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Tag:Gavin Maloof
Posted on: February 15, 2012 11:15 am
 

Kings arena-related measure passes city council

By Matt Moore

Sacramento has passed another marker on the path to keeping the Kings in Sacramento. The Sacrmento city council voted Tuesday night to allow city representatives to enter into discussions with local firms seeking to lease downtown parking. The money made from those agreements is necessary for efforts to build a new arena in Sacramento, which in turn is requisite to keeping the Kings in town as part of Mayor Kevin Johnson's proposal to the NBA. 

Once the leases are in place to provide up to half of the $387 million necessary for funding the new arena, the Sacramento Bee outlines the rest of the process in their post on the vote Tuesday:  
City staff is in tense negotiations with representatives from the National Basketball Association, the Kings, arena operator AEG and the arena development team to round out the facility's financing plan. Those talks are expected to continue for at least another two weeks, as the city works to create a financing "term sheet" for the arena by the end of the month.

The council would then be asked on Feb. 28 to approve that term sheet in a vote that could determine whether the Kings remain in town.
via Council votes to enter talks with 11 firms seeking to lease downtown parking - Sacramento Sports - Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee.

It's a small step, a tiny one, but it is a significant junction of money made available if the agreements can be met with the local firms. Kings fans aren't out of the woods yet, but they do have momentum.  

Last year, Kings ownership attempted to move the team to Anaheim, California, but was blocked by a vote from the NBA Board of Governors after a weak proposal from the Maloofs and a strong presentation from Mayor Johnson. 
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:26 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 9:29 pm
 

Kings sign Smart as head coach... for two years?



By Matt Moore


So Paul Westphal was fired today as head coach of the Sacramento Kings. That's not really surprising, given the disappointing start to the season for the Kings and the continuing discord between Westphal, star power forward DeMarcus Cousins, and the general unrest in the locker room. Assistant coach Keith Smart was assigned as head coach for the time being, then immediately upgraded to interim coach. OK, that makes sense. Smart's been interim coach for two different teams in the past, has a lot of experience, and the Kings could use a steady hand and won't want to pay the money to essentially bring on a second coach when they have to pay out the rest of Westphal's contract. 

This all makes a modicum of sense, at least in the way that most NBA things do. 

But then there's this.

Yahoo Sports reports that the Kings have signed Smart for two years, with the deal guaranteed through 2013.

Sorry, come again?

The Kings have just committed to two years of a very qualified, very well-respected interim coach...who went 36-46 with the Warriors last year. The Kings are in a crucial position right now. They have to get Cousins back on the track to not only calming down emotionally, but contributing efficiently on the court. Tyreke Evans has to get sorted out because his game is mess right now. Marcus Thornton has to learn how to play off the ball. The team has to learn what a pass is. There's a world of work to be done, and if it goes wrong, it's going to set the franchise back another two to three seasons. 

Which is why you don't buy the cow just because you know it can produce milk of some kind.

I want to be clear, it's not that Smart can't work out. For all we know this could wind up as a genius signing if Smart pulls a Thunder Brooks and takes the team to the next level. It's a different situation entirely in a lot of ways but "young team with talent struggles, fires its coach and finds its answer from within" is not an impossible scenario. But you want to leave yourself an out.

Putting Smart in for the rest of the year gives you the ability to look for an upgrade at season's end. If someone is looking to get back into coaching and likes what he's seen of the Kings and is an upgrade on Smart, why not take a look at him? If Smart really does excel, you can always re-sign him or extend him. Even make the second year non-guaranteed. It's great to give a coach your confidence and the ability to coach without fear for his job. But you're not worried about this year in terms of wins and losses. You're worried about the next four years. 

The terrifying element behind this for Kings fans is that it seems financially-related. Getting Smart now at a cheap price keeps their costs low.  It seems like a move made not for what's best for the team, but to cover for the financial impact of Westphal without risking Smart's price going up. And for a team in the Kings' situation, they can't afford to not afford what's best for the organization.
Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:07 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 2:50 pm
 

Kings say they will not trade DeMarcus Cousins



By Matt Moore


UPDATE: According to SI.com, the Cousins will re-join the Kings on their upcoming road trip to Memphis and Denver.

Despite the explosive situation between DeMarcus Cousins and head coach Paul Westphal, Kings ownership says it will not trade the temperamental but talented young power forward, ownership told the Sacramento Bee.
"We leave that stuff (the benching) to the basketball people," Kings co-owner Joe Maloof said before tipoff, "but we're not trading him."
via Ailene Voisin: Situation is 'tip of the iceberg,' coach says, so where is the rest? - Sacramento Sports - Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee.

