Coach George Karl has praised the Kings’ front office for the offseason roster changes.
Now he must figure out what to do with the new parts.
The Kings opened training camp with a practice Tuesday at UC San Diego, where Karl had his first chance to see how the new additions fit on the court. Afterward, he said the process is fun but challenging.
“This roster might have, I hate to say it, might have too many players,” Karl said. “I think I can get nine or 10 deep in a rotation, and I think there’s probably more than nine or 10 guys who think they’re going to play.”
Ten players in camp were not on the Kings’ roster at the end of last season. With so many new faces, Karl didn’t want to discuss potential starting lineups.
“You all want to talk about starters. I just believe in giving minutes,” Karl said. “And if we have a basketball team where it’s better to play nine guys 30 minutes a game instead of five guys at 37 minutes a game, that might be the game we go.
“I think if we’re going to play fast, keeping pace and keeping energy on the court, it usually means you play shorter minutes.”
This roster might have, I hate to say it, might have too many players.
Kings coach George Karl
Early issues – The first camp practice went pretty much as expected.
“Early practices, there’s going to be some shabbiness to them because we’re going to ask them to run, run, run,” Karl said. “And our weaknesses are transition defense and turnovers, and we had those bad moments. We still have those bad moments.”
Those moments contributed greatly to the Kings’ struggles last season. Karl said some of those issues in practice could be attributed to younger players’ unfamiliarity with their new teammates.
“The veteran unit played well together and seemed like they knew each other better than the second unit,” Karl said.
It’s a different look. The most shooters I’ve played with.
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins on the team’s new perimeter threats
Outside threats – The Kings added better perimeter shooters such as Marco Belinelli to improve spacing and give All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins more room near the rim.
Cousins, however, isn’t relying on the newcomers to provide accuracy from three-point range.
“I’m a shooter now,” he said with a laugh.
If the outside shooters force defenses to respect them, the offense’s potential intrigues Cousins.
“It’s a different look,” he said. “The most shooters I’ve played with.”