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The 7 - Basketball - Kreidler: Malone to the Kings? Why not? Register and log in to post!
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#1 Posted on 20.5.03 0709.13
Reposted on: 20.5.10 0718.20

Mark Kreidler: Let's talk -- Malone is an option
By Mark Kreidler -- Bee Sports Columnist
Published 2:15 a.m. PDT Tuesday, May 20, 2003
You know, right here on the Third Morning After seems like the perfect time to have the talk.

Q: Zeus in heaven, not the Karl Malone thing ...

A: Yes. Absolutely. Karl Malone.

Q: You've been sniffing paint again?

A: Actually, I've been watching the Kings a bunch, doing the math, thinking about what Malone would bring as a free agent. And I have to say, adding Malone to the Kings' roster this summer doesn't sound as crazy as it did when I first pondered it.

Q: Wait, wait, there are a million reasons this is a hideous idea.

A: Maybe. But you don't get to go first. I do.

Consider this: Malone wants to stay out West. He wants to play for a team that he believes can win the NBA title either next season or the season after -- but with Malone as a significant reason, not an inconsequential ride-along. The field essentially is the Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks and Kings, and San Antonio will be eliminated after winning it all next month.

Q: Riveting.

A: Stay with me. Let's say that leaves Dallas, L.A. and Sacramento. If Dallas comes up short, Mark Cuban might conclude he's one Karl short of seriously competing for the whole shebang. The Lakers clearly need something, and even if Jerry Buss tries to go cheap, Malone isn't necessarily off the table -- the Kings, Lakers and Mavs all would likely offer Malone the mid-level exception to the salary cap, around $4.5 million.

Q: Your point being?

A: My point being this is no decision in a vacuum for Maloof Money Inc. By signing Malone, brothers Joe and Gavin would be moving not only to bring him to Sacramento, but -- perhaps just as important -- to keep Malone from playing for the Lakers or Mavericks during these next couple of years in which a Kings title remains viable.

Q: Fabulous, inarguable logic, as usual. But you still haven't explained how Malone fits into the picture here. He's a power forward, right? Yet he spent an awful lot of time last season around the perimeter, taking those Karl jump shots. Besides, aren't the Kings knee-deep in guys who do what Malone does?

A: With 120 victories over the past two seasons and no rings to show for it, the Kings must be knee-deep in something. What it isn't is a player like Malone.

Sacramento has front-court height, yes, but that's not what I'm talking about. Karl Malone makes shots, draws fouls, converts free throws and runs the floor. He still rebounds very well (he'd have finished second to Chris Webber among the Kings this season). He can play power forward behind Webber, but he also could defend just about any opposing center besides Shaq, which, let's face it, nobody really does.

Q: Right, but isn't this man 39 years old? What're you aiming for, two or three Kings on the All-Metamucil first team?

A: He's younger at 39 than Vlade Divac is at 35 -- but, again, we're talking about which picture you choose to see. If the idea around here is simply to get younger, by all means, let's spend more of the Maloofs' money on developing early-in-the-curve talent that could become the next wave of competitive Kingdom.

If, on the other hand, you subscribe to the window-of-opportunity theory of sports, the notion that a title is sacred and should be pursued with everything a franchise has to pursue it in the incredibly brief period of time it's available, Karl Malone makes sense. He's a future Hall of Famer with a major edge to his basketball personality, with plenty of game left. He takes virtually no guff from any corner. He is unafraid to call out anyone.

Q: He's a geezer with a crummy temper who yells too much and whines too often, and he's so far past his prime, he needs a telescope to rear-view it.

A: Put it this way: The Kings didn't exactly hurt themselves this season by signing a 32-year-old journeyman named Jim Jackson, and I've seen Jackson say things to his teammates -- these teammates here in Sacramento -- that'd peel paint.

Q: Keon Clark. Scot Pollard. Hedo Turkoglu. There aren't enough front-court minutes to pass out as it is.

A: Clark could solve that problem by opting out of the last year of his contract in the next six weeks or so. Turkoglu lost his reserve role to Jim Jackson at the swing position, which is another place Malone could play if needed. And either Turkoglu or Pollard could find himself packaged in a deal if the Maloofs decide they can't add salary to an already cash-heavy roster.

Q: If Clark stays, the Maloofs are going to have to bleed green again to add Malone.

A: Thank goodness it's not our money. Look, the Maloofs will do what they must to stay at championship trim. It's their way.

Q: Malone won't come to Sacramento.

A: In fact, he has told friends, associates, coaches and at least two reporters that Sacramento is one of his top choices if he doesn't re-sign with Utah.

Q: He won't come off the bench.

A: He says he will.

Q: He won't play behind Webber and Divac and those guys.

A: He says he will.

Q: But there's no way he can get to the all-time scoring record from there. Karl needs to average something like 20 points per game over 100 more games or so to become the leader. He's not going to average 20 for the Kings in this or any lifetime.

A: You know what? Malone would rather score fewer points and play for a winner than set that scoring record in Ringless Land. He has said so several times already. I'm becoming inclined to believe him.

Q: Heck, it's a moot point. He'll stay with the Jazz in the end.

A: In which case, problem solved. Or at least artfully averted. Until then, ask yourself which team you'd rather see Malone playing for next year, the one in Dallas, the one in L.A. or this one here.

Q: I hate it when you make sense.

A: Fear not. It has virtually no chance of lasting.
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#2 Posted on 20.5.03 1330.44
Reposted on: 20.5.10 1333.49
Well I have to say as a Kings fan that i pretty much hate Malone and would cringe at him being on the Kings. However, it does make sense to bring him in so that the Mavs, Lakers, or Mavs can't. But would he choose Sacramento over those three. I mean first of all I think San Antonio should be in the running. After all with Robinson leaving they're going to need someone to take his place. If Malone can truly guard any center besides Shaq then he could take Robinson's place and be a significant part of the team. And it's obvious that the Lakers need a power forward and the Mavericks need some help down low as well. So he could be a major factor on all of these teams and possibly be their key in putting them over the top of the rest of the teams. So wouldn't it make sense to go to Dallas, LA, or San Antonio were he could win a championship AND still play more minutes than he would in Sacramento?
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#3 Posted on 20.5.03 1336.19
Reposted on: 20.5.10 1336.19
I think Malone ends up in LA because it means a starting spot, plus he can still pick up 15-18 per game just on the scraps left by Kobe and Shaq.
With the Kings, he'd end up with much less playing time backing up Webber, meaning less points for Karl.
As for San Antonio, my guess is they spend the salary cap money they have from Robinson retiring on Jermaine O'Neil. Gives them a young 7 footer who can hit the boards to line up with Duncan for a few years.
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#4 Posted on 21.5.03 0203.36
Reposted on: 21.5.10 0206.56
Perhaps Karl will sign with the Clippers and finally bring them glory!

Or not.
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#5 Posted on 22.5.03 0133.08
Reposted on: 22.5.10 0134.07
The Lakers/Kings rivalry is about to reach the next stage:

The Karl Malone Bidding War
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#6 Posted on 22.5.03 0823.47
Reposted on: 22.5.10 0825.20
I can't see Malone going to a team where he would not be starting and scoring 20+ points a night. He wants Wilt's record more than anything and will trade a ring for it.

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