Question: Do you think that (Kings coach Reggie Theus’) past experience with (Kings swingman Francisco) Garcia at Louisville is blinding him to the fact that his shot selection is horrible and he spends way too much time dribbling away the shot clock? For all the talk about turnovers and missed free throws against the Knicks, it was his quick shot in OT that was the most egregious misstep. Sometimes his hubris is amazing for one so unproven. And some of the faithful still think (Kings point guard Mike) Bibby is a ballhog...just amazing! What do you think? - Spencer W., Sacramento
Answer: (Quick disclaimer: this was written before Garcia's effective 10-points, four rebound, one turnover outing against Detroit) For quick background for those unaware, Theus was an assistant coach at Louisville for two seasons while Garcia was dominating and leading his team to the Final Four in 2005.
Now for your question, only Theus knows the answer. I will say this: Theus certainly appears to have a long leash with Garcia, and the shot you’re referencing was really awful both on its own and because of the timing. During Theus’ post-practice session on Saturday, he talked about Garcia and used the word “cajones,” although you prefer hubris. Whatever the adjective, it’s by far disproportionate to his effectiveness. He’s not finding people like he can, is back to taking bad shots and dribbling into traffic, and – who knows? – maybe he feels more pressure because of his background with Theus.
Question: Hi Sam. Great game last night (against New York). I hear there are some big changes or trades coming to the Kings? Have you heard anything? It would sure be nice to lose Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Kenny Thomas, Mikki Moore, and Brad Miller for some new guys. It is all over the web, but things take time. Has (Kings basketball president) Geoff (Petrie) wised up? Thank you. - Ron, Woodbridge, CA
Answer: There’s a whole lot on the web that holds only a hint of truth or usually none at all, but I have heard that something may be coming soon. That’s just talk, mind you, but I would not be at all surprised if Petrie and Knicks were working on something with Ron Artest heading to New York. The key is if New York is still unwilling to give up David Lee, which seems less likely considering he’s coming off the bench now behind the Knicks’ frontline of Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry. And while Jamal Crawford may be available, I could see Petrie negotiating for Nate Robinson instead and convincing Isiah Thomas to take at least one of his big’s deals (likely Kenny Thomas). Isiah may need to do something to save his job, and maybe bringing Artest home is it. Or then again, maybe he’s already lost the sort of clout to pull off a move like this considering his own standing.
Question: The team has had a major problem scoring. Why did the coach start Mikki Moore when he could put Ron Artest at power forward and John Salmons at small forward. Salmons can score and play defense. I think we could have won the game (at Minnesota on Wednesday) with a small lineup plus Brad Miller; and Moore as back up for Miller and the power forward position . Also, one of our consistent rebounders is Garcia, but his time was cut back and we desperately need rebounding. I like the game Artest played but don't like the other moves which cost us the game in my opinion. – John Archer, Grass Valley, CA
Answer: Here’s the latest on this matter. The short version, though, is that Theus doesn’t want two ball-stoppers sharing the floor in Salmons and Artest; wants to give his power forwards (mainly Mikki Moore) a chance to save his spot; and while Artest can clearly be effective down there, it seems the small forward is hesitant to expose his body to that kind of long-term abuse and is also supportive of the players naturally slated for that spot. It could change, though.
Question: What about getting Jose Calderon from Toronto? We need a point guard of the future and he's ready to start somewhere NOW. No idea if we could get either of the freshmen point guards next year and we have two holes to fill for two years down the road, point guard and post-up player. He'd fill the spot nicely as its easy to see that he'll be a good/excellent starter. Petrie needs to let Theus worry about winning now and get busy opening cap space and getting prospects. What are the salary cap implications of buying out a contract such as KTs? – Apounders, Sacramento
Answer: Starting backwards, the salary cap implications of buying out Thomas would be that whatever agreed-upon amount of the buyout is spread out proportionally for the life of the contract. In Thomas’ case, that’s through 2010.
Now for Calderon, Toronto could have interest in Artest to add some punch on both ends and keep up with the Celtics. I could see Petrie liking Calderon, although there would need to be more pieces in a deal (Artest makes $7 million, Calderon makes $2.4). Calderon is a free agent this summer.