When the NBA season began, the Sacramento Kings seemed to be in a dire situation. No 2019 first-round pick with a roster largely made up of young players with plenty of room for development.
Now more than 40 games into the season, a team projected to win fewer than 30 games has already won 20 and finds itself within striking distance of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
Given Sacramento has no incentive to tank for this year’s draft, a new option emerges for California’s capital city team. For the first time in years, Sacramento’s front office can attack at the trade deadline with the intent of sneaking into this year’s playoffs.
De’Aaron Fox — an emerging All-Star guard — is the explosive facilitator in this fast-paced offense. Buddy Hield — a key piece in the DeMarcus Cousins trade — is in the midst of a breakout season as an outside shooter. Together, the Kings have a guard combo that is capable of helping guide this team far.
Meanwhile, Marvin Bagley is now healthy and the rookie showed all of the promise that made him the No. 2 overall pick. A young, explosive trio is emerging and flashes the promise of a core that could make this team a dangerous threat for years to come. However, in order for Sacramento to be considered a legitimate threat to compete for the No. 7 or 8 seed in the Western Conference this season, it needs a defensive wing.
The Kings need more than just a stop-gap veteran who can provide some defense, they need someone who fits the mold of their lineup, chemistry and pace. A young 3-and-D wing who can excel without the ball in his hands, shoot the three and match the team’s second-highest pace in the NBA.