It's been awhile since I did the Q&A thing, so let's get to it...
Question: Do you think that there is a good chance that (Mike) Bibby will be traded due to the strong performance of Beno Udrih? If so, what teams have shown interest in Bibby or is his salary a problem? - Bob
Answer: Bibby's been on the block for some time, but only as the means to an end in Geoff Petrie's mind. It appears the Kings GM wants Bibby and/or Ron Artest to provide the building blocks for rebuilding by trading them - i.e. draft picks, expiring contracts and young talent. Udrih's play, in my estimation, only strengthens the possibility that Bibby will be gone by the February trade deadline since his continued presence would be an obstacle to resigning Beno (who is a free agent this summer).
Question: There are teams around the country that accelerate healing of their injured players with hyperbaric clincs, but not the Kings. I manage one such clinic here in Sacramento where we get requests for Sacramento-based team members of the New Jersey Nets and others, and there's another one at Mercy Hospital. Do you think the Kings will start to consider (this treatment) anytime soon? - Michael Greenhalgh, Sacramento
Answer: I haven't the slighest idea, but they should be willing to try anything these days with all the problems going on. I say throw Bibby, Kevin Martin and Artest in the chamber together with a witch doctor and don't let 'em out until morning! By the way, it's fans like you Michael who inspired a recent story on this sort of thing.
Question: Why does Kenny Thomas get any floor time? He's pretty much useless in my opinion while a guy like Justin Williams rots on the bench. Williams could provide help with rebounding and shot blocking. Williams can average a rebound per minute while KT usually averages a turnover per minute. Any reason (Kings coach Reggie) Theus doesn't play Williams other than KT is a veteran? Someone should ask Theus point blank (hint hint:) - Jon, Antioch
Answer: For right or for wrong, it's obvious that the only young big who's going to get any time off that bench is Spencer Hawes. And I have found it odd that Justin doesn't even get sporadic minutes. While I haven't asked Theus point blank why he opts for Justin over Kenny, I do remember asking him why he (and Petrie) opted for Justin over Darryl Watkins (who was waived). His answer was bizarre, saying that Watkins had more upside but that having Justin on the team was just a better fit for all the guys.
Question: I am not a Kenny Thomas fan per se, but I have noticed that he is now somewhat of a third option after starting early this season and last. What is going on there and are there any talks of trading he and, if possible, Shareef Abdur-Rahim? - Kevin Hoffarth, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Answer: Kenny hasn't been able to win Petrie over since he arrived here via the Chris Webber trade, as the organization has tried to trade him away numerous times since. That being said, Mikki Moore wasn't brought here to sit and so it should shock no one that he's starting.
As Kenny himself likes to say, it is what it is. Now that setup isn't favorable by any means for a veteran player who has had some quality years, so you can bet your Kings season tickets that Kenny and his agent have tried to find a way into greener pastures. The same goes for Shareef, who wasn't playing any more healthy than he is now that he's hurt. Obviously, nothing has come to fruition yet, but it doesn't mean all involved aren't trying. In truth, I've been hearing about almost-deals for both those guys for quite some time but have yet to get a press release saying they were traded.
Question: How is Kevin Martin's recovery from the groin injury coming along? Have they set a date for his return, yet? - Brent Koerper, Hammond, Wisc.
Answer: As Theus revealed at the game tonight, Martin is eyeing the Jan. 8 home game against Orlando for a possible return. The team's medical staff may see things differently, but he's definitely getting close to coming back.
Question: Am I the only one convinced that Mike Bibby's return won't help the Kings much in the win column and in fact it will actually curtail Beno's production?
Let me just cut to the chase: Just trade Mike Bibby along with Quincy Douby for Drew Gooden, Eric Snow and a #1 pick. - Ed, Washington D.C.
Answer: Who's to say the Cavs don't finish strong this season, meaning the pick is a late first-rounder? At this point, I'd be more inclined go after Miami's picks, as they'll probably be higher (although the question there is whether Miami has given up on this season and entered its own rebuilding mode, thereby guarding those very picks they may have been willing to give up before).
Also, Gooden - to me - is an interesting one. He would definitely help the frontcourt, but he's not going to get you into the playoffs and, like Snow, his contract expires at the same time Mike's does. What happens then, when you've decided you want Gooden to be part of this new era and he wants $10 million a year? The word I got in February was that Petrie was the one not pulling the trigger on the Cleveland deal, and I can't blame him. It only makes sense that he'd be more interested in a David Lee (NY) type, who has the youth, talent and a contract more in line with the rebuilding process ($1.78 million in last year of contract next season, with qualifying offer for 2009-10)).
As far as the Bibby vs. Beno question, Theus has me curious to see how they operate with Beno at the point and Mike playing the two (to round it out, the lineup would have Martin at the three, Artest at the four and Brad Miller/Mikki Moore at the five).
OK, so I still have some catching up to do on questions but that's a good start.... - Sam Amick