Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

August 14, 2008
Petrie discusses Artest deal

Before I get to the comments from Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie this afternoon, I'lll hit on a question I answered in the comments section of a previous post.
Yes, Kings fans, the draft pick being acquired from Houston is lottery-protected. The protections are declining, however, meaning the Kings won't get it next year if the Rockets somehow end up with picks No. 1 to No. 14. If that unlikely scenario happens, then the protections, hence the phrase, decline every year as the likelihood increases that it would eventually be the Kings to have (I'll look into the year-by-year specifics later). The most likely scenario, of course, is the Rockets making a deep run in the playoffs and the Kings adding another young piece next June.
Now on to Petrie...

On why he pulled the trigger on this deal...

When you're sitting on the other end of the telephone all the time and you're looking at your team and things, depending on how things go, the opinion about what might be the best thing to do can change some. In terms of where our team is and with the chance for some of our younger core players to have the opportunity to expand what they can do, people like Kevin (Martin), and Francisco (Garcia) and Beno (Udrih), Quincy (Douby), Spencer (Hawes), people who have already played some here along with the rest of the core veterans we have. That's one thing that happens when you trade a fairly prominent player like Ron. I mean how much more growth and ability do they have to step in there and fill some of that?
Being able to acquire another young talent with size and skill, who should be a natural small forward in the league along with a veteran like Bobby (Jackson) and not sacrifice any real future cap flexibility, that starts to become attractive to you.

On Ron...

We all know that when he was right, he's a very effective player. I know for a lot of people, he's somewhat mercurial and at times controversial for sure. But you can't ever fault the effort he puts out on the court. I think we all wish him the best and (hope) that he goes forward and finds the kind of clarity that he needs to get what he wants out of the rest of his career.

On Donte Greene (who was picked 28th by Memphis out of Syracuse, then traded to Houston)...

We thought he was definitely a top 20 (in the draft) talent. We had him in for two workouts here. He played very, very well in one of them. He's got a lot of makings of an NBA game, and the size and the length to go with it. At 19, 20 years old, he at least has to fall into the promising category.

On whether Ron's antics this summer expedited his departure...

I don't know that it expedited it. You're looking at something that comes forward that you think makes sense, and trying to balance that with 'How much better is it going to get by waiting longer?' Our position with Ron and his contract (which has one season left) was always consistent, that we wanted him to come back and have a really consistent and reliable year and see if we can move forward from where we are with that. That wasn't necessarily consistent with the way Ron felt, but that's where we were.

On whether the Lakers' Lamar Odom or Miami's Shawn Marion were ever real possibilities in an Artest trade...

Those are things where they never were things to be discussed. Sometimes you get in a position where you have to respond to other speculation that has no basis in fact. And none of those had any basis in fact.

On having a roster that lacks starpower...

First of all, we may have some players who will become marquee names. Kevin is a borderline All-Star at this point. Francisco certainly improved a lot last year. This will be Beno's first full year as a starter and (having) some familiarity with his teammates. You just have to wait and see what kind of growth and improvement there is. And hopefully, there will be improvement.

On whether the loss of Artest's dominating presence is a positive for the younger Kings...

You're looking at the total picture with your team going forward, and how much better can it get the way it is vs. what is the potential to get better by doing something different. What we decided to do is do something different. You know, if you have a big shade tree, shade's good to a point. But if there's too much shade, then the grass doesn't get to grow.

On whether he's done rehauling the roster this summer...

Well, you're always open to making more moves but I think it's going to be relatively quiet for a while.

On expectations next season...

I think it's just way too premature for me to speculate about that. I think we have seven or eight core veterans who are really good pieces. We have this young group here behind them. Starting in training camp, we'll see what it looks like.

On John Salmons filling Ron's spot...

As a starter, he was as productive as anybody. - Sam Amick




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