It’s been almost a decade and a half since the Sacramento Kings last made the playoffs. They recently went all in on 23-year-old point guard De’Aaron Fox, inking him to a 5yr/$163 million extension. Have the Kings improved in any significant way over the offseason? Will they make any noise in a loaded Western Conference?
Key Additions: Hassan Whiteside, Tyrese Haliburton, Glenn Robinson III
It was a quiet offseason in Sacramento, as the small market failed to attract many names in free agency. The Kings were able to land center Hassan Whiteside on a minimum 1-year deal. Coming off a season where he averaged 15.5 points and 13.5 rebounds (3rd in the NBA), Whiteside should see a solid share of the minutes down low. The Sacramento Kings don’t really have a choice either with their limited big man depth.
Sacramento also selected combo guard Tyrese Haliburton 12th overall out of Iowa State. At the time I graded this pick an A minus. Haliburton is a solid playmaker who will get minutes off the bench behind Fox and Buddy Hield.
Former Slam Dunk Champion Glenn Robinson III joins the Kings on a 1-year contract. He was one of the only other players that Sacramento picked up in free agency, and he will most likely get time as the backup small forward. He averaged just under 12 points per game for the Warriors and Sixers last season.
Key Losses: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harry Giles, Alex Len
Losing 28-year-old Bogdan Bogdanovic was perhaps the biggest blow to the Sacramento Kings in free agency. A reliable shooter, he could be counted on for 15 points a night. In an NBA where the three-pointer is king, losing a perimeter threat always hurts.
Giles and Len were quality bigs who weren’t incredible talents, but were certainly valuable depth pieces. Unfortunately, the power forward and center rotation for Sacramento is now much more unsteady.
Starting Lineup: De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III, Richaun Holmes
Overall, this rotation shouldn’t be surprising. The only position that may be in flux is the center position. Whiteside could earn the starting job over Holmes, but they are the only two true centers on the roster. Both will get their minutes.
The Western Conference is still extremely competitive, and the Kings will have trouble making things happen. With Fox and Hield, they will have the offensive firepower to beat any team on any given night, but the depth for sustained success isn’t there yet. Ideally, Marvin Bagley will be able to shake his injury history and develop into the player they expected him to become. Kyle Guy has shown flashes of being a valuable backup piece during the preseason, so maybe he will see a larger role this year.
The Sacramento Kings will most likely miss the playoffs yet again, finishing towards the very bottom of the Western Conference. With a loaded 2021 draft class, maybe this will finally be the year they select a talent that takes them out of their habitual mediocrity.
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