Tag:Sacramento Kings
Posted on: June 27, 2011 2:16 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 3:16 pm
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Derrick Williams is Rookie of the Year favorite

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams is the odds-on favorite to win 2011-2012 Rookie of the Year. Posted by Ben Golliver.

derrick-williams-large

Derrick Williams might have been the No. 2 selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, but he's sitting in the pole positon to win the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year award. 

Bodog.com
has released its early odds for which member of the Draft Class of 2011 will take home the Rookie of the Year award. Williams, a dynamic combo forward out of Arizona, leapfrogged one-and-done Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, drafted by Cleveland Cavaliers, to claim the No. 1 spot. The No. 10 selection, BYU guard Jimmer Fredette, selected by the Sacramento Kings, also finished ahead of Irving.

Here's a look at the top 10. Strictly for entertainment purposes only.

Why does Irving slide? Two reasons. To win Rookie of the Year, you must be as NBA-ready as possible and have the opportunity to play boatloads of minutes so that you can accumulate stats.

In Irving's case, he missed a good chunk of his rookie season at Duke, raising questions about how ready he is to be an impact player in the NBA from Day One. Second, the Cavaliers have a muddled point guard position with Baron Davis, Ramon Sessions and Boobie Gibson hanging around. That will likely get sorted out before next season rolls around, but it will be difficult to trade Davis, who is sure to get some serious burn.

Williams, on the other hand, is arguably the best physical specimen in this year's class. The Timberwolves have nothing to lose and, while Michael Beasley is on the roster and has a similar game, Minnesota has every incentive to turn Williams loose. With Rubio in the fold, look for the Timberwolves to continue to play an up-tempo game, with Williams given the green light to shoot and attack as often as he likes. One possible area of concern: Williams and Rubio, by virtue of playing on the same team, could cancel each other out.

Fredette represents the dumb money on this list. With no limit on his shot attempts in college, he compiled absurd scoring numbers. While he enters Sacramento figuring to get plenty of minutes, Tyreke Evans will command a very large chunk of the team's possessions, as will emerging big man DeMarcus Cousins. If Fredette doesn't defer, he will be marginalized. Ownership might be infatuated with him, but winning over his teammates is far more important.

Kanter appears to be more NBA-ready than most, but he enters a very crowded frontcourt in Utah. Surely he will carve out a solid role. But will it be enough to put up real numbers?

One solid dark-horse candidate: Kemba Walker. While he might not start from Day One because of D.J. Augustin, Walker will find plenty of available minutes in Charlotte's torn-down backcourt. The Bobcats are entering Year One of a major rebuild and thus will have Walker's development as a top -- perhaps the top -- priority. He enters the NBA after three years in college, and he proved that he was a star on that level. 

Ultimately, I would expect this to boil down to a three-man race between Williams, Irving and Walker. Williams is a worthy early favorite.
Posted on: June 25, 2011 2:31 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 6:51 pm
 

Jimmer Fredette billboard at Palms in Las Vegas

The Palms Casino in Las Vegas celebrates the Sacramento Kings' drafting of BYU guard Jimmer Fredette. Posted by Ben Golliver. jimmer-billboard

Go big or go home.

That seems to be the mantra for the Maloof Family, owners of the Sacramento Kings, after conducting a confusing, dispiriting draft on Thursday night. It was an evening that saw them take on money, downgrade their roster in trade, trade down for no real reason and draft BYU guard Jimmer Fredette, the most hyped and polarizing player in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Reportedly, not everyone in Sacramento was on board with the selection, as whispers floated that members of the coaching staff would have preferred a different approach.

But Fredette was linked to the Kings for days, if not weeks, before the draft because of his marketability and regional popularity. The goal for the Kings, who nearly relocated to Anaheim, are looking to build a new arena and are struggling at the gate, is to monetize Fredette's popularity.

It's a somewhat desperate effort given that Fredette is 22 years old, lacks a true NBA position and almost certainly cannot defend on the NBA level. But desperate is all the Maloofs have left.

