Sacramento Kings 2010s All-Decade Team

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The Sacramento Kings had a rough decade in the 2010s. The Kings failed to qualify for the NBA playoffs for the entire decade. However, there were some bright spots with the Sacramento Kings. In 2010, Tyreke Evans, a fourth-round pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, got the Rookie of the Year award. He beat fellow rookies who would become perennial NBA All-Stars like James Harden, Stephen Curry, and DeMar DeRozan for the award.

Sacramento Kings Best Players in the 2010s

The Starting Roster

DeMarcus Cousins – Center (2010-17)

DeMarcus Cousins was probably the best player to play in a Sacramento Kings uniform in this decade. Cousins was drafted fifth overall in the 2010 NBA Draft. He averaged 14.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, one steal, and 0.8 blocks per game in his rookie season. In the 2013-14 NBA season and subsequent seasons with the Sacramento Kings, he averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.

However, his tenure with the Kings’ organization was unstable. Cousins played for six head coaches in seven seasons for the Sacramento Kings. According to Scott Polacek of Bleacher Report, he fought with a Sacramento Kings head coach. Then in 2017, Cousins was unexpectedly traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. This is what he said about the Sacramento Kings and the city of Sacramento:

“My love for this city will never change,” Cousins said. “Even though I’m gone, it will still be the same. I’m still looking out for these kids. Every family in this city matters to me.”

He was by far the greatest Kings player in this decade. He appeared in four straight NBA All-Star Games, three of them with the Sacramento Kings. This includes scoring 56 points against the Charlotte Hornets.

Rudy Gay – Power Forward (2013-17)

Rudy Gay came to the Sacramento Kings via trade with the Toronto Raptors in 2013. According to Brian Windhorst and Chris Broussard of ESPN, Gay was in a seven way-trade that sent him to Sacramento. The Kings traded John Salmons, Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, and Chuck Hayes to Toronto and in exchange got Quincy Acy, Aaron Gray, and Gay.

For the Toronto Raptors, this trade changed the fortunes of the franchise forever as they have not missed the NBA playoffs since 2013.

However, regarding the Kings in 2013, they now had Gay and Cousins. Two possible NBA All-Stars that can average more than 20 points per game.

In the 2013-14 season after being traded from Toronto for example, he would average 20.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steal, and 0.6 blocks per game. The following 2014-15 season, he averaged 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1 steal, and 0.6 blocks per game.

It was a shame that the Kings were unable to qualify for the NBA playoffs with the presence of both Gay and Cousins. The best record the Kings had while Gay was with a team was 33 wins and 49 losses in the 2015-16 season and finishing tenth in the Western Conference.

Rudy Gay Enjoyed his Time as a Sacramento King

However, saying that Gay enjoyed his time as a Sacramento King, in James Ham of NBC Sports article:

“It was a learning experience,” Gay said of his time in Sacramento. “I met a lot of great people. Some of the best fans I’ve ever played for. A lot of learning. I’ve been through a lot here and it’s going to mold and shape the rest of my career.”

Gay is now a player for the San Antonio Spurs. However, he is a shadow of his former self as he is averaging just 10 points per game this 2019-20 NBA season. His contribution though should not be forgotten by Kings fans. He was after all one of the few players to make an impression in California’s capital city. This includes scoring 41 points against the New Orleans Pelicans in 2014.

Tyreke Evans – Small Forward (2009-13)

As mentioned before, Evans won the rookie of the year in 2010. In the 2009-10 NBA season, he averaged 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game. Unfortunately for Evans, he would never average more than 20 points per game again in his career. However, he did still put up good numbers.

For example, in the 2010-11 NBA season, he averaged 17.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game. Evans may not have fulfilled his potential, but he is still one of the King’s most significant players in the last decade.

Buddy Hield – Shooting Guard (2017-Present)

Buddy Hield is one of the upcoming shooting guards for the Sacramento Kings. He made his breakthrough in the 2018-19 NBA season. In this season, he averaged 20.7 points, five rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game. Then in the 2019-20 NBA season, he has averaged 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game.

Hield has stepped up in some big games for the Sacramento Kings in the last decade. This includes scoring 35 points, which led the Kings with a 100-99 win over the Boston Celtics.

De’Aaron Fox – Point Guard (2017-Present)

It was a tough choice between Isaiah Thomas and De’Aaron Fox. However, the decision to go with Fox is that he has slightly better stats than Thomas as a Sacramento King. Fox has made great progress since his rookie 2017-18 NBA season when he averaged 11.6 points per game. In the 2019-20 season, he is averaging 20.4 points, four rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game.

