Giving up on WCS? (split from game thread)

#31
I agree with you - except for the self-love comment.
I've been arguing that we need to calm down about Willie and give him the full three years to prove that he belongs (here). In whatever role he best fits. Then go from there.
I am intrigued by his potential, but he's yet to pull it all together. And after a game like this and showing that he's nothing more than KAT's waterboy, it does create some doubt.
Willie always talks about himself in "top dog" context. always. That's why I used that "self-love" expression. He very clearly thinks his career trajectory is "top dog big". I am just worried about that because I am not that comfortable with the ball in his hands.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Contributor
#32
I believe wholeheartedly that Joerger and Divac have determined what WCS's role should be going forward, but I don't believe that WCS is ok with that role. This may be a situation in which a young guy just can't believe what he's hearing from his coach or management about his role, and will only believe it when he hears it from another coach of another team. Kind of like a young adult who doesn't believe what his parent says until he hears it from a different source, or a spouse not hearing it from a spouse until he/she hears it from another "independent" source.

As others have said, he's inconsistent. When it comes to the offensive side of his game I don't believe his inconsistency is because of effort; I just see a guy who just isn't as talented in terms of his balance, agility, and touch to be first or second option on a good team. And let's think of where he would fit on a very good team. Where would he fit on the Warriors? He'd only be "garbage guy." Same thing for the Rockets, Celtics, Cavs, Raptors, Spurs, Timberwolves and Thunder. If he were traded to one of those teams, they'd immediately define for him what his role was in no uncertain terms, and because he's on a good team, he would probably go out there and do exactly what they told him to do, and he'd probably be pretty darned good doing it.

Unlike his offense, I believe his defense and rebounding is inconsistent because of inconsistent effort. We've even heard comments from him to that effect. As he gets closer and closer to the end of his contract, I would expect for his defensive effort, including rebounding, to become more and more consistent. But what makes it so difficult for me to figure out WCS is this question: What would his defensive/rebounding effort be after he getting a contract renewal from the Kings? I don't know the answer to that. Is he going to mature into a player that gives that consistent effort, or is he going to revert to his mean of inconsistent effort because now he's got the contract?
I don't necessarily disagree with anything you've said. WCS doesn't easily fit into any particular pigeonhole. That's one of the things, quite honestly, that intrigues me about him. I do not think we've seen anything close to his ceiling.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Contributor
#33
I have to disagree about him not doing what Joerger wants. Willie averages close to 30 minutes per game, I believe he is at the top of the list for the Kings, just a tick more than Bogdanovic, although Bogs might have passed him after yersterday's game. We are just talking tenths.

Joerger has shown no hesitation at all about sitting players that don't play the way he wants (see Skal). He sat Willie for quite a while in a game the other day when he didn't like the way Willie was executing (a little too much ISO). So, I think Willie is playing or at least attempting to play the way Joerger wants him to. I think Joerger is trying to see what he has with Willie and how much Willie can grow.

From the time he hurt his back until he hurt his knee, he put together a pretty good 22 game stretch.

More good points...and more reason why there are still a lot of things we need to figure out about WCS.

Personally, I think he's got a lot going for him despite his ego (which doesn't bother me at all) being a sore point apparently for some. I think he can live up to his own hype...and truly believe we'll all be pretty happy with the end result.
 
#34
If Willie had a three point shot we couldn’t wait to throw a 4 year $80M contract at him. Willie needs to quit worrying about being the next Porzingis and focus on the one or two things he can add over the rest of the season, plus this summer, that will get him paid.

I mean, if Willie could start in the corner while Giles or a free sgent/draftee goes to work in the high post, and then run some weakside screen and go action....we would be falling over ourselves to make it rain on Willie’s bank account.
 
#36
Willie is the kind of player that desperately needs some individual coaching. He should not be bringing the ball up in the open court like Cousins and needs to play under control better on offense. His spin moves in the lane especially have him spinning out of control. He throws the ball away more than any player on the team. He is a wimpy rebounder and admits he has some fear of injury. His defense varies a lot. Sometimes he is a pretty great defender. I think his greatest problem is with motivation. He could use a shrink. When he decides to play hard he can be a great contributor. He has the physical skills but needs to get mentally squared away better to play at this level.
 
