he was their coach beyond the 2012-13 season.

But in Smart’s first six months, Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said he had seen enough.

The Kings announced Monday that Smart had agreed to a contract extension through the 2013-14 season.

“We had talked about it at length somewhat after the season, after the draft,” Petrie said. “We just really moved forward on it in the last couple of weeks. It’s something I’m really in favor of. He’s the right coach at the right time for the group of players.”

Hard to say, I would have let Smart coach at least half the coming season before pulling the plug but at least they didn’t fire the guy.

Read more here.August 23rd

So the Kings and the Maloofs “aren’t talking” and the NBA “has no information”????

Does that make the rumor more true?

The Kings, the Maloofs moving to Virgina Beach and Comcast is footing the bill?

This after they let it be known that local mattress makers might be the new name for Arco Arena?

And Comcast would want to keep a good name and not piss off Sacramento fans and customers?  All to move the Kings to  Resort city? To a nice but small tourist town?

Most team owners in any sport don’t want to locate in a tourist town unless it is the size and stature of say NYC or Miami or San Francisco or Las Vegas.  But no one has ever accused the MaGoofs of being smart.  Or of runnimg their team successfully.

Could be true we will know soon since the stor sas Comcast will unveil it all at the Virginia Beach City Council meeting next Tuesday (August 28th) and that the Maloofs will be at the meeting..  They are certainly going somewhere.

September 10th:

Well, no Virginia Beach.  But a few new tidbits and rumors.  Could it be the Kings without tupid rumors?

ESPN ranks the Kings 2nd to Last on their list of professional sports teams.  So the have the worst (Toronto Maple Leafs) and then the Kings.  Who is a hair better than the kings?  Who is 3rd worst?  eh, Charlotte Bobcats for sure.

I won’t spend time on the Maloof’s sister Adrienne and her divorce.  You can Google the shit out of it if ou really want to.  But apparentl the brothers think the scene will cost them money out of the family (mis)fortune.  You know?

Want to buy a ROY  Thomas Robinson jersey?  I wouldn’t mind, but I can’t!!  The Kings online store is closed.  That’s right C-L-O-S-E-D.  The are blaming a failed company, not the failing basketball team.

The store has been down since June.  The Kings say it will be up soon.

How Bad Are The Owners Of The Sacramento Kings? Bad!!

Get this.  Marcos Breton is NOT the sports writer of the Sacramento Bee.  He just should be.

He understands the game and he certainly understands the Sacramento basketball team the Sacramento Kings.  And most important now he understands how bad the Kings owners, the Maloof family AKA: the MaGoofs, are for Sacramento.

Bretons article today is titled Sacramento stuck with the low-rent Maloofs  and unfortunately Breton is right.  He wrote an article about one of his visits to the Arena to attend a Kings game last season that was just so insightful it blew my mine.

In that article he made point after point showing how little the Maloofs cared for their current arena, while the rest of us were focused on the new arena.  He understood that the new arena would never be built….solely because of the Maloofs.  No one else understood this.

Now Breton show us why the Maloofs keep up ownership of the Kings.  A team they could easily sell.

“Some Bay Area media friends repeatedly ask me: Why don’t the Maloofs just sell the Kings?

My answer: What else would they do with themselves?

They lost the family liquor business. They lost the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. If you follow them on Twitter, you see them hawking super-cool iPhone cases and occasionally promoting little skateboarding events. None of the brothers is married or has children. The Kings are it for them.

So the California capital is stuck with these guys. The happy ending that Sacramento wanted for the Kings – in a downtown arena at the old railyard – is the polar opposite from the happy ending that the Maloofs want.

Their strategy has been clear for years: Wait for an obscene deal to fall into their laps where someone else pays for everything while they control all the profits.

The arena plan Mayor Kevin Johnson had devised, one the NBA fully approved, came with onerous conditions – such as the Maloofs putting money into the building and pledging collateral on their loans.

Oh boy! Those were fighting words for the Maloof boys!”

Again, my friend Breton is NOT a sports guy.  He is a very intelligent man who understands the Kings and the owners in ways the rest of us just don’t.

So why have I been hitting the Maloofs so hard for mismanaging the Kings as they see fit?

Because they are so unbelievably disingenuous. Because they don’t have the guts to simply say that Sacramento doesn’t work for them.

Instead, they carry on the charade of looking for a way to blame Sacramento as a reason for relocating the team.

Don’t listen to their words. Study their actions.”

He points out that the Maloofs continue to say that there was strong “local opposition” to the new arena.  And yet, as Breton explains, the group most strongly opposed could not get enough people to sign their petition to put the issue on the ballot!!
Read Breton here and gain some real insight into sports.  I salute you sir.

