by Cutter Hicks, Sports 1140 KHTK
It’s rebuilding time for the Sacramento Kings, it’s pretty obvious at this point now that a whole slew of young talent are the faces of the royalty.
Despite going into the NBA Draft on Thursday with two first-round picks, many believe the rebuilding process began when the team traded away All-Star player DeMarcus Cousins for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and its 2017 first-round and second-round pick to Sacramento.
The first and last on the list are the ones should be in bold because they represent the new era.
According to a recent interview with Sacramento Bee’s Ailene Voisin, Kings’ GM Vlade Divac knew they were ready to rebuild knowing that Cousins’ estimated $200 million contract extension was certainly out of the question.
“…I wanted to study everything and not make quick decisions I would regret. I put myself into working with George (Karl), DeMarcus. But when I realized it wasn’t going to work, I thought, ‘Go young and start over,’ ” Divac told Voisin.
Buddy Hield, 23, has been a standout at shooting guard since the trade and is looking to be the everyday starter come the 2017 season.
Skal Labissiere, who was drafted alongside Hield in last year’s draft, could and potentially would be the Kings’ starting PF. Willie Cauley-Stein, who the team drafted in 2015, will most likely be one of the top competitors with his experience behind Cousins at center.
This leads to this upcoming draft. The Kings are in need of a small forward and a point guard. Sources point to the team grabbing PG De’Aaron Fox with their no. 5 pick because they’re looking for a floor general to lead the team into this new era.
If this is the case, and the Kings pluck Fox, Divac’s blueprints for his philosophy will fall right into place.