With nearly a quarter of the NBA season in the books, the Kings have been one of the league's most surprising teams, winning nine of their last 16 games and remaining in the thick of the playoff hunt. The suddenly entertaining squad, highlighted by the emergence of prized rookies Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi, even received an early Christmas present in the form of a nationally televised game against the Washington Wizards on December 16. It stands to reason then that for the first time in several years — and in a complete 180 from the beginning of the season — Sacramento appears to be a buyer as the NBA trading deadline approaches.
Over the last few weeks, the Kings have reportedly expressed interest in centers Emeka Okafor of the New Orleans Hornets and Samuel Dalembert of the Philadelphia 76ers, hoping to solidify a thin frontcourt rotation (raise your hand if you're shocked the Sean May signing didn't pan out as expected). While there's no denying that either player would bring superb interior defense, rebounding, and blocked shots — and perhaps more importantly, the pair has eight career three-point attempts between them, compared to 164 for the team's current starting center, Spencer Hawes — each player presents a limited offensive skill set and little ability to stretch the defense.
But if the Kings are seriously considering making a major move, the bigger question is whether the top priority should lie in acquiring an offensively-challenged bigman or a proven, veteran point guard to let Tyreke Evans play his more natural shooting guard position on a regular basis. Through 19 games, the Kings have averaged the fifth-most points and the sixth-most rebounds per game in the league, while also committing the fifth-most turnovers and ranking 19th overall in assists.
The debate, if there ever truly was one, over whether Evans is a point guard has been put to rest ever since Kevin Martin was sidelined in early November. Evans' 48-minute production is staggeringly higher as a shooting guard (23.1 Player Efficiency Rating) than at the point (13.4 PER), where he's also averaged more points and assists while committing two fewer turnovers per game. Not coincidentally, the Kings' best five-man floor unit has Evans and Beno Udrih in the backcourt.