Top 5 takeaways from Kings' first 11 games of 2016-17 season
The state of the Kings
The Kings are off to a 4-7 start, but they might be a little bit better than their record. It's already been a roller coaster ride in Sacramento and the team's five-game homestand isn't going to calm anyone's nerves...
5) Kings need more from free agent class.
Garrett Temple, Anthony Tolliver, Matt Barnes, Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson were supposed to come in and instantly improve the quality and depth of Sacramento’s rotation. The group has been hit and miss so far, despite getting plenty of minutes early to prove their worth. The Kings have a fleet of rookies playing minutes with the Reno Bighorns. They're only a car ride away if the play of the vets doesn’t improve.
4) Kings missed Darren Collison
Another of the Kings’ many potential free agents entering the season, Collison sat out eight games due to league suspension. In his first three games back, the lightning quick point guard is turning up the pressure on both ends of the floor for Sacramento, earning the trust of his new head coach from the moment he walked on the court.
3) Rudy Gay putting on a show
When Gay told the Kings he intended to opt out of his $14.3 million contract for next season, plenty of folks thought that the veteran forward was about to phone in the season. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Gay is playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 22.3 points and 5.6 rebounds a game for Joerger. He’s auditioning for 30 teams and so far, he’s looking every bit the part of a top tier free agent.
2) Rotation in flux
Joerger informed his team Sunday that he was tightening the rotation and some of the Kings players would be on the outside looking in. Omri Casspi is the odd man out in the frontcourt, leaving the 28-year-old free-agent-to-be baffled and looking to management for answers. He's not the only one wondering about his place in the Kings' world, but he's certainly been the most vocal.
1) NBA didn't do Kings any favors
Despite opening a shiny new building in the heart of Sacramento’s core, the schedule makers had the Kings open in Phoenix against the Suns, followed by a back-to-back the next night against the Spurs to open the Golden 1 Center. Plus 11 games in 17 nights, including three sets of back-to-backs and seven road games. Thanks for nothing NBA.