Written by Apr 10, 2012, 5:41 am
It really doesn’t matter what our opinions are on Geoff Petrie as long as you have owners that are unwilling to hold him accountable for reasons that we can only speculate on but have been floated for quite some time.
In our minds, it is a clear fact that Geoff Petrie and the Maloofs protect one another. One protects with providing job security while the other is protected by not having their financial business and the insights of whats going on in the front office of the Sacramento Kings out on clear display to the local and national media.
Geoff Petrie has been with the Kings since 1995. The Kings are in the bottom cellar of the league standings for the 4th consecutive season. Any reasonable fan would estimate that the official rebuilding started in 2008-2009 when the Kings initiated a fire sale of every player (except Kevin Martin), kept Kenny Thomas at home on road trips, and shed as much long term salary as possibly could be done.
The Kings have been running on bare bones the last few years (more on this later) however this is no excuse for Petrie. He knew what he was getting himself into when he signed an extension (at a lower salary than his previous contract). He knew the kind of budget he was going to be working with. This been well documented by many writers and most notably Sactown Royalty’s Tom Ziller. It also has been said by these same folks that Petrie and the front office are well behind in utilizing advanced statistics/analytics as a resource for evaluating potential draft picks and free agents. While many pro-Petrie folks will point to his track record for drafting very well regardless of what position the team has been at, I tend to point at the fact that he made very poor choices (whether the Maloofs had a hand in them or not, we don’t know but as mentioned before Petrie knew the hand he was dealt) by not tearing down the team earlier than 2008.
Petrie was functioning in some make-believe world where Bibby, Artest, and Brad Miller could contend for a championship and the Kings lived in “no-man’s land” (mediocre bottom playoff team to 10th place in the West). No-man’s land for a small market team is A HORRIBLE place to be because it sets a franchise back so much and in this case it set the Kings back a grand total of 3 additional years. Once the Webber trade was made, the Kings should have disassembled everything and would have gotten more value for those other championship/playoff contending ingredients than what they got when they finally did get rid of Brad Miller, Mike Bibby, Ron Artest. This mistake cannot be ignored and while folks were in love with winning and wanted desperately to hold on, there’s a thin line between being a contender and rebuilding and you cannot try to toe it when you’re a team like the Kings.
NOTE: I won’t go much more into Petrie’s past as Ziller has already addressed it really well in this piece.
This current version of the rebuild starting with the 2008-2009 fire sale has included experiments with trying to put players into point guard roles such as Tyreke Evans, and now Jimmer Fredette. The Kings have rotated for the most part horrible crappy players every year to try and fit around potential future core players such as Kevin Martin, Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, and Marcus Thornton. These players include treats such as: Mikki Moore, John Salmons (version 2), Sergio Rodriguez, Sean May (insert cheeseburger joke here), Desmond Mason, Andres Nocioni, JJ Hickson’s lazy ass, Omri Casspi, Ime Udoka, Hilton Armstrong, Joey Dorsey, Travis Outlaw and his goddamn “wet jumper” and the list goes on and on. None of these pieces have fit and they’ve all failed miserably. Another point that bothers me more than anything is that the Kings panicked and traded Kevin Martin without truly giving his run with Tyreke Evans in the backcourt a fair shake. How badly would the Kings KILL right now for an efficient scorer who can get to the line 8-10 times (and stop runs) and consistently shoot above 44% FGs for a regular season? The Kings have NO ONE on their squad like that on the perimeter. Thornton is a good scorer but is streaky.
There is another issue, we really don’t know how close this team is to winning consistently. This last rebuild (probably not) is supposed to be Petrie’s saving grace. A determination of the core players more or less would include Cousins, Evans, Thornton, Thompson, Thomas, Fredette and now probably Terrence Williams. Is that a good enough core to improve dramatically enough to get 50 wins (which is what its been taking to make it in the West)? If anything, this season has shown DMC is the franchise player (Paul Westphal would nod…by the way he also got fired because he never really developed Tyreke Evans or any other young player for that matter nor could he related to them). Everything else is a crap shoot after that. We still have no clarity about Tyreke Evans. The rebuild doesn’t look good right now. It doesn’t look like its going to blossom and that’s what is scaring the crap out of me. The additions this season by Petrie, trading for Hickson and Salmons have been miserable. Drafting Fredette to be a future point guard (as Ailene Voisin has stated is the intent) on this team makes absolutely no sense to me. I watch these games and I see a square peg trying to be delivered into a round hole. Fredette is a 2 trapped in a 1′s body. There’s no question about it to me.
I’m getting away from the point though…which is that this team needs a new face and a new culture of management (we all know this at the ownership level to be absafuckinglutely true). Petrie cannot seem to swing the big impact making trade that this team needs to jump from 20-30 wins to 50 and outside of Cousins, there are too many unknowns starting with Evans and Fredette. A big time free agent is not coming to Sacramento unless you live in an alternate reality.
It’s too bad nothing is going to change because the Maloofs don’t hold anyone that protects them accountable. Cheers y’all.