Kings Blog

Kings Q&A: Should they pursue Jahlil Okafor? Why start all the youth?

Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell (1) shoots, as Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) gets his fingers on the ball during the fourth quarter of a preseason game Oct. 11 in Uniondale, N.Y.
Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell (1) shoots, as Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) gets his fingers on the ball during the fourth quarter of a preseason game Oct. 11 in Uniondale, N.Y. AP

Throughout the season, Jason Jones answers readers’ questions about the team in a weekly Twitter mailbag. Tweet your questions with the hashtag #JonesHoldsCourt.

Q: W/ the lack of scoring in the past games, should Sac even inquire about trading for post scorer like Jahlil Okafor?

– Syd Fong,‏ @syd_fong

A: The Kings should look into any young talent at the right price. But they need to add perimeter shooting and defense more than they need Okafor.

There’s also the question of what it would cost to acquire Okafor, who will be a free agent after the season. The Kings don’t have an open roster spot, so they’d have to send a player to Philadelphia. And even if Okafor were bought out, the Kings would have to cut a player (and be on the hook for that salary) to add a player.

The Kings need to explore all options, but Okafor might not be the ideal fit. Until then, it’s all about developing the players they have. And I’d rather see what Skal Labissiere has long-term than make a move for Okafor.

Am I against looking into it? No. But not for major assets since he can leave after the season.

Q: Why do you think Coach made that move to start the young guys (last Sunday vs. Washington)? Do you think he’s under pressure by the front office? The press? Fans?

– Anthony Sharrow‏, @kona_tone

A: I can guarantee Dave Joerger does not listen to the press or fans before making a decision on a lineup. Definitely not the press. If he’d like my suggestions, I’d gladly offer them. I’ve got a few ideas, but I only play a good coach on video games.

But decisions like the lineup against the Wizards are planned out ahead of time and the front office is on board, just like the last two seasons when the Kings tanked to keep their first-round draft pick (I mean getting young players experience and resting veterans) to end the season.

The Kings want to give their young players chances to play without worrying about who might be taking their playing time. Lineups like that allow players such as Frank Mason III and Malachi Richardson to get minutes. It won’t be the last time that happens.

This is what rebuilding in today’s NBA looks like.

Q: Which young King has the best chance to develop into a reliable go-to scorer?

– Steven Pearlstein‏, @StevenZP2

A: I still believe Labissiere could be that player. As his offensive game evolves, he could be a power forward with 3-point range, making him a versatile threat. He can face up and attack the basket, and if he can develop a competent game in the post, he’ll have another way to attack defenses.

That’s not to say De’Aaron Fox won’t be dynamic. I just like the potential of a versatile player with Labissiere’s size who could score from anywhere.

Q: Guess I’ll try again. Is this the worst Kings offense you’ve covered?

– Nick Cahill,‏ @NickCahill_5

A: After eight games, it is.

This is my ninth season, and early on I had the Tyreke Evans 20-5-5 run. Folks complained but at least I knew there was one player capable of making a play when the team needed a bucket.

Then I had the DeMarcus Cousins times, which meant there was always the potential for a 30-20 game. Rudy Gay could also bail out an offense.

The Kings have nothing like that right now. Fox leads the team with 12.5 points per game. I’d be stunned if the Kings finish the season with a leading scorer at just over 12 points per game.

Can we go back to this in April?

Q: Seen your posts from roscoes but best chicken & waffles in sac? I like Sandra dee’s but missing good spot?

– Aaron‏, @conausdcdav

A: Good question. I’m still soliciting suggestions for Sacramento spots to feed my chicken-and-waffles obsession. I’m taking all suggestions. Send them my way and I’ll check all of them out.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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