Sacramento Kings 2022/2023 Season Preview
It’s not often anyone from the BMBT office (or anywhere else) has many positive things to say about the Kings, but the last 4 months have seen them function, unbelievably, like a franchise capable of making sound decisions (yay for equalisation in the NBA!).
Aside from the blip that was moving Tyrese Haliburton before the deadline last season, the Kings have made shrewd moves around the edges that will hopefully see them improve on their record from last season.
Fundamentally speaking, the biggest change is still the acquisition of Domantas Sabonis. While he played his last 15 games with the Kings, there is no doubt he will be better for having the chance to acclimatise with the team when the 2022/2023 season begins in October. He’s a tremendously talented big who does pretty much everything except block shots at a high level, and having such a dynamic player down low is something the Kings haven’t had the luxury of since they moved on from Boogie Cousins.
Aside from Sabonis, the Kings made a trade with Atlanta to land Kevin Huerter, signed Malik Monk as a free agent and drafted Keegan Murray at #4 out of Iowa – all of which are sounds moves on their own merits. Huerter was able to score in double-figures and connect on 39% of his deep balls last season and fills a hole at the wing that the Kings desperately needed to fill with some shooting to help space the floor for Sabonis and Fox. Malik Monk provides a similar function as an off-guard and Keegan Murray looked good in Summer League and looks like he can hit the ground running when the regular season starts.
The Kings have made some sound decisions during the off-season, but the fate of the team still rests on two fundamentally flawed stars in Fox (left) and Sabonis (right). Credit: NBC Sports
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in Sac-Town though. Their two best players in Fox and Sabonis both shot less than 30% from deep last season, and this will place further pressure onto the aforementioned Monk, Huerter and Murray to be viable floor spacing options if the Kings offense is to reach its potential.
On the defensive side of the ball, rim protection remains a serious issue, with none of Holmes, Sabonis or Metu averaging even a single block per game last season. In addition to their interior issues, De’Aron Fox can be a bit flaky on the perimeter and the presence of Keegan Murray as a rookie may well compound the issues they faced trying to deny penetration from oppositions, placing more pressure (and likely more foul issues) on Sabonis and Holmes.
It’s nice to see the Kings make some sound roster decisions in the last few months. They appear to have decided to try and win now, even if their ceiling may well be a .500-ish team. There are some good pieces anchored by two stars, but ultimately a lack of experience across the roster may be their Achilles heel.
Ceiling: 9th seed
Floor: 12th seed