Since the Grizzlies play in Sacramento tonight, I reached out to @kfippin, contributor for @sactownroyalty to see if he could provide some answers to several burning questions from The Barn staff.
How does everyone feel about the development of De’Aaron Fox and what kind of player comp would you give him?
We’re all really REALLY high on De’Aaron Fox right now. While he showed flashes of greatness last year he didn’t exactly have the kind of breakout rookie season most Kings fans were hoping to see from the #5 pick in a super deep draft.
Outside of a rough performance in Denver last night, he’s looked like an absolute beast through the first few games of this season (20pts, 5rebs, 7asts). It’s like a light switch suddenly went off in his head this offseason and he realized he could take over games. The jumper is obviously the biggest question mark but for my money he’s the fastest player in the NBA, and it looks as though he’s decided to get much more aggressive this season. He’s extremely springy and athletic, has an excellent handle, can stop/start on a dime, and his vision is outstanding. When/if that jumper ever comes around, he’s going to be a PROBLEM.
I’m not sure there’s a perfect comp for him at this point. If he reaches his ceiling, he’s probably some kind of weird hybrid of John Wall and your guy Mike Conley. What makes us hopeful is that his numbers stack up pretty favorably with both of them at this same point in their careers.
What does the future hold for Zach Randolph in Sacramento? He is a fan favorite here in Memphis since helping to build the Grit n Grind culture, so we have a vested interest in his career.
I hate to say this because I know what Z-Bo means to Memphis but I wouldn’t start him on your fantasy team anytime soon. It’s been reported that he’s out of the rotation and barring some kind of trade that hurts our depth in the big man department or coaching/front office changes, I’d be shocked if he gets any mins at all.
He’s basically MIA at this point. He’s not been dressing, he’s not on the injury report, we don’t see shots him at away games, and i’m not even sure if he’s traveling with the team or not. Maybe you can keep an eye out for him in Memphis for us.
What is the temperature on the performance of Dave Joerger? On top of housing some former Grizzlies on your rosters over the past few years, you guys also have our former coach at the helm.
This is a hot button topic, man.
Fans are really split on Dave Joerger right now. He hasn’t been dealt an excellent hand In my opinion but he lost a lot of confidence last season when he continually opted to play seasoned vets over the many young assets on the team. In a season that most fans felt should have been more about developing the many young assets on the team the Kings seemed to have different priorities and that seemed to play out in his rotations. The rotation was so huge that no one on the team averaged 30 mpg – not Frank Mason, not Justin Jackson, not Skal, not Willie Cauley-Stein, not Bogdan, not Buddy, or even De’Aaron Fox – no one on a team full of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year players got the kind on minutes most of us would have liked to have seen.
Couple the rotations with a less than inspiring offense that consisted of the slowest pace and third fewest 3pt attempts in the league, combined with a strategy that relied heavily upon dumping the ball down to Z-Bo in the post and you had a recipe for some unhappy fans.
We’ve already seen some big changes with regards to his rotations and offensive strategy but I don’t now if it’ll be enough. To be honest, I think Joerger is probably in the hot seat right now and it’ll be worth watching to see whether he makes it the full season.
Looking at the Kings roster, it’s easy to see you have a lot of young talent. What is the projected timeline for flipping the script from lottery team to one of the best in the West?
Every bit of success we’ve had in the past has come by way of building via the draft or trade. With that in mind the timeline doesn’t look great at all.
The Kings don’t have a pick next season and have had a notoriously difficult time adding talent via free agency. The young core looks on track to improve a lot this this year but it’ll be really hard to add anything substantial around them without trading some/most of them away in return.
Trust me, I want to be wrong about this but unless they can do something unprecedented this offseason, they are at least two seasons away from even beginning to compete.
On a more amusing note, do you believe that was Vlade’s real draft order in the leaked Vladfather pic from his office?