ESPN - Hollinger's Team Forecast: Sacramento Kings - NBA
An entertaining playoff fixture for a decade, the Kings of today bear no resemblance whatsoever to the teams that wore the same uniform just three or four years ago. Defense is the biggest concern. Despite having a dominating perimeter defender in Artest, they're likely to be near the bottom of the charts in defensive efficiency because of the emaciated frontcourt.
They might not be great shakes on offense, either. While the trio of Bibby, Artest and Martin will have nights where they combine for 70 points and shoot the Kings to victory, the lack of a supporting cast will render them shorthanded most of the time.
As a result, I'm looking for the worst Kings season yet -- and that's before they break out the dynamite. Artest can opt out of his contract after the season and is highly likely to, while the Bibby rumors won't die; there's a good chance he'll be a goner by the trade deadline, if not sooner. Once they do that, there's no reason for the Kings to keep their aging frontcourt players, either, so it could set in motion a slew of departures.
Until then, there are some games to play, but I don't expect them to be pretty. They're still wearing the same uniform, but I no longer recognize this as the Sacramento Kings.
Prediction: 27-55, 4th in Pacific, 12th in Western Conference