1957: won 31, lost 41; 4th in West. Top scorer: Clyde Lovellette, 1,434; 6th in league. Top rebounder: Maurice Stokes, 1,256.
When Si Green gets out of the Army this could become the best team in the NBA. The statement is provisional because the Royals have suffered from two serious lacks—a good, really big man and ball-handling skill in the backcourt. They have solved the first with the acquisition of Clyde Lovellette from Minneapolis and made a start on the second by buying George King from Syracuse. When the slick, speedy Green joins King, Richie Regan, Tom Marshall and Rookie Gerry Paulson in the backcourt, the balance of personnel should be near perfect. It would be up to Coach Bobby Wanzer to nurse this group up to its potential. In Lovellette they now have one of the top scorers and rebounders in the league. He and Stokes give the Royals tremendous strength under the boards. Up front with Stokes are deadeye Jack Twyman (second in field-goal percentage), the versatile Dick Ricketts, rugged Dave Piontek and newcomer Jim Paxson, who has been impressive in preseason work. King is 29, Lovellette is 28 and all the others are 26 or under—a young team that can run and will use the fast break as its chief offensive weapon. In moving to Cincinnati (this is their first year) the Royals have also acquired territorial draft rights in an area perennially loaded with good college teams, which should pay off well at the gate this year and in talent in the future. The Royals may go all the way next season, and this year should finish no worse than 2nd