POLL: Should Sacramento Kings Bring On Free-Agent Ryan Anderson? YES or NO?

Easy poll.  The Kings certainly need someone to play forward, especially if the guy can lead the league in 3-Pointers and since Jason Thompson isn’t jumping at their offer plus the clock is ticking and the guy is from the area.

So, should the Kings make a solid offer to Forward Ryan Anderson from the Orlando Magic?

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.

Sacramento Kings and the NBA—After the Lockout

Sacramento Kings logo
Image via Wikipedia

This is a post-lockout post covering the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

Want to revisit the “good-ole” lockout days and the Kings?  OK, go here.

When the season starts I (may) start an in-season post.

I will attempt to keep this post  organized in blocks covering

  • Free Agents and Rookies
  • The Arena rumblings
  • Other teams goings-on

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Free Agents & Rookie Signings

December 3rd:

The Kings are the frontrunner to sign Houston free-agent F Chuck Hayes, originally from Modesto California.

Not a player I would be interested in, but for a short-term front-line defense….I dunno??  More at the link above.

December 3rd:

Rumor is that Thornton is sought by “4 or 5 teams” including New Orleans.  I’m sure he is.  With a high average in less than half a season in Sacramento will boost his view to execs at (almost) just the right time.  He is a Restricted FA this season, so unless the Kings want him to leave he is staying in Sacramento.

So the questions become:

  • are there teams that just want to make an offer sheet & see the Kings match it?
  • are there teams that will make an offer and have a sign-an-trade in mind?

He will get a lot of looks, as he should.  He may be more valuable to other teams than to the Kings.  Thornton fit right in after Evans’ injury.  Now Evans is healthy and Jimmer is in town.  Minutes available to Thornton will probably go down.

Read the article here.

December 5th:

The Bee reports the Kings are ready to make offers to Dalembert and Thornton.

The Kings contacted the agents for guard Marcus Thornton and center Samuel Dalembert last week and will look to reach agreements with both this week in time for training camp Friday.

Thornton and Dalembert have drawn a lot of interest, but the Kings have an advantage in retaining both.

Dalembert is an unrestricted free agent, and the Kings have about $25 million under the salary cap to use in offering him a contract that would be worth more than contenders over the salary cap could offer.

Thornton is a restricted free agent. If a team signs Thornton to an offer sheet, the Kings will have three days to match it and retain him.” Read more at the link.

December 6th:

Read this article about Rumors, Free Agents and Deals that can help the Kings return to the playoffs this year, which would be their first playoff appearance since 2006.

The Kings will host the Lakers in the opener.

The Lakers won’t look quite the same during this visit. Coach Phil Jackson  retired, former Cleveland coach Mike Brown took his place, and center Andrew Bynum will be serving a five-game suspension for  body-slamming Dallas guard J.J. Barea in the playoffs. But Kobe Bryant returns for what figures to be another memorable  performance, and ex-Kings forward Ron Artest makes his first Sacramento appearance as Metta  World Peace. ” More at the link.

December 7th:

On Pearl Harbor Day, thank you to all of our WW II Veterans and their families for your service.

The Kings are considering how to spend the money they have under the cap to bring on some veterans in addition to their own FAs and rookies.

The team has plenty of cap space just to get up to the new minimum teams are required to spend.

The article states The Kings need to spend about $17 million in salary this season to reach the  minimum salary floor, and are approximately $25 million under the $58 million salary cap.

Now, I understand teams are not always completely upfront about money and their intentions, but saying they are some “25 to 58 million” below the cap is amusing.  It’s like me saying I made an error in my checkbook somewhere between $280 to $5,080….it’s that last missing 30 mill that will kill ya guys.

Here is a nice article with Six Moves the Kings Should Make.

Read the details at the link above,  but the basics are:  Find a PG (no shit?), move some SG’s (ditto), who is the starting SF?, don’t spend all your money on just one, keep Thornton, and add veterans.

I think Dalembert will be gone.  Without the lockout maybe they would have had a chance, but teams have had a lot of time to think and lottery teams that did not draft or trade for a “C’ will have renewed interest in Dalembert because he played well when the team won some games late last season.  Always helps your bottom line to play well when your team wins.

Which means the Kings need another center and since getting Nene or even Gasol are about nil,  Chandler would be great, I don’t see it happening.  And this article mentions Guard JJ Barrea as a possible pick-up, that would be nice but I’m sure Dallas will try hard to hold onto their players.  Sure, we will sign Hayes it seems, but how much Center do you really get?  He plays defense and plays bigger, but still he is 6’6″.  That is often a liability.

But the bigger issues are the need for the coach to get it in his head that players need a settled rotation.  People need to know what their role is.  What do I give to the team?  They need some stability in their minutes and their role in the team’s rotation.