Last week, we noted that the Maloofs were selling their stake in the Las Vegas Palms Casino to get rid of their debt burden. That didn't stop them from putting up a sign celebrating their draft night. "Jimmer Fredette A Sacramento King" bellows the billboard in front of the hotel.

While this is meant to be a festive scene, it comes of as a bit depressing. One crumbling jewel of the Maloof's dwindling portfolio hawking the misguided and illogical strategy of another.  

Photo credit: DJ MacKinnon on Lockerz.com.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 3:47 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 7:29 pm
 

Way too early Rookie of the Year contenders

Posted by Royce Young



When people say things like, "It's never too early to talk about..." what they really mean is, "It's way, way too early to talk about this but I'm trying to at least acknowledge that."

So... it's never too early to talk about next season's early contenders for Rookie of the Year (assuming there is a next year blah blah blah). Most everyone proclaimed last night's draft to be of the weak variety and while it very well may be, it's going to have a couple good players. Whether it's the top overall pick or a sleeper taken in the 20s, the 2011 NBA Draft won't go down as a total dud.

Who are the candidates to make a big rookie splash? There aren't a ton of franchise changing guys in this draft, but more a bundle of potential. Someone will be named Rookie of the Year and honestly, this might be one of the most wide open races in a long time. Derrick Williams isn't Blake Griffin. Kyrie Irving isn't Derrick Rose. From picks 1-15 really, there are a lot of guys that could contend. So here are my top five.

1. Kyrie Irving, PG, Cavaliers: If the No. 1 overall pick isn't a Rookie of the Year candidate, well, then his name must be Michael Olawakandi. It's hard to really know if Irving is going to step right in and start from day one or if the Cavs want to groom him behind Baron Davis -- don't laugh -- but he's going to get his minutes. This franchise is now his. He's the guy.

He's not John Wall or Derrick Rose, but that just means he's not as flashy. He makes plays everywhere, shoots the ball extremely well and is incredibly composed and mature. It's pretty easy to picture Irving averaging something along the lines of 15 points and five assists per game, which will likely be enough to win the award.

2. Derrick Williams, F, Timberwolves: I think Williams is a fantastic player. A 6-9 guy that's athletic and strong and shot 57 percent from 3? How could you NOT like him?

But I've got questions that almost made me leave him off the list. Where does he fit in with the Wolves? Is he their starting small forward? Does he fit alongside Kevin Love? Does Michael Beasley take too many shots and minutes from him? Does Williams play power forward and Love slide to center? Can Williams play power forward? Is he too much of a tweener, like Jeff Green?

If the Wolves are smart, and of course that's a whole other thing there, Williams sees minutes from day one and Beasley is shipped out so that Williams' growth is never messed with. I don't think the two can co-exist. Give the keys entirely to Ricky Rubio, Love and Williams and see what they can do. If that happens, I think he can put up pretty solid numbers and a few flashy highlights as well.  

3. Jan Vesely, SF, Wizards: Blake Griffin didn't win the Rookie of the Year last year just based off a bunch of crazy highlight dunks. But there's no denying that they certainly helped.

And Vesely is the prime candidate to be 2011-12's official YouTube Party candidate for Rookie of the Year. He has an incredible amount of athleticism, a bunch of flash and some skill to boot. He can score, play and dunk. If Vesely gets minutes, he's going to grab some attention. And in winning awards, sometime attention is all it really takes.

4. Jimmer Fredette, PG, Kings: I'm coming clean -- I'm a total Jimmer junkie. I think he's going to be a great pro. My philosophy is, if you're one of the best at your craft at the highest level you can play, you'll likely be good at the next level too. Adam Morrison excluded, of course.

