Last time when the Sacramento Kings were in the playoffs, Dwyane Wade was winning his first NBA title while Shaquille O’Neal got his 4th. Since then, the Kings went though all kinds of rebuilding processes, but none of them worked, and the situation was so bad in Sacramento at a point that they were closed to be moved to another city by the NBA. Once they built a new arena, a new era started. A few years later they drafted a potential franchise player in De’Aaron Fox, while trading for Buddy Hield, a player who showed last year that he can be an elite shooter. He averaged 20,7 PPG, 5 RPG and 2,5 APG on 45,8 FG%. The other young gun, who self declared him as the fastest guy around the league, had 17,3 PPG, 3,8 RPG and 7,3 APG on a exactly same FG% as his “buddy”, 45,8%. Fox was also one of the most improved players of the league. Given the fact that he is only 21 years old, it’s safe to say that the Kings are in good hands for the future, with quite a few good young players on their roster.
This summer the organization resigned Harrison Barnes, who came there last season from the Mavs, on a 4-year, $85 million contract. It was a great addition at that time, and a great signing this summer, because Sacramento didn’t have depth on the wing, so this represented a big issue for them throughout time. They overpaid him a little, maybe, but the Kings’ running office didn’t have too many better options, so they needed to give him what he wanted to.
The veteran Trevor Ariza, who signed a 2-year, $25 million deal, kind of solved that problem, because not only that he is a guy who brings you the experience in the locker room, but throughout time he proved to be a key asset, both offensively and defensively. He is coming after a bad season, but we need to take in consideration that fact that he split his time between two of the worst teams in their respective conferences, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards. Now that he has a young, hungry to win core, things will look different for him.
Another good addition made by the Kings this summer is Cory Joseph, an experienced point guard who can bring a lot of energy off-the-bench, especially in defense. There is no doubt that they made an upgrade here if we take a look at the other players who came with the second unit last year, Yogi Ferrel or Frank Mason. Last but not least, Dewayne Dedmon can prove to be the most important signing of this summer. Sacramento was in desperate need of a center after Willie Cauley-Stein left them to join the Warriors. They both are good rim protectors, but the difference between those two is that Dedmon can shoot the three, a thing which Cauley-Stein can’t do, so Dewayne’s shooting ability will space the floor and open new possibilities for the Kings’ offense. To all that, you add a new coach in Luke Walton and you have the recipe for success after so many years of playoff drought.