These Kings were never going to win the 2007-08 NBA championship anyway. They were a stretch even to sniff the postseason. And with Mike Bibby expected to miss two months following thumb surgery, joining Ron Artest and Spencer Hawes on the sidelines for Wednesday's regular-season tipoff, this sure looks like a good time to punt, to officially kick off a new campaign.
The dreaded "R" word for rebuilding swirls around the palate more smoothly these days, like one of those Amador County zinfandels. Or perhaps the more prudent approach is to let the Kings breathe on their own for a while.
Maybe Artest will re-emerge as the league's premier defender, Hawes will enjoy an auspicious debut, Kevin Martin will continue expanding his game, Brad Miller will remain lean and mean, and Francisco Garcνa and Quincy Douby will develop into consistent contributors. Maybe someone on the roster will imitate a starting power forward. Maybe Geoff Petrie will obtain a quality point guard to provide perimeter shooting easily Bibby's greatest asset and of equal importance, to handle the ball and initiate the offense. Maybe Reggie Theus will avoid the usual assortment of rookie coaching blunders.
But probably not. The first month more realistically will ensure that subsequent months are dominated by the salary cap clearing measures that allow for a long-anticipated roster overhaul
Though neither Petrie nor any of the other Kings officials would admit it publicly, if the season progresses as expected and most preseason projections penciled the Kings into the lottery before Bibby's injury the next key date will be the February trade deadline. Current Kings with bloated salaries (Bibby and Miller) could find themselves swapped for draft picks. Artest, who can opt out of his contract in the offseason, could be gone as well, exchanged for a younger, less troubled player, and preferably with Kenny Thomas or Shareef Abdur-Rahim along for the trip.
With the pretense of making the playoffs no longer an issue, maneuvers would be pursued for the obvious reason: to significantly improve the talent level while responsibly managing the team cap situation. No more adding overpaid role players to a hopelessly flawed roster for the sole purpose of evading the lottery. The organization's attempt to remain competitive while moving beyond the Chris Webber era led to an unwieldy cap situation, ill-advised veteran free-agent signings, and the assembling of non-complementary players and personalities.
Nothing is guaranteed. Not health, not championships, and these days in Arco Arena, not even sellouts.
"Regardless of whether we make the playoffs," added Theus, "the guys want a chance to regain some credibility with the fans. They'll give effort and play with energy. They want to (win) the crowd back. I don't think there is anything wrong with that."
This isn't even newsworthy. Why even write an article about this? Everybody knows the kings need to rebuild, and if he was doing his job, he'd actually see it's virtually impossible to dump some of these contracts unless they are in an expiring year, which is in the next few years. Realistically, the Kings won't be much better for another 3 or 4 years.
The Kings are trying to get rid of Bibby and Artest to rebuild. Those are the only trades that I could think those teams would plus give up some picks but ah well. Its really going to go down hill with Bibby out and Artest suspended.
problem with keeping artest AND rebuilding is that he is in a contract year - and his offcourt problems notwithstanding, he is certainly getting underpaid for being one of the best defensive players in the league...and bibby's injury doesn't make it any easier to move him, though if we don't resign him that's a bunch of money that comes off the table...once kenny, brad, and bibby's contracts are all out of here we can start thinking about seriously rebuilding.
i'm guessing one of brad or bibby will be gone by february unless they are just gonna let them expire without getting anything back besides cap space...
NY's players are overpaid with long contracts. You don't want those
lol we already have BM, kenny and now mikki moore with contracts we don't need...getting them would just be breaking even, though probably with more talent...our team is sh*t right now...greene is gonna be really decent, udrih can maybe contribute, but is not worth starter minutes but really anyone we trade for is gonna be overpaid since the people we are trading with are overpaid...i think it might be more beneficial to our rebuilding to just let the contracts expire, while still selling tickets this year and then work the FA/draft next season...
i think with the crazy FA market next season, the big names will get overpaid and leave the lesser players more affordable than would otherwise be the case...bibby is great, but frankly not really worth what we have been paying him the last couple seasons...depending on what artest asks and what his off court behavior suggests, we may need to just drop him too...however, if he is affordable in his asking price, we should resign him next to martin and rebuild with him as our veteran to our young players....
i think the mikki signing was anti-productive for the rebuilding...KT needs to go...if miller can't produce this season, he might need to go, bibby might need to go if we can't afford his asking price, but if he can offer a discount for loyalty to the team, we might have to lose him - i think he could be on the down side of his career within a year or two...
we have some decent young talent now, as long as we can provide them minutes and develop them...nobody likes talent rotting on the bench...