The Sacramento Kings are undergoing major change as a franchise. They have changed owners, coaches, the general manager and even some key players.
If you ask any player or coach before the season starts what their goals are for the season–they will tell you it’s to win a championship. It’s the politically correct thing to say, even if they have no chance. With that being said, let’s take a look at the Kings playoff chances for next season:
Looking at the playoff teams from last season, the Kings’ chances don’t look good. Of the eight playoff teams, the only two teams that could miss out next season would be the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets.
Betting against the Lakers has never been a good idea in the Kobe Bryant era. That only leaves the Nuggets as the team Sacramento could replace in the playoffs.
The other teams that could compete with the Kings for the last playoff spot would be the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trailblazers, along with the Nuggets.
In the event that the Lakers slip up, and there are two playoff spots for the Kings to fight for–it’s still difficult to see them improving by around the 15 games necessary in the competitive Western Conference to get into the playoffs.
The Kings went 28-54 last season. To improve upon such a horrible record requires major improvement to the talent level. Have the Kings done that? The honest assessment is that they haven’t.
The Kings are still about a couple of years away from contending. Their future depends on re-signing star center DeMarcus Cousins and developing the rest of their young core. The emergence of rookie Ben MclLmore would be much welcomed by the ailing fanbase in Sacramento.
The 2014 free agency will present many opportunities to significantly improve the roster. The new ownership bodes well for the fans, given their desire to win.
Whether the Kings sign a big player next off-season or not will go a long way in determining their future success.
The upcoming season should be one to assess the talent level on the squad, and make changes going forward. The Kings fans, their expectations lowered from the recent losing culture, will not expect much winning next season. Given their chances, low expectations probably isn’t a bad thing for the young squad.