Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Tom Ziller of SactownRoyalty.com answers questions on the state of the Kings as a prelude to tonight's Portland-Sacramento matchup.
Blazer'sEdge and SactownRoyalty did a reciprocal question and answer session as an intro to tonight's matchup between the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers. You can find our answers to their questions here. We kept it simple with Tom Ziller, Kings blogger extraordinaire. He gave us this peek into the life of a Kings fan...
Blazer'sEdge: DeMarcus Cousins is half tantalizing, half frustrating, half franchise savior, and half jerk. How's his season going so far? Any new leaves turned? Any significant developments in playing style, execution, or maturity? How far can/will the Kings ride this guy?
SactownRoyalty: On the court, Cousins' season has been mixed. He's had three games in which foul trouble nuked him, and he wasn't able to get much going in short spells. The Kings lost all three games. In three other games, he's played more than 30 minutes, he's averaged 22-13 and the Kings are 2-1. Then there's the off-court: he confronted Sean Elliott over some comments at the end of Spurs-Kings, and wound up with the two-game suspension from the league. We'll put that first game after the suspension in the "less than 25 minutes" box. It's obvious how important he is to the team, but at the same point, he's proven to be pretty unreliable due to fouls, silly technicals and stuff like what led to the suspension. So no, there are not yet any changes evident. What a bummer.
B.E. In a similar vein, Tyreke Evans is not really a point guard but not really a shooting guard and may not really ever have gotten over his injuries. This guy was a no-brainer star in the making a short time ago. What's his status? Does he have a position? Does he even have a home anymore or would the Kings like to move him?
S.R. I think he's a shooting guard who can't shoot. He's actually similar to Joe Johnson, except Joe Johnson can shoot. Some might prefer the Larry Hughes comparison, which makes me weep. I think that if the Kings continue to struggle Evans might swap out with Marcus Thornton and begin coming off of the bench in a combo guard role -- that might also allow Jimmer Fredette (who is seriously hot to start the season) more minutes. As it is, it's hard to play Jimmer with any other guard but Tyreke (and Francisco Garcia, when he gets an opportunity) due to size issues. I don't think the Kings would hesitate to trade Tyreke if the right deal came along now or in July, when he's a restricted free agent.
B.E. Seismic rumblings have plagued Sacramento for the past couple years. Are you thinking about the Maloofs much anymore? Is the franchise future any more secure? Or are people starting to suspect that ownership is pulling a Rachel Phelps from Major League, throttling the team until nobody cares to justify a move to greener pastures? Should Keith Smart be stripping pieces of clothing off of life-sized Maloof cut-outs after every win?
S.R. The Major League comparisons have been around a couple years now, taking on new relevance as George Maloof reportedly met with Virginia Beach officials and the governor of Virginia in recent weeks to discuss a deal to move the team there. It's impossible to ignore the issue of almost assured-to-be-attempted relocation; frankly, we don't want people to forget, because in some sense we want to fight. It's just exhausting to fight something for three years when part of the bargain is being forced to a) pay the people you're fighting for the privilege, and b) watch a terrible basketball team up close. Chances are that the Maloofs will file for relocation by March 1. To where? I have no clue. But somewhere.
Thanks to Tom Ziller and Sactown Royalty for the time and the answers!