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Roster Report

The Sports Xchange
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MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
DeMarcus Cousins. The second-year center out of Kentucky improved in all facets -- scoring, rebounding, maturity, leadership. He started 62 games, averaging 30.3 minutes, 18 points and 10.9 rebounds. He had 10 20-point, 15-rebound games, third most in the NBA, and 36 double-doubles, sixth most in the NBA. Cousins was hit with 12 technical fouls as the team wants him to continue to be smart on complaints to referees. A year after being suspended twice for conduct, Cousins flourished under new coach Keith Smart, who thinks he has an All-Star post in Cousins.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER
John Salmons. Expected to provide outside scoring, ballhandling and defense, Salmons was able to offer only moments of defense. He otherwise shot a career-low 40 percent for a career-low 7.5 average, and he missed the final 15 games with a hip injury.

BIGGEST NEEDS
The Kings badly need a shot blocker, more shooters and point-guard depth. Sacramento was able to defend the rim last season with Samuel Dalembert but never replaced him once he signed with Houston. No team in the NBA had a lower shooting percentage than the Kings. It didn't help that rookie Jimmer Fredette struggled or that the team's go-to player, Marcus Thornton, missed 14 games with leg injuries.

FREE AGENT FOCUS
Forwards Jason Thompson and Donte Greene are restricted free agents. The Kings want to keep Thompson, who had some of the best games of his career and has matured in that he does not complain about every single foul. Greene has been a disappointment. He's a capable defender and had some strong moments against Dirk Nowitzki, but he is wildly erratic otherwise. His return seems unlikely. Terrence Williams, signed late in the season after his release by Houston, is an unrestricted free agent whom the Kings would like to retain. Williams -- a good shoot, passer and defender -- clicked with Smart and said he wants to return to Sacramento. The Kings have options on forward Tyler Honeycutt and center Hassan Whiteside, who are expected to be retained.

PLAYER NOTES

--G Marcus Thornton had his best NBA season, leading the Kings in scoring at 18.7 points and becoming the clear go-to player in crunch situations. He missed 14 games due to leg injuries, one to his calf and another to his quad. He wants to improve his 3-point shooting percentage after making 34 percent this season.

--F Tyreke Evans said he was willing to move from point guard to small forward but admitted that it was an adjustment as he has always been the one with the ball, dating back to elementary school. He led the Kings in scoring his first two seasons and dipped to third this season at 16.5 points, his lowest average. He shot just 20 percent from 3-point range, an area he said he must improve.

--F Terrence Williams was a late-season gift pickup, waived by Houston and then showing glimpses of why he was a first-round pick to New Jersey in 2009. He did not start in any of the 18 games he played, averaging 20 minutes, 8.8 points and 3.1 assists. He could very well emerge as a starter next season.

MEDICAL WATCH

--John Salmons (hip) missed the final 14 games but is expected to recover in time for fall camp.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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