Allegiances aside, giving up a top-five pick just two-thirds into their debut season is a numbskull move anyway you cut it. And since the Sacramento Kings organization―headed by the uniquely inept Maloofs―were involved, you can expect a boneheaded move of the highest order. Instead of kings, they should be the Sacramento Court Jesters.
Sports Jerks isn’t alone in chastising the Kings for their ineptitude, (and really we shouldn’t be the last, so leave your thoughts on the comment section below), ESPN also went to town on the move that sent Thomas Robinson, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 draft, to the Houston Rockets, calling it the worst move of the trade deadline. It’s a move that comes off as little more than penny-pinching for someone who’s only then going to ingest the coins. Translation: don’t root for Sacramento.
Granted, the move wasn’t entirely a waste for Sacramento, as they picked up a trio of sizeable players in the acquisition, including the battle-ready Patrick Patterson, who is averaging 11.6 PPG and 4.7 RPG, the very competent Toney Douglas (8.1 PPG, 1.9 APG, 1.8 RPG), and center Cole Aldrich (1.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.3 BPG). But given Robinson’s upside, that they received two very competent forwards in Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt, and will be able to cash in a 2013 second-round pick (from the Suns), the Houston Rockets seem to have made off with a steal of the Bernie Madoff variety.
As a rookie, Robinson hasn’t played even remotely close to the stratosphere of guys like Damian Lillard, averaging only 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16 minutes per, but the consensus is that his growth has been hampered by a negligent organization. A look at recent draft picks DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmer Fredette, and Tyreke Evans tells the whole story.
Bill Simmons and Zach Lowe of Grantland notoriety point out that targeting high lottery picks while they’re underperforming, or, at that, are in the grip of underperforming organizations, is the quickest path to picking up an All-Star. Chris Webber, Jason Kidd, and Joe Johnson are some examples. Essentially, the biggest critic for Sacramento’s brain-cell-questioning move is history, as teams have committed this type of folly many times in the past, and have regretted the results.
Chances are that the Kings won’t fare any better.