#37
Kufous did a better job on KAT.
KAT schools a lot of people on offense. Willie struggled keeping him from scoring in the 1st half (17 points), but I thought for the most part he actually played pretty good defense on him. KAT was number one pick and is now an all-star for a reason. He made several shots over Willie that were well contested. He did give him a couple of relatively open perimeter shots when he backed off of him too much, but KAT is a nightmare to cover inside out. He let him get position down low for at least one and one basket.

He scored 17 points in the first half, not sure that they were all scored while Willie was defending him, they could have been some switches. In the second half, he only scored 3 points off Willie, the other 9 was when Willie was not on the floor.

KAT scored 8 points in the 1st quarter in the 7-1/2 minutes he and Willie were on the court together.

In the 2nd quarter he scored 9 points in about 8-1/2 minutes that Willie and he were on the court together.

In the 3rd quarter he only scored 3 points in about 7-1/2 minutes that they shared the court together.

In the final critical 3 minutes of the game he scored 0 points while he and Willie were on the court together.

KAT scored 9 points in 4th quarter from 10:00 mark to 3:00 minute mark while Willie was not in the game. He definitely scored those 9 on somebody else, not sure if it was Koufos or who.

Karl Anthony Towns is going to get his points. I am not sure there are very many, if any, defenders that can stop him consistently one-on-one. All you can hope to do is limit him somewhat and that really requires having team mates help with the double team. I saw some of that, but maybe not enough.
 
#38
KAT schools a lot of people on offense. Willie struggled keeping him from scoring in the 1st half (17 points), but I thought for the most part he actually played pretty good defense on him. KAT was number one pick and is now an all-star for a reason. He made several shots over Willie that were well contested. He did give him a couple of relatively open perimeter shots when he backed off of him too much, but KAT is a nightmare to cover inside out. He let him get position down low for at least one and one basket.

He scored 17 points in the first half, not sure that they were all scored while Willie was defending him, they could have been some switches. In the second half, he only scored 3 points off Willie, the other 9 was when Willie was not on the floor.

KAT scored 8 points in the 1st quarter in the 7-1/2 minutes he and Willie were on the court together.

In the 2nd quarter he scored 9 points in about 8-1/2 minutes that Willie and he were on the court together.

In the 3rd quarter he only scored 3 points in about 7-1/2 minutes that they shared the court together.

In the final critical 3 minutes of the game he scored 0 points while he and Willie were on the court together.

KAT scored 9 points in 4th quarter from 10:00 mark to 3:00 minute mark while Willie was not in the game. He definitely scored those 9 on somebody else, not sure if it was Koufos or who.

Karl Anthony Towns is going to get his points. I am not sure there are very many, if any, defenders that can stop him consistently one-on-one. All you can hope to do is limit him somewhat and that really requires having team mates help with the double team. I saw some of that, but maybe not enough.
I thought it was obvious in watching the game that Willie played like a teenager on his first date. He was nervous, he didn’t play his game, he made lots of mistakes. And KAT took advantage. I wonder if we watched the same game? It was a major embarrassment. But I’m still committed to giving Willie his chance to develop into a great player (for us). It’s just troubling to see him take five steps back.
 
#39
I thought it was obvious in watching the game that Willie played like a teenager on his first date. He was nervous, he didn’t play his game, he made lots of mistakes. And KAT took advantage. I wonder if we watched the same game? It was a major embarrassment. But I’m still committed to giving Willie his chance to develop into a great player (for us). It’s just troubling to see him take five steps back.
Well, obviously it wasn’t obvious to everyone. Yes, I’ll give you that Willie seems to get jittery playing against KAT. I think it goes back to their college days where they were the twin towers on the UK 38-1 team. KAT was the super star then, the go to guy and Willie was the garbage man (Again after 3 years with the team, first Nerlens Noel, then Julius Randle, and finally KAT).

I believe Willie wants to prove against his old pal that he is more than a garbage man and tries too hard.

However, saying that he was a major embarrassment and took five steps back is IMHO an exaggeration. Perhaps an over-reaction to how you would have liked Willie to have played? I was hoping to see him have a really good game and I know I was disappointed that he didn’t have a better game.

But to say he had a terrible game is not true and fails to give KAT his due as the top-notch talent he is. Did you read the scoring breakdown I included? Willie gave up 17 points in the first half to a very talented KAT who was on his game. I stand by my comment that he scored some baskets that were strongly contested by Willie, it’s what he does.

