There is a reason the Kings have made De’Aaron Fox the face of their franchise. It goes well beyond his play on the court, which has improved by leaps and bounds every year.
Fox is a player who wanted to be selected by Sacramento before the 2017 NBA Draft, and a player who still has lofty goals with the team, which he once again discussed on the latest episode of "The Old Man & the Three" podcast.
“I was like, I kind of want to go five, I want to be the fifth (pick) and go to the Kings,” Fox said. “For me, it’s just like, imagine being one of those players on a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in a decade, almost two decades, a decade and a half. And then being the first team to make it to the playoffs.”
The Kings' playoff drought has hit 14 seasons, but with Fox on the court, the team has taken strides over the last two seasons. Before a meltdown in the bubble, the Kings were well-positioned to compete for a playoff spot.
Despite a poor showing in Orlando, the Kings finished with 31 wins, which translates to roughly 35 wins in a standard 82-game season. They were eliminated before taking the court for their second-to-last game, which is the latest the Kings have been mathematically eliminated during a season in over a decade.
“Obviously, it’s hard as hell, especially being in the West,” Fox said. “But just being able to be part of that would definitely be something special. If we can end up building a championship contending team, it’s like man, if you’re building a championship team in Sacramento, that’s looked at a lot differently.”
Fox is in line for a max money extension this summer with the Kings. Despite not having the team success in Sacramento that he had both as a prep athlete and during his lone season at Kentucky, Fox appears all-in.
“I just want to be part of that process,” Fox added. “For as long as I’m here, however long I’m here, if I’m able to do that, I just feel like that’s a pretty good career if you’re able to do it.”
New general manager Monte McNair has done nothing but praise Fox over the last week since taking the job in Sacramento. It appears that he plans to build around the dynamic point guard that posted 21.1 points and 6.8 assists last season for coach Luke Walton’s squad.
Banking on a player who not only looks like a future All-Star, but also one who is committed to building a winning team in Sacramento is a breath of fresh air.