SACRAMENTO -- It was a topsy-turvy season for the Kings (29-53) that yielded more coaches (three) than improvements in the win column (one) from the previous two campaigns that each produced 28 wins.
As the dust has settled on the turmoil, distractions and injuries in Sacramento, it’s time for the professor’s post-season evaluation of the Kings.
Rudy Gay: A–
The veteran forward finished tied for 12th in the NBA averaging a career-high 21.1 points per game to go along with career-high average of 3.7 assists per night.
Gay’s production jumped to 24 points per game under Karl and more 3-point shots, assist opportunities and some minutes at the four spot are in store for the 28-year-old next season.
Jason Thompson: C
The 6-foot-11 power forward started 63 games in his seventh season in California’s capital city but his role still seems ambiguous. No one has seen more turnover with the Kings than Thompson and minutes at the power forward spot appear to be shrinking especially with Gay periodically at the four spot.
DeMarcus Cousins: A–
The 24-year-old averaged career-highs of 24.1 points and 12.7 rebounds per game, ranking fifth and third respectively in the NBA, and also finished tied for third in the league with 47 double-doubles despite playing in only 59 games due to illness and injury.
However, the 6-foot-11 center, who made his first All-Star appearance this season, needs to vacate top five NBA categories in turnovers and technical fouls to improve his grade.
Darren Collison: Incomplete
One can only wonder how the Kings offense would have percolated with Karl at the helm and Collison orchestrating on the floor but the 6-foot point guard never returned after a core muscle injury sustained in early February led to season-ending surgery.
Ben McLemore: C+
Inconsistent production from the shooting guard position plagued the Kings throughout the season and while McLemore shined at times, consistency remained elusive in his sophomore season. However, the Kansas product did improve in his second season in the league to average 12.1 points while shooting 43.7 percent from the floor up from 8.8 points per game and a 37.6 percent clip in his rookie campaign.
Ballhandling, playmaking and 3-point shooting are continued areas of improvement for the the 6-foot-5 guard.