2019-20 NBA Team Preview Series: Sacramento Kings
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The 2019-2020 NBA season starts October 22nd and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the Sacramento Kings.
2018-2019 Record: 39-43, 3rd in the Pacific Division.
Season Recap: The Kings were one of the most fun teams to watch on a night to night basis last year. Their franchise point guard, De’Aaron Fox, made major strides last season and the Kings suddenly had a really nice core of talent in Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes, and Marvin Bagley. Despite the feel good story, the Kings went 6-11 over the final month of the season and missed out on the playoffs by 9 games. While their offense was explosive, the 20th ranked defense in the league according to Defensive Rating was not good enough. The Kings fired head coach Dave Joerger two days after the season ended, despite the team finishing with the most wins since the 2005-06 NBA season.
Key Losses: Corey Brewer, G/F; Alec Burks, G; Willie Cauley-Stein, C; Kosta Koufos, C; Frank Mason, G; Ben McLemore, G;
Key Additions: Cory Joseph, G; Dewayne Dedmon, C; Richaun Holmes, C; Trevor Ariza, F; Tyler Lydon, F;
Preview: The Kings have made a lot of moves this summer and have a new coach in Luke Walton. They added a nice stretch five in Dewayne Dedmon in addition to getting a backup point guard in Cory Joseph and Trevor Ariza to add to their bevy of wings. Those three veterans should bring a nice mix to the young core previously mentioned. With their huge amount of depth on the wing, it will be interesting to see if the Kings try and make a move. With all three of Hield, Bogdanovic, and Barnes at the age of 26, it will be interesting to see if the Kings feel they can part with one of them. With their uptempo offense, the Kings are going to put up points, but they have to be able to slow teams down defensively. This roster may not be constructed to do that. The Kings are going to be fun to watch once again this season, but without a significant defensive improvement and a major leap from Fox, the Kings will be outside the playoff picture looking in once again.
Player to Watch: De’Aaron Fox, G
Team X-Factor: Defense
Worst Case Scenario: The Kings retain their uptempo fun style, but also mention their awful defense leading to a setback in the development of this fun young core.
Best Case Scenario: De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley make significant leaps and lead the Kings to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
Actual 2019-2020 Prediction: 40-42, 4th in the Pacific Division