August 4, 2017, 5:48 pm
The Kings have gone into full rebuild-mode. This is obvious to anyone who follows a decent amount of basketball. But the Kings made two transactions that raised their average age from 22 years old to 25 years old.
These moves were the addition of Vince Carter and Zach Randolph to the roster. They bring toughness, as well as experience, to a team which lacks identity.
Carter signed a one-year deal worth $8 million and Randolph signed for two years, $24 million. While the two are years removed from their prime, what they can offer the Kings goes beyond the court.
The veteran Carter knows what it’s like to be in the spotlight. He’s an eight-time All Star and was the franchise centerpiece with the Raptors and Nets. During his time with both Toronto and Brooklyn (formerly New Jersey), he averaged more than 23 points per game.
Carter has also been the quintessential teammate in recent years, with Kings coach Dave Joerger praising his former player for his leadership during their time together with the Grizzlies.
Carter was also voted the 2015-16 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year for his selflessness and leadership. It’ll be interesting to see how the 40-year-old can help rookie — and fellow former Tar Heel — Justin Jackson adjust from college ball to the pros.
Randolph is the younger of the two signings, at an almost juvenile 36 years old in comparison to Carter and is coming off a season where his player efficiency rating (18.5 PER) was less than 1.0 below his career average of 19.4.
The 6’9″ Randolph is hard-nosed and powerful; a bully type of player, yet graceful in the post. He will be able to show youngsters like Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Harry Giles all of the tricks of the trade, and do so while still being effective in his lower-minute role.
Off the court, though, he’s been through plenty. He’s had to evaluate his choices, feel the lows of multiple arrests to reinvent himself into the two-time All-Star he is today. He’s a constant reminder of taking care of business and making sure not to take anything for granted. His blue-collar style is something the young Kings can learn from — and will be integral to their development into tough NBA players.
When the season starts in October, the Kings will more than likely have 10 players who are 24 or younger and there will be growing pains. Randolph and Carter are around to keep things from getting too ugly.
But even as Sacramento is interested in what the they bring to the hardwood, they’re more than likely just as invested in what they can bring off of it.