Yes, there were some defensive lapses that led to baskets, too, in particular, playing off of him and allowing him the perimeter shot. But KAT is a handful for anybody, he can inside out you to death. The one basket Willie allowed him in the second half was when he let him get the superior position in the paint. Note, one basket.

Really, the only way to contain KAT, is for your team mates to help by double teaming him (and maybe pray).

My original comment was a reply to someone saying Koufos played better defense on him. Again, I don’t think that is obvious, I think it is debatable. KAT scored 9 points during a critical part of the game in the 4th quarter while Willie was on the bench and Koufos was in the game. I don’t know if they all were scored on Koufos or not, but the 4 FT definitely were. I am not putting down Koufos, I like him a lot, just saying I don’t think he did a great job on stopping KAT, either. The 9 points definitely were not scored on Willie, he was on the bench, so 9 points in 7 minutes doesn’t seem to be all that much better than Willies’ 8 points in 7-1/2 minutes in the 1st and 9 points in 8-1/2 minutes in the 2nd. KAT is KAT, he gets his points

But funny thing is, in the 3rd quarter of a very tight game, with several lead changes and ties, KAT did not score until the 4:28 mark. He scored on the previously mentioned post up where Willie let him get the superior position, but even then, Willie was draped all over him and KAT could have even been called for the offensive foul but Willie was given the foul (not complaining about the call, it could have gone the other way, though). That’s the only points KAT scored on Willie in the second half.

Last 3 minutes of the game, after KAT scored those 9 points in the 4th, Willie came back in, and KAT did not score again, again during the most critical part of the game.

Now, during the second half, in 10-1/2 minutes, he only scored 3 points on Willie. Something limited his scoring during that part of the game and it was a critical part of the game. If you’re a Wolve’s fan you might have looked for KAT to have taken the game over, like he is certainly capable of, especially after his first half. Maybe it was Willie’s jittery teenage girl act that distracted him. Hey whatever works.

Now, I am not saying Willie had a great game or even a good game, I am just saying that to say that his play was a major embarrassment and he took five steps back is too harsh. KAT is a heckuva a player and hard to stop. When he is on like he was in the first half he is hard for anybody to stop (including Koufos).

And as for did I even watch the same game? Yes, I did, thank you very much, did you? Did you even watch the second half? I watch the entire game, almost always on DVR, often not until the next day. I watch it on delay and usually already know the outcome. I rewind and replay interesting parts as I watch because I like to analyze plays. Not saying I’m very good at analyzing, but I try.
 
#40
Well, obviously it wasn’t obvious to everyone. Yes, I’ll give you that Willie seems to get jittery playing against KAT. I think it goes back to their college days where they were the twin towers on the UK 38-1 team. KAT was the super star then, the go to guy and Willie was the garbage man (Again after 3 years with the team, first Nerlens Noel, then Julius Randle, and finally KAT).

I believe Willie wants to prove against his old pal that he is more than a garbage man and tries too hard.

However, saying that he was a major embarrassment and took five steps back is IMHO an exaggeration. Perhaps an over-reaction to how you would have liked Willie to have played? I was hoping to see him have a really good game and I know I was disappointed that he didn’t have a better game.

But to say he had a terrible game is not true and fails to give KAT his due as the top-notch talent he is. Did you read the scoring breakdown I included? Willie gave up 17 points in the first half to a very talented KAT who was on his game. I stand by my comment that he scored some baskets that were strongly contested by Willie, it’s what he does.

Yes, there were some defensive lapses that led to baskets, too, in particular, playing off of him and allowing him the perimeter shot. But KAT is a handful for anybody, he can inside out you to death. The one basket Willie allowed him in the second half was when he let him get the superior position in the paint. Note, one basket.

Really, the only way to contain KAT, is for your team mates to help by double teaming him (and maybe pray).

My original comment was a reply to someone saying Koufos played better defense on him. Again, I don’t think that is obvious, I think it is debatable. KAT scored 9 points during a critical part of the game in the 4th quarter while Willie was on the bench and Koufos was in the game. I don’t know if they all were scored on Koufos or not, but the 4 FT definitely were. I am not putting down Koufos, I like him a lot, just saying I don’t think he did a great job on stopping KAT, either. The 9 points definitely were not scored on Willie, he was on the bench, so 9 points in 7 minutes doesn’t seem to be all that much better than Willies’ 8 points in 7-1/2 minutes in the 1st and 9 points in 8-1/2 minutes in the 2nd. KAT is KAT, he gets his points

But funny thing is, in the 3rd quarter of a very tight game, with several lead changes and ties, KAT did not score until the 4:28 mark. He scored on the previously mentioned post up where Willie let him get the superior position, but even then, Willie was draped all over him and KAT could have even been called for the offensive foul but Willie was given the foul (not complaining about the call, it could have gone the other way, though). That’s the only points KAT scored on Willie in the second half.

