SmellingColors wrote: nolang1 wrote:
SmellingColors wrote:The problem with Fox, Buddy, and Bogi playing together is terrible defense. Besides Buddy's lack of defensive instincts and Bogi's lack of athleticism, there's just a huge lack of length. Then if you have Barnes/Bagley at the 4/5, our defense would just bleed constantly. I think it you have Buddy or Bogi at the 2 guard, you need a high level, long small forward to mask some of the weaknesses in our backcourt and we don't have that. I'm really hoping we get someone with those attributes in the draft that also has the potential and/or ability to hit 3's.
I also don't know who I'd keep of those two at this point. I know most people are for trading Buddy, but I'm not so sure. Buddy has bone-headed plays, but has far more explosive potential offensively. Bogi is smarter with the ball, but is pretty inconsistent and, besides a few games every now and again, doesn't really break out offensively. Although Buddy has been super inconsistent as well this year. I'd probably just feel out the league for who is more desired and trade that player to bring back greater value. I really hope we find a competent GM to start fixing this mess...
Yeah, this has been the main issue even when the Kings were the pleasant surprise of the NBA last year (and they had Iman Shumpert as their best option at guarding someone like Durant). Of course, these kind of players don't come cheap and without one you're kind of topping out as a scrappy underdog playoff contender at best. Obviously Vlade's tenure was more bad than good, but other than Bagley over Doncic (which is obviously made even easier to trash due to injuries that Vlade didn't have any control over) he wasn't great but wasn't awful the past few years. The team's over/under was 37.5 and they won the equivalent of 35 games despite Bagley and Fox being injured, which makes me feel like the firing was mostly due to a combination of irrational expectations for improvement and then Luka having a huge game against the Kings in the bubble to make the Luka/Bagley conversation even more mainstream.
Also for the bolded reasons, I don't even think drafting Luka over Bagley would've been the magic bullet some people seem to think. Putting aside how well Luka and Fox would fit together on offense (I personally think it would be much less than the sum of its parts, but feel free to disagree) you still have the same issue where you're completely deficient in terms of defending top-notch wing scorers and then the only bigs capable of making up for that are either duds on offense or stars who are basically untradeable. Sure they could make the playoffs (and I know that's a big deal to a lot of people) but in the long run I don't think that's a recipe to get very far and sooner or later it would just be a "Sacramento couldn't build a contender around Luka so he needs to leave for this big market" kind of thing.
I mean, sure, Luka's not a magic bullet for a championship, but neither is any single player. I was saying that long, high-level guarding 3 because of our roster. But the dude just put up 42 and almost a triple double last night against the Clippers who have 2 of those elite defensive wings. They very easily could have won that game if Porzingis didn't get ejected. I agree that offensively Fox and Luka may have clashed in some ways, but Vlade just missed on Luka. Period.
Yeah and my main issue with that line of thinking is that this time last year he got extended and the general feeling was "yeah he missed on Luka but Bagley is still first-team all-rookie in a talented class and they've turned things around since the Cousins trade better than expected." Obviously it's a tough business and I totally understand if the rationale is "he has definitely not been a good GM on balance and we believe we can hire someone who's better" or even "hey, we messed up by extending him last summer and we own up to that" but the timing of the whole thing (one year after the extension when there was not really that much talk during the 'normal' regular season about wanting to fire him) makes me suspicious it might be more of a PR thing or overreacting to injury luck.
I'm not a super huge Kings fan but liked both Fox and Bagley coming out of college and was interested in seeing if they could become a modern Nash-Stoudemire type of pairing on offense, plus they were definitely one of the most fun teams to watch last year. From my more neutral perspective, once you factor in the increased injuries when they were relatively lucky last year in terms of avoiding them outside of Bagley and the difficulty of playing in the loaded West (and not only in terms of opposing teams' talent but also them taking Sacramento more seriously), this team was not really underperforming relative to its non-injured talent. The idea that the season was particularly disastrous would have more to do with injuries and lack of development time for Fox and Bagley (combined with Luka taking a bigger leap sooner than people imagined) than any transactions made after Vlade had already been extended. The other weird thing about it to me is that I would also say a downgrade in coaching was one of the biggest reasons as well, but it seems like they definitely want to keep Walton around.
As for Luka, obviously he's amazing but the Mavs have really done a good job in terms of knowing what kind of player he is and building in ways to optimize his production. Even among people who had Luka #1 in the draft there was a lot of "what position does he play?" kind of talk whereas Dallas correctly realized he was a James Harden type of player on offense, put him in that role immediately, and had someone who was already established as one of the best coaches in the game who was willing to adapt to fit Luka's style. It's very likely Vlade/the Kings would have done a worse job at this, but it's also likely that many other teams would have as well and there's a curve where an organization like Dallas has an easier time acquiring complementary talent due to playing in a bigger market and having more of a winning tradition. So it seems to me like a lot of this discussion is due to factors beyond Vlade's control with the injuries and then Luka ending up on an organization that had a particularly good front office, was a good destination for players (you can't do a Porzingis type of trade if you're not definitely sure he's going to want to sign with you) and was willing to give Luka the keys from day 1.