Is your team tanking? Jason Jones breaks down the symptoms
Throughout the season, Jason Jones answers readers’ questions about the team in a weekly Twitter mailbag. Tweet your questions with the hashtag #JonesHoldsCourt.
Q: Will Shumpert play this season? And will he opt in to the Kings next year?
– Iceduck7, @Sladek7
A: It would be a shock at this point if Iman Shumpert were to play this season. He's played in 14 games all season and with the Kings focused on their young players, there's no need to throw him into the mix.
Shumpert is almost certain to opt in for next season. Having dealt with foot and knee injuries, this is not the time for Shumpert to test free agency when he has $11 million guaranteed for next season, even if he's not a part of the Kings' long-term plans.
I'm intrigued by what Shumpert might add. He's only 27 and has shown he can play in pressure situations, having been a part of Cleveland's 2016 NBA championship team. Shumpert will be motivated to show the rest of the league he is healthy and that he can play a key role on a team.
Q: Why are fans so against the team winning ball games? The team builds chemistry & cohesiveness in wins, plus there aren't really any "for sure" players in the draft, as evidenced by many "busts." I get wanting a high pick, but isn't building culture better?
– David F-W, @LowBrassDude93
A: It's because draft picks are a sign of hope, until a player is attached to that pick. And every fanbase hopes they are a player away from success, and that player might be found in the top three picks. So with every win, that lessens the odds of picking first.
The team with worst record only has a 25 percent chance of picking first, by the way. There are still plenty of examples of teams ending up with high picks and missing on good player.
For a team like the Kings, the losses will come. But anytime their young players can figure out how to win a tough game, that's a positive sign. They have plenty of practice at losing. For change to begin, the Kings must emphasize winning habits at every opportunity.
Q: It still is mind-boggling that the kings drafted a defense-first freak athlete big in Stein, seem to be pleased with his development (according to you, in one of the first #JonesHoldsCourt articles), and yet still need rim protection... Something doesn’t add up