The Sacramento Kings are heading into an extremely important off-season to prove to the rest of the league that they are still capable of being a threat in the Western Conference. The Kings will be entering Year 17 without having made it into the NBA Playoffs, the longest streak of any franchise in the league.
The Kings made a surprise 'win-now' move mid-season when they moved promising young guard Tyrese Haliburton for Indiana Pacers All-Star big-man Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis and Fox took some time to gel together and the Kings couldn't even make a push for the play-in.
The duo looked better in the latter half of the season despite being a bit of a clunky fit. New head coach Mike Brown doesn't see any issues with the two players and made a bold statement about how they might be a top-three pick-and-roll duo in the league.
"Obviously as a tandem in the pick-and-roll, they are very very good. Probably a top-two or top-three combination in the league right now, so that's a gift. With Fox's speed and Sabonis's ability to pass, it just gives you different ways to play the game of basketball. I am a firm believer in paint touches and you get paint touches in a lot of ways, you put Sabonis in the post and he facilitates from there. Anytime you get a paint touch, you collapse the defense and can facilitate from there. You can also spread the floor out, tell Fox to get in that paint, finish and/or distribute. I am excited about those two guys doing a lot of different things offensively."
Coach Brown is coming from the Golden State Warriors bench to take the lead of the Kings. He will be expected to make some serious changes in Sacramento to help them grow into a winning culture.
The KIngs have the 4th overall pick in the draft this season. They can either draft someone and nurture them alongside this core or trade that pick for better win-now pieces. There is some excitement brewing in Sacramento, but let's hope it brews into winning basketball and not another year of disappointment.