The Kings seem like a team on the rise. They having rising, young players in guards De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, wing Bogdan Bogdanovic, bigs Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles, plus veteran forward Harrison Barnes.
Sacramento fell short of the playoffs yet again last season, though the Kings' 39 wins were their most since the 2005-06 campaign, when they last made it to the postseason. Will they snap the streak and make the playoffs in 2020?
The Athletic's John Hollinger sure doesn't think so.
Hollinger, the former Grizzlies Vice President of Basketball Operations who created the analytics measurement "PER," predicts the Kings will take a tumble this season. He has them winning only 30 games, down nine from last season, and finish 14tth in the loaded Western Conference.
It's clear Hollinger believes this young squad still isn't ready to contend and took a premature route in signing veteran players.
"Essentially, the Kings mistook their first big step forward in a rebuild for the ending and launched into full-blown veteran acquisition mode. They were farther away from the finish line than they realized," Hollinger wrote.
Hollinger isn't a fan of the Kings' decision to hand Barnes a four-year, $85 million contract this past offseason. General manager Vlade Divac and Co. also added veteran big men Dewayne Dedmon and Richaun Holmes, both of whom could take away minutes from the 21-year-old Giles.
"Kings should focus on players like him, not on random 30-year-olds," Hollinger wrote.
The game is played on the court, not a spreadsheet, and Sacramento surely hopes to prove Hollinger wrong in its first season under coach Luke Walton.