And Jimmer can score. Yeah, his defense stinks. But I think that was more of a product of the system and structure he operated in at BYU more than anything. BYU's coach Dave Rose knew Fredette couldn't dare pick up a couple early fouls, so he was hidden in a 2-3 scheme and rarely moved his feet or went for a steal. I don't think that's just because Jimmer doesn't understand a simple defensive stance, but more that he was instructed, "Don't you think about picking up a foul." There were similar concerns about Blake Griffin's defense too, but at OU Jeff Capel employed the same mindset to Griffin's defense. And I think that worked out.

The Kings cleared out room for Jimmer to immediately start and run the show. If he's ready for it, he's going to have a chance to put up really nice numbers on an improving team. Is he going to look to score or pass? That's to be seen. But he's a smart guy, has a bunch of talent and knows how to play. He's going to be good.

5. Alec Burks, SG, Jazz: I live in Big 12 country so I'm a bit biased having seen Burks play most of his college games. But let me tell you, that dude tore up the conference. Inside, outside, defensively, rebounding -- he was a one-man team.

The Jazz are slowly transitioning and while Enes Kanter was the No. 3 pick, I think he's going to be brought along more slowly than Burks. There's not a whole lot standing in the way of Burks and playing time, while Kanter has to settle in somewhere around Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Mehmet Okur. I don't know what the future of Andrei Kirilenko is but I'm sure Utah isn't that worried about finding room for Burks to play. He's going to likely be in the rotation from the start and might even push C.J. Miles for the starting shooting guard spot.

Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:33 pm
 

Report: Kings coaches did not want Jimmer



Posted by Matt Moore


The Kings managed to take on John Salmons' salary for an aging player while giving up a veteran point guard on a reasonable deal and in return moved down three spots in the draft. They then used that pick to select Jimmer Fredette. Popular? Sure. Exciting? Absolutely. Bit of a reach? Totally. Fredette was going to go in the top-10 based on hype, not on translatable talent. There are concerns about his ability to translate to a point guard, and to defend bigger players. The latter concern is covered in Sacramento because Tyreke Evans is big enough to guard a moving house, but the Kings still need a distributor point guard and instead they have four ball-handling, scoring guards (Jimmer, Reke, Marcus Thornton, and John Salmons they traded for Thursday). And apparently, the Kings coaching staff was aware of that fact, and as a result, there was a rift over the pick. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported before the pick went in that ownership wanted Jimmer, the coaching staff wanted Alec Burks. From Yahoo! Sports: 
The Sacramento coaching staff isnt happy with the selection of Fredette, sources say. They wanted a veteran guard, ala Felton or Parker.
via Twitter / @WojYahooNBA: The Sacramento coaching st ....

Ownership getting entangled in basketball decisions is almost never a good idea. Mark Cuban's highly involved, but he asks for what his trusted people's recommendations are and for the most part lets Donnie Nelson do his job. Interfering like this creates situations where you have to have a cagematch before each game to decide which one of your four guards is going to get 25 shots per game. But it will help ticket sales in Sacramento, so maybe that's the Maloof's plan, even if they don't want to keep the team in Sacramento.

All in all, a weird day in Kings-land that resulted in Jimmer Fredette winding up in a strange spot for his talents.  
Posted on: June 23, 2011 8:38 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 10:47 pm
 

NBA Draft: Kings get Jimmer Fredette 10th overall

Posted by Royce Young

It's officially Jimmer Time, Sacramento.

The feeling earlier today when the Kings moved back to 10th in a three-way trade that also brought them John Salmons was that they had Jimmer Fredette in mind.

They got him.

The questions with Jimmer obviously start with his defense and where he'll play. But with the Kings moving Beno Udrih and basically committing to Tyreke Evans off the ball at shooting guard, Jimmer will likely start from day one at point guard in Sacramento. In reality, that's a pretty fun, dynamic backcourt in Evans and Fredette.

What kind of pro will Jimmer be though? Is he good with becoming a Steve Nash pass-first type of player or does he want to keep scoring and firing long distance shots? Jimmer is the type of player, though, that's willing to fit in. He's coachable, smart and has the ability to learn. Can he guard Derrick Rose? Can he guard Russell Westbrook? Heck, can he guard guys like Jose Calderon and Derek Fisher? We'll have to see.

