By Ben Stein ‘18
The Sacramento Kings are a mess. They have not made the playoffs since 2004, fans do not have much to cheer for, and to make matters worse, their best player, DeMarcus Cousins, got traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Cousins was averaging 27.8 ppg and 10.6 rpg as a King through 55 games in 2016-17, before moving to New Orleans where he played 17 games. Losing an all-star and arguably a top 10 player in the league, the question is where does the franchise go from here.
There are several players who they may be able to rely on for some wins, but nobody knows who will step up and give this team a shot in the playoffs. Again, this is a team that has not won more than 33 games in a season dating back to 2006. That is 16 games under .500, but if we analyze some of their players, it might seem like they have some hope for the future.
Rudy Gay may be a viable option to build around. The 11 year vet is averaging 18.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 2.8 apg in his career, and in 2014-15 he was averaging 21.1 ppg. At 30 years old he still has a solid four to five years left of his prime.
Willie Cauley Stein is a player that the Kings could try to develop as a second star next to Gay. He averaged 8.1 ppg and 4.5 rpg in his rookie season in 75 games. The 2010 rookie of the year, Tyreke Evans, also is a hopeful option as a flexible Guard-Forward, averaging 10.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, and 3.1 apg in seven years in the league.
In free agency, Sacramento could go after someone like Gordon Hayward who led the Jazz to the second round of the playoffs this last season, or if they need a replacement for a big man they could try to sign Javale McGee who is playing good basketball with Golden State.
Either way, they should still probably eclipse more than 33 wins.