With the NBA season just a few months away and the majority of player movement being done, I’m going to start previewing the teams. Based on my projected order of the standings, we’ll start at the bottom and work towards the top rotating between East and West. Past previews will be linked as well.
Marvin Bagley III PF (draft), Nemanja Bjelica PF (free agency), Yogi Ferrell PG (free agency)
Vince Carter SG
Offensive Rating 101.1 (29th)
Defensive Rating 109.0 (27th)
Net Rating -7.9 (29th)
True Shooting Percentage 52.9% (30th)
Assist Percentage 55.6% (23rd)
Rebound Percentage 48.3% (27th)
Turnover Percentage 14% (14th)
Pace 97.06 (30th)
The Sacramento Kings will bring back largely the same roster, with a few notable additions. Despite not making the playoffs since 2005-2006, there is not much to get excited about in terms of young talent. Bad trades, poor drafting, and cap mismanagement leaves the Kings still searching for a franchise player. Is Marvin Bagley III finally the answer?
Big Man Rotation
The Kings have an extremely unbalanced roster and have to figure out a big man rotation. Bagley is the future, but veterans Nemanja Bjelica, Zach Randolph, and Kosta Kousfos are there as well. Further complicating things are the presence of Skal Labissiere, Henry Giles, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Deyonta Davis. It's going to be extremely tough to find minutes for everyone.
Evolve with the Times
The Kings finished second to last in offensive efficiency last season, which can be attributed to two major things. One was that they were dead last in free throw attempts per game at just 16.7. The second is that they were 28th in three point attempts per game at just 24.0. The low three point attempts is especially troubling because they actually shot well, finishing third in the NBA shooting 37.5%. Embracing analytics will help the Kings tremendously.
The centerpiece of the DeMarcus Cousin's trade, Buddy Hield is finally starting to show something. Post All Star break the Kings were outscored by 11.2 points per 100 possessions when Hield was on the bench. Hield provides the Kings with much needed shooting and averaged 15.7 PPG, shooting 46.1% from the field and 44.3% from three after the All Star break. Hield needs to improve his scoring at the rim, but his development will take pressure of Bagley.
Player to Watch: Nemanja Bjelica
Bjelica is a true stretch four, coming off a season where he shot 41.5% from three. Last season with the Timberwolves he started at small forward when Jimmy Butler when down with an injury, but had a tough time defensively. I think Bjelica can really play (at least offensively), but was stuck in a bad situation in Minnesota. Hopefully the Kings can find a way to utilize him more offensively without hurting Bagley's development.
PG: DeAaron Fox
SG: Buddy Hield
SF: Bogdon Bogdonovic
PF: Marvin Bagley III
C: Willie Cauley-Stein
PG: Frank Mason
SG: Iman Shumpert
SF: Justin Jackson
PF: Nemanja Bjelica
C: Zach Randolph
Westgate Projected Win Total: 25.5
Projected Record: 23-58 (15th in Western Conference)