The 2013 season is not going to be a year filled with championship aspirations for the Sacramento Kings. Of course, why else play the game if you’re not trying to compete at the highest level possible? But, for Sacramento, it will be a year in which they get to see where this next step in their rebuilding takes them.
Over the offseason, the team swapped guard Tyreke Evans in a deal where they received point guard Greivis Vasquez from the New Orleans Pelicans. Evans was likely on his way out in the end, but for the Kings to be able to get a young, up-and-coming player like Vasquez in return is a huge win.
In his first season with the Kings, Vasquez will have a very important job to do: Be the guy that gets DeMarcus Cousins to the next level. Cousins has all the talent in the world, but has to learn how to put it all together on a nightly basis. Not only that, but he will be responsible for his own maturity improving as well.
With the Hornets — now Pelicans — in 2012, Vasquez averaged a healthy 9.0 assists per game. Not many fans would believe a stat like that right away before researching it themselves. New Orleans wasn’t very good, therefore they did not get a lot of attention. But, in a season that ended without a playoff berth, Vasquez was a bright spot.
The luxury of having a true point guard on the team will greatly benefit Cousins. A guy that can get him the ball at any given moment, and in an efficient manner, will prove to be a huge asset. If Vasquez can cut down on his turnovers — 3.2 per game last year — he may find himself in the conversation for an All Star bid.
Cousins put up 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds last season with the Kings without having a legitimate point guard at the helm. Vasquez is one of the most underrated players in the game, and he should give Cousins the type of boost he needs on offense. The truth is, Vasquez and Cousins could wind up being one of the more fun point guard/center duos in the league this season.
If I’m a Kings fan, I am excited about watching these two in action. Sacramento may not be a playoff contender just yet, but Vasquez will definitely get them one giant step closer to where they ultimately want to be.