By Bob Garcia IV @bgarcia90 on May 28, 2014
With another season full of disappointment behind, the Sacramento Kings will be heading into an offseason where many questions will be need to be answered in terms of their roster. This includes the draft next month as they hold the eighth overall pick and the possibility of a handful of players on the team who could leave elsewhere via free agency. With that said, here is the projected starting five for the Kings next season.
Although the 25-year-old will enter the offseason as a restricted free agent, it is hard to believe that the Kings won't match any offer that other teams make. Thomas has been a source of consistency at point guard and had shown improvement this past season as he saw increases across the board statistically. Ultimately, Thomas is the Kings' point guard of the future barring any unexpected move.
Last year's seventh overall pick is coming off a less than stellar rookie campaign as he struggled on both sides of the court. But McLemore caught fire at the tail-end of the season as he scored in double-digits in 12 out of the last 15 games, capped off by a season-high 31 points in the final game of the year. McLemore being determined to develop his all-around game this offseason makes him the best option at shooting guard for the Kings.
Gay has the option to become a free agent this offseason if he declines his .3 million option for next season, but in all likelihood, he will pick up the option and instead be a part of next year's class of free agents. The 27-year-old in his 55 games with the Kings averaged 20.1 points and was a consistent scoring option for the team. If the Kings expect to move up in the ranks next season, they will need Gay and Cousins to lead the way.
The Kings hold the eighth pick in this year's draft and Aaron Gordon will likely be the best option available at that spot. Gordon is a freakishly athletic forward, who is a stout defender and will be a great addition to Sacramento's roster. Although he may be a project offensively, the 2014 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year has the potential to be an impactful starter in the NBA for years to come.
Over the past few seasons, Cousins has been the Kings' franchise player and will be as he is under contract for the next three years. In the 2013-14 season, he continued to make strides in his game as he averaged a career-best 22.7 points to go along with 11.7 rebounds per contest. If the Kings hope to make a playoff push next season, they need him to progress along in his overall game, leadership and maturity level.
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