News » Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-04-30

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-04-30

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-04-30
Considering the Kings franchise has seen its fair share of futility during the past 50 seasons, it is no small dishonor to be known as the worst of all-time. Yet sure enough, the 2008-09 version was just that.

Their 17-65 record marked the first time a "Kings" team from any city finished with fewer than 19 wins, setting a new low after the Cincinnati Royals of 1958-59 went 19-53 and the Royals of 1959-60 went 19-56. The record was a new low in the era of the 82-game season that began in the 1967-68 season as well, taking the spot previously held by the 1989-90 team that finished 23-59.

The past, however, doesn't concern the Kings so much as the future. And after the Dec. 15 firing of coach Reggie Theus led to their third coaching change since 2006, they will once again be faced with the question of whether to make a change at the post.

The Kings went 11-47 while interim coach Kenny Natt was at the helm, with an already-bad situation growing worse on the floor. Nonetheless, the Kings -- according to the Sacramento Bee -- hold a 2009-10 team option on Natt in which he would return for approximately $2 million. The deadline by which they have to decide on Natt's future is May 1.

Beyond a possible coaching change, the Kings will wait until May 19 with the hopes that they land the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. Because they had the worst record in the league this season, they have a 25 percent chance at picking first and are guaranteed to pick no lower than fourth.

They are likely to be active on the trade market as well, with forward Kenny Thomas and his expiring contract the most obvious piece they would prefer to move. Thomas has been a non-factor for the last two seasons and will earn approximately $9 million in his last season. The Kings will also have approximately $8 million in salary cap room with which to use this summer on the free agent market.

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: As has often been the case when it comes to the Kings, their status was defined by their ability to perform against the Lakers.

If only for a night.

Their 113-101 win over the Lakers at Arco Arena on Dec. 9 came as a huge surprise and thrilled a crowd of 16,068 that saw their team improve to 6-16 against the Western Conference juggernaut. The win came without injured shooting guard Kevin Martin (sprained left ankle). John Salmons and Francisco had 21 points apiece. It wasn't enough to save the job of Reggie Theus, though, as the coach was fired six days later.

TURNING POINT: The Kings' season was off to a rough start even before it began, when center Brad Miller received a five-game suspension last summer for violating the league's drug policy. Already down a starter, the Kings' start became even harder when shooting guard Kevin Martin went down with a sprained left ankle on Nov. 9. While Martin would return for two games (Dec. 2 and Dec. 6), he wouldn't return in earnest until Dec. 30. By that time, Martin had missed a combined 22 games, the Kings were 7-24 and coach Reggie Theus had already been fired.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 30, 2009


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