Every team has issues, and the Kings are no different.
Do issues keep teams from winning? Not always. They just give media types more to talk about, truthfully. And here’s what I’m talking about.
1) Forward thinking: They have two power forwards with two things in common: Kenny Thomas and Shareef Abdur-Rahim both envision themselves as starters; and both lack the sort of well-rounded game the Kings need. The line I’ve heard more than once now is how the Kings would have quite the power forward if they could combine the scoring ability of Abdur-Rahim and the defense of Thomas. They can’t though, which may have something to do with the rumblings of their interest in Seattle power forward Chris Wilcox.
According to the Seattle Times, the Kings are among three teams that made contact with the SuperSonics regarding trade options for the 23-year-old. Wilcox, who was traded from the Clippers to the SuperSonics midway through last season, showed promise in his 29 games in Seattle. For the first time in his four-year career, he saw significant playing time and responded by averaging 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in 30.1 minutes.
2) On the rebound: They have been unable to land big man help for center Brad Miller. The Team USA member will always be an asset offensively, but he’s a declining rebounder (from 10.3 per game in 2003-04 to 7.8 last season) on a team that just lost its second-leading boards man in Bonzi Wells. Word is former Kings center and free agent Scot Pollard has tried to get back to Sacramento. That’s a bit of a change from early in the free agency period, when Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie pursued then-free agent center Joel Pryzbilla of Portland.
3) What’s the point? Point guard Jason Hart, who exercised his $1.68 million player option for the following season, doesn’t seem to be part of the plans. That could make for one unsatisfied player come October. Hart is as classy as they come, but he’s a competitor, too.
But hey, at least they don’t have to pay for a language coach for Sergei Monia anymore. The Russian small forward who was released by the Kings last month signed on with MBC Dynamo Moscow in his homeland, according to Eurobasket.com.
- Sam Amick