Everyone remembers the Kings from 10 years ago with C-Webb, a spry Mike Bibby, Hedo, Vlade, Doug Christie’s wife, and head coach Rick Adelman. These days it is a completely different team, but the Kings are again loaded with talent. It might not be this year or the next, but with a probable top 10 pick and with a deadly duo of Tyreke Evans and Boogie Cousins, the Kings’ future gets brighter everyday.
There is no doubt the Kings are built around two cornerstones in their backcourt and frontcourt. Tyreke Evans is an absolute monster at 6’6” 220 lbs., and is already one of the toughest players to guard in the NBA. He is built like a two guard, is a better point guard right now, but will likely start making the transition to shooting guard this season. His assists will likely plateau, or perhaps be lower than last season’s 5.8 average, but his scoring will be up along with everything else.
‘Reke is one of the best young players in the NBA, while Cousins is one of the best young American big men. Cousins comes with baggage but should still be drafted in your league, especially with the Sam Dalembert injury. Cousins is very talented and will have a few very good games a month, although he is also likely to take a night off mentally here and there. Draft him in the middle to late rounds in a normal league, while draft him very high in dynasty leagues.
Probable Starters –
D-Leaguers: Hassan Whiteside, Darnell Jackson, Marcus Landry
3 Concerns Heading Into the Season –
1. Is Tyreke Evans really that good?
Yup. Kid can do it all and the unimpressive three turnovers per game will go down while everything else will go up, except for maybe assists. ‘Reke will benefit from having a dominant big man for the years to come and the Kings have one of the best duos in the world.
2. How good will Boogie be?
Cousins is a monster with soft hands and very long arms. He is not much of an athlete but has everything you look for in a big man. The NBA’s next Rasheed will take a year or two to be consistent with his numbers, but he will still have more than a few good games a month and will be near the top in the ROY chase.
3. Do you remember when Shaq called the Kings, the “Sacramento Queens?”
Yes, I do, it is one of my favorite jokes of all time (2:14 mark and make sure you adjust your fantasy football lineups with the Ahman Green injury).
Fantasy Disappointment – Jason Thompson is going to be the third big man, but when Dalembert comes back he will be the fourth. Sammy is in a contract year, which inspires everyone except Eddy Curry, and should log a lot of minutes when he comes back due to the fact he still has some game left. Thompson put up nice numbers at 12.5 and 8.5 but will not see those numbers as long as Carl Landy, Boogie, and Dalembert are also on the team.
Biggest Fantasy Contributor – Tyreke Evans. ‘He should have an even better season than his remarkable rookie campaign. The Kings are getting better every day and have a great future ahead of them with ‘Reke and Boogie (another great team name).
Deep Sleeper – Beno! Donte! Do Carl Landry or Omri Casspi count?
Beno Udrih had a solid season in 2010, posting career highs in PPG and APG. The PG spot is all his this season, as ‘Reke moves over to SG for the majority of his minutes, and Beno should have a pretty good season. Steal him late, because most people cannot take an NBA player named Beno seriously.
Donte Greene is a long shot to make a fantasy impact, but he had a handful of games last season that made you keep an eye on him. Greene will get minutes behind fan favorite Omri Casspi, but how much more than 21 MPG is the question.
Omri Casspi and Carl Landry are both well known names around fantasy NBA managers but both are commonly over-looked. Casspi is a hyper-active small forward who is smarter than he is talented and will fill up the stat sheet due to his savviness throughout his career. He is still young and will be inconsistent but will be a good NBA player for a long time.
Carl Landry is one of my favorite players, not because I am a Purdue fan, but because he’s been shot in the leg and got his teeth knocked out, like, four times last year. Kidding. Landry averaged 18 and 6.5 for the Kings last season, and although he will not see close to those numbers this season, Landry is a still a solid option in one of the better frontcourts in the NBA.