Countdown to NBA Tip-Off: Sacramento Kings Season Preview

Continuing their rebuild and beginning their first full season after trading away their superstar center, the Sacramento Kings had one goal in mind… Tank! 82 games later, with a 22-55 record and some luck, the Kings successfully acquired the number two pick drafting Marvin Bagley III. Adding Bagley to the already promising young core, the Kings now look to show their young talent off. Here’s a look at the 2018-19 Sacramento Kings Season Preview.

Countdown to NBA Tip-Off: Sacramento Kings Season Preview

What Worked Last Season

De’Aaron Fox has the potential to be one of the league’s best point guards. Fox found success in his court vision, defensive awareness, and finishing around the rim. The only thing Fox lacks is his shooting, but that can be developed.

Buddy Hield has established himself as one of the best shooters in the NBA. Shooting 43.1% last season, Hield simply needs to shoot more when considering his low attempts.

Bogdan Bogdanovic has shown himself to be a good shooter and has had a relatively smooth transition from Euroleague to the NBA. His age and experience in Euroleague almost made him a veteran to the young core. It was no surprise that he was placed in the All-NBA-Rookie second team averaging 11.8 points, 3.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 0.9 steals on just under 28 minutes a game.

What Needs Improvement

Everything… While the Kings have shown individual prowess, they are sorely lacking on both ends of the court, placing 27th in the league in defensive rating and 29th in the league in offensive rating. Additionally, being dead last in the NBA in pace is an abject failure for this squad. No team with Fox, one of the fastest point guards in the NBA, should ever even approach 30th in the league in pace. While tanking certainly had a role in the weakness on both ends, the pace should have definitely been higher. The Kings also need to sort out their influx of big men as it pertains to their minutes. A team with seven big men in the age of small ball is not ideal despite players like Bagley, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Harry Giles having shown to have lateral quickness and switchability.

Fox needs to improve his shooting in order to keep defenders honest. It will be interesting to see how his ability to create a shot off-the-dribble improves especially. Bogdanovic was the Kings’ most complete player last season doing a little bit of everything. However, he should work on remaining consistently aggressive throughout the game and finishing at the rim. Hield should work on developing his ball-handling in order to potentially create his own shot and shoot aggressively.

Off-Season Changes

The Kings decided to draft Marvin Bagley III over the prodigious Luka Doncic from Euroleague with the second pick. Although the pick was rightfully criticized, Bagley has great athleticism and the potential to become a world-class big man. While not making a marquee signing in the offseason, the healthy return of Harry Giles will be just as important. The additions of Yogi Ferrell and Nemanja Bjelica will bring a good veteran presence to the locker room.

2018-19 Season Prediction

With the lack of a pick this year, the Kings find themselves in the same position the previously rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers were in last year and similarly, the ultimate goal of this season should be to hone their young talent. The addition of Bagley will help the Kings with rebounding and the return of Giles will allow the team to play with pace, in which Fox will flourish. The Kings will significantly improve their win total with no incentive to tank, but will still miss the playoffs. Expect a 35-47 record with a great outlook for the future of this squad!

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