Throughout the season, Jason Jones answers readers’ questions about the team in a weekly Twitter mailbag. Tweet your questions with the hashtag #JonesHoldsCourt.
Q: With De’Aaron and Frank running the point pretty effectively, could you see the Kings moving Hill sooner rather than later? Maybe even before the deadline?
A: I definitely could see that happening and perhaps a deal would be best for both sides.
The Kings remain focused on doing all they can to help Fox reach the superstar potential they see in him. Frank Mason III is showing he was perhaps a steal in the second round of the draft. With Fox and Mason on the roster, the Kings have no interest in adding another veteran point guard.
Hill has started every game, but he hasn’t played the minutes he might have expected as a starter. His 25.5 minutes per game are on pace to be his lowest since 2011-12, when he only started nine of 50 games.
His 7.4 shots per game are the second lowest of his career, only behind his rookie season. He’s having to adjust to play off the ball more because the team is committed to Fox’s development.
I don’t think Hill has forgotten how to play or that his skills have taken a dive. He averaged a career-high 16.9 points last season for Utah. I think it’s just an uncomfortable situation that will take time to smooth out.
A new team could give Hill the chance to win now and rediscover his old form. Whether the Kings can strike a deal with another team for Hill’s $20 million salary this season is another question. But if they can do so without tying up too much money long-term, giving the reins to Fox and Mason makes sense.
Dec. 15 is an important date because it’s when players signed over the summer can be dealt. Expect to hear trade rumors more soon.
Q: What are the kings doing ? why are they not developing young players like skal, fox & justin jackson ? why give zach so much burn ? they aren’t going to make the playoffs so why not develop the young guys ?
i (heart) eBony Queens, @Shabazz916
A: They are playing Fox a lot, so I wouldn’t say they aren’t developing him. Skal Labissiere and Justin Jackson are different cases because they aren’t starters or in the rotation.
I’m not in favor of just giving a young player minutes for development, and neither is Dave Joerger. He’s a believer that little is gained by throwing young players on the court if they aren’t ready. Labissiere and Jackson will find their way back onto the court more over the course of the season – when Joerger thinks they’re ready.
Now to Randolph. Have you seen how he’s played lately? Randolph has been the Kings’ most consistent player, and one way for Joerger to lose the locker room is to not reward good play with minutes.
It’s no secret the Kings’ biggest goal this season is to develop young talent, but the morale of the team is at risk if Joerger sits a player like Randolph while Labissiere is struggling.
The simple way to get Randolph off the floor is for others to play better.
Q: We gonna find a way to keep Sampson all season?
A: The only way to keep JaKarr Sampson on the Kings’ roster would be to convert his two-way contract into a regular NBA contract. The Kings cannot do that now unless they were to free a roster spot by trading or cutting a player with a guaranteed deal. Otherwise, Sampson is required to spend most of his time with the Reno Bighorns.
And for your non-Kings question:
Q: Favorite 90s era WWF Wrestler?
A: I’ll give you two. First, The Rock. Second would be Rob Van Dam. Wait, he’s a third. Stone Cold Steve Austin. That’s it.
And a bonus non-Kings question (since I didn’t answer a food question):
Q: Your favorite breakfast cereal?
SACRAMENTO KINGS 1985-FOREVER, @Kings85_Forever
A: Frosted Flakes is No. 1, followed closely by Wheaties. The bronze goes to Cap’N Crunch Berries.