i watched most of tonigts game, i thought brad had another good game, and i honestly hope we keep him (though at a lower pay once his contract is up) he would be a perfect mentor for spencer hawes. i also wouldn't be opposed to just keeping artest since he is such a dynamic presence on our team - nobody we could get back would replace his defense, and his 3pt % has improved tremendously from last year and genuinely seems to be in control of most of his game (much like the year of his uber suspension) and he played very well tonight
shelden williams had brief flashes of what could be a replacement for the waived justin williams, though i feel like he is one of the expiring contracts we are using to clear cap space.
i really wish we wouldn't have signed mikky moore, no matter what kind of decent game he might have from time to time...we should have saved the money to resign artest AND keep justin (read "cheap shot blocking and building talent long term") artest would have been a GREAT part of even our semi-long term goals and would really be a good defensive minded player to help the rest of the team. when he plays all out, the whole team benefits from his energy and talent. he is a dynamic player, and i feel the worst is behind him, i really hope we keep artest.
the bibby trade was inevitable, and unfortunately, he had to leave. Great player for the legacy of the Kings, but it was time for a change. we will see how those changes play out, they will either be something worth praising by fans or they will be the source of yet more criticism of the team and coach as a whole. at least theus is doing a better job than mussleman did.
i'm both nervous and excited about the future of this team. shelden williams might be worth keeping if we didnt just sign moore for a bit. i think we will keep brad and resign him for a lesser contract to help keep the big men grow and develop, but we need a legit player to start at PF...mikki, KT, SAR, shelden, et. al, are not starting 5 caliber players.
for the rest of the team, beno is a good starter for now, but i'm not sure how much better he can get. he would be a terrific backup to a veteran/good point guard and is a very serviceable starter for the time being. our young players need to develop, but otherwise have some decent chemistry (salmons, garcia, udrih, martin, douby, etc.) and play well together. artest adds the defense sorely needed by most teams to defend the best player (usually the SG or SF on a team)
anyway...this team has potential if it grows the right way. i would not mind keeping artest at all if he winds up not requesting a huge contract, with brad kept in place to train his replacement in hawes. our pg situation could use the most help, since udrih is semi inconsistent and not a major player. we need to upgrade our 4 spot from overpaid role players to a legit defensive/shotblocker who can score when called on. our bigs don't have to be the main offensive presence, but we need someone who can actually worry defenses from the offensive end. we need a serious playmaker PG to compliment salmons/martin/hopefully artest/garcia. our PG is probably our weakest spot, even though we have like 19 players for it. we are honestly only a few players from being a really good team.
with the current lineup we have beat several very good teams like detroit, san antonio, dallas, orlando, etc. we are not a bad team when our engines are running strong. some of our engine components have just been slightly lacking.
in a tight west contest, we are going to need to step up several levels to be considered legit, regardless of what we do in the regular season. i'm looking forward to see where this team winds up in the hands of petire. good luck kings, i'll be cheering the whole way!!