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Q&A: Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty, Ballhype, and Fanhouse

The Kings come to town for the first time this season and CWebb gets to face his old team while playing for his other old team. Tom Ziller does great work for Sactown Royalty in his coverage of our Pacific Division foes from the state capital. It doesn't stop there though, he's writes on Ballhype and FanHouse!


Make the jump for his thoughts on 3 questions, I promise they're not all about Artest.


Golden State of Mind: Gotta start off with a Ron Artest question. The rumors are swirling more and more. Even he's saying that the Kings are better off if he gets traded. Last season Bibby didn't get traded as the Kings held out for better offers. Do you think Artest gets traded? Who are the contenders and are any of the rumored offers enticing?

Tom Ziller: I think Artest gets traded, just because time's running out (never the case with Bibby) and there's plenty of depth behind him. Petrie is insanely patient, but it's sort-of do-or-die time this month. Denver's name has hung around, Nellie and Mullin seem interested. If the Kings could land Brandan Wright, I'd be ecstatic. Hell, a first-round pick along with matching expiring contracts would do the trick for me too. Getting rid of a Kenny Thomas or Shareef Abdur-Rahim would be my third choice in terms of favorite scenarios.

Golden State of Mind: With the current roster and a healthy (finally!) starting 5, what's the sentiment in Sacto about the current roster? It'll be very hard to make the playoffs this season but they seem to be playing well enough that had the team been healthy the entire season they'd challenge for a playoff spot. Should the Kings blow up the team and trade off their higher priced vets (Bibby, Artest, Miller) for some cap space/ young talent or keep the team together and tweak the roster for next year?

Tom Ziller: The playoffs are a pipe dream, more or less. The Kings'd need Portland, Houston and one other playoffish team (GSW, LAL, DEN) to falter to get in. It's not going to happen. And the Kings have lost to the Clippers and the Sonics since the whole team's gotten back together. The awful start dug too big a hole. However, some really good tweaks could get this squad back in the race next year without razing the roster wholesale. (Referring mostly to Brad Miller here.)

Golden State of Mind: Most NBA fans don't follow the Kings too closely, so many of the subtleties of individual players' games go unnoticed. Coming into the game against the Warriors, what are some subtle yet impressive things us Warriors fans should be looking for? Kevin Martin's ability to defend the perimeter? Brad Miller's recent rebounding prowess? What things can we learn that traditional media outlets don't cover?

Tom Ziller: This is a fantastic question. In no particular order: Martin's one-legged crane shot is gorgeous, Spencer Hawes has an insane drop-step move, the number of Artest's step-back threes has an inverse relationship with the Kings' point total, Quincy Douby loves the floater, John Salmons switches hand a lot in midair, Francisco Garcia is nails from the left corner, Brad Miller will (try to) go backdoor to Martin at least once in the first quarter, Mikki Moore screams a lot, Reggie Theus still can't pronounce Beno Udrih's name properly... um, I think that's it.


Thanks to TZ for taking the time out to answer our questions. Now let's go look for one-legged crane shot, the Artest step back 3 (oh how that would fit perfectly on the Dubs), and Mikki Moore's screams.

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