The Sacramento Kings traded away Marcus Thornton to the Brooklyn Nets for a pair of veteran players, Jason Terry and Reggie Evans. Now Evans joined the Kings right away and has played great. Evans even started a game for the Kings during this long road trip. In addition Evans has helped the Kings find some energy and is helping with his veteran presence on a very young team.
Terry, on the other hand, decided to rehab his injured knee in Dallas and not join the Kings at all this season. From the time this trade was made it was obvious that Terry did not want to play for the Kings, so the Kings let him stay away and “rehab” his injury. I believe the Kings should have talked to Terry about joining the team and mentor the young guards. The Kings have three young guards who could use a veteran to help them develop on and off the floor over the next couple of month, even into the offseason. Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore, and Ray McCallum are all under the age of 25, with McLemore and McCallum under 22.
I believe Terry could have been a great mentor to all three of these young guards. Terry is a 14-year vet who won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks and won Sixth Man of the Year in 2009. I find it hard to believe that he being around the team would not help the young guy in general both on and off the court. Terry is on the books for next season at just over $5 million, but it feels like he will never wear a Kings jersey. He will most likely be bought out before the season starts or even traded to a contending team.
However, if the Kings can convince him to stay on he would provide some leadership that a team needs when trying to make a playoff run. Both Terry and Evans could help the Kings learn how to win as both have played for winners and have playoff experience. The Terry situation is something to keep an eye on during the offseason.
The Royce White Experiment
The Kings signed Royce White to a 10-day contract on March 6 and he has played four games for the Reno Bighorns in the NBA D-League. White averaged 8.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 25 minutes per game. His last game was his best when he scored 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting and he even hit two from behind the arc. White is done in the D-League and has been sent to Sacramento as the Kings decide if they want him to play for them with a month left in the season.
At this point it would make sense to give White some minutes with the Kings to see how he would handle the NBA both on and off the court. Coach Mike Malone has been playing different lineups over the past few games to give players a chance to showcase their talent for next season. For example, the Kings second round pick McCallum is playing more, and Derrick Williams got a start at the four the other night. Therefore, why not let White come in and play a little and see what he might be able to give you. The Kings already know what many of their current players can do, but White is a total mystery.
It Could Be Worse
On Wednesday night the Kings visited the Philadelphia 76ers, who had lost 17 straight games before facing the Kings. With the Kings only up four points at halftime, many thought the Kings would allow the 76ers to break their losing streak. However, the Kings turned it on in the second half and won the game 115-98. It looks like the 76ers might not win another game the rest of the season, yes that means more ping pong balls in the lottery, but it sure is hard to watch. In addition, as we all know a high lottery pick does not always equal a good NBA player. So for the Kings it could be a lot worse, just take a look at the 76ers. On a side note it was good to see McLemore play well, he was 5-of-7 from the field for 15 points. Furthermore, he was 3-for-5 from behind the arc, I know the Kings are hoping to see more games like this from McLemore over the last month of the season.