Five Kings players at crossroads entering 2015-16
After making his first All-Star Game last season, Cousins appears primed for the next step in his evolution towards NBA superstar. But a rocky offseason filled with conflict with head coach George Karl has Cousins stock in a holding pattern. A quick start and Cousins will find himself in the MVP conversation. A slow start and turmoil could spell the end of Cousins in Sacramento.
The sky's the limit for this 22-year-old wing, but nothing is guaranteed. For the first time in his career, McLemore has real competition for playing time in the form of newcomer Marco Belinelli. Work ethic has never been an issue for the high-flyer, but for McLemore to take another step forward in his progression, he has to figure out the pace and complexity of the NBA game. A slow start could cost McLemore valuable developmental minutes.
The younger brother of the NBA’s MVP, Seth Curry often has the weight of the world on his shoulders. For little brother to find a niche at the NBA level, he has to come out firing. If he can provide a punch off the bench, Curry will find a spot in the rotation. If he comes in timid and tries to fit in, he will find himself in Reno playing for the Bighorns.
The Kings took a gamble when they signed the talented but temperamental Rondo. Sacramento bid against themselves for Rondo’s services. If he is healthy and properly motivated, Rondo is an All-Star and the Kings are a good team. If he can’t find his niche in a complex Kings locker room, Rondo could play himself out of the league.
After playing last season in Lithuania, Anderson is happy to be state-side and under contract. 6-foot-6 wings are a dime a dozen coming out of college. For Anderson to succeed, he has to defend at a high level and bury the corner 3-pointer. Can Anderson become the next Bruce Bowen? If not, he is playing on borrowed time.