Another year passes by and the Kings are still working to rebuild their roster. With the 12th pick in the draft they selected guard Tyrese Haliburton. Fans should be excited to see what kind of spark the rookie provides. His shooting and defensive ability could fit well with franchise PG De’Aaron Fox. The team also recently signed big men Hassan Whiteside and Frank Kaminsky. Whiteside who was drafted by Sacramento in the 2010 draft, should come in with the opportunity to start and play a big role on the team. Both centers will provide a veteran presence down-low to go along with their talented group of power forwards (Marvin Bagley, Richaun Holmes, Nemanja Bjelica). They also acquired veteran forward Jabari Parker at last year’s trade deadline, but it’s difficult to project what kind of production he will provide this upcoming season. He has a ton of upside but major injuries have prevented the former #2 overall pick from reaching his full potential.
New GM Monte McNair drew criticism for letting restricted free-agent Bogdan Bogdanovic sign with the Atlanta Hawks. This move may actually be a sign that the Kings are beginning to move in the right direction. At 4 years-$72 million, the Kings would have had to overpay to keep the young talented guard who hasn’t fit in perfectly with De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. The old saying “if you have two QB’s you don’t really have one” can be applied to this situation. If you have two talented shooting guards and are unable to give both the playing time to develop then you don’t really have one that you believe in. The decision shows that they have a plan for the future and overpaying to keep good players is not it.
Their roster isn’t as bad as some critics have made it out to be, but there is definitely some room for improvement. Harrison Barnes hasn’t shown the same promise he had when playing for the Warriors, and is beginning to look more valuable as a trade asset than as a piece to the Kings puzzle for success. Marvin Bagley III has shown an ability to provide double-doubles on a consistent basis, but injuries have held him back from the kind of success he had as a Duke Blue Devil. De’Aaron Fox just inked a max contract with the team, a sign they believe in him as the leader of the young squad. The Kings development as a whole will be determined by what kind of production their young players provide this season.
No one expects Sacramento to make a jump to playoff relevancy in the tough Western Conference this year, likely extending their 14 year playoff drought. Looking at another season of development and hoping ping pong balls fall their way, the Kings and their fans will be looking to win the games within the games. A successful season would be seeing their young core develop in a way that their rivals Golden State did before their jump to title contention. All things considered, the selection of Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic is beginning to look like a decision that will haunt the franchise for years to come.