|2011-12 Team Rating|
|22nd Overall||28th Overall|
2011-12 Season Stats
The continued ascension of DeMarcus Cousins into a potential All-Star at center is joined by the potential of the ideal partner at power forward, Thomas Robinson. Tyreke Evans is the small forward, just maybe not permanently.
Signing Aaron Brooks is the rarity of a proven veteran presence at the point for the Kings, and Isaiah Thomas coming off 2011-12 as a draft steal is added stability. Marcus Thornton returns as the leading scorer.
It remains some concept far off in the distance. After replacing Paul Westphal in January, Keith Smart emphasized playing fast to create easy baskets. But also to out-run teams because the Kings couldn't stop them.
The Kings are accumulating pieces, but very slowly. Thomas, doubted by most every team a year ago, needs to prove he is not a one-hit wonder. Chuck Hayes and Jason Thompson are keys in the frontcourt.
Smart quickly impressed management with his ability to connect with the young players and get the Kings to play hard in a bad season. They moved him from interim to permanent coach, then extended him through 2013-14.
It's about perspective. The Kings got better in the summer, adding one starter at point guard through free agency (Brooks) and one through the draft (Robinson). But so did most of the other teams at the bottom of the playoff pack or trying to push into the postseason picture.
Barring some unimaginable seismic roster move in the next month or so, they will arrive at camp as clear favorites for last place in the division and a serious contender for last in the conference. While it is not a pleasant thought, at least there is more hope for the future than a year ago. That will have to do for now.
-- Scott Howard-Cooper
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||A|
|New Jersey Nets||A|
|New Orleans Hornets||B+|
|New York Knicks||C|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||C-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B|