But the Kings have added some punch and some excitement to the roster. With Jimmer, Evans, Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins, they've got a pretty exciting young core of talent.

Now, can they win? Jimmer will bring a bit of excitement and energy to a fanbase that needs it as the Kings hang on for dear life in Sacramento. But that new car smell will wear off quickly if the team doesn't start winning. Jimmer will bring a little jolt of excitement, but ultimately, winning is what really gets people buying tickets.

And that's what the Kings drafted Jimmer to do.

Posted on: June 23, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 5:56 pm
 

NBA TRADE: Bucks, Bobcats, Kings 3-way

Posted by Matt Moore

Update 4:14 p.m.: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Bobcats moved up to No. 7 to select Bismack Biyombo. That makes for a crazy pairing with Tyrus Thomas and the most athletic pair of frontcourt players in the league, probably, based on raw length and leaping ability.

Additionally, a writer from NBA.com notes that the move for the Kings was not made in anticipation of a second deal with San Antonio. Such a fail for the Kings.

Original Report: In a day filled with trade rumors on what's expected to be a wild night even with a disappointing draft class, things touched off Thursday afternoon as the Bobcats, Bucks, and Kings completed a three-way trade. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports:

The Bucks receive: Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, and the No.19 pick from Charlotte.

The Kings receive: John Salmons and the No.10 from the Bucks.

The Bobcats receive: Corey Maggette and the No. 7 pick from Sacramento.


Analysis: .... WHAT?! That's our general reaction. You're looking at three shooting guards with massive deals getting moved around. Here's the contract run downs from ShamSports.com:

Jackson: Two years, over $19 million, all guaranteed. 

Salmons: Four years, $31 million, over $24 million guaranteed.

Maggette: Two years, over $21 million, all guaranteed.

So the Bucks moved over $45 million guaranteed, and took on $35 million (Jackson plus $14 million from Udrih), saving them over $10 million and dumping most of their bloated contracts. The Bobcats took on Maggette which is an upgrade at the two-guard position, and managed to keep their No.9 pick, now giving them the 7th and 9th pick in Thursday's draft. And the Kings? Uh, they moved back three spots and picked up an aging, undersized shooting guard to go with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton. ...Okay. 

Winner: We'll call it the Bucks, who lost all that salary and still picked up an upgrade on the wing, and still kept a top-20 pick. The addition of Udrih is curious considering Brandon Jennings' place on the roster and will add more question marks towards his future. (Some reports have Shawn Livingston included in the deal going to Milwaukee.) But they cleared all that space and still kept a pick, which is pretty impressive. It's a chance for the Bucks to move back, bring in a wing, and clear some space for a restructured CBA after their spending spree last summer. Grade: B+

Co-Winner: If the Bobcats hadn't had to take on Maggette, they would have won this. Maggette's not a terrible fill-in for Jackson, and the addition of the 7th pick while keeping the 9th means the Bobcats have a chance to wholly remake themselves in the draft, which they have struggled at through the years. This move reeks of Rich Cho, opting for a youth movement while clearing space. If Livingston is indeed included, the Bobcats will actually have managed to save money through this with total outgoing salary of over $22 million compared to Maggette's $21 million incoming. And they get the No.7 pick to go with their No.9. They can draft a big and a wing, two bigs, both Morris twins, Jimmer Fredette as a flyer pick, anything. Grade: B+

Loser: What in God's name are the Kings thinking? Is this some sort of desperate move to make the fans hate them so they'll stop wishing they would stay in Sacramento? There's talk this could be in anticipation of a move for Tony Parker. Even then, a small-market franchise taking on Salmons contract along with Parker's is a rough idea. And where does this leave Marcus Thornton? Is he doomed to perpetual burying by his coaching staff? Will Salmons come off the bench? What is the thought process here? 

