- Key Additions: Tyrese Haliburton, Hassan Whiteside, Jabari Parker
- Key Losses: Bogdan Bogdanović
The Sacramento Kings had a solid off-season after missing the NBA playoffs for the 14th consecutive season when they were eliminated from contention, back in August.
With former Los Angeles Lakers center Vlade Divac resigning from his position as general manager after five years, the Kings’ new GM Monte McNair hopes to begin a new era in Sacramento.
During the off-season, the Kings were able to sign their star point guard De’Aaron Fox to a five-year maximum extension worth $163 million, with potential bonus incentives should he make an All-NBA team in the future. Locking up Fox long term was a top priority for the Kings, as he continues to show All-Star potential in a very guard-heavy Western Conference.
The Kings will also have their former 2nd overall pick Marvin Bagley returning to the lineup, after the young forward missed all but 13 games during his sophomore season last year with a right foot injury. He is expected to play a large role on this young Sacramento team alongside Fox and sharpshooter guard Buddy Hield.
One misstep the Kings front office had in November was letting their shooting guard, Bogdan Bogdanović walk in restricted free agency to the Atlanta Hawks without gaining any assets in return. Bogdanović had been a key piece for the franchise over the past couple of seasons, so losing him for nothing will surely affect the team’s progression.
Filling in Bogdanović’s absence will be rookie point guard Tyrese Halliburton who the Kings drafted 12th overall in this past draft. Halliburton measures at 6 ft 5, so fans can hope to see him play alongside Fox at the shooting position as well. The rookie’s height and efficient shooting ability will play in his favor when fighting for minutes.
Rounding out the Kings’ core lineup is Jabari Parker and Hassan Whiteside. Parker who was acquired last season didn’t play any games for the Kings due to an injury, but he will likely share minutes at the power forward position with Nemanja Bjelica.
Whiteside was a free agency steal for the Kings, as he is the league’s reigning leader in blocks per game. Signing with the Kings on a one-year league-minimum deal, Whiteside will definitely outplay his contract and be an important player in head coach Luke Walton’s rotation.
The Kings are projected to finish closer to the bottom of the Western Conference by the end of the regular season. However, with the NBA bringing back the “Play-in tournament” for teams ranked 7th through 10th in each conference, don’t be surprised if De’Aaron Fox and his team make a push for the 8th seed late in the year.