Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Offseason Overview: Sacramento Kings

Perhaps no team has gone through such a big an overhaul over the last twelve months as the Sacramento Kings. However, they have continued to win at a pretty phenomenal rate, albeit only during the regular season. For all the minor (and major) tinkering they’ve done, though, they still have held onto the core of Mike Bibby, Peja Stojakovic, and Brad Miller. How newcomers like Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Bonzi Wells and rookie Francisco Garcia fill the voids left by Chris Webber et al. remains to be seen. But we can take a guess:

The Stud: Mike Bibby, PG
Often the third or even fourth King chosen in recent fantasy drafts, this year Bibby will contend with Peja and Miller for the top spot, and we think he deserves to be taken before any of his teammates. Last year saw him score at a career-high rate of 19.6 ppg, and he improved his assists to nearly seven per game. His three’s and steals are good enough to make him a top point guard, and while his FT% is slightly lacking, his FG% is pretty strong for a PG.

The Support: Brad Miller, C
Miller’s second season in Sacramento was not all that different from his first. He’s a solid center, who will help in points, boards, and blocks, while shooting exceptionally well from the stripe for a center. Oh yeah, and then there’s those assists. His 4 assists (or so) per game will allow you to choose a PG like Chauncey Billups or Jason Terry later in the draft, without worrying about a slightly lower than average assists contribution from the point.

The Supporting Support: Peja Stojakovic, SF
After a spectacular 2003 season which saw him slip into the top ten of many drafts last year, Peja went through a number of serious slumps and injuries to put together a very average (for him) 2004. He’s still worth a second round pick, but his inflated value last year has now come back to earth.

The Sleeper: Bonzi Wells, SG
Finally released from the fantasy hell of Memphis, Wells has an opportunity in Sacramento to relive his 2001 season where he scored 17 ppg and grabbed 6 rpg. What’s more, his per-minute steals and threes have improved since then, so should he reach the 35 mpg he could receive in Sacramento, he will be a steal late in the draft, a sort of Bobby Simmons clone.

The Slacker: Shareef Abdur-Rahim, F
We’re officially not sold on Shareef Abdur-Rahim. He’s going to be contending for playing time with Kenny Thomas and Corliss Williamson, he’s missed significant time with injuries in each of the last three years, and he’ll be no better than the fourth option on this team. Someone will take him in the 4th or 5th round, but it shouldn’t be you. He’s got no better than 6th or 7th round value this year, at best.

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