The Sacramento Kings have played 41 games, so it is exactly half way through the season. Therefore, let’s take a look at the season so far, and give out some awards. Last year the Kings were 16-25 and this season they are 15-26, you can see that they are about even with last season. The Kings finished with only 28 wins last year, they are on pace to finish with the same amount of wins this season. However, this season feels different for some reason; the future feels like it could be better for the first time in a long time. The Kings have developed a good tandem in DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas. Furthermore, they have many other players to contribute over the next few years in Derrick Williams, Carl Landry, Ben McLemore, and even Jimmer Fredette. The big question will be what happens with Rudy Gay, he has a player options for little over $19 million for next season. The Kings have been rumored to want Gay to decline the option, but they could also sign him to long term deal. Gay’s situation will be the most interesting next season. Last year the Kings only won 12 games in their last 41 games. The Kings need to win more than 12 games this season to show they are making progress.
MVP for the First Half
It has to be Cousins; he is currently averaging 22.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, and three assists per game. His stats are up significantly from last year, where he averaged only 17.1 points per game. Right now you could argue that Cousins is the best center in the league, and should be on the Western Conference All-Star team. Furthermore, Cousins has not been ejected from a game this season, after being ejected from four games last season. It seems that Cousins is maturing and developing into a leader for the Kings. The best part is that the Kings locked up Cousins for the next four years.
Most Improved Player for the First Half
This is a no brainer; Isaiah Thomas has improved more than anyone on the team, and possibly in the whole NBA. Last season Thomas averaged just under 14 points, four assists, and shot 36% from downtown. This season he is averaging 19.5 points, 6.3 assists, and now he is shooting 40% from three. Also he has increased his overall shooting percentage to 45% that is a higher percentage than Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, and Stephen Curry. It is amazing to me that Thomas is not getting more votes for Most Improved Player, like Cousins he is not getting votes due to the Kings current record.
6th Man for the First Half
When Derrick Williams was first traded to the Kings many assumed he would be starting alongside Cousins and Thomas, however, a few days later the Kings traded for Gay. Since then Williams has been coming off the bench, and he has played well at times and not so well other times. But the one thing is that Williams has been the best player off the bench for the Kings and will be the rest of the season. Right now he is averaging 10 points and four rebounds in about 29 minutes. Some people believe that Williams should be starting now, with Gay because the shooting guard situation is not getting any better. Now with the injury to Gay, Williams will get a chance to showcase the fact that he should be starting.
Least Valuable Player for the First Half
I know he is just a rookie but Ben McLemore has been pretty disappointed so far this season. He was supposed to be the best scorer coming out in the draft, and one day he could still be. However, right now he is coming off the bench averaging just under eight points per game, but he is only shooting 36%. Now in the month of January he is only averaging 4.5 points while shooting 29%. The Kings really need to find a way to develop McLemore into a starting shooting guard, because with Cousins and Thomas he could be the other core piece. McLemore’s development will be interesting to see over the rest of the season.