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What’s going on with the Sacramento Kings?

Just a few days ago, we reported on the possibility of Willie Cauley-Stein supposedly being on the trading block, only to hear he is, in fact, not. Then, less than a day later, rumors about Omri Casspi being so unhappy with his playing time with the Kings that he’s requested a trade - only to have that refuted, though reports seem to confirm he did indeed meet with his team to get a clearer idea of what his role will be going forward.


All this comes after similar buzz swirled around Rudy Gay, who has made it clear he will not resign with Sacramento, and plans to opt out after this season to test free agency. Comments coming to light he told now-ex-coach George Karl “welcome to basketball hell” on his arrival only emphasizes what is by far the league’s worst-kept secret:

The Kings may be the worst-run franchise in the history of the modern NBA.

Speaking of coaches, they are on their fourth in three seasons (five if you count Tyrone Corbin), with a notoriously fickle and erratic owner (Vivek Ranadive), and an improving but inexperienced General Manager (Vlade Divac), who seemed to think it was a good idea to draft all big men in this year’s draft with their franchise player, DeMarcus Cousins, entering his second-to-last year of his contract.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Of course you are - and so is everyone who follows the NBA more than very, very casually. Something has to give. Six big men plus two wings playing half their time at the four, divided by too little playing time to keep them all happy, multiplied by one hard-to-work with (for arguably justifiable reasons) All-Star center equals a serious resurgence of the rumor we’ve all come to love and hate:

DeMarcus Cousins may be available, yet again, after all.


Shaquille O'Neal - former Celtic, Hall of Fame big man, and most importantly, Kings minority owner, has reportedly said as much, according to CBS' Matt Moore:

"In the previous years, he's been hot-headed, he hasn't shown great leadership qualities ... I'm hearing talk that if things don't start to become correct, then they may be looking in another direction."

Nobody but a team’s front office ever really knows how available any given player is, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who knows what a depth chart is who wouldn't see a massive issue with the Kings' roster makeup. And when we're talking about 29 other teams who would likely mortgage their firstborn to get their hands on Cousins' contract, we probably know why practically every player with trade value who spends time in the frontcourt rotation has magically been on and off the trade block over the last two months.

Nobody's blinking when the Kings' inevitable desperation move might pay off so big.


There's so much we don't know, but it seems likely the whole league and Sacramento are playing a game of chicken, with dozens of low-ball offers no GM in their right mind would ever pull the trigger on likely being floated in the hopes that the Kings - as the last few years seem to suggest - have at least some front office members who in fact may not be in their right mind, at least when it comes to strategy.

It's far too soon to say anything definitive about what's unfolding, but much like a slow-motion trainwreck that this team seems to have become, we can't - and shouldn't - take our eyes off of it. The question is who blinks first, and who ends up moving - Willie Cauley-Stein, Rudy Gay, Omri Casspi, or the main event (or trojan horse?), DeMarcus Cousins?

Only time will tell, but this time, it feels different.

What do you think is going to shake out of all of this? Nothing? Supporting cast? DeMarcus? What do you want to see happen? How would you like it to go down? Let us know in the comments below!


Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 11/13/2016 03:08:00 PM Edit
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