One of the biggest storylines during the 2022/23 NBA season was the Kings ending their 16-year playoff drought. Domantas Sabonis was a major part of that, earning a spot on the All-NBA Third Team and in the All-Star Game.
However, when Sacramento took on the Warriors in the first round of the 2023 playoffs, Sabonis struggled relative to his regular season numbers. The 6’11” forward/center averaged 16.4 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists on 49.5% shooting in seven games in the playoffs compared to 19.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists on 61.5% shooting in 79 regular season games.
On a recent episode of their show, James Ham and Kyle Madson of ESPN 1320 Sacramento discussed the specific ways Sabonis can improve heading into next season (Twitter link).
The pair reason that while Sabonis’s box-score numbers will likely look similar to last season’s, he can improve on the little things, like his aggression. Ham and Madson don’t want to see Sabonis be complacent, and would like to see him take more attempts from the mid-range.
Sabonis signed a four-year extension that includes at least $184MM in new money earlier this offseason.
We have more Kings-related notes:
- During Jordan Ford‘s stint with the Kings’ Summer League team, a high-ranking member of the organization said he felt as though the Saint Mary’s product was close to becoming an NBA-caliber player, according to The Sacramento Bee’s James Anderson. It appears Ford will get the chance to prove as much, with his Exhibit 10 deal reportedly being converted to a two-way contract. According to Anderson, Ford will compete for the third point guard spot behind De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell.
- The Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s G League affiliate, are acquiring the rights to James Akinjo from the Westchester Knicks in exchange for Jeriah Horne and Alex O’Connell, per Anderson (Twitter link). Akinjo, a Baylor product, averaged 14.5 points and 8.0 assists in 38 G League games in the regular season and Showcase Cup. Horne and O’Connell spent a brief time with the Kings in training camp last year but spent most of the season with Stockton.
- In case you missed it, the Kings waived Neemias Queta and Nerlens Noel on Tuesday. Sacramento made the move to give Queta and Noel an opportunity to catch on with another team before training camp. They’ll clear waivers on Friday, assuming they go unclaimed.