The word patience, according to Google.com, states it is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay without getting angry or upset.” The hard part for Sacramento Kings’ fans is they have been preaching patience for almost seven years now. Yes it has been seven seasons without a winning record and until just recently they have had no reason to believe the losing would end. However, this year, this team is showing fans that the Kings could be getting back into playoff contention as soon as next season. Let’s examine the three main reasons fans can get excited about the Kings over the next year to year and a half.
The first reason is the development of DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas. Cousins is turning into the player many people believed he could become when he came out of Kentucky in 2010. This season DeMarcus is averaging 22.7 points, 11.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. The biggest jump has been how well Thomas has played this year, he is averaging 19 points and 5.9 assists. Furthermore he is shooting 41 percent from downtown, but his leadership and clutch play have turned him into the go-to guy for the Kings so far. If both Cousins and Thomas develop, especially on defense, the Kings have two players to build around for many years.
The second reason is the potential of Ben McLemore, Derrick Williams and the lottery pick from the 2014 draft. Both McLemore and Williams has showed flashes of players they were thought to become, however, with rotation issues and trades they have not had time to fully develop. They are both very young, McLemore 20 and Williams 22, they have all this year to become the players they could be. However, it will depend on the time they get in the game and in practice, Coach Mike Malone has a hard task ahead of him. Lastly, the Kings are on pace to have their eighth straight lottery pick and with the class that is coming out this year they could end up with a game changer. Therefore, by adding another young playmaker to the mix the Kings could be ripe to strike next season.
The third and last reason is the Kings management, they have showed early they are willing to do what it takes to put out a winner, with the early trades this year. They were able to get Rudy Gay and Derrick Williams by only giving up Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. So right now the Kings will have this core for the rest of the season, and all of next season. It will be interesting to see Coach Malone with a full training camp with this core group and if he can help them be even a little better on the defensive end.