Commentary

Do Kings have a franchise player?

DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans have shown flashes, but are inconsistent

Originally Published: April 15, 2012
By Bradford Doolittle | Basketball Prospectus
Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus CousinsAndrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty ImagesTyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins have the talent. But will it translate to more wins next season?

There is a lot about the Sacramento Kings that we still don't know. That begins, of course, with their chaotic arena and ownership situations. After the best efforts by the NBA, and the city, to keep the team in Sacramento suddenly collapsed, we no longer know where the Kings will be playing long term. The league's most vagabond franchise has already gone from Rochester to Cincinnati to Kansas City-Omaha to just Kansas City to Sacramento. Now they may become the problem of Anaheim, or Seattle or maybe even Kansas City once again.

Not only does the franchise lack a permanent arena, it also is still searching for the right core group of talent to build around. As with all things related to the Kings, nothing is certain. Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins are as talented as any young duo in the league. They have the kind of elite talent you expect when you draft from the kind of slot that comes with big-time losing. Yet they're not providing results for the Kings, who have won 25, 24 and 26 games, respectively, in the past three seasons with Evans on board.

Today's Projection vs. Production looks at the pre- and post-All-Star performances of Sacramento's star-crossed tandem. It seems as though they've improved over the course of the season as they've become more acclimated to playing under Kings coach Keith Smart. But have they improved? What does a closer examination of the numbers reveal?