With the NBA season (hopefully) tipping off in early November, ESPN.com writers and TrueHoop Network affiliate bloggers have answered five key questions for every team. Friday, the roundtable turned its focus to the Sacramento Kings, who finished last in the Pacific Division with a 24-58 record in 2010-11.
Despite averaging only 22 wins over the last three seasons, the upstart Kings are loaded with talent and boast one of the most intriguing young nuclei in the League. No longer stuck in no man's land with an uninspiring mix of aging veterans and journeyman role players, Sacramento has two legitimate franchise cornerstones in Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins and a wealth of breakout candidates at nearly every position.
But has Sacramento improved enough to vault into playoff contention after making two major trades and drafting one of the best players in college basketball? Here are my answers to ESPN’s burning topics, along a couple of my own bonus questions.
1. Fact or Fiction: Jimmer Fredette will be a success in the NBA.
Fact. Only time will tell just how well his collegiate game will translate to the NBA, but Jimmer is certainly capable of providing an instant scoring punch and hitting open jump shots as a result of Evans' penetration to the basket. He's clearly not an elite athlete or defender, but he'll be a solid third guard for the Kings to begin his career and get the opportunity to develop into a consistent outside threat.
2. Fact or Fiction: Tyreke Evans is a future superstar.
Fact. Plantar Fasciitis cost Evans 25 games and robbed him of much of his lift and aggressiveness around the rim. As a result, he settled for more outside jumpshots, which lead to a steep drop in his field goal percentage and overall production. Evans looked to have regained much of his athleticism and explosiveness and after returning from the injury late in the year (as Gary Neal could attest), and with plenty of inside scorers and solid outside shooters to compliment his game, he'll go back to putting up his customary terrific all-around numbers while steadily improving on both ends of the court.