Sacramento was one of the surprises of the league in the 2018/19 season as they barely missed the playoffs. They had a fun style to watch as they relied on De’Aaron Fox’s speed to be one of the fastest teams in the league.
In the last offseason, they fired their coach, replaced him with Luke Walton and surprisingly, the Kings changed their playing style. After being #5 in the league in pace factor with 103.1, Sacramento was only #21 in pace factor last season with 98.8 and had no chance of going to the playoffs.
For this season, once again with Walton as their coach, Sacramento wasn’t very active in the offseason. They decided not to match Bogdan Bogdanovic’s offer from Atlanta and they hope rookie Tyrere Haliburton will be able to occupy this role right away in his first season.
Sacramento is also betting on the development of Fox and Bagley this season. Fox had a breakout season in 2018/19 but he had some injury problems last season, while declining his 3pts and FT numbers to just 29.2% 3pts and 70.5% FT, which isn’t a good sign.
On the other hand, Bagley just couldn’t stay healthy last season and played only 13 games. He is apparently ready to go this season and he really needs to have a good season to try to even remotely show why he was drafted ahead of Doncic, Young and Jackson Jr…
The Kings’ roster is built to be an uptempo team and early camp news say that they are indeed committed to play faster this season. They could have some issues related with floor spacing as their likely starting lineup will include three non-shooters in Fox, Bagley and Holmes, so they should avoid being involved in half court sets as much as possible.
They will be in the most competitive division of the league this season alongside the Lakers, Clippers, Suns and Warriors. This will immediately turn their goal to go to the playoffs as almost impossible unless Fox and Bagley become all-star caliber players right from the start of the season.