The Sacramento Kings are headed in a direction they must avoid. The 2016-17 season has not been kind to them, hell, it all began after the 2005-06 season, the last time they made the playoffs. Players have come and gone and this season we watched as they got rid of their lone player with ties to stardom. So what’s next for the Kings?
Sam “Trust The Process” Hinkie?
It was reported Monday that the Kings received permission from the Philadelphia 76ers to reach out to Hinkie in reference to becoming their next GM. While Kings fans may be snickering at such a move they may want to take a glance at the 76ers. Under Hinkie’s guidance, the 76ers were seen as the laughingstock of the NBA for his entire stay there, however, no one is laughing now.
The 76ers will not make the playoffs this year but thanks to Hinkie and his ability to see into the future the team is heading in the right direction. The 76ers literally gave away or let their top players walk following a successful playoff run with a team that featured Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday. Hinkie saw something brewing with said players and huge and decided to tear it all down. He called it “Trust The Process”.
Philly fans were livid for a few seasons but then it all started to come together. The draft picks like Nerlens Noel, Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid hit the floor and all was forgiven. The draft picks he received in trades that made no sense at the time will now have the 76ers with lottery picks for the next two seasons even if they don’t make the NBA Lottery themselves.
Who’s laughing now?
If the Kings are serious about fixing their team then Hinkie is the man. However, one thing needs to happen if this marriage is to work. The 76ers faithful had no faith and let Sam go but the Kings cannot do this. As I’m writing this, Kings owner, Vivek Ranadive issued a statement saying the Kings are not in search of a new GM. Ranadive believes the Kings are on the right track and that right there proves why Hinkie is the right choice. Ranadive has lost his mind if he actually believes the crap he’s spilling from his lips.
Statement from Kings on ESPN’s Sam Hinkie report:
“The Kings are not hiring Sam Hinkie and have no plans to bring anyone in above Vlade.”
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) March 28, 2017
No team gives up a player like DeMarcus Cousins for next to nothing and lets Rudy Gay, who stated he will not resign with the Kings after this season just sit there when he could’ve been traded months ago. Now he’s out for the year and the Kings will get nothing in return. But yet, the Kings believe that Vlade Divac has the best decision-making ability to rebuild the franchise.
It will not be a quick fix but it’s clear as the sun is hot that damage control needs to be done.
Looking at the Kings roster they are not that bad off. Young post players like Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere paired with new addition Buddy Hield, Darren Collison and Ty Lawson give the Kings promise. However, it’s too many mistakes that should cost Divac his job. He’s been there since 2015 and just look at some of the players and moves he has made in such a short time.
Divac drafted Cauley-Stein, Marquese Chriss, and Isaiah Cousins. Cauley-Stein is still there but he shipped Smith off to Phoenix where the young post player is having a remarkable season. Still, he came out ahead it seems but his biggest mistakes was the trade with Hinkie that gave the 76ers the right to swap pick with the Kings in the 2017 Draft. The 76ers took on expiring salaries and flipped that into what could become the top pick in this year’s Draft.
How bad would it feel to get one of the top 3 picks, only to have to send it over to the 76ers after losing out on Gay and Cousins just months earlier? This is the position Vlade has put the Kings in and the person who pulled one over on him was Hinkie. The Kings need a warrior in the GM position and it’s clear the Divac is not the one. How do you go on record after the Cousins trade and say you had better offers? Umm, all that did was make you look worse than you already do.
Not a 40-win season in 11 years and there is no light at the end of this tunnel anytime soon. Divac needs to be demoted or removed altogether. It’s time for the West Coast version of ‘Trust The Process”.