Kings predicted to win 30 games, finish 14th in West by John Hollinger

Kings predicted to win 30 games, finish 14th in West by John Hollinger

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.

[RELATED: Kings' Giles (knee) likely to sit out next preseason game]

"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.

What De'Aaron Fox's ankle injury means for young, snake-bitten Kings


What De'Aaron Fox's ankle injury means for young, snake-bitten Kings

SACRAMENTO -- The hits keep on coming for the Sacramento Kings. First Marvin Bagley broke his right thumb during the season opener against the Phoenix Suns. Now De’Aaron Fox is going to miss time as well.

Fox injured his left ankle Monday during practice. An MRI at the team’s practice facility revealed that the Kings’ starting point guard has an ankle sprain and will be re-evaluated by the team in 3-4 weeks by the team's medical staff. According to a league source, Fox has a Grade 3 left ankle sprain.

Durable through his first two seasons in the league, Fox has missed a total of 10 games as a pro, including just one last season for Sacramento.

After a breakout second season, Fox is off to another good start in Year Three. The 21-year-old is averaging 18.2 points, seven assists and four rebounds in 32 minutes per game for coach Luke Walton this season.

His turnover numbers are up in the Kings’ new system, but the Kings rely heavily on his speed and quickness to breakdown opposing defenses.

The Kings dropped the first five games of the season, but they’ve won three out of their last four games heading into Tuesday’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers, and they currently stand at 3-6 on the year. Losing Fox for an extended period of time is a huge blow to the team, but Walton has other options at the position.

General manager Vlade Divac loaded up on point guards over the summer, adding veteran Cory Joseph to the mix on a three-year, $37 million deal. They also picked up a team option on Yogi Ferrell, which gives them additional depth.

During the preseason schedule, Walton also turned to shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic to eat some of the minutes at the point. The Kings' sixth-man is capable of stepping into a primary ball handler role alongside Buddy Hield if need be.

[RELATED: Why Hield thinks Fox can be one of NBA's best]

In addition to Joseph, Ferrell and Bogdanovic, Sacramento has a pair of rookies they can use in the backcourt in Justin James and Kyle Guy. James is on the regular roster and Kyle Guy is currently playing for the Stockton Kings on a two-way contract. Guy can be recalled and spend up to 45 days with the parent club if they feel they need more guard depth.

Injuries are part of the game, but the Kings have certainly started off the year with some bad luck.

Kings star De'Aaron Fox has sprained ankle, re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks


Kings star De'Aaron Fox has sprained ankle, re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks

Bad news for the Kings.

Star point guard De'Aaron Fox suffered an ankle sprain during practice Monday and will be re-evaluated in three to four weeks, the team announced.

ESPN's Zach Lowe first reported Fox's injury.

Fox, 22, is in the middle of an impressive third season with the Kings, averaging 18.2 points and seven assists per game. He's been tasked with leading the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2006, which would be an even taller task if he is forced to miss any time.

Sacramento is set to host the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, and will have to do so without their rising star.