The Kings presumably think they can get the guy they want at No. 10 versus No. 7, but taking on Salmons is such a blow, despite giving up Udrih. Udrih wasn't the answer at point guard. Salmons isn't the answer at anything they need.  Grade: F- (pending further action)
Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:01 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 1:30 pm
 

Trade Rumor: Cavs trying for third lottery pick?

Posted by Royce Young

The Cavs are trying to rebuild post-LeBron and it looks like they are going about it the right way. They already have the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in this draft and can add two highly talented future centerpieces to their roster (likely Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter/Jonas Valanciunas), but they aren't finished there.

According to ESPN.com, the Cavs are working to land a third -- yes a third -- lottery pick.
Sources say the Cavs have been very actively trying to do just that, with a massive $14.5 million trade exception as the device. The offer? Give us your pick and we'll take back a bad contract into our trade exception, which permits the Cavs to take back salary of more than $14 million.

In that scenario, the Sacramento Kings and the Detroit Pistons look like the most intriguing potential partners. Would the Kings be willing to give up the No. 7 pick if the Cavs gave them Ramon Sessions and took back Francisco Garcia? The Kings are already under the salary cap, but Garcia has $12 million over two years on his contract, and Sacramento would love to move him.
Obviously the Cavs are going to have to eat a big contract, but as the report notes, thank LeBron and that giant trade exception.

Who could the Cavs target with a third lottery pick? Maybe Tristan Thompson? Bismack Biyombo? I think Kawhi Leonard might be a nice fit alongside Irving.

They need a lot right now so their options are wide open. But a core including three lottery picks, even if you think this draft is bad, is a pretty solid rebuilding plan. Blow everything up completely and start over. It can work. It takes some time, but the Cavs are going to be on a much better road after tonight. If they can get another top 10 talent, it'll just be that much better.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 12:26 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 1:22 pm
 

NBA Trade Rumor: OKC shopping Maynor for lottery?

Posted by Royce Young

There’s always a lot of smoke on draft day. For instance, that the Spurs might trade Tony Parker for a lottery pick. Which is why I wouldn’t get too hot and bothered at word that the Thunder are shopping Eric Maynor to move into the first 14 picks.

Via ESPN.com:

Is Thunder point guard Eric Maynor worth a lottery pick? Sources say the Thunder have been quietly gauging interest in Maynor during the past few days in an attempt to move up into the top half of the first round. They’ve spoken to the Kings (No. 7) and Bobcats (No. 9) in particular in the past few days.

Maynor was the 20th pick in the 2009 draft, which was one of the most loaded point guard drafts. With so few quality point guards on the board this year, would a team covet him more than Kemba Walker or Jimmer Fredette?

Who are the Thunder after? Like a lot of teams, it seems they are in hot pursuit of Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas.

If you recall, there was a lot of talk that the Thunder were in heavy conversations with the Pacers involving Maynor last draft day. With Maynor being one of the premier backup point guards in the league and likely starter material, Sam Presti is probably trying to gauge a little value with Maynor.

How good do other teams think he is?

But if the Thunder could give away their backup point guard who sees 10-15 minutes a night for a lottery pick they’re very high on and then use the 24th pick on Reggie Jackson or another backup point guard, it makes a little sense. A lot of teams are high on Valanciunas, the Thunder being one of them, I guess.

Where it doesn’t make sense is that the Thunder already have a long-term center in Kendrick Perkins and already have an international project in Tibor Pleiss. Not to mention Byron Mullens and Cole Aldrich. I just don’t see where Valanciunas really fits in to the future of the roster. Unless it’s not Valanciunas they want. (Maybe it’s JIMMER?!?!)

It’s going to be tough to retain Maynor in the future anyway as he’s too good to afford but not good enough to pay. Maybe Presti is trying to get out in front of that issue and shuffle in a new backup to Westbrook.

I think this is more of a smoke rather than a fire deal, but something that will make tonight’s draft a bit more interesting for Thunder fans for sure.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com