New Look Kings Lineups

The Sacramento Kings open Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s first training camp with the team in just over a week and Luc won’t be the only new face in town.

Luc, new coach Michael Malone and power forward Carl Landry.

The Kings roster currently has eight returnees and seven players that weren’t with the team last year. Additionally the team will be in its first training camp under new coach Michael Malone, so the entire group will be learning together.

Among the decisions Malone will undertake over the month-long camp is the picking the lineup he will deploy on a nightly basis. That particular decision has been on the minds of the folks at the SB Nation Kings blog Sactown Royalty and section214 recently wrote up the options.

One of the mainstays in all seven realistic incarnations of the Kings is Luc Richard, who he believes will start for Sacramento at small forward this season. Malone is expected to focus on improving defense with the Kings and Luc will be a big part of setting the tone on that end, as FanSided’s Ben Beecken writes in his season preview:

Sacramento acquired forward Luc Mbah a Moute from the Milwaukee Bucks during the off-season, and he will lead what should be a massive improvement on the defensive end of the court.

But that improvement will be largely dependent on the other players that surround Luc in the starting lineup. Among the most intriguing options presented:

The « Best Guys Start » option: 
This would seem to be the obvious scenario, and it would feature Cousins, Landry and Mbah a Moute up front….I’ll give Thornton the two-guard as of September 24, and Vasquez barely, barely, barely edges Thomas. Chances of happening: Very possible.

The « Defensive » option:
Coach Michael Malone wants this team to hang its hat on defense, but for the time being he may have to settle for incremental improvement. Given that Cousins has his job nailed down, Chuck Hayes gets the start alongside him. Mbah a Moute is the small forward. Johnny Salmons gets the start at shooting guard, and Isaiah Thomas is at the point.

The « Best Defense is a Good Offense » option: 
Malone determines that other than Mbah a Moute, there are no particularly gifted defenders on the roster, and that the team defense that he employs will achieve about the same level of effectiveness no matter who starts. Cousins, Landry, Mbah a Moute, and Marcus Thornton make up 80% of this starting lineup. In Thomas you have a guy that has not been the passer of Vasquez’ level but is himself a potent scorer. I’ll give Vasquez the slightest of edges here. Chances of happening: Possible. This lineup features 60% new personnel and 80% new starters over last year.

To read all the options, visit