Last 3 minutes of the game, after KAT scored those 9 points in the 4th, Willie came back in, and KAT did not score again, again during the most critical part of the game.

Now, during the second half, in 10-1/2 minutes, he only scored 3 points on Willie. Something limited his scoring during that part of the game and it was a critical part of the game. If you’re a Wolve’s fan you might have looked for KAT to have taken the game over, like he is certainly capable of, especially after his first half. Maybe it was Willie’s jittery teenage girl act that distracted him. Hey whatever works.

Now, I am not saying Willie had a great game or even a good game, I am just saying that to say that his play was a major embarrassment and he took five steps back is too harsh. KAT is a heckuva a player and hard to stop. When he is on like he was in the first half he is hard for anybody to stop (including Koufos).

And as for did I even watch the same game? Yes, I did, thank you very much, did you? Did you even watch the second half? I watch the entire game, almost always on DVR, often not until the next day. I watch it on delay and usually already know the outcome. I rewind and replay interesting parts as I watch because I like to analyze plays. Not saying I’m very good at analyzing, but I try.
Good post. Valid points.
So maybe 2 steps back (rather than 5)? I can live with that adjustment.
And yes, it was more his performance in the first half that I found to be a major embarrassment. as you suggest, I want him to do well! Come on, Willie!!!
 
#42
My biggest gripe against WCS is his inconsistency in terms of rebounding. If he can average 8-10 boards a game post All-Star break, I’d say he could be the starting center of the future.
 

Mike

Bench
Contributor
#43
My biggest gripe against WCS is his inconsistency in terms of rebounding. If he can average 8-10 boards a game post All-Star break, I’d say he could be the starting center of the future.
The question we would have to ask ourselves is do we stick with Willie in light of the fact that he isn't a good rebounder or rim protector, and on the offensive end he doesn't shot treys or score heavily, if one or more of Ayton, Bamba or Jackson is available when we are on the clock?

I think we could be tempted to add one of them if we don't get Doncic or Bagley and have doubts over Potter's back, or grab Ayton full stop if we land the first pick. Willie is alright, but unless he breaks out as a scorer or gets over his fears and gets stronger on the rebounds and blocked shots, then I don't see him as our long term center..
 
#44
The question we would have to ask ourselves is do we stick with Willie in light of the fact that he isn't a good rebounder or rim protector, and on the offensive end he doesn't shot treys or score heavily, if one or more of Ayton, Bamba or Jackson is available when we are on the clock?

I think we could be tempted to add one of them if we don't get Doncic or Bagley and have doubts over Potter's back, or grab Ayton full stop if we land the first pick. Willie is alright, but unless he breaks out as a scorer or gets over his fears and gets stronger on the rebounds and blocked shots, then I don't see him as our long term center..
I think ultimately this is a question of cost. He's a fine option off the bench or as a spot starter right now. He may eventually be a fine option as a starter too but as you say, the lack of production in key areas may be a problem if we don't have someone else out there with him who fills in the weak areas. And if the price is right we can afford to let it play out however it does. He's not hurting the team even if he's not a guy you want to pencil in as the starting C for the next decade...

If the price tag gets too high though it makes the question a lot more difficult. There are a lot of teams out there that have talked themselves into paying backup big men (or let's be generous and say average starters) as if they were stars (including the Kings on more than one occasion) and the result is often a long and arduous trudge toward fan unhappiness and then controversial cap-clearing trades. The comparison I made on draft day is former King Brian Grant. Not a guy you're unhappy to have on your team -- he was a starter in the league for 10 years and a solid all-around player when he was healthy -- but he never did turn the corner and produce much beyond journeyman level.

Much loftier names have been thrown around as comparisons here but I want to emphasize that this isn't directly meant as a criticism. I see both guys as underappreciated role-players who could (or could have in BG's case) play(ed) key roles on championship winning teams without garnering much attention for it outside of their fanbases. But often the gray area between "fan favorite" and "scapegoat" is just a matter of average salary. Fortunately we have a whole year before we need to worry about that though.
 