The Kings not trading Cousins is the proper path. There's absolutely no way to get adequate value after releasing a statement of the nature of Westphal's. They have a player they don't feel they can control, and with Cousins' talent, they can't simply dump him off, especially with the struggles of the team thus far this season.

As for Westphal, he spoke to reporters prior to the Kings' game against the Hornets. Kings blog Cowbell Kingdom has video, and the comments are pretty interesting.



Something that stands out here, is this quote from Westphal (transcribed by Cowbell Kingdom):
“Well, it’s interesting that he told me before he told his agent, but he told me twice. So it’s silly to have the agent deny it just because he didn’t get a call before DeMarcus talked to me that’s the easiest one of all to answer.”
Westphal is explicitly claiming that the trade request was legitimate and that Cousins simply hasn't informed his agent, rather than his agent's interpretation, which is that Cousins was saying, in effect, "If that's the situation, then trade me" which is different from a trade demand. We're talking semantics here, but they're important on all sides. 

It's also notable that Westphal says that to solve the situation, Cousins needs to do some soul searching. There's explicitly no claim of responsbility for the situation on Westphal's part. Which, if the situation is as bad as Westphal claims it is, isn't necessarily a fault. But it sets the table for how this situation is developing, which is that the coach feels this is all on the back of Cousins and not a two-way communication issue.

Tom Ziller at SBNation.com notes that the fact that the Kings did not suspend Cousins, instead just "sending him home," speaks to how the organization is being run. A suspension escalates the situation as it restricts his pay and can be appealed by the NBPA.

After this many incidents, however, at some point the Kings are going to have to face the situation head-on. Either Cousins is a part of the team's long-term future, or Westphal is. Because its hard to see either Cousins or Westphal changing their path at this point. It's not resolving itself, and even if Cousins is lacking in maturity, painting him into a corner this way isn't going to do anything to foster an environment of growth. Cousins may be too much of a problem to keep, but he's too talented to let go.

The Kings, for the moment, are stuck.

Here's reaction to the situation from Kings players after the game, courtesy of Cowbell Kingdom. There's a wide range of comments here, with the Kings players showing the kind of professionalism that Cousins needs to learn, even if Westphal is handling the situation badly (which is certainly up for interpretation). Yahoo Sports reports that Kings players have been irritated with Cousins' behavior for some time, with one source calling him "a bully."


Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:05 pm
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Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:02 pm
 

Kings say they will not trade DeMarcus Cousins

By Matt Moore

Despite the explosive situation between DeMarcus Cousins and head coach Paul Westphal, Kings ownership says it will not trade the temperamental but talented young power forward, ownership told the Sacramento Bee.
"We leave that stuff (the benching) to the basketball people," Kings co-owner Joe Maloof said before tipoff, "but we're not trading him."
via Ailene Voisin: Situation is 'tip of the iceberg,' coach says, so where is the rest? - Sacramento Sports - Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee.

The Kings not trading Cousins is the proper path. There's absolutely no way to get adequate value after releasing a statement of the nature of Westphal's. They have a player they don't feel they can control, and with Cousins' talent, they can't simply dump him off, especially with the struggles of the team thus far this season.

As for Westphal, he spoke to reporters prior to the Kings' game against the Hornets. Kings blog Cowbell Kingdom has video, and the comments are pretty interesting.



Something that stands out here, is this quote from Westphal (transcribed by Cowbell Kingdom):
“Well, it’s interesting that he told me before he told his agent, but he told me twice. So it’s silly to have the agent deny it just because he didn’t get a call before DeMarcus talked to me that’s the easiest one of all to answer.”
Westphal is explicitly claiming that the trade request was legitimate and that Cousins simply hasn't informed his agent, rather than his agent's interpretation, which is that Cousins was saying, in effect, "If that's the situation, then trade me" which is different from a trade demand. We're talking semantics here, but they're important on all sides. 

It's also notable that Westphal says that to solve the situation, Cousins needs to do some soul searching. There's explicitly no claim of responsbility for the situation on Westphal's part. Which, if the situation is as bad as Westphal claims it is, isn't necessarily a fault. But it sets the table for how this situation is developing, which is that the coach feels this is all on the back of Cousins and not a two-way communication issue.

Tom Ziller at SBNation.com notes that the fact that the Kings did not suspend Cousins, instead just "sending him home," speaks to how the organization is being run. A suspension escalates the situation as it restricts his pay and can be appealed by the NBPA.

After this many incidents, however, at some point the Kings are going to have to face the situation head-on. Either Cousins is a part of the team's long-term future, or Westphal is. Because its hard to see either Cousins or Westphal changing their path at this point. It's not resolving itself, and even if Cousins is lacking in maturity, painting him into a corner this way isn't going to do anything to foster an environment of growth. Cousins may be too much of a problem to keep, but he's too talented to let go.

