With the uncertain fate of Darren Collison rapidly approaching, it leaves Sacramento scrambling to find a reliable second option at the point guard position. We don’t know if the NBA will give Collison a suspension but it is likely considering the NBA’s domestic violence policy.
“We have in place the appropriate mechanisms for discipline, although we’ll take a fresh look at those as well,” Adam Silver said in 2014. “But most importantly, it’s education, and it’s not just the players, but it’s the players’ families. That’s what we’re learning, too. We have to take these programs directly to the players’ spouses, directly to their partners so that they’re aware of places they can go to express concerns, whether they’re anonymous hotlines, team executives, league executives. And we’re consulting experts. There’s a lot to be learned here. It’s a societal problem; it’s not one that’s unique to sports.”
The departure of Rajon Rondo combined with a short list of available free agent point guards leaves the Kings with little options. Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley joined Rondo as the most sought out point guards in free agency but Sacramento failed to capitalize.
Sacramento did add depth to the point guard position when Vlade Divac drafted 6-foot-5 point guard, Isaiah Cousins with the 59th overall pick. But with Collison’s fate pending and an inexperienced guard in Cousins, Sacramento has a concerning issue.
The remaining list of point guard free agents is slim and acting quickly will only make the situation better for the franchise.
At the top of the list of available free agents is Ty Lawson. Lawson has expressed his interest in joining the Kings, according to Cowbell Kingdom, but Sacramento has failed to make moves on their end. Adding Lawson would only ease the situation since bringing him in would be on a short-term deal, making it a low-risk, high-reward move. Lawson was considered a borderline All-Star just two years ago and has more of a polished resume than most players on the market.
Sacramento is caught in a rut of sorts, as the only options are to tank or make another run at an eighth seed with Cousins as the center piece. Unless the Kings make some trades before the season starts there will have to be a free agent pick up coming in the near future.
My personal favorite free agent on the market as of now is Mario Chalmers. Chalmers is a solidified champion that has won on every level of his profession. Adding a veteran to a youthful team does nothing but good things for a franchise that lacks leadership. When Miami traded him to Memphis, it did wonders for him as he went on to average a career-high in points.
Rounding out the top three is Norris Cole. Cole is another Miami bred point guard who understands the work ethic and dedication in becoming a champion. Cole has starting experience and wouldn’t be a bad option to roll with into the season.
Without a trustful starting point guard along with and an abundance of youth, Sacramento needs to establish a new culture this upcoming season. Will the focus of the organization go hand in hand with a playoff run or will the Kings take the Philadelphia 76ers approach from a few years back?
Moves have been made in the recent years to show a promise of a playoff run by acquiring Rondo and Rudy Gay, but with multiple departures and front office changes, the Kings will need to make a stand in 2016.
The hype heading into next season has not been very high considering where it should be as the Kings make their move into the new Golden 1 Center.
// Going after any of the free agents I named doesn’t scream “championship,” but it can improve the camaraderie and short-term stability surrounding the organization.
Heading into a season that is filled with so much potential and opportunity, it needs to be backed up with some validity at the point guard position. Sitting at eighth in the league with $88,646,836 million invested in player’s contracts, the Kings don’t have much flexibility, but that doesn’t mean they can’t go after a solid point guard.