The Sacramento Kings had the second worst record in the Western Conference last season (25-57). That wasn’t much to cheer about. Their rookie draft pick and eventual “Rookie of the Year” award winner, Tyreke Evans, was probably the sole highlight in their dismal season.
He was exciting to watch, both in real life and from the fantasy basketball front. We at GMTR have him ranked as the eighth, EIGHTH, best point guard in fantasy for the 2010-2011 season. He’s getting me excited about the Sacramento Kings once again. I mean the last time I can remember rooting for them, or even calling them my favorite NBA team, was when Mike Bibby and Chris Webber were still here...
Pardon my brief moment of indulgent nostalgia, but damn those were good times!
Somehow, I feel that Tyreke may be that one crucial, starting piece the Kings franchise needs to bring back another great era. That era is still much further down the road, for now we’ll all have to just settle in, relax, and enjoy the “Tyreke Evans Show.”
Let’s briefly talk about what he really is, positionally speaking that is. Is he a point guard or a shooting guard? I had some difficulty sifting through the variants of the Kings’ depth charts out there. DIME, well actually ‘Reke’s coach Paul Westphal, settles the score. The short version… he’s a really talented SG, who can get his other teammates involved in the action. Things will firm up as Westphal finalizes the starting roster after training camp. We’ll be sure to adjust this accordingly.
In the meantime, all of that being said and out of the way, here’s the depth chart we’ll be using as our reference.
PG Beno Udrih, Tyreke Evans, Luther Head, Pooh Jeter
SG Tyreke Evans, Francisco Garcia, Antoine Wright
SF Omri Casspi, Donte Greene, Darnell Jackson
PF Carl Landry, DeMarcus Cousins, Hassan Whiteside, Marcus Landry
C Samuel Dalembert, Jason Thompson
Since three-point shooting is one Sacramento’s bigger weaknesses, I expect either Casspi or Garcia to start at SF, to improve that dimension. Along that same vein, Coach Westphal has asked Evans to step-up his efforts from long distance this coming season. Fanhouse’s Sam Amick has a good piece about how Tyreke is aiming to get back his jump shot.
So as far as camp preparations are concerned, Evans is looking to either take the ball to the hole, or beat his defender by nailing his “killer” jump shot.
Either way, it’s going to be a blast to see how Evans will take his game to the next level this season.
I project him to improve on last season’s 0.5 trey per game average, to about at least one or more (1.2-1.4) a night.
His scoring should rise a bit to about 22 PPG, from 20.1 PPG last season.
Now that the Kings have bolstered their front court, I see Evans’ rebounds to drop slightly to about four per game (4.4 RPG, last season).
His dimes should still hover in the 5+ range.
I’d like to see him improve on his 74.8 FT%. That and he is slated to miss the first game of the season as a result of an NBA-imposed suspension, related to his being arrested for reckless driving in late May.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he upstages Brandon Roy, as the better fantasy, passing-SG.
Supporting Cast in the Back Court and Wings
Beno Udrih and Francisco Garcia – Kings’ Full Court Press Blog had a good interview with both of them recently and that should be good to bring you up to speed.
Omri Casspi and Luther Head – Casspi has potential but showed that he was erratic last season, even during times that he was given opportunities. Head has been brought in for his three-point shooting skills, but he will have to battle Udrih for some of that playing time at the point.
Four-Man Front Court Rotation
Samuel Dalembert – He’s who the Kings are plugging in to make up for the epic-failed “Spencer Hawes Experiment.” He brings an aggressive, veteran presence in the paint. He should be good for about nine boards and a shade under two blocks per game. My favorite stat that he brings to the table this season? Dalembert has played in all 82 games, over the last four seasons!
Carl Landry – He broke out while he was playing in Houston last year. That was probably part of the reason why he was part of the “Kevin Martin trade.” If he gets solid minutes, he should still be a good source of some points, boards, good shooting percentages, and low turnovers. He’s shown that he can produce through a sixth man’s role, so a move to the bench might not hurt his value as much as it would other PF’s.
DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento picked him fifth overall, in this season’s rookie draft. He’s 6′11,” 270 lbs., and is a must-insert in fantasy watch lists. He will see some time at the four and the five, but if he develops any kind of consistency, expect him to be inserted into the starting lineup ahead of Landry.
Jason Thompson – He’s probably going to take the biggest statistical hit as a result of the additions of Cousisns and Dalembert. Consider his stats from last season (12.5/8.5/1.0), as bloated relative to what he may deliver this season, now that he’ll be sharing time at the post.
Hassan Whiteside – He’s a seven-foot center picked by the Kings 33rd overall. His maturity is still in question and will likely be the “fifth wheel” in this rotation, for at least the first half of the season. He’s got some potential, but currently not enough to merit 12-man-draft attention.
For your 12-man fantasy basketball drafting guidance:
Tyreke Evans - Round 3
Carl Landry – Late 6th, early 7th
Samuel Dalembert – Round 7
Beno Udrih – Round 8
DeMarcus Cousins - Late 8th, early 9th
Jason Thompson - Round 12
Francisco Garcia - Last Round
For some stat projections, check out fBasketballblog.com.
*I’d like to give a shout out, to my boy Tony, who helped me out with the Tyreke research.
Here are somethings to cheer for, other than Tyreke Evans:
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