The Kings, for the moment, are stuck.

Here's reaction to the situation from Kings players after the game, courtesy of Cowbell Kingdom. There's a wide range of comments here, with the Kings players showing the kind of professionalism that Cousins needs to learn, even if Westphal is handling the situation badly (which is certainly up for interpretation). Yahoo Sports reports that Kings players have been irritated with Cousins' behavior for some time, with one source calling him "a bully."

Posted on: September 28, 2011 12:51 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Sacramento city council votes on arena research

By Matt Moore

The city council of Sacramento, California voted Tuesday night in suport of $550,000 to be put towards research to formulate an arena proposal for Sacramento that would keep the Kings in town.  The council voted 7-2, for a variety of reasons, as outlined at ProBasketballTalk.com. The vote represents a big step forward for Sacramento keeping hold of the Kings. The NBA has given the city until March 1, 2012 to formulate a plan or Anaheim's going to have a new professional basketball team. 

The research funding is just one step towards the creation of the $387 million project being proposed by the city. On Tuesday, arena juggernaut AEG expressed interest in assisting the project.  AEG, which owns and operates both Staples Center and Kansas City's Sprint Center among others. The supporting vote coupled with AEG's interest certainly points towards everything going Kings fans' way. 

The next step will be the creation of a formal proposal towards the project. But even after that, the city will have to approve a world of money during an economic downturn for the team to stay.
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: April 21, 2011 3:04 pm
 

Kings' relocation train grinding to a halt?

League has serious reservations about Maloofs' relocation plan to Anaheim as relocation committee visits Sacramento to test Mayor Kevin Johnson's claims regarding market viability. Do the Kings stay?
Posted by Matt Moore




You'll have to forgive us for having jumped too early. It's just, it wasn't supposed to go like this. As in, it never goes like this. An NBA owner manages to avoid their small market poneying up for a new arena, and the door's supposed to magically swing open to relocation. After all, how can the owners vote against one of their brethren, knowing that if they are a large-market owner, continued strength in those areas is best for them, and if they are a small-market owner they would be setting a precedent to vote against their own bid later? Despite the bickering between franchises that goes on daily in the NBA, the owners stick together, right? 

Yeah, not so much, looks like. 

Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated has the Sacramento beat down as well as anyone and he reports this week that momentum on that midnight train to Disney Land has hit some major breaks, thanks to questions from the NBA Board of Governors that have left the Maloofs facing a pretty depressing future: a possible, maybe probable return to Sacramento. 
The next two days are pivotal. Johnson will host relocation committee chairman and Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett and league counsel Harvey Benjamin in Sacramento and attempt to prove the case the mayor made so strongly at the NBAs Board of Governors meetings last week: that his city remains a viable market. On the other bench, sources say the Anaheim presentation given at the meetings was as ineffective as Johnsons was impactful, and there is serious doubt as to whether there will be enough support to warrant the Maloofs filing for relocation a majority vote is needed to approve a move when a team files.
via Strong indications Kings may be in Sacramento next year - Sam Amick - SI.com.

The big issue here? TV money, the golden calf of NBA financing. As opposed to NFL television rights, which are collective and shared throughout the league, each NBA team gets to negotiate its own TV deals. Which is why some teams, like the Lakers, are due for $5 billion over 25 years, and some teams make less than they're paying their third best player, like the Bobcats. The Kings' relocation to the lucrative SoCal market was supposed to suckle at that market that ensures the Lakers profit ridiculous amounts by winning and the Clippers make great money even by being the freaking Clippers. Instead, Amick reports a $20 million deal is all they have acquired in the Anaheim relocation package, through a minor network through a relationship with Samueli, the mastermind behind the bid to send the Kings to his Anaheim arena. $20 million is the league average, so the ownership was pretty much "eh" when faced with that number. 

Are these just concerns? Is there any real momentum to the move? This paragraph from Amick should read as a punch in the face of the Maloofs. 
There were internal signs that the league is taking Sacramento seriously this week. Two sources said an NBA representative called on Monday to advise the Kings' business team to prepare the season-ticket packages and corporate sponsorship plans that had been on hold since rumors of the move were legitimized in February. Team employees had been in a holding pattern for months, but they were told to be ready to deliver the goods to their customers in the coming weeks should a happy ending be on the horizon. There was similar movement in other areas of the organization, with the notion of a Kings return suddenly seeming somewhere between possible and probable.
So the league has advised the organization to start selling tickets in advance of a move against the wishes of ownership. Pardon us while we "LOL" for a little bit. 

The Maloofs thought this was going to be easy. They may get their way, get their Los Angeles Royals of Anaheim. But the city's not going down without a fight, and in this last round, it's Mayor Kevin Johnson who's landed all the punches. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com