Record: 32 – 50 (12th in the West)
Season Ended: No Playoffs
De’Aaron Fox (PG), Justin Jackson (SF/PF), Frank Mason, III (PG)
George Hill (PG), Bogdan Bogdanovic (SG/SF) Rookie from Europe, Vince Cater (SG/SF), Zach Randolph (PF/C)
Arron Aflalo, Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans, Rudy Gay, Ty Lawson, Ben McLemore
Projected Starters (Last year averages)
PG: George Hill (17 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast)
SG: Buddy Hield (11 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast)
SF: Bogdan Bogdanovic (Rookie)
PF: Zach Randolph (14 pts, 8 reb, 2 ast)
C: Willie Cauley-Stein (8 pts, 5 reb, 1 ast)
De’Aaron Fox (PG), Garret Temple (SG/SF), Skal Labissiere (PF), Kosta Koufos (C), Vince Carter (SG/SF)
Major Story lines
Veteran Influence – The Kings brought in Vince Carter, Zach Randolph, and George Hill this offseason in what most thought were surprising moves. The vets will be there to guide the young guys and allow them time to develop. Currently Hill and Randolph are expected to start but I’d expect that once they fall out of the playoff picture they’ll let the rookies take over much like the Suns did with their vets last year.
Youth Movement – The Kings drafted 4 high profile rookies and signed a rookie free agent from Europe and all but 1 should be in line for big minutes this year. De’Aaron Fox is the most exciting of the prospects and he won’t have the weight of the team on his shoulders right away but should still have plenty of time to develop.
Mike Predictions (19 – 63) (15th in the West)
- 4 Players in the Rising Stars game – Currently it appears that Bogdanovic and Fox will be the two rookies getting the most PT for the Kings. Since the Rising Stars game format is U.S. vs the World, Bogdanovic is pretty much a lock. Fox will have more competition but he’s already got the hype and will have enough highlights to stay relevant. The team also has 4 second year players and Hield should also be a lock. Labissiere should also have a solid year behind Randolph so I expect him to be the 4th player.
- Vince Carter traded to a Contender at the Deadline – Vince Carter still thinks he has a lot to offer a team. He’s talked in interviews recently about not wanting to “ride the wave” of a contender and just sit on a bench. He came to Sacramento because he believes he can get PT right now and that’s what’s important to him. He essentially implied that he’s auditioning for a contending team that will actually use him. Since the Kings will be trash and will want to make sure their young guys are getting PT late in the season they’ll be willing to move their vets. I could see a team like the Blazers, Wizards or Bucks trading for him near the deadline to help push them a step further.
Josh Predictions (18-64) (15th in the West)
- De’Aaron Fox records at least one triple-double – Only 23 players recorded a triple-double last season. Of those, only one was a rookie (ROY Malcolm Brogdon). I don’t think Fox will have the complete season of stats, or a decent enough W/L record to win ROY, but I do think he has a very well rounded game, aside from his early shooting concerns. While I don’t think he averages more than 12 – 15 PPG, I think he’ll post decent numbers in every other column and record at least one triple double during the season.
- Buddy Hield garners consideration for Most Improved Player – Buddy Hield didn’t have an amazing rookie season last year – he averaged 10.6 pts, 3.3 reb, and 1.5 ast. He also had a 42.6 FG% and shot 39.1% from three. However, in his 25 games after the trade to Sacramento, Hield averaged 15.1 pts, 4.1 reb, and 1.8 ast, shooting a 48 FG% and 42.8 3pt%. I think this season, Hield’s game grows even more, especially with guys like Hill and Fox to help distribute, and he becomes a candidate for MIP by end of the season.