I don’t care if it is Dalembert or Nene…the issue is the same.  Is  coach listening??

December 8th:

Updates:  Jersey numbers

JJ Hickson will wear #31 for the Kings, and

John Salmons will wear #5 in his second go round as a Sacramento King.

Chuck Hayes may not make it to a  spot with the Kings as the Minnesota Timberwolves are in hot pursuit and according to Hayes the Kings & Wolves are “neck to neck”.

NBA League business opens tomorrow (December 9th), and with the shortened time for trades, signings, FAs, team staffing and for the Kings to get up at least to the league minimum on team salaries–we could have a whirlwind month!!!

And checkout the new Back in Black jerseys for the Kings HERE.  Sweet!!!

December 9th:

A Sacramento Bee article today lays out an argument about the value of Dalembert to the Kings.  I usually don’t agree with the chick that wrote the piece but I do agree that an offer of $7 to $8 million per year for Dalembert is his fair value in this league.  He is not Chandler.  He is not Nene.  I would not cry if there is a sign-and-trade.

Concerns about Dalembert’s physical state are legitimate. In a belated  attempt to get in shape before his first season with the Kings, he strained an inner thigh muscle and missed all of training camp. More troublesome is the trickle-down effect: Dalembert was never fully healthy, bothered much of the  season by a swollen knee and sore hips.”

The Kings offer Thornton a $40 million for 5 years which is a fair offer for the young guard.  This offer broke in Sports Illustrated so it’s not just a local Kings rumor.  Late last season Thornton was a surprise offering pure offense after Evans was injured.  He does need defensive improvement but most young players do.

Update:  Thornton signs a deal!  Reports are a 4 year deal for $33 million.

The Kings renounced their rights to Samuel Dalembert (center) and Pooh Jeter (guard), Marquis Daniels (forward/guard) and Darnell Jackson (forward), according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.  ropping Dalembert was a surprise, I really expected a sign-and-trade, especially with the salary gap the Kings already have.  The team could still sign him in theory, but I think the odds of Dalembert coming back to the Kings are about nil.  More at the link above.

Why did the Kings release the rights to Samuel Dalembert??

Maybe because they were so close on Chuck Hayes?  Nah, that doesn’t make sense, Dalembert offers more—yeh, more contract but…plus there is always sign-and-trade.  He does have value out there, at least according to all the Twitterings.

By renouncing his rights the Kings give up Dalembert’s Larry Bird rights, a complicated bit of chicanery that results in Dalembert being unable to sign a five-year deal anywwhere in the NBA.  Folks say that must really tweak the player and his agent.  But why do that?  And why do it today?  Sure he had a big “hold” on the cap, but they released three other players that would have cleared the space needed to sign Hayes and Thornton.

Do they have (or hope to have) another FA signing and really needed big Cap room cleared?  That would make sense.  But if so, who?  That part doesn’t make much sense.  Clearing $19 million in Cap room opens up a lot of dollar space.

We shall see…

—–> I guess the question in today’s Sacramento Bee Sports section got answered.  Dalembert was only worth the cap room space to the Kings.

The Kings sign former Houston Center, Free Agent Chuck Hayes  Hayes filled in when Yao Ming was injured and helps fill behind the loss of Dalembert for the Kings.  I still have this picture in my head of the 6’6″ Hayes at “Center” standing at sidecourt next to Yao Ming.  It always made me laugh.

A 4 year deal worth $21 million.

Hayes is a good defensive player, always was going back to his Kentucky days.

Check out Jerry’s take on both Thornton and (more important) Hayes.

Dalembert may have a home in Texas.

So, first day of NBA business for this season and the Kings have been busy.  And productive.

They don’t have to fret about what to do with Dalembert, he is gone…probably.

They let three others go and free up cap space.

With that, they sign their own FA Thornton and a center (No, a PF) Hayes.

You Kings fans say you want defense?  Say hello to your new PF, Mr Chuck Hayes!  here he goes to work against KG…

And Amare Stoudamire let’s see the Chuck Wagon:

And Hayes stuffs Blake Griffin, Nowitzki and others.  I think we will enjoy this fireplug.

Not a great day but definitely not a bad one.

Around the league on Day 1 lots of trade rumors, some deals (in addition to the Kings) made for a busy day.

Here is a wrap-up.

Jimmer Fredette signed his Kings deal today.  Twitter him at @jimmerfredette and welcome him to the NBA!

The Kings also signed Rookies Tyler Honeycutt and Isaiah Thomas.

I’m not going to comment on all the Napear crap today except I hope he is right and the Kings are about to lock up a good player who can fit the team and move the Kings forward as we work on a new Arena.

Napear is a jerk for saying as much as he did.

