De'Aaron Fox has never wavered from his want to be in Sacramento. The Kings' starting point guard was excited when the franchise selected him with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and three years later, he was more than ready to sign on for a new five-year, $163 million max-money contract.
"I love it here, I love playing here, I love the fans," Fox said on Tuesday.
Fox compared Sacramento to his lone NCAA season at Kentucky. Like Lexington, the focus of the city is often on basketball.
"I want to be able to bring wins to this city, bring wins to this franchise," Fox added. "I'm very happy that we have that commitment and we have that trust in each other. But now, it's about winning. I think that's what it's always been about."
General manager Monte McNair signed Fox to his new extension moments into the free agency window. The 22-year-old Fox became the first player from his draft class to get a max extension, but Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo and Jayson Tatum all received similar deals over the days that followed.
"We wanted to get it done and get it over with," Fox said. "Obviously, everybody knows how I feel about being here and Monte kind of felt the same way."
Fox's contract extension doesn't begin until next season, but he has a lot to play for this year as well. If he lands on the first, second or third All-NBA team, Fox's contract jumps substantially and can go as high as $195.6 million over the five-year window.
After three seasons in relative obscurity in Sacramento, Fox understands very well that his max money deal comes with certain expectations. Not only is he the face of the franchise, but he needs to continue to advance as a player to live up to the contract.
"With that being signed, I think the whole underrated thing is thrown out the door because you're not being paid as an underrated player," Fox added. "I'm trying to take that next step into becoming a better player and that has to do with helping my team win."
It's very possible that the Kings will take a step backward this season after losing nearly all of their free agents and assembling a new group on the fly. But Fox said he is focused on long term goals with the franchise. Once the winning comes, he wants to be able to sustain that for more than just a season or two.
Fox has lofty goals for himself and the Kings franchise. He wants to stick around Sacramento for a long time and he has a newly signed five-year contract to prove it.