The Sacramento Kings' record of developing talent has been frighteningly poor in recent years. One needs only look back at the Kings' last three seasons to see how they have failed. But they've also found some redemption.
For example, Tyreke Evans was supposedly Sacramento's savior, lauded even though he did not have a defined position and regressed in his second year. DeMarcus Cousins was treated like a king, going so far as getting his high school coach a job with the Kings to be his personal mentor. The coach's impact was minimal, as Cousins often struggled to act professionally during his rookie season. Last year's No. 10 pick, Jimmer Fredette, flamed out badly, once again living proof that just getting lottery picks each year is not enough to turn a franchise around.
Even their previous head coach, Paul Westphal, was originally viewed as their savior and even got a contract extension. Reality set in early in the season that he was incapable of developing talent and was fired.
History is heeded so the same mistakes are not made again, which is why this year's draft in Sacramento must be treated differently than with other franchises. There is talent here; Evans improved in his third season, becoming a solid forward with good ball skills, albeit with a poor shot. The Kings also discovered this season all their luck is not bad, as Isaiah Thomas proved to be at least a solid rotation player and coach Keith Smart seems far more prepared to lead this team than Westphal was. This team has young talent, but with its track record of developing talent so poor, the smart move will be to add the piece with the least risk while still filling a need.
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