How many centers should an NBA team have? One is clearly not enough, although the Cleveland Cavaliers just won the Finals without really playing any of the players technically classified as centers on their roster. You probably should have at least two, because big, tall basketball men are good at grabbing rebounds and blocking shots. Three? Okay, fine.
But fielding a team with five true centers, none of whom can play power forward? That’s bananas. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Sacramento Kings have after they reached for Georgios Papagiannis with the 13th pick in the NBA Draft, and then picked Skal Labissiere later in the first round. The two centers join Willie Cauley-Stein, Kosta Koufos, and DeMarcus Cousins, all players who should be playing more than 15 minutes per night.
None of it makes any sense, but none of it is out of character. The Kings are a black box of sorts, and throughout the pre-draft process, neither The Vertical nor ESPN could sniff out General Manager Vlade Divac’s strategy. It turns out that this was because the Kings are a very small operation, and it’s possible that not many people outside of Divac had a say in their plans. Whatever the strategy was, it ultimately created enormous redundancy at the team’s only position of strength. The degree to which the Kings stay in character is almost relieving.
“I do my job,” Cousins said Monday after Team USA’s practice at Mendenhall Center. “I can’t control (the draft). I control what I can control.”
“I really don’t understand it,” he said of the addition of Papagiannis, “but I do my job.”
Let this not reflect poorly on Cousins. Playing for the Kings would drive anyone insane, as would watching your team draft center after center. Enjoy Boogie on the Kings this year, as it could very well be his last, especially if they keep operating like this.