I just wrote and deleted 3 more paragraphs about the Napear bizness.  Nuff said.

December 10th:

Mixed views on Thornton & Hayes.  Of course.  They are not BAD deals.  Maybe you could have saved a few bucks maybe not.  And run the risk of having an unhappy player in Thornton.  Now, as the Bee article says, Thornton feels “loved” in Sacramento and hopefully will contribute for some years to come.

Training camp opens this afternoon.  Check the little videos from Hayes & Thornton.  They are happy to be Kings, I tell ya it’s so important to have players that want to be here and appreciate their contracts.

Now the Kings apparently CAN sign-and-trade Dalembert, according to the Royal Pain blog…..to a massive one year contract to the Mavs.  Of course the Kings have wanted them some JJ Barea, but it is said they are hard after Tyson Chandler.  nice!!!

Chandler just went to the Knicks so we will see who the Mavs give up.

From SacTown Royalty “Mavs’ first swipe, I’m told, will be trying to do S-and-T w/Sacramento for Dalembert by using big trade exception from Tyson Chandler deal.

Today there are still a lot of postings about the “Mystery” player from last nights radio discussions.  Lots of rumors and “wanna” thoughts, nothing even close to solid.

The Kings signed Free Agents Lawrence Hill and Adrien Oliver to contracts today.  Hill is a Forward and played at Standford and then with Texas in the D-League while Oliver is a Guard from San Jose State (transfer from Washington) and played in Greece most recently.  We’ll see if either player lasts past training camp but after releasing four players yesterday they needed to fill out the roster.

Jason Jones from the Bee quotes Coach Westphal as saying the Kings don’t need to add any other players.  He likes the roster just as it is.  Well, Coach…really?  I like some players but if I was Coach I think I would want to get a proven PG and a veteran (not 6’6″) Center.  Even a veteran PF would be nice and thinning out the SFs would be a blessing.  Course, I guess that is why I am just a fan??

More from Coach vis Jason Jones “Westphal said he’d be surprised if his starting 5 wasn’t Evans, Thornton, Salmons, Hayes and Cousins.”

December 11th:

Good things coming out of the first day of camp!!

Cousins Looks Like A New Man

Check him out in some of the youTube videos online but Cousins does look much more mature physically.  It reminds you how young he was last season.

He is leaner. He is lighter. He is quicker. Really, his new body has to be seen  to be believed…

…Moving forward, Westphal wants Cousins to get into even better shape, cut down  his turnovers and control his emotions, reducing the number of times he stands  and pouts when he gets fouled, misses a shot or doesn’t get the ball.”  More at the link above.

Kings’ Evans says he’s feeling good as camp opens

Last summer Evans took some time off after his Rookie of the Year season.  This summer he worked out and although camp is very late, Evans feels and looks much better.  His injuries seem healed and during charity games this summer he played like an All-Star.

“”I wanted to be ready,” Evans said. “Especially if I didn’t play, I didn’t think  there was a reason to take a long time off. I thought it would be good to get in  the gym and keep working on my game….

…”I thought Tyreke and DeMarcus did a pretty good job of keeping their weight  down and being in shape,” Westphal said.

Westphal said the rookies did a good job of staying in shape, too.”

Read the rest of the Bee article at the link above.

Today’s Bee also reminds us that the Kings are interested in unrestricted FA Andrei  Kirilenko.  He’s not the player he once was after ten seasons with the Jazz, but Kirilenko would be a good veteran forward with very good defensive skills.  The Kings do still have quite a number of SFs.

He will be damn expensive.  Kirilenko made some $17.8 million last season.  His price will have to drop this year—-a lot.  But he will still be a big number.

But what could Kirilenko do for the Kings if they were to acquire him??

SacTown Royalty says they guess at the current team cap space to be around $13 million, so the Kings are still one of the few teams that could afford this FA.  They also argue Kirilenko is a better PF than SF, but that could be what he WAS vs what he IS now.  My guess would be SF.

Fans still think of AK as an All-Star (that was 2004) or at least All-Defense (last was 2006).  But he does still play good defense at 30 years old and would bring a veteran’s mindset and would be an improvement over Salmons who is better off the bench.  I keep hoping Donte Greene can get his head together but it just seems to be such a stretch for him.

To me, Kirilenko seems like a real upgrade at small forward, and I wouldn’t blink if the Kings offered him four years, $35 million (roughly what remains on Salmons’ contract). For perspective’s sake, the mid-level exception is worth $21.3 million over four years.

With Kirilenko as a starting small forward and Hayes at power forward, this could turn into a pretty decent defensive club almost immediately. A lot would depend on how Evans and Cousins develop at that end, but the potential for a good defensive team would be there.”  Read the rest at the link above.

