Every NBA team should be looking forward to the next NBA season for one team. The Sacramento Kings. California’s long-time, NBA laughing stock will be exciting for what they bring to the table.
First of all, the Kings had a chance for the playoffs this season, even.
The New York Times had the Kings 15th in its midseason power rankings. At the time, Sacramento’s record was 22-21, and up until the All-Star break, the team was in a position to make the Western Conference playoffs.
Currently, the Kings are five games behind the Clippers for the last postseason spot. With 13 games to go, that is not a good position.
What really killed the Kings was the schedule it had after the break. Fourteen of the team’s then-remaining 25 games were on the road and are on the road. On top of that, the last 13 games of the Kings’ season include games against the 76ers, Rockets (twice), Spurs, Jazz and Trailblazers.
With slim playoff chances in the future of this season, looking to next season is a fun thing. The amount of young talent on the roster is an amazing thing to see.
The Sacramento brass just needs to not screw the situation up as the Lakers’ did.
It is not ideal and could take a couple years to actually work, but they need to grow that young talent together. And it is not a crazy thought; the Celtics have a similar situation brewing. If they are smart, they will move on from Kyrie and keep the team how it is.
The Lakers had a great wealth of young talent, led by Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle. Given a few years of experience, that is a big three not to be messed with. Instead, Ball and Ingram have to share with LeBron and Randle was moved to New Orleans. The Kings have so much young talent that has produced a great offense.
- De’Aaron Fox- 17.5 ppg and 7.3 assists per game, also had an underrated rookie season last year playing off the bench for awhile.
- Buddy Hield- 21.1 ppg and 5.2 rebounds per game.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic- 14.5 ppg and a good depth player off the bench now.
- Marvin Bagley III- 13.9 ppg and 7.2 rebounds per game as a rookie.
- I would stop but there is also Willie Cauley-Stein- 12.4 ppg and 8.5 rebounds per game, the rebounds being a career-high.
Do not forget recently-acquired Harrison Barnes, who has been put in the starting lineup immediately. That is a six-man roster that, given a few more years, will be ready to dominate in the league.
Look at how the Warriors built their dynasty. They went to two straight finals with young rosters that had great chemistry, with the core coming through the draft. Sounds a lot like the Kings.
Anyway, this is an exciting, young team that would be exciting to see stay together and win. The Kings score 113.7 points per game, good for 10th-best in the league. (https://stats.nba.com/teams/traditional/?sort=PTS&dir=-1)
But the issue lies with the defense, which is ranked 17th in the league for defensive rating (109.7).
So, improving the defense is a must, but this team should be together for awhile.
- Hield and Bogdanovic are secured through 2021, per Spotrac. (https://www.spotrac.com/nba/sacramento-kings/cap/)
- Bagley III is secured through 2020, technically, with 2021 and 2022 club options.
- Fox is good through 2022, with a 2020 club option.
- Cauley-Stein is a restricted free agent in 2019, with his contract going through 2020.
- Barnes has his max contract, with him being owed $25.1 million next season. He is an unrestricted free agent in 2020 with a 2019 player option.
Looking at the roster, that is manageable money-wise. Fox, Hield and Barnes would demand bigger contracts (money-wise), but even then, they have not proven (so far) that they are worth max contracts. Cauley-Stein, Bogdanovic and Bagley III would be good for smaller contracts.
All the pieces are there for the Kings to build a dominating team, they just need to keep the team together to do so.