STAYING: Omri Casspi, Willie Cauley-Stein, Darren Collison, DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore.
ADDED: Arron Afflalo (New York), Matt Barnes (Memphis), Skal Labissiere (Kentucky), Georgios Papagiannis (Panathinaikos), Lamar Patterson (Atlanta), Garrett Temple (Washington), Malachi Richardson (Syracuse) and Anthony Tolliver (Detroit).
GONE: Quincy Acy (Dallas), James Anderson (Darussafaka), Marco Belinelli (Charlotte), Caron Butler, Seth Curry (Dallas), Duje Dukan (Cedevita Zagreb), Eric Moreland and Rajon Rondo (Chicago).
STRENGTHS: A devastating force at center in DeMarcus Cousins … Perhaps the best player at his position these days … He’s going to give you 25 points and 12 rebounds on a regular basis … Interior rotation is quite interesting with Willie Cauley-Stein, who has the makings of an impact defensive player, and a solid veteran like Kosta Koufos … They have scoring, defense and three-point shooting at the wing with Rudy Gay, Matt Barnes, Arron Afflalo and Omri Casspi … Dave Joerger‘s has accomplished a lot with the talent he’s had at his disposal so far in the NBA … Can he pull it off again in Sacramento, where talented rosters have typically underachieved? … The franchise player doesn’t hate him, so there’s some progress compared to 2015-16 … May cooler heads prevail with Joerger and experienced guys like Anthony Tolliver in there?
WEAKNESSES: Questions about cohesiveness and effort … Getting the Kings to run back on defense has been a challenge for many a coach in Sacramento … Do they have enough fight in them? … They are super thin at the point guard position in a conference loaded with dominant PGs … Turnovers have plagued this team for several years now … They added Barnes, who played for Joerger in Memphis, to an already pretty difficult locker room … The feeling with Sacramento is they are always a string of bad results away from massive turmoil … Gay, the team’s second-best player, didn’t sound like a happy camper this offseason … Cousins, by far Sacramento’s top player, should be a more positive leader for this club … It’s just bad, bad, bad culture in the franchise compounded by a meddling owner and an inexperienced general manager.
PREDICTION: 3rd in the Pacific Division, 12th in the Western Conference.