December 12th:

Although the Coach says “Leave my team alone”, the Kings are mulling more personnel moves.

The Bee reminds us that the team and the fans anticipated some big moves this off-season.  We remember that big strides in improvement in that good old Win-Loss area are needed in order to convince folks in the greater Sacramento area that there would be positive benefit to building a new Arena.

You cannot convince the casual fan of that positive benefit if people don’t see the team trying to make strides toward improving the team—adding name quality players.

With the room we still have, there’s tremendous flexibility for trades, with  players and salaries and whatnot,” Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said. “Where we’re going to go with that, I really can’t tell. I really don’t know, so I really can’t tell you.”

The article talks about players already discussed here the last few days:  Kirilenko, JJ Barea and Dalembert.  Those folks could add to the team but they are not necessarily going to provide that name recognition that would help get the public interested in funding an Arena.

Chuck Hayes may be undersized for Center.  I certainly thought so.  But he us big enough for Forward even PF.  And since I have been watching him work his legs will win some games and will absolutely punish opponents.  Every single game Hayes just does what he can to help his team win.

It’s a four-quarter game,” Hayes said. “My opponent is going to get the best of  me sometimes, but if I outlast them for four quarters, eventually I’m going to  help my team win.”

December 14th:

JJ Hickson has a hard work ethic.  Everyone agrees on this back to his school days as well as his short tiem in college.  The Kings are hoping his willingness to work extra hard and learn will translate to improvement on defense.

Everyone expects that Hickson will rebound and his offense around the rim will improve.  He did seem to fall in love with the jump shot, a problem many big men face when they first hit the NBA and meet up with a lot of bigger and stronger guys.  Suddenly that jumper looks pretty nice.

So if JJ works hard, listens to the coaches and sees those things make positive improvements in his game he could become a very important King.

Today’s Bee says the Kings made an offer to Guard Jamal Crawford.  A nice veteran Guard who last played for the Hawks.  If it is not Crawford and/or Kirilenko the Kings will pick up someone as they still have to spend money to meet the league minimum.

And they still need to spend money to improve their team.  They still need improvement or backup at the PG spot at the very least, IMHO.

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Training Camp

Of course, training camp has been shortened this season due to the owners locking the players out and the league cutting the number of games but still wanting to get a long season in.

So with a 66 game season and no extension at the end of the year the compression hits training camp.  Which means players who failed to work hard this summer will pay a heavy price in camp and during the season.  And working too hard can put you in line for injuries like muscle pulls etc which can cause significant inuries that put a player out for a period of time or lingering injuries that can last all season.

I won’t give you notes every day of camp.  Mostly it would be the sdame ol’ blah blah.

Day 2 notes, December 11th:  the link will take you to the Cowbell Kingdom’s coverage today.  John Salmons says he has been impressed seeing the young guys on the team (damn near everybody is young) passing the ball and being very unselfish.  If that continues it can only create good things on the court.

When you watch a scrimmage, the fewer times you scream “give the ball up!” the better things are going for sure.

December 14th:

Cousins & Evans both leave practice early today with injuries.  At 5:15 pm there is no additional information on either player or their status for practice tomorrow.  They are now listed as day-to-day.

December 15th:

The Kings Annual ScrimmageCheck the gallery of 30 pics at the link.

Notes from the Scrimmages are here.

I am not certain what the team is thinking this year and next as far as growth.  Free Agents next year?  The draft again this year?  Just keep muddling along and hope everyone reaches their peak together>  Some heavy duty kagic??

My concern is that as a fan I want to hear rumblings out there that Sacramento is talking about Dwight Howard.  Or the Kings are talking to Chris Paul.

I understand Petrie keeps secrets and we are not in line to get those players.  But I want to hear people TALKING about the Kings.  Maybe if people think the Kings came close on Paul, maybe then the Kings DO come close on Dwight Howard.

Ya feel me??

December 21st

We have a game against the Golden State Warriors–and the Kings win!  Nice win since I had basically given up on the season not long ago.

Nice game for Tyle Honeycutt due to injuries and Jimmer Fidette.  Of course some starrters led including Thornton and JJ Hickson.

Coach was happy for Honeycutt.

Forward Travis Outlaw had his debut for the Kings, tender hand and all, swatting a pass away.

Coming our way

for the 2011/2012 Season

Live Game Coverage

and

Live Chat 

thru the Sacramento Bee and SacBee.com

This Sunday (Christmas Day) the Bee will feature full coverage, ready for the Kings league opener against the Lakers here in Sacramento, in a special section.

“To tell the team’s story this season, The Bee and sacbee.com will present coverage that provides in-depth looks at the team and its players along with expanded up-to-the-minute coverage on the Kings blog and juiced-up game-day coverage featuring live chats for all 33 home games.”

