News » Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-06-15

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-06-15

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-06-15
There hasn't been much of an offseason for the Kings, who are hard at work looking to improve on their franchise-worst 17-win season in 2008-09.

After recovering from the initial letdown of learning they would have the No. 4 pick in the June 25 draft, the Kings are in the process of sifting through the field of prospects. They also have the No. 23 pick in the first round and the first pick in the second round (No. 31), all of which will come in handy considering the anemic state of their roster.

With just eight players under contract for next season, there is plenty of room for added help. They are reportedly considering Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, UCLA point guard Jrue Holiday, Memphis combo guard Tyreke Evans and others for the top pick, with the likes of USC's Demar DeRozan, Arizona State's James Harden and Arizona's Jordan Hill also expected to be in the running.

Meanwhile, the Kings' third coaching search in their last four summers ended June 9 when they reached an agreement with former Phoenix and Seattle coach Paul Westphal.

After former Washington and Kings coach Eddie Jordan was seen as the frontrunner, he took the job in Philadelphia on May 29. In addition to Westphal, the other two remaining candidates who interviewed for the job were Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis and Boston Celtics associate head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie went against his own parameters in including Thibodeau in the search. He had said at the outset of the search that he was only interested in candidates with previous head coaching experience.

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: June 15, 2009


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