Welcome to Hoop Dreams, a season preview unlike any other. The premise is simple: We’ll be providing 30 of these fictional forays because it simply stinks that only one team can win the title each year. The list of contending teams seems to shrink with each succeeding campaign, and we wanted to provide something to those fans who only get to dream of Larry O’Brien during the offseason. Before October, every team can win the NBA title. Don’t believe us? Then keep reading. – Ed
Before players were even trying on their Christmas Day alternatives, the Sacramento Kings were in dead last in the Western Conference and barely a blip on the playoff radar. Reporters and clever bloggers were already using headlines like “Kissing Cousins Goodbye” or “Boogie Mights” in trying to determine which team would finally win the DeMarcus Cousins trade sweepstakes. Bill Simmons even saw a .000002 percent increase in his ratings after he and John Cena analyzed how the Celtics could land Cousins for one draft pick and tickets to a Bosstones show.
It was the same old, same old for Kings GM Vlade Divac, as he shopped Rudy Gay around to fringe playoff contenders and worked diligently to help Arron Afflalo in his quest to play for every team in the league. Teams would even call about acquiring Matt Barnes for cash, which the Kings aren’t ever used to seeing. At best, the Kings would collect a couple mid-to-late first round picks while giving their young players and rookies more time on the court. At worst, well, they’d continue to be the Kings. Hell, as long as owner Vivek Ranadive didn’t turn the Golden 1 Center into a Walmart, the Kings couldn’t get any lower than they had been, and so there’s a silver lining for everyone.