BoxScore Geeks' 2014 Sacramento Kings Preview

The Numbers

  •  Average Seed
    10
  • 📉 Pessimist
    31.1 wins
  •  Realist
    39.3 wins
  • 📈 Optimist
    47.5 wins
 First Seed
 
0.0%
⋆ Division
 
2.3%
 Top 4
 
5.1%
👍 Over (31.0)
ğŸ‘Ž Under (31.0)
 
15.5%
ğŸŽ€ Playoffs
 
24.2%

The Brief

Last season was a new era for the Kings. Under new management, the Kings went from a 28 win laughingstock to...a 28 win laughingstock. The Kings made some big moves. Sure, they weren't great moves, but they were bold. For an organization that was being heralded as being headed by smart analytics, I was a bit let down. We'll see if they can turn it around.

The Story

There's a simple key to winning, have above average players. The Kings struggled with this last season, and spoiler, next season doesn't look much better. Vivek Ranadive, the Kings' new owner, was included as a basketball hero in Malcolm Gladwell's recent book. He took his daughter's basketball squad to the state finals. I was hoping some of his magic would rub off on the Kings. We've yet to see it, but to be fair, it's only been a year.

Last Year

  •  Actual Wins: 28
  •  Expected Wins: 34.3
  • ⚅ Lucky Wins: 0.2
Player Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Isaiah Thomas  2,497 25 0.132 6.9
DeMarcus Cousins 2,298 23 0.157 7.5
Ben McLemore 2,187 21 -0.012 -0.6
Jason Thompson 2,007 28 0.070 2.9
Rudy Gay 1,892 27 0.131 5.2
Derrick Williams 1,658 23 0.114 3.9
Marcus Thornton  1,121 27 0.040 0.9
Travis Outlaw  1,065 29 0.025 0.6
Ray McCallum 897 23 -0.026 -0.5
Quincy Acy  786 23 0.110 1.8
Reggie Evans 500 34 0.220 2.3
Greivis Vasquez  465 27 0.064 0.6
Jimmer Fredette  463 25 0.089 0.9
John Salmons  445 34 0.027 0.2
Patrick Patterson  415 25 0.040 0.3
Aaron Gray  335 29 0.031 0.2
Carl Landry 233 30 0.091 0.4
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute  196 27 0.157 0.6
Chuck Hayes  179 31 0.138 0.5
Hamady N'Diaye  74 27 -0.081 -0.1
Jared Cunningham  58 23 -0.023 0
Orlando Johnson 50 25 -0.276 -0.3
Royce White 9 23 -0.384 -0.1

 Indicates that the player is no longer with the team.

  • 34.3 total Wins Produced
  •  13 players leaving
    (8099.0 minutes, 13.5 wins)

Of the seventeen players the Kings that suited up for at least a couple hundred minutes, only four were above average. Let's be clear, above average is not a high mark. Two of the Kings above average players were Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. Rudy Gay was paid seventeen million dollars last season! DeMarcus Cousins was much more reasonable on rookie contract. Of course, the Kings extended him to a max deal, which may bite them in the future. The Kings lucked into some good play out of Derrick Williams, who had been terrible until the Kings. Finally, Isaiah Thomas, the steal of the 2011 draft, kept up his decent play. Despite these few "bright spots", the Kings had very little to be proud of. Most of the squad has moved through the Kings revolving door, so we'll see how next season goes.

This Year

  •  Projected Wins: 39.3
  •  Conference Rank: 13
  • % Playoffs: 24.2
Player Position Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Rudy Gay 3.0 2,183.6 29 0.101 4.6
Darren Collison  1.0 2,128.9 27 0.174 7.7
DeMarcus Cousins 5.0 2,063.4 25 0.180 7.7
Reggie Evans 4.0 1,974.6 35 0.100 4.1
Ben McLemore 2.0 1,894.0 22 0.003 0.1
Jason Thompson 5.0 1,473.7 29 0.062 1.9
Ramon Sessions  1.0 1,376.5 29 0.092 2.6
Omri Casspi  3.0 1,319.0 27 0.093 2.5
Carl Landry 4.0 1,203.7 32 0.102 2.5
Nik Stauskas  2.0 1,077.1 21 0.071 1.6
Derrick Williams 3.5 750.6 24 0.067 1.0
Ray McCallum 1.0 701.4 24 0.058 0.8
Eric Moreland  4.0 595.9 0 0.071 0.9

 Indicates that the player is new to the team.

  • 📅 35.0 WP last year
    by these players
  • 🔀 1.8 WP (roster changes)
  • ⏲ .2 WP (age/experience)

The Kings offseason has been a pretty good step forward. The Kings let a decent Isaiah Thomas walk. However, they replaced him with a more affordable and better Darren Collison. They also signed Ramon Sessions and Omri Casspi. Neither player is great, but they're actually upgrades on this squad. And, at a combined three million dollars, they're affordable. Provided they don't extend Rudy Gay, and if DeMarcus Cousins has some improvement, they may be in good shape. They won't make the playoffs this season, but at least they'll give the Lakers a run for not being the worst team in the division.

The Wrap

The Kings took a step back last season. So far this offseason they look good going forward. Even better, they've signed Dean Oliver, the "father of basketball analytics", to their staff. In short, they have run out of excuses. They have a smart owner, a flexible roster, and a top analytics mind. Again, I don't expect this team to make the playoffs. However, the bar for how the squad is run has definitely risen. I'll be extra critical of their moves and how they look going forward. If they live up to my expectations though, this team could be a force in a few years.

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