You've got Q's, I've got A's. And away we go...
Question: When are we going to get a power foward that can clog up the hole, block shots and rebound? It seems like that is the most obvious thing in the past three seasons that we need but instead we keep getting guys that don't fit the build!! - DJ G, Atlanta, Ga.
Answer: They're looking, and have been for quite a while. The list of power forwards I've heard rumors about the Kings wondering how to get is long, from names like Memphis' Pau Gasol to Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge to Cleveland's Drew Gooden. Actually making that happen, obviously, is another thing entirely.
And while the latest trade talks are with Denver regarding Ron Artest, I'm starting to hear that Nene is unlikely to be part of any deal with the Nuggets. In general, though, the Kings have the same complaint of their four spot as the fans do.
Question: If you had to make a prediction on what (Kings basketball president) Geoff Petrie is doing, would you think he'd prefer to deal Artest or Bibby?
- Ed, Rocklin, Maryland
Answer: It may be less about what Petrie wants than it is about what is more realistic. Artest is attractive to some teams because you can use him as a hired gun for a few months. He's already made it clear that he'll opt out of his contract this summer, meaning you can bring him in for the remainder of his $7.4 million salary and decide later if you want him around long-term. Bibby, though, comes with that bigger contract ($13.5 this season, $14.5 next) that is harder to move.
If you would've asked me a few weeks ago, though, I would've said Bibby was the priority. It appears to have changed, though.
Question: Will C-Webb and Nelson get along this time? - Steve Padilla, North Highlands, Calif.
Answer: I'm going to say yes based on good, old-fashioned maturity. There's no way both men haven't changed enough to pull off a healthier relationship this time around. As Nellie said to our Ailene Voisin, he and C-Webb are looking to right their past wrongs by enjoying it this time around.
Question: Hi Sam, have you heard anyone around the Kings' practice facility commenting on the repeated inability of Mikki Moore to be able to catch nice assists from other Kings players during games? I know he leads the NBA in fouls committed, but his continual mishandling of passes in the paint account for 10 to 20 percent of the Kings 20-plus turnovers per game. If a reasonably accurate pass is bobbled and lost by Moore doesn't that amount to a turnover by the player who passed it? - Dwight McKenna, Mission Viejo, Calif.
Answer: You're right about that last fact, Dwight, which is too bad for the guy sharing the rock. And, yes, folks around Kings land are well aware of Mikki's butter fingers. He was terrible in that department early on, then improved quite a bit for a good month or so and has struggled a bit recently again. The assumption, of course, is that he got so used to taking perfect passes from Jason Kidd in New Jersey that he just can't get used to these mere mortals.
Question: When do you suppose John Salmon will get the recognition from Reggie Theus that he deserves. Even Jerry Renolds says he deserves more recognition as a defender. I notice when John is coming off the floor during a game and passes by Reggie on his way to the bench, there is no word of praise or pat on the "po-po" like with the rest, especially Francisco Garcia. - June Vance, Folsom, Calif.
Answer: I'm not sure I can even offer an opinion because I have such a tough time reading John. In the locker room and away from the floor, he is nothing short of a super human being. But it seems at times like his body language on the floor might even throw his teammates or Theus off.
The dynamic between John and Garcia has always been unfortunate for both parties, as they are really fighting for the same role. Both can fill the role well, but trying to pull off this 1-2 punch act off the bench rarely works. And you're not the first one to think Theus favors Garcia because of their history at Louisville. It's to Garcia's credit that he's had such a nice year, quieting some of the critics in the locker room who started claiming favoritism.
Question: Would a trade involving Mike Bibby and Kenny Thomas for Cleveland's Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes be possible since both teams are looking to move both players? - Ken McCormick, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Answer: Yeah, you could make that work financially and you're right that both teams want to move both players. The thing now is that Cleveland's Anderson Varejao is out until after the All-Star break with an ankle sprain, so Gooden may be off-limits for now. The Kings certainly would love to get Varejao - who was considered off-limits when the Bibby talks came so close last February - and I wonder if maybe Cavs GM Danny Ferry would reconsider that notion now if it meant he could add some firepower with a player like Bibby. - Sam Amick