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Sports 1140 KHTK’s Sacramento Kings Offseason Preview

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

KHTK’s on-air personalities and website contributors weighed in on what they think Sacramento needs to do before the season tips off in December

It’s going to be a busy–checks notes–two weeks of Sacramento Kings offseason.

The NBA Draft will take place on Wednesday, followed by free-agency beginning on Friday night, giving the Kings only 11 days to get their roster ready for training camp on December 1st.

To gather some thoughts on what the team should do to get ready for opening night, we asked some Sports 1140 KHTK on-air hosts and website contributors to share their thoughts on what needs to be done this offseason:

  • Carmichael Dave (host, The Carmichael Dave Show)
  • Doug Christie (host, The Jason Ross and Doug Christie Show))
  • Jason Ross (host, The Jason Ross and Doug Christie Show)
  • Justin “JayMarzz” Marshall (host, The Carmichael Dave Show)
  • Matt George (reporter/studio host)
  • Chris Watkins (videographer/website contributor)
  • Franklin Cartoscelli (writer/website contributor)

What are the Kings’ biggest need(s) going into draft night? Does it get addressed?

Dave: This is tough. The Kings aren’t a playoff team, and that means they need EVERYTHING.

Obviously they’re set at point guard, but the uncertainty surrounding Buddy, Bogi, and Bagley (health) clouds it all. More shooting is always a plus, as is more defense. This draft, because of Covid, is a bigger crapshoot than ever. The best players picked could be between 10-20 for all we know. I’m not trying to be cagey, but the Kings  needs are entirely predicated on what new GM Monte McNair decides to do with the pieces he already has. It will be the first big challenge for the rookie front office captain.

Welcome to Sacramento, Monte. 

JayMarzz: The Kings biggest need going into draft night is another big wing that can be interchangeable at the 3 and 4. The only player on the current roster right now that fits this description is Harrison Barnes.

The Kings could potentially find their man at #12 with a pair of Florida State wings – Devin Vassell and Patrick Williams – or look to trade into the top part of the draft and take a swing at Maccabi Tel-Aviv’s Deni Avdija.

JRoss: To me the answer here are wings, wings and more wings. Not only is the league filled with them so is the draft so yes I believe they will address this with either their 12th pick, 35th pick, 43rd pick, 52nd pick or will all of them.

Florida State forward Patrick Williams

Doug:

  • Length and defense on the perimeter
  • Toughness inside
  • Small-forward
  • Back up point-guard.

Watkins: Perimeter Defense & Wing Depth – I think Monte McNair will have a couple different options facing him come draft day, it will be a matter of which path he chooses to go down on that day.

There are plenty of solid wing prospects that show potential to fit that mold, it will just be a matter of it they fall to #12 in a draft that has question marks all over the board OR if Monte McNair really likes a certain prospect that is higher up on draft boards, like maybe an Obi Toppin, he could take advantage of the decreased value of draft picks in this year’s draft and move up to get his guy.

George: It would be wrong to say that the Kings have just one major need. Even with the exciting, younger pieces of this roster, there are some clear holes. The only position that is for sure secured is starting point guard. Everything else could be improved or changed.

That being said, Sacramento’s wing depth isn’t great. We know the Kings’ defense has been atrocious for years, so finding a “3 & D” wing in the draft would be ideal. Thankfully, there are a lot of wing options that should still be available at #12. Unless the Kings fall in love with one player in particular, I find it hard to believe that Sacramento wont end up with a wing on draft night.

Cartoscelli: The Sacramento Kings can always use more help on the wing. The uncertainty surrounding Kent Bazemore’s return could mean that McNair opts to select a wing–Patrick Williams, Devin Vassell, Isaac Okoro–or that they move the pick for an established veteran.

What else could it take for the team to acquire a veteran? That’s a scary question that I’m not sure that I want to be answered.

What (realistic) free-agent would make biggest impact on this current roster?

George: Bogdan Bogdanovic. Maybe a cop out answer, but it’s the truth. Being completely realistic with Bogi’s inconsistencies, there is a reason why so many teams are interested in him. I wouldn’t massively overpay for him but securing a new contract would be a win for the Kings.

JRoss: Christian Wood. He has worked his way around the NBA and the G-League but is still just 25 years of age. He had a very strong year with the Pistons last season and though his stock is on the rise, I believe he could be had for a relativley affordable price. I like his career path as he is continuing to climb and I think would be a good fit in Sacramento.

Dave: When talking realistic, this free agent class couldn’t fit the Kings  any worse. Sure, they could throw huge money at a name or two (Gordon Hayward, Danilo Gallinari), but why hamstring yourself when you have next to no chance of making the playoffs this year? Anthony Davis ain’t walking through that door.

Save the flexibility, and capitalize when a team who’s eyes were bigger than their stomach realizes near the trade deadline that they need to move some money- and maybe get a future draft pick on top of it. 

If they WERE to throw money at anyone, I’d take a look at a couple of Derricks: Favors and Jones Jr. 

Watkins: Christian Wood (PF – DET) – One of the very, very, few bright spots last season for the Detroit Pistons was the emergence of NBA journey man, and an offspring of Philadelphia’s “Process”, Christian Wood.

With his lanky, 6’10 frame, Wood may remind some Kings fans of former Sacramento King, Willie Cauley-Stein. However, Wood plays with all the energy that you would ever want from a player.

I think this pickup would be very similar to the Kings addition of fellow “Process” spawn, Richaun Holmes. A high energy big, who knows his role and how to get his points, while still finding other ways to have impact on the game is something that every NBA team is looking for. If the Kings could manage to stagger minutes between Holmes, Bagley, & Wood, that could be the foundation for the up-tempo offense that the Kings need to be running next season.

