Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

December 31, 2007
Going forward

If "going forward" was the unofficial mantra of the Kings organization before, then it may as well be plastered on the team's jerseys now.
There's certainly no reason for them to look back at the trail of tears behind them, one that's littered with torn ligaments, strained groin muscles and floating fragments of mystery matter that affect various limbs. Three starters down for significant time is a bit unheard of. At today's practice, John Salmons got me wondering just how unheard of it is as he couldn't think of any similar scenario he'd experienced or witnessed in his six seasons. Not sure exactly how to quantify this scenario, but I may have to dig a bit deeper on that one.
Otherwise, the MIA roster was actually in action today, with Mike Bibby participating in his first full-contact practice and Kevin Martin doing quite a bit of work too. The duo was working out together long past their teammates, taking passes on perimeter cuts and shooting like everything was just fine.
Also, no more word on Ron Artest's consultation yet, but it's a foregone conclusion anyway. Asked yesterday if Artest would need a medical procedure to remove the bone chip and be out a few weeks, Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said it was "heading that direction."
It doesn't surprise me in the slighest that Artest wanted to take care of this problem ASAP. It is, obviously, a contract year for him, and no player welcomes the prospect of performing below peak level for the rest of the season as a precursor to his next contract (if he opts out). Speaking of which, I'm told by a reliable source that Miami remains very interested in Artest. The Heat are reportedly interested again in Golden State's Mickael Pietrus (read here). So just as was the case during the offseason, it seems the Heat are again deliberating between Artest and Pietrus as a means of saving their dreadful season. For the immediate future, I could see Artest having a far greater impact than Pietrus playing with Shaq and D-Wade.
Meanwhile, Kenny Thomas - who continues to simply do what Kings coach Reggie Theus asks of him but would certainly like being somewhere where he plays more than 12.6 minutes per game - could certainly be a part of any Mike Bibby/Artest deal as well, and the Heat's expiring contracts are certainly a solid starting point to any negotiations. That may be Thomas' way out, as Petrie hasn't pulled the trigger on any offers for that contract on its own in the last few years. All in all, these guys are going nowhere more than they're going forward right now. - Sam Amick

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