Kings

Redick believes Domas' playmaking comparable to Jokić

Kings

Domantas Sabonis is receiving the recognition he deserves. 

On Monday's episode of "The Old Man and The Three Things" podcast, former NBA player JJ Redick sang Sabonis' praises as a playmaker, comparing him to reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokić. 

"This is not a disrespect to Sabonis but he is 'Jokić Light,' " Redick told co-host Tommy Alter regarding Sabonis' ability to find the open player. "He's not a poor man's Jokić because he's f--king awesome."

Redick, a former 3-point marksman, says he's "not surprised" by Sabonis' playmaking and notes that the 26-year-old center might have been mislabeled as a player during his rookie season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

"They had him basically as a stretch-four; shot a lot of 3s, not really his game," Redick said. "He's a masher in the post and he's a hub out of that delay action.

"... And out of that action, there's a lot of passing so he hits a lot of cutters, back cuts, and then his dribble handoff game is phenomenal, especially on that left side with [Kevin] Huerter coming to his right."

In the 2022-23 NBA season, Sabonis is averaging a career-high 7.1 assists per game. His previous career high was 6.7 per game, a mark he reached in his second All-Star season with the Indiana Pacers during the 2020-21 season. 

Along with his impressive assist numbers for a center, Sabonis leads the league in double-doubles with 33, one more than Jokić.

 

Sabonis also won the Western Conference Player of the Week award from Jan. 9-15 after leading the Kings to a 4-0 record while averaging 18.5 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 10.3 assists.

He also had a historic performance against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 13 with 19 points, 16 assists, and 15 rebounds. The last time a Kings player had a similar stat line was in 1965 when Oscar Robertson had 28 points, 20 rebounds, and 16 assists against the New York Knicks. 

RELATED: Domas joins Kings' Fox in NBA All-Star voting top 10

Due to his play in recent weeks, Sabonis cracked the top 10 in the third and final fan voting returns for the 2023 NBA All-Star starters. 

And now that Sabonis is getting the attention of the national sports media for his play, it's only a matter of time until the rest of the Kings are recognized as well.