Another Sacramento Kings season without a playoff berth (barring a miracle) is drawing to a close, and it’s finishing up even more disappointing for De’Aaron Fox, who hasn’t played in three weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. The Kings have actually played reasonably well without Fox of late, but they’re still three games back of the 10th-seeded San Antonio Spurs with four games to play. It’s almost certainly a wrap for them.

The Kings came into this 2020-21 season with renewed aspirations after falling just shy of the play-in round in the bubble in 2020. With Fox leading the way, the hope was Sacramento could take that next step and become a playoff contender in the Western Conference. While the Kings have hung around in that play-in tournament race, a 30-38 record that has actually been beefed up lately without Fox is a bummer, especially considering the young point guard was putting up monster numbers before his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Currently in his fourth season in the league, Fox is averaging a career-best 25.2 points along with 3.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists through 58 appearances. He has yet to reach All-Star status, but he very well could be on his way to a selection if he keeps improving and Sacramento actually does better as a team.

Aside from Fox, the Kings have some other interesting pieces in place, including a fun rookie backcourt partner in Tyrese Haliburton. The 21-year-old has already become an all-around contributor and has emerged as one of the top rookies in the 2020 draft class after getting chosen 12th overall.