Talking Kings with Akis Yerocostas of Sactown Royalty

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Akis Yerocostas of Sactown Royalty was kind enough to answer some questions about the Kings before they take on the Mavericks tonight.

What's the deal with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay? Are they back tonight and are they near 100%?

Rudy Gay came back Wednesday against Memphis and had a very solid game, scoring 23 points on 10-16 shooting. He did tweak the injury on a dunk late in the game, but he remained in the game and said he should be available on Friday.

DeMarcus Cousins did not play Wednesday but did warm up before the game. He remains day-to-day but I would expect that there's a greater than 50% chance he plays. If he does play, I expect it will be with a chip on his shoulder at not being selected to the All-Star game but he also might be a tad rusty.

Just for variety's sake, give me the argument for why DMC shouldn't be an All-Star.

There's really only one argument as to why DMC shouldn't be an All-Star and it's that the Kings are 15-30 (15-26 with Cousins) and last in the West. Cousins' excellence hasn't led to a lot more wins, and coaches don't like that. Cousins also has work to do on the defensive end (where he's improved but still isn't great) but being bad at defense has never kept anyone off the team.

Do you think Rudy Gay will opt-out this summer to get a long-term deal? I could see the Mavs throwing a lot of money at him.

I think the only way Rudy opts out is if he gets a guaranteed extension with Sacramento above the $12 million/year range. Sacramento is in a position to make him this guarantee whereas other teams are not, so it'd be a risk for him to do so. In my personal opinion, I don't think he opts out mainly because $19.7 million is a whole hell of a lot of money and a big extension is likely in the books next year anyway. I know if I were in his shoes, I probably wouldn't say no to that final big year.

This seems like it could be a big game for Jose Calderon. How can Isaiah Thomas guard a 6'4 guy who can shoot off the dribble?

Thomas actually could do pretty well on Calderon because the biggest problem Thomas has on the defensive end is dealing with quickness & athleticism, and that's one thing Calderon isn't known for. The last time these two teams played, Calderon was held to just 11 points and 2 assists on 4-10 shooting. Last year, he scored just 16 points over 2 games against Thomas combined. If anything, I'd be worried about how Calderon is going to stop him; Thomas put 24 points and 12 assists on Dallas in their earlier matchup.

How is Sacramento's bench these days? I know the second unit has had a lot of turnover.

The bench hasn't been looking as great since Thomas left it for the starting lineup but there have been a few bright spots: Quincy Acy provides good energy, Jimmer Fredette has been solid as a shooter and occasional distributor, and Derrick Williams is phenomenal when he attacks the basket. Sacramento also got veteran Carl Landry back recently, but he's still working back into game shape and is still a ways away from being the same Carl Landry he used to be. The biggest problem with Sacramento's bench is there really hasn't been much consistency.

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