BusinessInstead Of Standing Pat, The Kings Decided To Get...

Instead Of Standing Pat, The Kings Decided To Get Better


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It took the Sacramento Kings almost two decades in between playoff appearances, finally getting over the hump this past season via the play of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and a skilled rotation of versatile scorers.

The Kings were bounced in the first round, after a hard-fought battle with the Golden State Warriors, ending their adventure.

Going into this season, the Kings find themselves in unfamiliar territory. There are now expectations hovering above them, but not the ones they were used to.

In the past, Kings fans called for a playoff run, but were all too familiar with the feeling of disappointment. Now, after the fan base has smelled success, they want more. Rightfully so. You don’t return to the playoffs after 16 years, and expect fans to slip back into disappointment mode.

So, are the Kings up for another run?

Looking over their roster, all signs point towards yes. In fact, one might be inclined to think the team went deeper in on replicating that feeling from last season.

For one, the Kings added to their team. They didn’t alter the main core, or trade away significant pieces. They only added to their already set core, which is a strong sign of an organization wanting to advance further.

They did so by signing Euroleague MVP Sasha Vezenkov, one of the best off-ball movement players in all of basketball. The 6’9 forward can hit shots from outside, is a tremendous cutter in half-court sets, and displays elite efficiency from the floor, and the free throw line.

Vezenkov is a legitimate addition, and not one to overlook. In the right setting, he’s an NBA starter, and should certainly be able to produce a strong portion of points at that level.

For a team that leaned in on offense last season, the Kings doubled down, and are now even more dangerous on that end of the floor. Whether that leads to playoff success is everyone’s guess, but it should land them a ton of wins in the regular season, and preferably land them in the Top 6 in the Western Conference, avoided the play-in tournament.

But wait, there’s more.

The Kings have another ace up their sleeve in form of second-year man Keegan Murray. As a rookie the 6’9 forward, despite being a Top 5 pick, accepted a diminished floor-spacing role, playing off the established core, and being primarily a third to fourth option.

Murray’s sacrifice was never an indication of what the Kings thought of him. They know he was one of the most efficient scorers in college basketball the year before he was chosen, just as they know his game far exceeds what he showed in that first season.

The Kings needed Murray to play a specific role to break the 16-year playoff drought, and he played his role to perfection, draining 206 three-pointers, a rookie record. But now, the Kings need more. They’re no longer the surprise team of the NBA. Teams are well-aware of how dangerous they are, and the Kings enter the 2023-2024 season with a target on their backs.

As such, the Kings seemingly adapted. Are teams prepared for both Vezenkov, and an unleashed Murray? Not to mention the steady pick-and-roll play from Fox and Sabonis, with Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter, Davion Mitchell, and Malik Monk lurking under the radar?

Make no mistake. The Kings were already tough to guard, but now they might make for an impossible matchup.

Defensively, they’re still a mess, which is where quality teams will find their opening, but over the course of the regular season, these Kings have the personnel to match, and even surpass, their record from last year.

Sleep on them at your own peril.

Unless noted otherwise, all stats via, PBPStats, Cleaning the Glass or Basketball-Reference. All salary information via Spotrac. All odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.



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