Most of the talk, regionally and nationally, claim that the Sacramento Kings did not do much of anything in the offseason to improve. I BEG to differ! Since the 2020-21 NBA trade deadline and during this offseason, I think the Kings have made moves to improve, with the ultimate goal of making the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
One of those groups that have improved this offseason is the Kings group of ‘big men’. Big man play has been one major ‘missing link’ in Sacramento’s success recently. The current rotation of Kings big men has a lot of potential! They can learn lessons from Kings paint prowlers of the past … the perseverance of Jason Thompson, the passion of DeMarcus Cousins, and the panache of a Scot Pollard.
It may not seem like it to some, but the Sacramento Kings have been working this offseason to put themselves in a position to break their 15-year playoff-less streak. The improved big man group will play a key role in the Kings success this season.
BIG Moves in SacTown
One of the highlights of the offseason and going forward for the Kings is the BIG MAN group. The Kings were able to retain fan favorite and one of the NBA’s most improved players, Richaun Holmes. Improving young players like Chimezie Metu and Damian Jones also return looking to earn more meaningful minutes. The Kings also upgraded their ‘backup/BIG’ center position by signing Alex Len, and not re-signing Hassan Whiteside. Addition by subtraction is a thing in SacTown.
Trade for Need
Sacramento dipped their toes in the trade market this offseason, trading guard Delon Wright for a veteran big man, with championship experience, Tristan Thompson. In my opinion, Wright was a great fit for the Kings. Though, with their current roster, the Kings had a great problem on their hands – too many good guards. So, they used that ‘capital’ to trade for a NEED. This is something the Kings have RARELY been able to do in my 20+ years of SacTown fandom.
I also think making moves like this will help set the ‘tone’ across the NBA for the Kings. Showing other teams, general managers, and players that the Kings are dedicated to building a winning culture. Which hasn’t been the view across the league since the days of C-Webb and Peja … will Delon Wright and Tristan Thompson pave the way for the next great Kings squad, akin to the years of Lawerence Funderburke and Corliss Williamson.
Sacramento also improved through the draft for the SECOND YEAR IN A ROW. The Kings used their second-round selection to add the best defensive big man in the draft, Neemias Queta, out of Utah State. Queta will be one of the Kings ‘two way players‘ splitting his time between G-League affiliate Stockton Kings, along with forward Lou King. Shoot, speaking of big men … I’m sure we will see Kings first round selection Davion Mitchell switch onto and lockdown many bigger players as well. No mouse in this house!
Summer League Gems
One up-and-coming player to keep an eye on is center Emmanuel Terry. Terry played well during the Kings 2021 NBA Summer League CHAMPIONSHIP, averaging 7.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game! That play earned Terry a summer contract and an invite to training camp.
What do YOU think?
The current rotation of Kings big men has a lot of potential! They can learn lessons from Kings paint prowlers of the past … the perseverance of Jason Thompson, the passion of DeMarcus Cousins, and the panache of a Scot Pollard.
In a future article, I will outline THREE reasons to watch the Sacramento Kings big man group this upcoming season, and how they have improved this offseason.
The NBA regular season tips off Tuesday, October 19th for some and October 20th in Portland, for the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings coaching staff will have a lot of potential lineups to tinker with as the 82 game season unfolds! Maybe we can even talk about an 83rd game for SacTown … for the first time since 2006!