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Sacramento Kings: One Goal (2001-...)

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2003 OFFSEASON part 1:





Winning a second consecutive Championship
getting the #1 Pick? Things are looking up for the once-woeful Kings.


The miserable season for the LA Lakers continues as the team slips one spot to #4. It might be a blessing in disguise as many experts have tabbed PF Chris Bosh to be the fourth pick, and with Kobe Bryant controlling the swingman position, it would've been hard to develop either Dwyane Wade or Carmelo Anthony.


Still, Bosh is currently the lowest-rated prospect out of the Top Five, and will need at least a few years to develop.





Time for the 2003 NBA Draft!


It goes without saying that the Sacramento Kings select LeBron James first overall, with the Portland Trailblazers selecting Dwyane Wade over Carmelo Anthony, giving the Atlanta Hawks a formidable combo at Small Forward, with Anthony and Caron Butler being selected in back-to-back years. Chris Bosh goes fourth to the Lakers, with Luke Ridnour going fifth to the Houston Rockets, who curiously already have Steve Francis on the roster.


Fast forward to the rest of the Kings' selections, and we take... Boris Diaw and Torraye Braggs.


Here's what we know about our incoming rookies:




I don't like him IRL but I'd be an idiot not to take him 1st overall. LeBron James has the potential to be a once-in-a-generation talent, and with a solid group of veterans to guide him, the young man anointed as "King James" can help lead the Sacramento Kings into the future.




Many scouts see Boris Diaw as one of the most versatile players in the draft, but questions about his effort and conditioning will hound the Frenchman early on. Diaw is one of the most mysterious players in the draft, but it remains to be seen just how much playing time he'll get with the squad.


Meanwhile, with the 54th pick, the Kings take Torraye Braggs:




He doesn't exactly fill any needs and is terribly average, at best. Can he develop into a rotation player? Maybe.
he develop into one? Not likely.


NEXT : Free Agency! Trades! Who re-signs? Which players join new teams? Stay tuned!






Congratulations on the back-to-back! Quite an anxiety-filled playoff run you had there. I'm excited to see what moves you make this offseason, and how you handle Chris Webber's free agency.


Oh, we made moves, all right! I hope you like 'em!


If have a scout on your staff, the scout's rating determines the ratings you see for the players. However, if you play the game without scouts, the ratings you see for the players will be their actual ratings.


Well I do have a scout on my staff... so I guess it's not their actual ratings...


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2003 OFFSEASON part 2:



Remember how last year's offseason saw one member of the Kings' starting lineup get traded? It's more of the same this year, after a pair of trades continues Geoff Petrie's penchant for offseason deals.


The first trade was with the LA Clippers, involving recent acquisition Derek Fisher.






Sacramento's 2004 1st Round Draft Pick


A pretty steep price, given that Campbell's contract was expiring. Still, Sacramento felt secure enough in its recent picks that they were willing to part with what would likely be a late first rounder.


As mentioned, they got Derek Fisher in return:




A calming presence throughout his career, Fisher joins a backcourt that includes Mike Bibby and Bobby Jackson.


The changes don't end there, as the Kings complete an eight-player blockbuster with the Houston Rockets:







Sacramento's 2005 1st Round Draft Pick


In return, they get:







Houston's 2004 1st Round Draft Pick


After winning the LeBron sweepstakes, it was only a matter of time before the Kings crowned him their future at SF. Now Peja could've easily been moved to the PF position had Chris Webber not re-signed, but with his overall falling by one level, there were worries that Peja would've been unhappy taking a backseat to the rookie.


Instead, they replace him with a veteran sharpshooter SG in Miller, still chasing his first ring. Losing Bobby Jackson hurts but his contract and his skill became expendable with the arrival of Fisher, while Eddie Griffin is an intriguing young prospect that can hopefully be developed over time.


Along with recent signings Scot Pollard and Wang Zhi Zhi (and joining in-season signees Lawrence Funderburke and Mateen Cleaves, as well as the re-signed George Lynch), the current roster stands at 15 players.


Here's a look at our current contract situation this year:





And here's a look at the contract status for next year:




With only 8 players under contract and STILL being over the projected salary cap, one has to wonder how long the Kings' owners will be ponying up the dollars.


The trade immediately moves LeBron into the starting lineup, and with a back-up rotation of Fisher, Wallace, and Griffin, it appears that the "Bench Mob" of the Sacramento Kings will once again play a pivotal part in their success.


Here's a quick look at the projected line-up this season:


PG Mike Bibby / Derek Fisher

SG Reggie Miller / Derek Fisher / Gerald Wallace

SF LeBron James / Gerald Wallace / George Lynch

PF Chris Webber / Eddie Griffin / Boris Diaw

C Vlade Divac / Eddie Griffin / Scot Pollard / Wang Zhi Zhi


Around the league, these are the players who have re-signed:




Majority on that list are upper-tier guys whose teams value them a lot. A ton of number one options and star players felt comfortable enough to stay with their current teams, and Sacramento is fortunate enough to count Chris Webber on that list. Interesting to note, however, is that Tim Duncan signed a deal upwards of $118M over 7 years.


Meanwhile, the following players found new homes this off-season:




Gary Payton signing with the Clippers ultimately made Derek Fisher available, and the Kings took advantage. Meanwhile, the Sonics re-tooled, signing Jeff McInnis, Corey Maggette, and Keon Clark.


Michael Finley is another interesting name on the list. Finley forms a deadly perimeter trio alongside Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady, and on the weaker Eastern Conference, a small-ball line-up of the three stars could do wonders.




NEXT : The 2003-2004 NBA Season is almost upon us! But first, Pre-Season action! And a look at some of the teams that the experts picked to win their divisions!

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