Read it all at the Bee link above.

Decmber 24th:

Looking at predictions for 2011/2012 most folks seem to be lining up around 25 wins during this lockout shortened season.

25 this year translates to 32 over an 82 game season, so not bad.

The BleacherReport says we can go 7-3 in our first 10 games.  That is a possibility as we have quite a few home games.

Four  of the first five Kings games are in Sacramento. As a media side note, only one game all year will be on TNT and eight games will air on NBA TV.

  • Monday, December 26th – Win against Lakers, 101-97
  • Tuesday, December 27th – Win at Portland 90-83
  • Thursday, December 29th – Loss to Chicago, 100-86
  • Saturday, December 31st – Win against New York, 95-89
  • Sunday, January 1st – Win against New Orleans, 101-94
  • Tuesday, January 3rd – Loss at Memphis - 91-87
  • Wednesday, January 4th – Win at Denver 106-100
  • Thursday, January 5th – Win over Milwaukee - 96-91
  • Sunday, January 8th – Loss to Orlando - 90-82
  • Tuesday, January 10th – Win at Philadelphia 95-89″

7 wins would be a great start.  I see 5, but I will be praying for more.

HoopsWorld has a much more even report on the Kings upcoming season.

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December 16th:

You have heard that Doctors are testing Chuck Hayes for a heart abnormality.  It is too early to say what impact a possible abnormality may have on our new PF’s career.  We just wish him well.

December 21st past 6 pm

  Here is the article covering the lastest of the heart problems with Chuck Hayes.

December 22nd:

A Bay Area article talks about the challenges the Kings face.

It has been a strange Dalembert goings-on kinda day!

First we hear from Dalembert’s agent that he has siged some kind of contract (??) with the Kings.

Then we hear Hayes’ had another medical test (in Cleveland) and came up clean.  Ready to report to Sacramento (??)  Except…

Didn’t we cancel his contract?  And cut him lose as soon as possible??  (understandible, just asking)

Well, the end call is that Dalembert signed with the Rockets and will not be back

Chuck Hayes is reportedly clean to play RoundBall again.

December 23rd:

Charlie Hayes returns to the Kings.  It made for a strange period, but the Kings say “welcome home Charlie.”

Coach Westphal says Hayes will return to Sacramento on Saturday, December 24th and start on Monday, December 26th.

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Arena Rumblings

December 6th:

The Arena sponsor, Power Balance, may be leaving.  Power Balance is going thru some legal difficulties including an apparent auctioning off as part of a court settlement for bankruptcy.

Read all about it at the link above.  Hard to say if this is good or bad.  The Kings lose some money today but they then have an opening that they could also attach to the new Arena.

And here are some interesting possibilities for Arena names based on some of our well-known local businesses!

December 9th:

Magic Johnson is once again suggesting he will put money in Sacramento.  During the summer there was the possibility Magic may jump in as a part-owner  if the Maloofs sell, now he said something when he was in Sacramento last night indicating he will put big money into a new Arena for the Sacramento Kings.

Read about it at the Cowbell Kingdom and comment here if you want.

And Sacramento releases the details of Arena funding.

The city of Sacramento, the National Basketball Association, the Sacramento Kings and the development team will need to collectively pony up $387 million to build a new entertainment and sports complex downtown, according to a report that will be unveiled at Tuesday’s (December 13th) City Council meeting.”

Much more at the link above.

December 11th:

Today’s Editorial from the Bee—City should take next step on arena

Read the entire editorial at the link above.

There is more than enough reason for City Council members to take the next  step toward a proposed long-term lease of city-owned parking to help pay for a  new downtown Sacramento arena.

Agreeing Tuesday to issue a “request for qualifications” would be like you  putting your house on the market. It lets everyone know you’re interested in  selling for the right price, but you’re not committing to anything.

Still, the vote is essential to find out whether a parking deal can provide  most of the city’s share of the $387 million-plus arena – and whether this  complicated, risky transaction makes sense for the city.”

Jason Jones from the Bee tells us that Petrie says “Kings are about $1 million under minimum salary figure. Dalembert has not been ruled out entirely.  Adding a veteran PG or another big are options for the Kings with Evans backed up by two rookies.”

December 14th:

Last night the City Council voted to approve the next step on the Arena and move things forward.  Details on the action are found at the link.

The primary issue for the Council wa to enure that Sacramento doe not get stuck with the full cost.  This is the issue for everyone—the city, the county, the owners, the suburbs, the public.  So if everyone is able to agree on a piece of the cost maybe this thing can actually happen.

