As we play out the final month of the 2011-'12 NBA season, we take a look at each franchise. Who emerged, what went wrong, what lies ahead. A look at post season chances, long term potential and upgrades possible in this summer's NBA draft. We continue in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference with the Sacramento Kings..
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Another season and another NBA draft lottery for the Sacramento Kings. DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans are elite talent and the core of the franchise. While center and point guard are the most important and hardest to find, the Kings need to keep Cousins and Evans at their natural power forward and shooting guard positions, despite the temptation to slide them over.
The Kings figure to be a llttle less than $15 million under the cap. Historically, they have not been able to lure top notch free agents.
Cleveland has Sacramento's first round pick, but fortunately for the Kings it is lottery protected. It is quite obvious that DeMarcus Cousins could use some help inside and Mississippi State big man Arnett Moultrie might be a good fit. In the second round, Syracuse senior forward Kris Joseph would be good competition for last year's effort, Tyler Honeycutt.
The Kings have yet to use their amnesty clause, but do not have anyone making considerably more than their current, or potential value.
The Good: DeMarcus Cousins made some noise early on, demanding a trade, but things settled down. Cousins is an unstoppable force in the paint and has the potential to be the Association's elite power forward. Tyreke Evans has worked as a combo guard, but would take the next step if allowed to grow as a two. Last year's big signing Marcus Thornton has delivered in the scoring category. Rookie point Isiah Thomas has been a pleasant surprise.
The Bad: At this point, Jimmer Fredette appears to have been a reach. Jason Thompson is serviceable, but Cousins needs a legitimate, shot blocking, natural center alongside him. Tyreke Evans is as athletic as they come and is a natural shooting guard that is a step down at the point. Travis Outlaw, Tyler Honeycutt and other wings haven't yet delivered and may lose out to free agent Terrence Williams.
Sacramento has 13 players under contract for next season. Center/Forward Jason Thompson and small forward Donte Greene have qualifying offers, so their return is not a certainty. Rookie point guard Isiah Thomas' contact is non-guaranteed, although he will certainly be invited back, the same cannot be said for big man Hassan Whiteside. The Kings like small forward Terrence Williams who was week to week this season, he may supplant Greene.
Jason Thompson, Chuck Hayes
DeMarcus Cousins, Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Honeycutt, Travis Outlaw. Donte Green
John Salmons, Marcus Thornton, Francisco Garcia, Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, Isiah Thomas
Terrence Williams, Arnett Moultrie, Kris Joseph
Who Are The Experts Taking and When? Check Out The Latest ADP from The NFBC!
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Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.
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