The 2016-2017 season hasn’t been a kind one for the Sacramento Kings. As of the writing of this article, the team has limped its way to a 25-41 record, making it likely that they will be watching the playoffs from the press box this season.
As such, Peter Benedict St. Andrews and countless other Kings fans are waiting anxiously to see what executives will decide to do with the team in the coming months.
While we don’t have any pull with the general manager, we’ll share our thoughts on the Kings’ complex situation in the article below.
1) They will have Rudy Gay coming back from injury next year
One of the factors contributing to the poor performance of the Kings this season is the fact that their biggest star has been sitting on the sidelines with a knee injury since January.
The seriousness of it means that he won’t be back this season, but with aggressive therapy and training over the summer, he should be back and ready to play by next November.
2) There is an opportunity to extend DeMarcus Cousins’ contract
Another key part of the Sacramento Kings offense, DeMarcus Cousins can be so dominant, he can seemingly win games on his own on some nights.
In the coming off-season, the Kings have the opportunity to extend his contract. If the plan is to continue to compete for a playoff spot, bringing him back on board next season will be a key piece of the puzzle.
3) Fans love a winner, and are impatient when it comes to rebuilding
Above all else, Sacramento Kings management may be inclined to do everything they can to stay competitive, because in the eyes of many, nobody likes a loser.
Despite the tradeoffs of such an approach (trading prospects in an attempt to win now), these moves have the effect of building a team that at least has a chance of making the playoffs, even if it is over the short term.
1) The Kings will lose a 1st round pick if they finish above the bottom ten
As of now, the Kings still have an outside chance of making the playoffs in 2017. While they have a steep hill to climb, they can squeeze into the 8th slot if they get it together.
However, this effort will come at a huge cost to their future, as they will lose their 1st round pick in 2018 if they finish better than the bottom ten in the league.
By divesting themselves of big contracts through trades, they will likely finish beneath this threshold, thereby preserving their ability to rebuild in the years ahead.
2) There is a host of players who are due to become unrestricted free agents
There are no less than four players whose contract will expire at the end of this season. This will free up financial resources that can be used to find cheaper, more cost-effective replacements which can form the foundation of a stronger team several years from now.
3) The most successful pro sports franchises went through a lengthy building process
There are countless examples across pro sports of teams that went through lengthy periods of futility before becoming a juggernaut.
The New England Patriots of the NFL and the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL are prime examples of this process.
By enduring the pain of being bad for several seasons in a row, the Kings be able to re-organize the team around a vision which may pay off five years down the road.