Kings 2022 Season Preview
- By Andrew Seitz, Day 1, 2022
When the new GM team took over prior to the 2021 season, the team was coming off of 18 and 22 win seasons. The team decided to Trust the Process and trade away the veteran core of the team, replacing Pace LaGarde, Jamar Strickland, Nwosu Odiambo, and Kevin Black. In return, the team obtained draft picks used to draft Thybulle, Mason, Olojakpoke, Woodley, and Wallace. The final version of the 2021 Kings finished 12-12 after the all-star break and had a positive net rating for the season, barely missing the playoffs.
The 2022 Kings are deep at every position with young talent, and are looking to challenge for a playoff berth. They don’t have the top end talent yet, but will try to make up for it with depth. The Kings will have 5 young players coming off the bench that had >18 PER last season. With a young, athletic, and deep team, the Kings will push the pace and look to run all night.
Starter: Christian Vickery
Backups: Tyson Ferguson, AJ Aly, Chris McMullin
The Kings had money to burn over the next three seasons and needed a veteran presence. Vickery was brought in to help establish a higher tempo, transition offense which should suit the talents--and depth--of the team. Ferguson though is hot on his heels and should at some point retake the starting job. Aly is a 3pt specialist that has been working on his court vision, and was able to take the 12th active roster spot from McMullin during camp.
Starters: Detrez Owens, Victor Olojakpoke
Backups: Keirall Richardson, Xavier Turner, Devin Wallace
Owens will be counted on to be the scorer, while Olojakpoke will be the defender. Both players are extremely quick up and down the court and should get some easy transition baskets. Richardson led all guards in per36 rebounding last season, and put on 6 pounds of muscle in the offseason. Turner took a step back after a wonderful rookie season, but made big strides in training camp, especially in improving his outside shot. Wallace was a top recruit out of high school that never got going at Wake Forest, but has been working hard so far in the pros and will get some looks.
Starters: Richmond Benson, Latrell Mason
Backups: JaMarcus Thybulle, Omari Woodley, Cody Muller, Marlon Burton
Benson continues to get better and should be full time at PF this year, now that Mason and Woodley are at C. Mason will be counted on for rebounding in his rookie year and won’t be pressured to produce on offense. Thybulle, who feels robbed of the 6th man award last year, is determined to be even better this year. Kings should have a number of quick, athletic options at the 4 and 5.
Muller is an enigma. The undersized PF had a PER of 30 during his only year at Sienna, and a 22 PER in his JBL rookie season. Muller led the team in WS/48, with a higher number than Cheaney and LaGarde. Despite that, his scouting report is awful, without a single positive comment.