#50
I thought that was what we were supposed to see when he went to Dallas.
Rick Carlisle thought otherwise and he controls the rotations. The sad thing is we probably would have seen a much different attitude from both guys if Nerlens had accepted the contract Dallas offered him in the off-season. Coach Carlisle has said that benching him was just about basketball but come on -- they have no incentive to play him. He's leaving in the off-season and they're tanking for a better pick. It's just business.
 
#51
If Jason Thompson can hold a roster spot for 7 years then we Willie can certainly hang around. There are more pressing things to worry about than WCS.
Like what for instance? I think the Kings's guards are a talented bunch. I like Jackson at the 3 and sometimes 3 guard sets. Except for Kufous off the bench and no defense Randolph, we are weak at the 4 and 5.

I am still haunted by players like Whiteside.
 
#53
I watched the Kings victory against Cleveland last night on video. Willie had one of his high energy games and was instrumental in the victory putting up 17/9. He played some defense. My problem with him is you never know which Willie shows up at game time.
 
#54
I give Willie credit, he's gotten much better than I figured he might.

I wouldn't pay him a large extension. Because based upon his rebounding, inconsistency, and focusing on stats and getting paid over working on the inherent strengths of his game that actually win basketball games. I'd let him walk at that price. Normally, that would mean you'd kick the tires on moving him.

I'm guessing the rest of the league sees the same thing and he's a restricted free agent, so maybe he gets a reasonable offer sheet and the Kings match. I'd be fine with that. Willie strikes me as having a follower's mentality, so if they ever build a good team here maybe he'd do more dirty work and realized that he's not David Robinson.

That's a boom or bust restricted free agency period with Willie where the Kings either get him a good price (good), he walks for nothing (not great, but you aren't losing a cornerstone), or they overpay Willie to avoid losing him for nothing (worse than the last option).
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#57
Willie always talks about himself in "top dog" context. always. That's why I used that "self-love" expression. He very clearly thinks his career trajectory is "top dog big". I am just worried about that because I am not that comfortable with the ball in his hands.
Not sure why your not comfortable with the ball in his hands. He's fourth on the team in assists with only Bogdanovic, Fox, and Mason creating more assists. His assist to turnover ratio isn't quite two to one, but it's close. Willie has shown himself to be not only a good passer for a 7 footer, but he's a very unselfish player. The ball seldom stops with him, and a lot of the time that it does, is when he gets the ball with time running out, and has to shoot it.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Watch a game with your attention strictly on Willie, and keep track of how many times he stops penetration by the other team, and then gets back to his man. That doesn't show up in a stat sheet. Everyone is concerned about blocking shots. Well what Willie does, is prevent the situation where you need to block a shot. Stopping penetration by the opposing team is actually better than blocking a shot, because it keeps your defense from breaking down.

Do wish that Willie rebounded better? Damm right I do, but in the last few games, I noticed that many times Willie had blocked out but didn't get the rebound. Thing is, one of his teammates did because of his block out. I'm not making excuses for him, because there are times when he doesn't head to the basket when the shot is in the air. However, many of those times Willie is one of the first people back on defense. So far, I'm fairly pleased with his progress this season. Next season, I expect more, a lot more.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#58
Like what for instance? I think the Kings's guards are a talented bunch. I like Jackson at the 3 and sometimes 3 guard sets. Except for Kufous off the bench and no defense Randolph, we are weak at the 4 and 5.

I am still haunted by players like Whiteside.
It took Whiteside five freaking years to figure it out. And you know what, the Kings and fans on this very forum wanted him gone. And to be honest, rightly so. I happen to know Hassan, and what he had to go through before the light came on, and he figured out the problem was himself, and not who he was playing for. Willie and Whiteside are nothing alike. Willie is light years ahead of where Hassan was at the same point in time. Hassan was out of the league by his third year.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#59
Which is why if I had to pick one I'd rather have Noel at 5mil than WCS at 15mil.
Wow, really? You'd rather pay a bad player 5 mil a year instead of pay a better player whatever that requires. Noel has averaged 9 ppg for his career, and he turns the ball over more than he creates assists. His attitude has stunk at times, and out of the 386 possible games he could have played in, he's only played in 211, missing 175 games in four years. I wouldn't even pay him 5 mil a year. The dude is in street clothes more than he's in a uniform.