Sacramento Kings – 2017-18: Time To Crown A New King— October 17th 2017
By: Connor Ulrey
Regular season NBA basketball is back. And after a summer of drama, trades, hype, and celebration we’re ready to kick up dust again. Following a solid offseason, let’s have a look at what the new-look Kings offer in 2017-18.
Following last season’s mid-season showcase, the Kings moved disgruntled All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, and are now committed to a younger and more balanced squad. In that trade, the Kings added a shining second-year player in Buddy Hield, who played well down the stretch for Sacramento. Further, Willy Caulie-Stein looks ready to control the post without Cousins’ presence.
Additionally, while Vlade Divac has caught flack in recent years for his stewardship, this offseason might be his most successful as Sacramento’s GM. The choice to add George Hill, along with veterans Zach Randolph and Vince Carter brings guidance to a recent draft haul filled with malleable talent.
The question now is what roles do these guys play for this team. Think about this because the team’s remaining core is so young. Only five guys on the active roster are over the age of 26. Veteran presence doesn’t go unnoticed, and I expect all three grizzled additions to play significant parts to open the season. Meanwhile, De’Aaron Fox looked stellar in preseason play, but George Hill’s presence in Fox’s development can’t be overlooked.
Though, the guy I see becoming the Kings’ lead veteran spark plug is Vince Carter. At 40, Carter continues to astound, making plays guys in their 20’s dream of. His ability to come off the bench and provide points in bunches will boost a young offense which could struggle against better defenses.
That said, Head Coach Dave Joerger has questions to answer concerning how he wants to piece together this lineup.
Fox, along with Harry Giles and Justin Jackson, made the Kings draft class one of the league’s brightest in years. Divac’s shrewd selections make one think of NFL draft night and how Cleveland fared. Forget the Browns are 0-6, there’s something to be said about adding those pieces.
With all the veteran/rookie interplay I haven’t mentioned Frank Mason III! One of my favorite additions to the Kings’ offense could create a potent two-headed point guard monster in Sac-Town.
Fox is a crafty floor general who can execute the fast break like second nature. Mason, the NCAA’s reigning POY, is in the words of Dick Vitale, a “PTP-er” a prime-time player. Lights are never too bright for Mason and playing his way into a legitimate role doesn’t seem out of reach for this team.
Shoring up the core with veteran voices:
Again, veteran George Hill could be instrumental in helping build Mason. In fact, Hill’s veteran presence could have a touchstone effect on this roster for many years. Credit Divac for noticing this.
Harry Giles is another player who can benefit from Sacramento’s proven hands. Giles never lived up to it at Duke as copious injuries kept him from showing his five-star prospect talent. However, he has time to grow on this roster. With Cauley-Stein and Labissiere, and Randolph and Cooley, he’s not pressured to do too much too soon. That relaxed setting can tremendously help Giles’ NBA transition.
In closing, the Kings feature many unique pieces, and if they fit early, this team could produce a few surprise October wins. Whether they will, though, remains to be seen. Nonetheless, Sacramento’s draft picks should make an early statement, and De’Aaron Fox may challenge for coveted Rookie of the Year honors.