In an interview with Forbes magazine, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive voiced his ambitions for the team which and his ownership group purchased last year from the much-maligned Maloof brothers. Ranadive certainly isn’t setting his sights low, saying that he plans to make the Kings worth “billions of dollars” over the course of the next 10 years.
Ranadive and his group purchased the team for $534 million and have clearly been working towards increasing the value of the organization. There have been moves to put $1 billion towards a new arena, there have been countless moves on the team’s roster to try and set the team up better for the future and usher out the old guard, and Ranadive has instituted several forward-thinking ideas with his organization including accepting Bitcoins as a form of payment.
The Kings and Ranadive are clearly not content with the mire the franchise has dwelled in since their success in the early 2000s and have been making moves towards changing that. However, nothing is going to add value to this team much like putting a successful product on the hardwood will.
Sacramento is slated to miss the postseason once again this year, but it also seems apparent that they are headed in a positive direction. The Kings acquisition of Rudy Gay has worked out favorably and allowed them to clear out some old personnel, as did several deals at the Trade Deadline and the buyout of Jimmer Fredette. However, two big questions remain before this team can have success in this league.
The biggest question that remains is whether or not center DeMarcus Cousins can be the cornerstone that this team believes he is, at least according to the money they’ve committed to him. Cousins has shown improvement with his production this season, but there are still concerns about his maturity and his commitment that need to be evaluated and addressed.
Possibly just as pressing for Sacramento, though, is the looming free agency of Isaiah Thomas. As a second-round pick, Thomas is a steal in terms of what the Kings have him on the books for at under $1 million this season. As he becomes a restricted free-agent this summer, though, Sacramento will likely have to fork over quite a bit of money to retain the explosive guard. The Kings have to decide whether or not Thomas is part of their long-term plans or whether he’s just a luxury under the contract of a second-round pick and not a guy that they want to pay.
The Kings have serious decisions looming, but Ranadive’s ambition is apparent and he undoubtedly is moving towards realizing his vision for this team. However, using Google Glass, accepting Bitcoins, and building a new arena isn’t going to make this team a billion-dollar franchise. In the end, Ranadive will need to put out a winner on the floor, which is something that’s still in the works and has yet to be realized.