The Sacramento Kings are trying to move forward as a franchise as they have ridded themselves of The Maloofs and have a new group headed by Vivek Ranadive as their owners. That obviously means trying to establish a direction for their organization in the NBA and not just continuously throwing pieces together and seeing what happens like they have done in recent years.
One of the things that the team moving forward entails is establishing roles for their players and developing young players. With a slew of bodies that could fill their rotation at the power forward, the Kings have to establish a hierarchy at the position. That’s why Kings blog Cowbell Kingdom posted a poll on Monday asking who should be the starter at the four for Sacramento when the season begins.
The team signed Carl Landry this off-season and has a solid player in Jason Thompson, but it seems relatively clear that the correct answer to Cowbell Kingdom’s question is for the Kings to start Patrick Patterson at the power forward.
Patterson is just 24 years old and has three years of experience in the league. In 71 games last year split between the Kings and the Houston Rockets, Patterson looked solid. He averaged 10.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.6 blocks in 25 minutes per game while shooting 51.2 percent from the floor and an impressive 38.6 percent from three.
Patterson may not be a great defender or an elite rebounder, but what he brings to the table offensively makes him the clear choice. While the other fours on the Kings’ roster pretty much are who they are and have little upside as players, Patterson could be a real force offensively. He has a serviceable post game, but also can stretch the floor by stepping out and knocking down jump shots.
Patterson’s ability to stretch the floor is the biggest reason he needs to be in their starting five. Not only does that make the Kings offense more dynamic by itself, but it also opens up the lane for Greivis Vasquez to create and for big man DeMarcus Cousins to operate in the post where he’s at his best.
The Kings wouldn’t be hurting if they ran Thompson or Landry out as their starting power forward, yet Patterson still feels like the best move for Sacramento. He brings a lot to the table, has the most upside and seems like the player most likely to be a part of this team’s future. If the Kings want to continue building their organization for the future, Patterson will be the guy come opening night.