It's a rebuilding year for the Sacramento Kings. So was last year, and the year before that.
Come the end of this season, the Kings should truly start over and clean house. Keith Smart should go, Geoff Petrie should hit the highway and the Maloofs should get out of town (hopefully).
But, there is one person who should stay in Sacramento: DeMarcus Cousins. Even though he's been laughably immature and incredibly unlikable, the University of Kentucky product needs to stay.
He's Sacramento's one true franchise player. If Cousins can clean up his act, he's got the potential to be the cornerstone of the franchise. He can be the kind of player other free agents want to play with. If he stays in California's capitol, Cousins has a chance to average 20 points and 10 rebounds per night. However, he is still miles away from that productivity right now.
What the Kings should do first is get whatever they can for Tyreke Evans. Since averaging over 20 points, five rebounds and five assists during his rookie season of 2010 (which put him in some rare company) his production has gone down. It has made Kings fans think that season was a fluke.
This season, his scoring is down to 15.1 points per game. His assist and rebound numbers have also declined each season since his rookie year, but his shooting percentage is at an all-time high.
That shooting hasn't stopped the Kings from sporting one of the worst records in the NBA. So, Petrie should aim for a first round pick or two, and a young prospect in return. Evans is a good player and he should bring in a good haul. Sacramento should trade him with the focus of getting better in the future.
Other players who should go include Jason Thompson, a backup-caliber power forward who is taking playing time away from Thomas Robinson, and Jimmer Fredette, a player who hasn't come close to expectations.
Marcus Thornton is the perfect sixth man. He's another piece that be great to start a team with. Isaiah Thomas is better suited to coming off the bench. Francisco Garcia is a great presence in the locker room and is the ultimate professional.
The point here is that Sacramento has a handful of players, led by Cousins, that would be a great bunch to start over with. All the Kings need to do is draft well and, of course, hope for the first overall pick in the draft.
For that, Lady Luck needs to get involved.
Who would you like to see Sacramento keep or trade away? Leave a comment or tell me on Twitter @Lingberg2000.
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