Friday, May 30, 2014

Sacramento Kings Season Player Grades

Quincy Acy- C
An energy guy who played well for the Kings rebounding, blocking shots, and throwing down powerful dunks.  However, Acy kind of fell out of the rotation when the Kings acquired a similar player in Reggie Evans, who played a good amount of minutes. Acy picked up some DNP's and looks like he is expendable.

Demarcus Cousins- A

Cousins had a phenomenal year and would have definitely been an All Star if the Center position was still a category.  Still he should have been an All Star given he averaged 22.7 ppg, most for any center in the league, and 11.7 rpg, 5th best in the league.  Cousins looked dominant and really could not be stopped by anyone and picked up his defensive effort this year maybe do to Mike Malone's coaching.  He didn't receive an A+ from me because he still led the league in technicals but that is his only downside.

Jared Cunningham- F/INC

He really shot the ball terribly with the Kings, 16.7% from 3 and 26% overall.  He didn't get really much of a chance to show what he can do but he looked very athletic and maybe can become an Avery Bradley type player.

Reggie Evans- B+

Evans came in late with the Thornton trade and played extremely well.  His offense surprised me greatly as well as his incredible hustle on the offensive and defensive glass.  He added 8.2 rpg in April and had 18 and 14 rebounding games.  He is not a tremendous defensive player as he had no blocks from a guy who plays Center and power forward but his hustle made up for it.  Also, he is a great locker room guy to have to mentor Cousins and he always was encouraging his teammates.

Rudy Gay- A

Rudy probably had his best stint as a pro with the Kings as he shot a very impressive percentage after being traded because his fg% was so bad.  He had 6 30 point games for the Kings and looked like a superstar in his time with the Kings.  He was arguably the 3rd or 4th best small forward the second half of the season behind KD and LBJ (Melo was probably 3 and Paul George had a pretty bad second half of the year).

Aaron Gray- D+

Aaron Gray really did not play too much as he was behind Acy for the backup C spot but had some nice games early which I thought were promising as he was grabbing boards and getting inside buckets but he struggled to stay in the rotation especially when Evans arrived.

Carl Landry- F
A really injury plagued season for Landry who the Kings gave a pretty big contract (probably shouldn't have) as he played on 233 minutes total.  When he was played he had no lift and never looked comfortable on the floor, hopefully next year he is back to where he was last season with the Warriors.

Ray McCallum - B-
Ray never got consistent minutes until Thornton was traded then he showed what he could do.  He struggled at first and then when Isaiah Thomas went down he was the only point guard on the roster and got big minutes and really shined. He had three games with at least 20 point in the last nine games of the season and two 10 assist games.  McCallum could be really good player and might be the starter next year if Isaiah Thomas leaves in free agency and the Kings don't find someone better than Ray.  That being said the Kings should have game him more minutes earlier in the season to better prepare him for next year.

Ben Mclemore- C+
Ben started off the season pretty solid but then got benched and had some games where he would play 30 minutes and have zero points so he really hit the rookie wall.  However, Ben picked it up at the end of the year and showed he can be a player in this league scoring in double figures in 11 of his last 13 games and finishing the year with a 31 point game.  His defense needs to improve as well as his ability to create off the dribble but he could be a really good player.

Travis Outlaw- C

He had an average season and sometimes he would disappear but he played some good minutes filling in for guys with injuries.  He's a veteran guy who is always ready to play when called on and is still very athletic.

Wille Reed- INC 

He didn't record any minutes.

Jason Terry- INC

He didn't record any minutes with the Kings.

Isaiah Thomas- A

IT had an outstanding year and should have been considered for most improved player as he averaged 20 ppg and 6 apg, increasing his averages by 6 and 2.  With his strong play in the beginning of the year the Kings traded Vasquez and Thomas got the starter role and played terrific.  Thomas was the fourth highest scoring PG (better than All Stars Chris Paul and John Wall) and 11th in apg (ahead of  West All Stars Damian Lillard and Tony Parker).  Thomas is a free agent this year and should get offers in the 6-8 million a season so it will be tough for the Kings to sign him in Gay opts in his deal.

Jason Thompson- C
JT had a tough year averaging the least ppg in his career and second lowest mpg.  He still is a good backup C/PF who can give you hustle and energy but not much offensively.  He showed his displeasure with this season in an interview just a couple weeks ago and I would not be surprised if he gets traded.

Derrick Williams- C
Derrick Williams looked like he was going to be amazing in Sacramento as he got inserted into the starting lineup early and played really well.  He seemed to put energy in the Kings season and jump them into the fastbreak more with his big dunks and alley oops.  However, when Rudy Gay came on the team Williams lost a lot of minutes and even when he was out there he didn't do much and I almost forgot he was out there.