Posted by Matt Moore
Could we have seen it coming? Could we have known that Tyreke Evans was going to join Michael Jordan and LeBron James among the handful of players to average 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in their rookie season? That he would make such a huge difference? Well, yeah, we should have. The question is where do the Kings, whose rebuilding project they find accelertaed, go from here? That's where we begin with the lastest in our Preseason Primers .
Training camp site: Sacramento, CA
Training camp starts: September 28th
Key additions: Samuel Dalembert (trade), Antoine Wright (free agency), Luther Head (free agency), DeMarcus Cousins (draft)
Key subtractions: Spencer Hawes (trade), Jon Brockman (trade), Andres Nocioni (trade)
Likely starting lineup: Tyrke Evans (PG), Beno Udrih (SG), Donte Greene (SF), Carl Landry (PF), Samuel Dalembert (C)
Player to watch: DeMarcus Cousins. There's no getting around it. "Boogie" is the guy you want to keep an eye on. He could dominate. He could underwhelm. He could blow up on his teammates. he could fit in seamlessly. He could add weight. He could slim down. Anything is possible with Cousins, and his progression will be a huge factor in how the Kings do this season.
Chemistry quiz: Evans needs to be the leader, and this is the season where he's got to start showing that. Meanwhile, there aer a bunch of players on the Kings like Thompson and Greene who may wind up frustrated if they can't secure their positions on the team. Throw in the explosive Cousins and you have a tenuous situation that could be brilliant, could be terrible. It's wait and see.
Camp battles: All eyes on small forward, as Donte Greene and Omri Casspi battle for control of the universe... I mean, small forward spot. Greene has more experience and athleticism, but Casspi is arguably more skilled. This is going to be and intense and close fight. Sorting out the rest of the frontcourt will be tough as well with experience (Dalembert, Landry) versus upside (Thompson and Cousins) as well as slotting positions.
Injury issues: Evans had an ankle injury in Team USA tryouts but should be fine. Other than that, the Kings enter camp healthy.
Biggest strength: Athleticism. Evans, Thompson, Greene, Cousins, Landry. They're tough, long, and athletic. That team can create mismatches on the floor sheer length and leaping ability. Strong, too. Should be a lot of fun to watch.
Glaring weakness: Inexperience. The best thing about being young is you don't know any better. That's also the worst thing. The Kings are going to struggle as they learn how to win. Learning to be consistent starts in camp.