The Vote was 7-2

Alright, it was still pretty boring, but Tuesday’s meeting had everything you could ask for in a five-hour local government showdown, including human PowerPoint presentations, #Occupy protestors, some normal people, the villain city council member, people whose sole purpose in life is to show up at every city council meeting and speak on every issue, people that sang during their two minutes to speak, the transvestite with a keen business acumen, and of course, the mayor that dunked on Hakeem Olajuwon like he was Timofey Mozgov.”

Read the article at the link above.

Another good thing in the Bee today:  it is not strictly basketball but it is sports—and PRO sports in Sacramento.

We may get a professional soccer team to be located in Elk Grove which is a bedroom community in the South Sacramento County.  Sacramento has a ton of soccer fas and sports fans support each other.  They understand the needs.

Read all about soccer in Sacramento at the link.  This is exciting!!

December 16th:

For the first time, the Maloofs signal that the March 1st deadline for “A new Arena…or else” may not be drawn in cement after all and may have some flexibility.

Small Market, Big Heart      Documentary Film

Where:    Crest Theater, downtown Sacramento

When:     Grand Opening Monday January 9th: at 7 pm

Small Market, Big Heart, the full-length documentary designed to share the compelling story of the people of Sacramento and their battle to acquire and preserve a professional sports franchise over the last 26 years, will premiere at the Crest Theatre on Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m”  Read more about the film at the link above.

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Other Team Goings-On

December 8th:

Late in the night I, like you, heard that the NBA (Stern) had vetoed the Chris Paul trade from the Hornets to the Lakers with a stop to drop off Pau Gasol in Houston.  Yes, it would have put the Lakers at the top of the heap (again) but it wouldn’t guarantee them a championship.  In fact, it would be nice to see them get their player but not win…kind of like some years with the Yankees for you baseball fans.

I don’t know what to think about it.  I hated the trade because the Kings never get trades like that.  But I hated Sterns meddling even more.  Especially since peeps (knowledgeable peeps) are saying Mark Cuban was the primary complaining owner.  The last guy in the world I would listen to.  And, of course Cuban would whine.  When does he not whine?

The Lakers will find another way to sign big stars that the Kings and Hornets cannot sign.  It is Los Angeles.  It used to be every player wanted to go to New York, now for basketball players it is Los Angeles.  I get it.

So the Lakers will get big-name stars and the Kings will get leftovers and disgruntled players and good rookies some of which decide to stay…if we win.

Revisit the Kings & Lakers rivalry in a great photo history here.

I enjoyed this!!

December 9th:

OK, so the things that confuse me about the now nixed Paul trade are that:

1)  the Hornets are (for now) OWNED by the NBA.  So everytime you hear the words “New Orleans Hornets” replace them with “the NBA” or even with “the David Stern”.

It is beyond strange that the NBA would decide to trade Paul and then the NBA would prevent the trade from going thru.  Stern is now fighting with himself??

2)  How could the NBA even propose this trade and think fans would see it as even near to being fair?  The Hornets (the NBA or the David Stern) would have received NOBODY in return.  Nobody.  Yes, Odom & 3 stiffs (we remember Kevin Martin) and a draft pick.  For Chris Paul to the Lakers?  Like they had no one worthwhile to trade back?  They have been trying to dump Odom for many years.  He could have been a very good player now he is what he is.  Not a bad NBA player just not worthy of Chris Paul.

So, let’s just GIVE the Lakers the best young Point Guard in the league?  During this new post the 2011 CBA which made small-market teams the equals of the Lakers?

This deal which the owners fought so hard for, resulting in loss of games, loss of fans, loss of prestige—was supposed to have prevented things like this from happening.  As soon as ink is on the paper what kind of trade happens?  And what team is involved in conspiracy with the league?

How does the NBA/Stern offer a lopsided trade to make the Lakers the kings of the NBA again??  If someone other than the NBA owned the Hornets it is a wierd trade.  Since the NBA purchased the Hornets (remember?) it is now more than wierd.  And now the NBA steps in to say “Oh, you bad owner of the Hornets trying to make this trade!”, when the NBA IS the bad owner of the Hornets?  Too funny.  Too funny.

Big names and big cities—abound today.

Accusations of tampering/Dwight Howard/Nets, and supposedly trade talks for Chris Paul resume with…

And, of course…NBA owners DENY that they were the ones who stopped the Chris Paul Trade.

Let’s see:  the NBA now owns the Hornets, the NBA/Stern made the Paul trade and the NBA/Stern pulled the trade  back after it was made and then the NBA/Stern blamed the pull-back on the other team owners especially Mark Cuban.  Yet the owners deny even complaining about the trade.

So, now will it go through?

Paul could have been in Los Angeles on Friday, ready to pair up with Kobe Bryant as the next star in Hollywood. That fell apart Thursday when the league, which owns the Hornets, rejected a three-team trade the club had agreed to for “basketball reasons,” denying the decision came about because of pressure on Stern from irate owners.

