Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dominated the NBA without an elite big man, something that had never been done before. Kevin Durant became one of the best shooters and ball-handlers this league has ever seen standing over seven feet tall, something that had never been done before. Finally, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors won a championship on a team who lived by the three-point shot, something that had never been done before.
Currently, we’re all patiently awaiting the next revolutionary team, player, or basketball strategy… and it might just be taking form in Sacramento, California.
This wouldn’t be the first time Kings owner, Vivek Ranadive attempted to revolutionize the NBA. In 2014, Ranadive pitched the idea of playing four-on-five defense in order to allow one player to cherry pick on the other side of the floor. While that idea didn’t go over well with the fans, his and the management’s next might be perfect for the Kings.
The Kings have one of the most interesting rosters in all of the NBA. They have a lot of young role players who can play multiple positions and handle the ball. They are also one of the deepest teams in the NBA with over fifteen guys who deserve minutes on a nightly basis. Take a look at what their lineup could look like on opening night to see what I mean.
- Marvin Bagley – Bagley can play small forward, power forward, and center.
- De’Aaron Fox – Fox can play point guard and shooting guard.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic – Bogdanovic can play point guard, shooting guard, small forward, and power forward.
- Willie Cauley-Stein – Cauley-Stein can play small forward, power forward, and center.
- Buddy Hield – Hield can play point guard, shooting guard, and small forward.
- Skal Labissiere – Labissiere can play small forward, power forward, and center.
- Harry Giles – Giles can play small forward, power forward, and center.
- Nemanja Bjelica – Bjelica can play shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center.
- Frank Mason – Mason can play point guard and shooting guard.
- Yogi Ferrell – Ferrell can play point guard and shooting guard.
- Zach Randolph – Randolph can play power forward and center.
- Deyonta Davis – David can play power forward and center.
- Justin Jackson – Jackson can play shooting guard, small forward, and power forward.
- Kosta Koufos – Koufos can play center.
- Ben Mclemore – Mclemore can play point guard, shooting guard, small forward, and power forward.
You all see what I mean now; a whole lot of depth with a whole lot of versatility. With fifteen guys all deserving of minutes and only five guys on the floor at a time, how could Dave Joerger manage all these players? The answer is simple and could revolutionize the NBA.
Imagine this scenario. The Golden State Warriors big five of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Demarcus Cousins each play over thirty minutes per game next season. It all goes well because they’re all top-20 players in the league, but the Kings end up confusing the Warriors core.
In the first quarter alone, Stephen Curry is forced to guard six different players with very distinct playstyles who can all play “point guard,” ranging from De’Aaron Fox with elite speed, Frank Mason with elusiveness and craftiness, Yogi Ferrell’s quickness and jump shot, Ben Mclemore’s size, Bogdanovic’s playmaking, and Buddy Hield’s three-point shooting.
Curry might get a little confused on defense having to constantly switch his defensive mindset, right? Well, what if the Kings did this at all five positions constantly throughout the game while 1. giving our players tons of rest to keep their energy up, and 2. confusing the hell out of the other team on defense.
We start the game out with De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marvin Bagley, and Willie Cauley Stein, a fairly traditional lineup. The opposing team starts taking advantage of Fox’s lack of shooting. Then, the Kings sub in Yogi Ferrell, Frank Mason, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Nemanja Bjelica to create a shooting god squad. If the other team manages to pick up on our lack of size, then we play Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica, Marvin Bagley, Skal Labissiere, and Zach Randolph to out-rebound the opponents, while still maintaining enough shooting and athleticism to not fall out of the game entirely.
The signing of Nemanja Bjelica makes this possible for the Kings, as he can play nearly any role on the court while still shooting lights out at nearly seven feet tall. Our big men are athletic enough and our guards are big enough in order to leave positions behind altogether and revolutionize the NBA once again.