The Sacramento Kings spent over $60 million guaranteed this offseason with no assurances of a return on their investment. Probability argues that at least a few signees will pan out, but the success of a major roster overhaul is as much a guarantee as a winter forecast. Nonetheless meteorologists and NBA observers can at least point to clues and trends to ease their anxieties.
The expectations for each of the Kings’ offseason additions widely vary, but consider that the next Jeremy Lin might be an ankle roll away. Comparing the imports, who do you think will make the biggest difference on the court next season? (Poll below.)
The four-time All-Star and former NBA champion will be handed the keys to the offense and be in charge of slowing opposing point guards. Rondo’s game has slipped in the past few seasons due to injury, yet the distributor could emerge as the third star the Kings desperately need.
One of the worst teams in the NBA at shooting 3’s could do worse than signing Stephen Curry’s kin. Curry will be buried on the depth chart entering training camp, but improved defense and a hot streak from downtown in practice or the preseason may open a pathway to minutes.
A contributor for the Spurs’ 2014 championship squad, Belinelli is expected to step in immediately and consistently spread the floor. Based on the wing’s track record, the least concern for worry is a Stauskas-esque shooting slump. His defense is another story however.
No one’s asking the 35-year-old to score 20 points a game and lock down primary options like before. 3-point shooting and perimeter stops in spurts along with savvy leadership will suffice.
Can the switch flip on for Anderson? The disappointing former first round pick has yet to show he can contribute on both ends reliably. Fortunately the shooting guard feels the urgency to turn his career around.
The undrafted free agent showed off a pretty 3-pointer in Las Vegas Summer League. Maintaining his outside accuracy and proving his defensive competence is his best bet to stick in the association.
Last time in purple and black, Acy carved a niche as a high-flying energy big. He returns a year later with a more polished jump shot and a better understanding of guarding stretch fours.
The pressure is on the sixth overall pick to rescue the Kings defense, particularly from pick-and-rolls. If his rim-protection and aggressiveness scoring in the key during Summer League can translate to the NBA, DeMarcus Cousins has finally found his frontcourt partner.
Speaking of sidekicks, Koufos was born for the role. The polished pivot can efficiently score inside, defend inside, clean the glass and run the floor. He’ll be fed substantial minutes from the onset and is another candidate to start next to Cousins.