There is a general consensus of players that I have heard.Some that people want, others not. Despite whatever people think, here are 6 players that some fans want. I do not want all of these guys, but they vary in quality and reputation. The whole idea of this is to figure out which guys you want.
Player A is a guy I want, but am not in love with. Player E is the guy I really want, the Kings have forsaken player B already, Player C is not a player I'm keen on due to age, Player D I like and have an infatuation with but won't be heartbroken if the Kings don't get him, and Player F I also like but don't really see why the Kings really need him at this point. Also, his production has dramatically dropped off the last several years.
That should be all the clues you need to know which players I'm talking about.
Player 5 is Richard Jefferson (.085 WS/48). He's the guy I want. I want him in replacement of either Francisco Garcia or Travis Outlaw.That's the point. If it's required to throw in Jimmer Fredette too? I'm good with that.
Player 1 is Brandon Rush, but given that he's a Restricted Free Agent and I don't want the Kings to break the bank for average production, that seems like a bad player to go after. Player 2 is Dorell Wright (.099 WS/48), Player 3 is Shawn Marion (.092 WS/48), Player 4 is Josh Childress (.092 WS/48) and Player 6 is Mickeal Pietrus (.063 WS/48).
Rather, Richard Jefferson seems like an undervalued average production at a spot the Kings badly need. Check out the 6 guys who played the Kings at the SF spot at one time or another last season. Keep in mind that Jefferson's WS/48 is actually .085 due to his time time with San Antonio, and that his WS/48 with Golden state was actually .056.
Richard Jefferson, in a small sample size (580 minutes) at Golden State out performed every player on that list not named Tyreke Evans. To be fair to Tyreke, he needs to be a lot better than he was last season. A whole lot better. But that's not what this is about. Jefferson is better in the worst part of his season with Golden State than any other wing on the Kings last season! By a scary margin no less. The only guy close is Francisco Garcia! That should ring alarm bells. On the other hand, Jefferson in 1168 minutes in San Antonio was .100 in terms of WS/48. That's literally average. I think if you can get 2 seasons of .100 production out of Jefferson at a 2000 minutes clip (that's roughly 25 minutes a night over 82 games), you're well ahead of the game. Especially when you're replacing Garcia and Outlaw's production. Garcia has topped .100 WS/48 once in his career and that was in the 2010-11 season.
If you take Jefferson's last 3 seasons of WS/48, and average it out, it comes out to .104. Garcia last 3 seasons of WS/48 comes out to .077. Here's the difference: Jefferson has played 2242 minutes on average of those seasons. For a ridiculously good team. He can't have been that terrible. Garcia on the other hand (in part due to that bad injury from the exercise ball), has played an average of 919 minutes. Granted most of those minutes for Jefferson are on San Antonio, but it's not like Jefferson didn't produce at an average level. Overpaid? Yeah, he is. But what are Garcia and Outlaw then? Black holes at much cheaper prices? Bad production is bad production at any price. Given that the Kings are not likely to get Garcia back to an average production role, and Outlaw is very unlikely to get there, why not go a different way? Towards a known average producer system guy that can shoot the 3? Jefferson has shot the ball from deep the last 3 seasons at a 31%, 47% and a 41% clip. The worst of those, 31%, would have qualified fourth on the Kings last year. That was also the worst year of Jefferson's career.
Richard Jefferson fills a need. He's gettable if the Warriors are trying to shed dollars. I doubt anyone believes that Jefferson will turn down a 11 million dollar contract season (Jefferson has a player option for the 2013-14 season). Check it out dollars/production wise.
|2013-14||2014-15 salary ||
||6,100,000||6,400,000 (Team Option)
|Richard Jefferson||10,164,000||11,046,000 (Player Option)
If you click on the link for Brandon Rush, note that while his 3PT% for last season is really high, and he has a career 41% from 3PT range on his career, Richard Jefferson has shot 37% from 3 for a much longer and more successful career that saw Jefferson not shoot as well from deep early in his career. Additionally, Jefferson has shot well lately which is the player you're getting. You're getting a guy who has shot really well the last 6 years from 3Pt land over his career. The worst was an off-year in San Antonio that saw Jefferson bounce back in a real way.
The opportunity to acquire Dorell Wright has passed. Don't pass on Jefferson too. It's really that simple. 21.21 million for 2 years of Jefferson and 15.1 million for 3 years of Outlaw and 1 year of Garcia. It's really that simple. 6.11 million dollar difference. For an average level producer. Who has a history of playing significant minutes and not overtly sucking at them.
It's really that simple. (Still.) If Golden State doesn't do this deal, well then okay. That's fine. I can understand that. It gives them flexibility, a trade exception (albeit a small one), and a chance to give all the minutes they want to Harrison Barnes and Brandon Rush. Really, it makes sense in a lot of ways. Plus, Outlaw and Garcia can't be so terrible there next year either. It's just simply not possible. Well, actually, yes it can. It's just not going to be as big of a deal.
Do the Warriors do this? Again, maybe. maybe not. Should the Kings? Every time. They should have called the Warriors before they traded Dorell Wright. But now? The Warriors save some money, move a player they might not want the next 2 years, and figure out a way to include Travis Outlaw in any trade moving forward.
Either way, it's these types of things the Kings must go after if they want to improve the roster. You can't control what the Warriors organization says. But you can control whether you call them and offer, and that's what the Kings should be doing. Paying for Brandon Rush, or even bidding on an amnestied Josh Childress (whom I like, stumped for last December) makes sense on some levels too. I like Childress because of his style and the fact he could help out a young team. Rush is the sexy player, but people tend to overvalue production at the right time. Like, in a contract year. Which just so happens to be Brandon Rush.
If the Kings didn't call to acquire Jefferson using Garcia and Outlaw, I'll be disappointed. If they choose to bid on an amnestied Josh Childress instead, that just doesn't make sense unless Childress shows he can shoot the 3. In Childress' NBA career, he's shot a total of 298 3's over 6 y ears of service team. Jefferson shot 269 3 balls in San Antonio and Golden State last season. IN A SHORTENED SEASON.
AVERAGE. PRODUCTION. MATTERS. Childress can produce, and has shown he can produce at an average level. But it's not the kind of production the Kings really need unless they want to start Tyler Honeycutt, Travis Outlaw or Francisco Garcia at the 3 spot ahead of Childress. If you grab Childress, playing him with a Salmons, Thornton, Hayes and Thompson bench unit makes a lot of sense. (Childress' main talents offensively are handling the ball, posting up and being a good passer who will give the ball up. Defensively, the guy is a good rebounder on that end and can guard his man at least adequately.)
Like I said, I could see the Kings making a run at Childress because of the price. That's a mistake to forgo Jefferson, but I get it.* AVERAGE. PRODUCTION. MATTERS.
It would be nice, whomever holds down the SF spot, to actually produce at an average rate. That would be a welcome change over the last 3 seasons.
* I already know the Kings won't spend money so Jefferson is a pipe dream. But, again, this is why I'm upset. The value set of the Maloofs is killing the basketball operation these days, and it's very evident with deals that are readily available out there. This team needs to be aggressive after players like Jefferson to improve this product. Will they? Of course not.