JayMarzz: Should the Kings pick-up their team option on Nemanja Bjelica and Jabari Parker exercises his player option (I expect both to happen), the Kings will have a little over $12 million in cap space. However, that’s not a true number since they won’t be renouncing their rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic, and re-signing him would eat that number up, leaving them with only the non-tax payer MLE.

The Kings would be unlikely to use all of the exception, so cheap back-up options at the point like Kris Dunn or a veteran wing like Solomon Hill could provide the Kings some depth at a relatively inexpensive price.

Cartoscelli: Other than Bogdan Bogdanovic, who of course would be realistic due to the fact that he’s a restricted free-agent, the Kings likely would have a very shallow pool of possibilities.

Of course, if Vlade Divac was still here, you could have expected a max offer to Danilo Gallinari. Alas, Divac is gone and Monte McNair is running the show, meaning that the Kings in all likelihood will limit themselves on the market. Kent Bazemore is someone that I would really like the team to bring back, along with Bogi.

If the team is to decline the option on Nemanja Bjelica, I would kick the tires on Davis Bertans. Being able to staff floor-stretchers is very critical in today’s NBA.

Doug: Kent Bazemore (keep him)

Buddy Hield. Bogdan Bogdanovic. Who is on the Kings roster come opening night?

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

JRoss: I would say Buddy Hield.

I am a HUGE fan of both but my mind set is to continue to work with Buddy. His shooting skill set is top 5 in the league and I would work and work and work with him on the things that get him in trouble. More emphasis on his ball handling, decision making and shooting. I didn’t like that the Kings didn’t play him with De’Aaron enough in my opinion. De’Aaron is the best player on this team that defenses have to honor and that should create some nice openings for Buddy.

Dave: I’d probably say Bogi, but boy is it a tossup.

I don’t know how deep the chasm is between Buddy and Luke Walton (if there is one), and conventional wisdom says Walton is on borrowed time anyway. However, that’s not something McNair can readily communicate to his semi-mercurial 2 guard. Unless Bogi gets a massive offer thrown at him, he may end up being the long term solution at the 2. But do NOT discount the value of outside shooting, and trading a top three point shooter in the league (secured under a contract that doesn’t even kick in till next season) isn’t always a great idea.

Again, we don’t know what McNair is thinking from either a micro or macro point of view, so prognosticating is the ultimate crapshoot. Also, don’t discount neither of them being around. 

George: Both. I’m sure Bogi sign-and-trades will be discussed, and there will be plenty of rumors around Buddy Hield, but with the limited amount of time before training camp and next season, I think Monte McNair sticks with both guards, sees what he has, maybe gives a three guard starting lineup a try, and makes a decision at the trade deadline. It’s probably the smart play.

Watkins: I’d put my money on Buddy.

This thought is purely because Monte McNair is coming from Houston, where they made were taking 3’s like they were in layup lines. I think McNair sees a lot of different possibilities on how to maximize Buddy’s 3 point shooting ability.

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

There might be something real to the recent rumors about the Bucks interest in Bogi, and I think the Kings would be smart to try and see if they could work something out with them and possibly snag some of their younger talent, like a Donte DiVincenzo or local kid DJ Wilson (Captial Christian HS) plus draft capital (which could become incredibly valuable should Giannis leave next season)……….also I don’t think it’s going to be easy to find good value with Buddy’s new contract set to kick in this season.

JayMarzz: Both. While each guard is subject to trade rumors (we all know about Buddy’s desire to be dealt and Milwaukee’s infatuation with Bogi that would require a sign-and-trade), the smart play for Monte McNair and company is to retain their asset in Bogi, and try to rehab Buddy’s value through proper use in the Kings line-up. From there, you could find yourself with quite the intriguing trade deadline market for one or both…

Cartoscelli: Both Buddy and Bogi will be back come opening night, in my opinion.

Monte McNair is coming from Houston, where they love the three-ball. I would expect the new Kings GM to re-up Bogi for at least three years and roll with both sharpshooters to start the season. If Buddy starts playing his way into a situation where teams come calling during the trade deadline, we can revisit. But for now, both Buddy and Bogi should be back for Sacramento.

Doug: Both Buddy and Bogi remain in Sacramento.

Give me your opening night starting lineup:

Doug Christie:

  • PG – De’Aaron Fox
  • SG – Buddy Hield
  • SF – Harrison Barnes
  • PF – Marvin Bagley III
  • C – Richaun Holmes

Carmichael Dave: “I’m going to go easy here, because I can’t see the future (otherwise I’d be in a better house)”

  • PG – De’Aaron Fox
  • SG – Buddy Hield
  • SF – Harrison Barnes
  • PF – Marvin Bagley III
  • C – Richaun Holmes

Jason Ross:

  • PG – De’Aaron Fox
  • SG – Buddy Hield
  • SF – Harrison Barnes
  • PF – Marvin Bagley III
  • C – Richaun Holmes

Matt George:

  • PG – De’Aaron Fox
  • SG – Buddy Hield
  • SF – Bogdan Bogdanovic
  • PF – Harrison Barnes
  • C – Marvin Bagley III

Chris Watkins:

  • PG- De’Aaron Fox
  • SG – Buddy Hield
  • SF – Harrison Barnes
  • PF – Nemanja Bjelica
  • C – Marvin Bagley III

JayMarzz:

  • PG – De’Aaron Fox
  • SG – Buddy Hield
  • SF – Bogdan Bogdanovic
  • PF – Harrison Barnes
  • C – Marvin Bagley III

Franklin Cartoscelli:

  • PG – De’Aaron Fox
  • SG – Bogdan Bogdanovic
  • SF – Harrison Barnes
  • PF – Nemanja Bjelica
  • C – Richaun Holmes