The Kings are going to need to do some house cleaning before next season starts. They’ve got a lot of grandma’s old tchotchkes in the attic and they all need “25-cents or best offer” stickers and a run through a garage sale or three. Even then, the good time Kings are at least a year away from accomplishing what the Thunder did last season.
Ridding the team of ol’ shoot-first-ask-questions-never Andres Nocioni and one-double-digit-rebound-game-despite-being-6-foot-11 Donte Greene might start the party, but it won’t keep it swingin.’ The Kings’ core (Casspi, Tyreke Evans, Carl Landry and Jason Thompson) are all in their 20′s and have the potential to keep Sacramento swingin’ for years to come. And no one keeps a roarin’ ’20s party going stronger than the Great Casspi.
Despite his dropoff in last season’s final stretch and his slight-ish 19.4 USG%, Casspi still started in 31 games (more than any other King at the SF position) and stands to gain more minutes this year than last. The Kings happily sent Nocioni packing in late May, which is as good of a sign for Casspi getting more minutes as a drunk whose buddy just fell out of his bar stool is for getting a little more beer.
The best part of Casspi’s game is that he does a little of everything. The worst part is that he does it all at exactly how one expects a rookie to do it. His .446 FG% and .672 FT% will rise with his age and I would fully expect his place in this youthful core to further gel in ’10, even if the rumors of Hedo Turkoglu returning are true. Hedo was valued last season like a potato chip with Jesus’ face on it. Had he been valued properly as a Dorito with scorch marks, perhaps the Raptors wouldn’t be frantically trying to pawn him off. Either way, the Kings don’t need Nocioni 2.0.
Think of 2010 Casspi as a poor man’s 2008 Jeff Green. Or, if you’re a classicist, think of him as a middle-class man’s 2009 Jeff Green. .450/ .735 / 1.2 3pt / 15.1 pts / 5.9 rbd / 2.0 ast / 1.0 stl / 0.4 blk / 1.5 tov
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