Fox this season has taken more of a leadership role. According to James Ham of NBC Sports, NBA lifer Jerry Reynolds said this:

“This year, there is no doubt that De’Aaron knows it’s his team, he’s the point guard, he’s supposed to make things happen and he seems to be relishing that role,” Reynolds said. “Having said that, I think he can get better. I would like to see him be even more of a leader — get on guys a little bit, be a little harder edge to him like a [John] Stockton, like a Chris Paul.”

An important thing to remember is that Fox has become the leader in only his third season. He will grow into a great leader as he progresses in his career. He is also the great hope for the Kings organization as he has the potential to be a perennial NBA All-Star.

Bench Players

Jason Thompson – Power Forward (2008-15)

Jason Thompson was selected 12th in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. He played seven seasons for the Sacramento Kings. Even discounting the 2008-09 season as it was in the previous decade, he still had some decent seasons with the Kings.

In the 2009-10 season, he averaged 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, and one block per game. The only other time he would average at least 10 points again though was in the 2012-13 season for the Sacramento Kings. In that season, he averaged 10.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, one assist, 0.6 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game.

“The Pizza Guy” Isaiah Thomas – Point Guard (2011-14)

Thomas is a great Cinderella story. He was drafted 60th and was the last second-round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. This draft pick turned out to be a steal for the Sacramento Kings. Thomas averaged 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.1 blocks per game. In the 2013-14 NBA season with the Sacramento Kings, he averaged 20.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.1 blocks per game.

His nickname, when he was with the Sacramento Kings was, “The Pizza Guy.” This is because of commercials he was a part of for a pizza company called the “Pizza Guys.”

For Sacramento Kings fans, letting go of Thomas was the worst decision the Kings made in the previous decade. According to Anthony Cardenas of Fansided, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns in July of 2014. Seven months later he was traded to the Boston Celtics.

With the Celtics, he made two consecutive NBA All-Star appearances. This includes his 2016-17 NBA season, where he averaged 28.9 points per game. It was a missed opportunity for the Kings as Thomas would have fit in nicely if he had more time with Gay and Cousins.

Marcus Thornton – Shooting Guard (2011-14)

Marcus Thornton is a decent shooting guard that had some good seasons with the Kings. He became a Sacramento King via trade with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2010. The Kings in exchange-traded Carl Landry and cash considerations according to the NBA website.

His first big season was the 2010-11 NBA season, where he averaged 21.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game. He would have similar stats in the 2011-12 NBA Season.

In this season, he averaged 18.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game. He was only with the Kings for three seasons but was a good player that put up decent stats as a Sacramento King player. This includes Thornton getting the game-winner in 2012 against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Bogdan Bogdanović – Shooting Guard (2017-Current)

Bogdan Bogdanović is a Serbian professional basketball player who was drafted 27th in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He was traded to the Sacramento Kings in the 2016 NBA Draft from the Phoenix Suns.

His rookie season was the 2017-18 NBA Season, where he averaged 11.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game. He would improve his stats in the 2018-19 NBA Season, he averaged 14.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, one steal, and 0.2 blocks per game.

Although he is not at the level of Thornton or Hield, he is still a solid shooting guard. Bogdanović is currently providing some needed depth to the Sacramento Kings’ current roster.

Marvin Bagley III – Power Forward (2018-Present)

Marvin Bagley III was picked second in the 2018 NBA Draft and has played two seasons for the Sacramento Kings. In the 2018-19 NBA season, he averaged 14.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, one assist, 0.5 steals, and one block per game. Then in his second season, he averaged 14.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game.

Bagley III, like Bogdanovic, provides depth to the Kings’ bench. He will be a player to watch in the coming decade.

Carl Landry – Power Forward (2009-11, 2013-15)

It was tough finding who deserved the last spot in the Kings All-Time Decade list. However, Landry is a deserving candidate. Landry averaged 18 points, 6.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, and one steal per game in the 2009-10 NBA season. He would then average 11.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game in the 2010-11 NBA season.

Landry would come back to the Kings organization in 2013. However, he would not have the same impact. In 2013-14, he averaged 4.2 points, and then 7.2 points per game in the 2014-15 NBA season. He was a decent player that stepped up in big moments for the Sacramento Kings. This included scoring the game-winner against the Indiana Pacers in overtime.

Sacramento Kings All-Time Decade Review

The Sacramento Kings had some decent players like Thomas, Cousins, Gay, and now Fox. However, some mediocre players made the list. A big reason for that is Sacramento not making the playoffs even once in the past decade.

However, the future is bright with Fox and Hield, who can lead the Sacramento Kings to an NBA playoff berth. The future looks bright for them, but the key now is to build on the foundation that they already have.

The most significant day for the Sacramento Kings franchise in the previous decade may not have been on the court though. Before the 2013-14 NBA season, the Kings almost relocated to Seattle. When the Kings played their home opener in 2013, it was a celebration of Sacramento basketball. As all Sacramento Kings fans knew their team is not relocating to Seattle.

 

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