With the NBA Trade Deadline less than three weeks away, you knew that the rumors were going to start to heat up. The Sacramento Bee is reporting that the Bobcats are showing strong interest in acquiring Jason Thompson from the Kings, and between Tyson Chandler, Nazr Mohammed, DeSagana Diop and Alexis Ajinca, the Bobcats have a glut of big men – none of whom have done jack this season – they’re willing to offer in exchange.
It’s surprising that at this point in his career, JT is involved in any trade talks. And you would also think that he would be one of the Kings’ untouchables, especially in relation to the Bobcats’ stiffs. JT made our list of 5 Sophomore You Need To Watch for a reason: at 6-11 and 250 pounds, he has a strong mid-range game, runs the fast break well, can finish in traffic, and is a beast of a rebounder. All of those traits also complement his knack for throwing it down on anyone in his path.
After averaging 15.3 points and 9.6 rebounds in November, then 16.6 points and 8.9 boards in December, Thompson has managed only 9.1 points and 7.8 boards in 27 minutes per game in January. Part of this is Coach Paul Westphal getting Kevin Martin more minutes after returning from injury and the Kings’ tough schedule, but more of it seems attributable to Thompson’s immaturity.
The Sacramento Bee‘s Ailene Voisin describes JT like he is Kwame Brown: “He commits too many fouls. He drops too many passes. He bobbles too many rebounds. He muscles inside against double-teams, launches jumpers out of his range, becomes so discombobulated that he forgets about defending his man. And then he gets benched, furthering his frustration, and depleting the Kings already-thin frontcourt.”
With the Kings looking like they’re headed for another lottery season, there is no reason that they shouldn’t allow Thompson to fight through his growing pains. Instead, they should let him develop chemistry with Tyreke Evans, Kevin Martin, Omri Casspi and Spencer Hawes. At the start of the season, when we asked JT what the biggest difference between has been between his rookie year and this one, he answered: “I don’t have as many jitters as I did before. I have a lot of confidence coming in and I feel more comfortable. I have played in every city already and played in every home game. I think my game will get easier the more years I play.”
Without a doubt, Thompson would be a steal for any team that could make a play for him before the deadline. And if the Bobcats can manage to pair him with Gerald Wallace, they would have the Andre Iguodala/Josh Smith type of pairing that the Sixers should have been riding since last season. But if I’m the Kings, I wouldn’t do this deal unless I got back much more in return.
What do you think? If you’re Sacramento, do you ship Thompson or keep him around?
Source: The Sacramento Bee
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