2017-18 Sacramento Kings Predictions and NBA Futures Odds Picks
Things have been bleak for the Kings for a long time. A really, really long time. And this year is going to be a bleak year again. But, for once, there is bit of hope for the future. They have three first-round draft picks joining the team, a second-rounder who was national player of the year last year for Kansas, and a fifth rookie from Europe who is as intriguing as any of them. There will be inevitable growing pains, but they aren't burdened with the moodiness of Demarcus Cousins, and they have some guys on board that could grow into a foundation for the future. It's still the Kings, so it's reasonable to be pessimistic that they can pull this off, but things have certainly been worse.
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2017 Sacramento Kings Betting Storylines
There is a real contrast in experience here. On one hand you have five rookies, four sophomores, and a third-year player, so there is a huge amount of youth to deal with. But then you have truly ancient guys like Zach Randolph and Vince Carter on board, along with George Hill and Kosta Koufos, who are younger but each have nine years in the league already. It is not in any way a roster that is built to win right now, and anyone who harbors any illusions that they could is just kidding themselves. And on top of that, nine of the likely 15 players weren't with the team last year, and three more have played 25 or fewer games for the Kings. It's a shocking amount of turnover - though the team unquestionably needed fresh starts pretty much across the board. The only stable position has been at center. Both the wildly-underwhelming starter Kosta Koufos and backup Willie Cauley-Stein have two years with the team, and last year's first-rounder Georgios Papagiannis showed some nice development in action at the end of last year.
The highlight of the draft was De'Aaron Fox, the very impressive point guard from Kentucky that the Kings took fifth overall. To the credit of the team, they set themselves up nicely not to have to rush Fox into action. They also have added veteran George Hill, who is both a very capable point guard and a guy that can mentor Fox in his development. Frank Mason III, who was national college player of the year at Kansas last year, rounds out the point guard ranks. It's hard to be anything but impressed about the potential of the position. There will be some growing pains, but the key position for a team like this is going to be in much better shape than it could be.
Scoring is a bit of a mystery for this team. The top three scorers for the team last year were DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Darren Collison. All are gone. The top returning scorer is Buddy Hield, and he's only a second-year player who averaged 15.1 points per game for the Kings in 25 games but just 8.6 for the Pelicans. There's a lot to like about Hield's game, but you can't necessarily rely on him to match or exceed the production he gave the Kings last year. The center position is an offensive black hole, Randolph is declining offensively, and there are two rookies at small forward. Hill can score reasonably well, and he'll have to here. Points, though, are generally going to be in short supply. And that's obviously a problem.
2017 Sacramento Kings Additions and Departures
We've covered much of this, but to summarize: Rudy Gay is with the Spurs, and Darren Collison is with Indiana. Tyreke Evans and Ben McLemore are with the Grizzlies, Arron Afflalo is in Orlando, and Ty Lawson is playing in China. Point guard De'Aaron Fox was picked fifth overall in the draft, and forwards Harry Giles and Justin Jackson were also first-rounders who were acquired in a trade for the draft rights to Zach Collins, who the Kings picked 10th. Frank Mason III was a potential second-round steal. Bogdan Bogdanovic is a 25-year-old European rookie who has been playing at a high level overseas, and who could start at small forward. George Hill joined in free agency from Utah, where he became expendable with the arrival of Ricky Rubio. And Memphis teammates Zach Randolph and Vince Carter chose to jump a flight to Sacramento instead of riding off into the sunset and finding a retirement home to settle into.
2017 Sacramento Kings Futures Odds and Trends
Sacramento Kings Futures Odds
NBA title odds (from BetOnline ) : +50000
Western Conference title odds : +25000
De'Aaron Fox ROY Odds (from Bovada ) : +1200
Bogdan Bogdanovic ROY Odds : +3300
Justin Jackson ROY Odds : +5000
Season win total (from Bovada): 27.5 ("over" is favored at -125)
The team was 41-38-3 ATS, so they were much better at covering spreads than winning games - they won only 32 times. The "under" was nicely profitable on the totals - they went under 47 times and over just 35.
2017 Sacramento Kings Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
I like the direction well enough, I like the point play, and I am optimistic about Bogdanovic this year. Ultimately, though, the offense is going to let down what should be a pretty solid defense, and the team is really going to struggle. I would lean to the under on the season win total, though I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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