And instead of the immediate boost the league craved coming out the lockout with free agency and training camps opening, it found itself with another public relations disaster.”

Criticism of the NBA squashing Paul trade is pouring in“.  From the web sites I have seen people are complaining about the leagues role in all of it, not just the “squashing”.

People complainined about the trade, and then complained the trade got stopped.

They are unhappy with the NBA.  Period.

The above article, and others, make it seem inevitable that the NBA will force Paul’s move to the Lakers in another trade.  And they think peeps will think that is fair??

Dwight Howard formally requested that the Orlando Magic trade him.

The Magic granted permission to three teams to talk to Howard’s agent about a possible trade.

No, Sacramento did not receive permission.  But New Jersey did, even in the midst of some very serious tampering charges.  The other teams are the Dallas Mavericks and the…..Los Angeles Lakers.

Why did the owners want that lockout again?  What was the purpose of nearly blowing the NBA up??  Oh yeh, so that the best players on the planet could all go to just one or two teams.  Right!

December 12th:

So, with his formal trade request the Lakers are after Howard.

By making the trade with the Mavs, moving Lamar Odom for a #1 pick and a “trade exception” the Lakers position themselves to play for Dwight Howard rather than Chris Paul (for the moment).

The Lakers are expected to offer Bynum and Dallas draft pick for Howard and try to fit him under the exception, worth some $8.9 million.

Kobe went public saying he did not like the whole thing and was ushered into Mitch Kupchak’s office to talk about it, but Odom was gone by then.

Where does Paul go?  The Clippers are still on his original list of three teams…did he or will he add some more acceptable partners?  And did Howard give up on New York/New Jersey just because peeps are in trouble for perhaps talking to Howard when they were not able to?  Will Howard fit into the amount of salary the Lakers can now pay?  Will Orlando allow his agent to talk to any additional teams if the Laker deal cannot be worked out?

What a couple of high-profile messes these have turned out to be after all of the summer lockout drama which was specifically supposed to even the field out and ensure the small market teams can compete with LA and NY for big-name players and league titles.

It’s early, but none of this builds confidence.

Other activity:

Mike Bibby will play back-up PG for the NY Knicks.

PF David West has signed with the Indiana Pacers for 2 years at $20 million.

The Warriors used their Amnesty Waiver to let guard Charlie Bell go and save some of his salary.  Plus, since Bell showed up drunk at his DUI hearing maybe he didn’t even notice he was cut loose.

The Warriors then offered young Center DeAndre Jordan a 4 year contract.  The Clippers have 3 days to match the offer for their restricted FA Jordan.  I don’t think they will take that long.

PF Grant Hill re-signed with the Phoenix Suns for one more year.

A busy day around the league but those big names are still out there tantalizing people.

December 12th:

Clippers submit offer to league for CP3.  It is a big offer ut the NBA wants PG Bledsoe as well.  Clippers are unsure.  Now the league is also asking for a 2nd pick because the NBA does not want Paul moved out of New Orleans.

Everything fell apart today:

Chris Paul trade to Clippers is dead–the demands of the NBA were “too steep” as the league kept up with “give us just one more” until the Clips said “no”.

Dwight Howard decided he will stay in Orlando “if things change”.

Grizzlies trade Guard OJ Mayo to Pacers.  Details on all of these changes are at the Mayo link.

Jason Jones asks:  “Is David Stern going to coach the Hornets?”

That is the best damn Tweet I have read in two years.  Thanks @mr_jasonjones

From Ken Berger at CBS Sports Executives are trying to revive the “Chris Paul to the Clippers” trade talks.

Plenty of teams want in on the Chauncy Billups talks.  Dwight Howard says he would stay in Orlando if Billups signs with them.

Chris Bosh wants Billups to sign in Miami.

Split the difference and have just one Florida team??  “Billups has threatened to retire if a team he doesn’t want to play for claims him… such as a team with Deron Williams already at the point guard like the Nets. The reason the Nets put in a bid is to keep him away from the Magic — they want to trade for Dwight Howard, they don’t want him to suddenly start to be happy in Orlando.”

December 14th:

Wednesday morning one-liners.

Chris Paul trade is approved—to the Los Angeles—Clippers

Marc Stein at @ESPNSteinLine reports  “ESPN sources say NBA approval to be issued by night’s end to seal CP3 and 2 future 2nd-rounders to Clips for Gordon/Kaman/Aminu/Sota first (round pick)

That is a very big price to pay.  You get a great player in Paul, but Gordon and a 1st round pick, that’s a lot.

Trade talks for Dwight Howard are called off by the Magic.

Consider this the Magic throwing cold water on the process they thought was getting overheated.”

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