What To Expect From The Sacramento Kings in 2018

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Kings Add Five Rookies, Three Vets to Roster. 

The Sacramento Kings made some big changes during the summer and there will be no shortage of fresh faces on the team.

The Kings received an influx of rookies from the 2017 NBA Draft and it may have been their best draft in recent memory.

Going into draft night, the Kings had a top five pick and traded the 10th pick for Portland’s 15th and 20th picks, with an additional pick waiting for them in the early second round. In doing so, the Kings may have filled many of their positional needs.

The Kings drafted Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox with the fifth pick in the draft. Many pundits consider the athletic, lightning quick Fox to be the point guard of the future for the team and for good reason.

Fox outplayed Lonzo Ball, the point guard took second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers when Kansas eliminated UCLA from the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament. Fox had 39 points compared to Ball’s 10 points.

Fox is looking forward to playing basketball for the Kings.

“I’m extremely excited,” Fox said. “My NBA debut is something I’ve been dreaming about my entire life.”

Second-year forward Skal Labissiere played for Kentucky and says that he and Fox have a good relationship.

“I thought he was the perfect guy for us,” Labissiere said of Fox. “He likes to run, push the ball, he’s really fast and his character off the court — that’s probably one of the most important things about him that I really like.”

The Kings used their second round pick to draft Frank Mason III, the five-foot-eleven-inch point guard out of Kansas won AP Player of the Year. Fox and Mason only played against each other once in college and now they’ll be teammates for the foreseeable future.

“It’s going to be different,” Fox said about playing against Mason in practice. “We’re going at each other every single day in practices and it’ll do nothing but make us better.”

The Kings used the first of the two picks they acquired in the first round to draft sharpshooting forward Justin Jackson, who won this year’s NCAA championship with North Carolina. The Kings’ next pick was Harry Giles, an explosive big man out of Duke who was projected to be the top pick in the 2017 class coming out of high school.

Even with four brand new rookies through the draft, the Kings weren’t done acquiring new players. The team signed EuroLeague star Bogdan Bogdanovic, whose draft rights were acquired by the Kings last year, and veterans George Hill, Zach Randolph and Vince Carter.

These four signings give the Kings one more talented rookie and bring the veteran leadership that the team needs to move in the right direction.

Bogdanovic was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 2014, but he opted to stay overseas. The Suns traded his draft rights to the Kings in 2016. The Serbian guard earned a silver medal in basketball during the 2016 Olympics and averaged 14.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in EuroLeague play last season.

Hill, Randolph, and Carter are all seasoned veterans who can be a guiding hand for the Kings’ young players. Ten players on the roster have no more than two years of NBA experience going into next season.

Hill will go into the season as a 10-year veteran and has seen his team make the playoffs in every year that he’s played. In 49 games, he averaged a career-high 16.9 points per game to go along with 4.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds.

Randolph will be entering his 17th NBA season, yet the 35-year-old power forward is still productive late in his career. Even past his prime, he was productive in his last year in Memphis, averaging 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Carter was a superstar for much of his career, including one of the best dunk contest performances that earned him the trophy in 2000. A teammate of Randolph for the past three seasons, the 40-year-old swingman averaged eight points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

The new-look Kings will make their preseason debut in Sacramento when they take on the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 7 at the Golden 1 Center.