As of November 8, the Sacramento Kings are currently 6-5. They are in the eighth seed in the stacked Western Conference. Last season, the Kings finished 27-55. They have exceeded early expectations for their season. Whether or not they make the playoffs is still up in the air. However, there is hope for the team going forward thanks to the young talent on the team.
Sacramento Kings Exceeding Expectations Thanks to Young Core
Buddy Hield arrived in Sacramento as part of the DeMarcus Cousins trade. In his first two seasons with the Kings, he averaged 10.6 and 13.5 ppg, respectively. In this relatively small sample size, Hield is averaging 20.1 points per game. His total rebounding numbers also increased from last season to 5.6 a game. If his numbers are sustainable, it puts him in the Most Improved Player conversation.
Many thought Hield would not make a significant impact with the Kings when he arrived. The consensus around the league was that the New Orleans Pelicans won that trade. In retrospect, that trade gave them a possible future. The first point of emphasis is Hield. This is because Hield was acquired in the trade directly. He could develop into a reliable first scorer option for the Kings.
De’Aaron Fox is the next focal point. His scoring output increased from 11.6 ppg to 18.7 PPG at the start of this season. Fox is also averaging 7.3 assists so far this season. He has provided fans with multiple highlight plays to start the season. His athletic style of play, while not unique, is still entertaining to watch.
Hield and Fox have created a duo that Kings fans have not had in a while. For years, Cousins was the only star on the team. The team enjoyed little success in those years. The Kings never made the playoffs with Cousins on the roster. This is why the trade included different implications not seen while looking at the surface.
Directly the trade gave the Kings a young talent in Hield. Next, the trade allowed the Kings to lose some games that season. Their losing record that season they traded Cousins allowed them to receive a high draft pick. They used that draft pick to select Fox. This gave them a future point guard to pair with Hield.
Marvin Bagley III
The effect of the trade was still felt the following season. They finished 12th in the western conference last season. They won the second pick in last season’s draft. With that second pick, they selected Marvin Bagley out of Duke. This season so far he is averaging 12.8 PPG along with 6.5 rebounds per game.
Due to his label of the second overall pick, his potential is seen as the highest of the young core. The Kings are expecting Bagley to become a future star in the league. If he does become a future star, Hield and Fox could potentially become a great supporting cast. This time period in the NBA is dominated by teams with multiple stars. If the Kings opt to compete for the playoffs this season and the coming years, they will have to hope this trio will reach their full potential. Kings fans deserve for their team to compete for a playoff spot. Their fans have suffered years and years of mediocrity. The franchise should capitalize on the exciting team they have this season and try to gain some experience in the playoffs.
DURHAM, NC – DECEMBER 02: Duke’s Marvin Bagley III during the Duke Blue Devils game versus the South Dakota Coyotes on December 2, 2017 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC. Duke won the game 96-80. (Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)