Community Shootaround: Kings’ Outlook

The Kings broke an ignominious NBA record last season, missing out on the postseason for the 16th consecutive year. However, things appear to be a bit brighter heading into 2022/23.

Here’s a quick rundown of the team’s current roster:



Out (or likely out):

With a projected starting lineup of Fox, Huerter/Monk, Murray, Barnes and Sabonis, the Kings have an interesting blend of youth, speed, shooting and athleticism. A reserve squad featuring Mitchell, Huerter/Monk, Metu/Lyles and Holmes looks pretty solid on paper as well, though the roster is a little thin on wing depth and interior size/rim protection.

A full offseason should help Fox and Sabonis, the two offensive hubs, create an even more potent rhythm together. Sabonis was acquired ahead of the trade deadline in February, and Fox thrived after the deal, averaging 28.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 6.8 APG and 1.0 SPG on .503/.380/.766 shooting in 16 games (38.5 MPG), but the team still struggled.

The main question I have about Sacramento entering next season is the defense, because while Huerter and Monk are both strong (albeit streaky) shooters, neither is a great defender, nor are Fox and Sabonis. Losing DiVincenzo, a stout defender, without even extending a qualifying offer was a bit of a head-scratcher.

Of course, one of the team’s biggest offseason moves was hiring Mike Brown as head coach, a defensive-minded tactician, but it’s fair to question how much he’ll revamp the team’s defense given the lack of quality defenders up and down the roster. Buy-in is great and all, but defense isn’t purely about effort, it requires skill, aptitude and awareness as well.

Much of the Kings’ success might hinge upon the play of Murray, who got off to an encouraging NBA start after being named Las Vegas Summer League MVP, but unfortunately suffered a right wrist injury that required surgery shortly thereafter. However, a league source tells James Ham of ESPN 1320 and The Kings Beat (Twitter link) that Murray is progressing well in his recovery and is shooting again with both hands.

The West is stacked with talented teams, so even reaching the play-in tournament will be difficult. The Warriors, Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Clippers, Nuggets, Timberwolves and Pelicans all look strong, and the Lakers and Blazers are looking to bounce back from disappointing seasons.

We want to know what you think. Will the Kings finally snap their postseason drought? Is the play-in tournament a more realistic goal? Could Murray be the difference-maker the team has long been looking for? Head to the comments section to weigh in on Sacramento’s prospects for the upcoming season.

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