In the 2012-2013 NBA season, John Salmons started in 72 of the 76 games that he appeared in for the Sacramento Kings. As the Kings try to reclaim their former glory and rebuild around some solid young players, DeMarcus Cousins, and a newly constructed front office, Salmons is still a part of their outlook for the 2013-2014 season.
As the Kings primary starter at the three last year, Salmons was largely unimposing with his play. He averaged just 8.8 points, three assists, 2.7 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 30 minutes per game while shooting a paltry 39.9 percent from the floor. To his credit, Salmons did knock down a solid 37.1 percent of his attempts from long-distance.
As I said, Salmons looks like he’s going to once again be a big part of the Kings’ rotation. However, as they try to rebuild, I’m not so sure that he should be.
With young backcourt players like rookies Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum, as well as the well-thought-of Isaiah Thomas, the Kings shouldn’t be giving big minutes to a veteran player like Salmons that there’s really no benefit to starting. They’d be much better off shuffling their lineup, possibly moving Marcus Thornton to the three, and playing three-guard lineups this season. Not only would it give them a fresh look for their team that their trying to start fresh with, but it would also give young players the chance to develop.
There’s obviously the chance that the terrible situation in Sacramento last season, with the potential move of the franchise, could have affected Salmons’ play, but there’s also a history of him being simply underwhelming at the NBA level. Perhaps if he went to a contender and came off of the bench he could find a role suited well for him. On a Kings team trying to build, though, Salmons is, more or less, depressing to watch.