Record (33-49) The Kings experienced another year of volatile locker room rumors and coaching instability. Sacramento has a unique roster. They have arguably the best center in the NBA in Demarcus Cousins, but his temperamental attitude toward the Kings front office and coaching staff has led to a shake up in the organization since he was drafted in 2010. Complimenting Cousins on the floor the Kings have built a decent nucleus of players including the constant scoring threat of Rudy Gay on the wing and this year acquiring Rajon Rondo in the backcourt. It seems the Kings are a stable locker room away from competing in the West as their roster was still able to land in 10th place despite constant media attention. The Kings were ranked number 1 in pace and third in scoring (106.6 pts per game) last year proving that they have the talent to be a solid offensive team. GM and VP of Basketball Operations Vlade Divac has the passion and commitment to get the Kings to compete, but he has to find a coach and staff that will compliment his roster. He has proven to have an eye for talent in the draft as Willie Cauley-Stein and Seth Curry have proven to be solid contributors for the Kings in 2015-2016. Stability for the Kings sits heavily on the coaching staff as the organization is dealing with more turn-over after firing George Karl in April after just 1 season as head coach. Karl was unable to improve the team’s defense to match their high scoring offense and seemed to be in constant conflict with Demarcus Cousins despite Cousins having a career year on the court. George Karl is the eighth coach the Kings have had since 2006. It is near impossible for this young team to grow when every year they must learn the tendencies and schemes of a new coach, particularly when the Kings focus should be developing the talent of their young stars. Demarcus Cousins has played for 5 coaches in 6 seasons. This hinders his comfortability with the offense and for a temperamental personality; the worst situation to put them in is instability. Also the front offices short leash with their head coaches has made it a difficult sticking spot. George Karl is well renowned for his tenure in the NBA. No one would question his knowledge or ability, but it must be difficult to coach a team in the loaded Western Conference when you know how quickly your job can be taken away. The Kings have agreed in principle with former Memphis head coach Dave Joerger to become the teams next head coach. Joeger was fired from the Grizzlies this year. A positive note is that Joeger has proven he knows how to build a fierce defense in the NBA and his quiet persona in Memphis may be good for the drama filled Kings Looking ahead to the NBA draft the Kings have the 8th pick in the first round. They will likely address their backcourt with players like Wade Baldwin but there are some interesting players that have the potential to be breakout stars that could be available at 8 including Cal’s Jaylon Brown or it is not out of the realm of possibility that talent like Buddy Hield or Kris Dunn could fall in their lap. The key for success in Sacramento however will need to be stabilizing their front office. Any amount of talent they can acquire is secondary to making the team off the court match its success on it or at least not be the distraction that we have seen the last few years.
NBA Off-Season Previews
Atlantic Division: Boston Celtics – Brooklyn Nets – New York Knicks – Philadelphia 76ers – Toronto Raptors Central Division: Chicago Bulls – Cleveland Cavaliers – Detroit Pistons – Indiana Pacers – Milwaukee Bucks Southeast Division: Atlanta Hawks – Charlotte Hornets – Miami Heat – Orlando Magic – Washington Wizards Southwest Division: Dallas Mavericks – Houston Rockets – Memphis Grizzlies – New Orleans Pelicans – San Antonio Spurs Northwest Division: Denver Nuggets – Minnesota Timberwolves – Oklahoma City Thunder – Portland Trail Blazers – Utah Jazz Pacific Division: Golden State Warriors – Los Angeles Clippers – Los Angeles Lakers – Phoenix Suns – Sacramento Kings