As we reach the conclusion of our 30Q series to preview the upcoming Kings season, we come to the only question that really matters. Can the Sacramento Kings finally end their playoff drought and make the NBA Playoffs?
This is the question that hangs over the franchise as the drought is now at an NBA-record 16 seasons. With the Seattle Mariners on the precipice of making the postseason (after a 21 year drought!), the Kings will likely hold the longest active playoff drought among the major sports.
What would it take for the Kings to make the playoffs? Well, things just need to go right. In a perfect world it all goes right. Mike Brown’s schemes fix the Kings defensive woes. The Kings get career years out of Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. The depth and the new acquisitions and the rookies all fulfill their potential. Basically, it goes differently than the last 16 years where the regular season has scoffed at our preseason hopes and dreams.
It’s unlikely that absolutely everything goes right, there will certainly be bumps along the way. But if enough things go right for the Kings, they should be in the hunt. Right now on paper the Kings project to be somewhere in the 8-11 range in the West, depending on your level of optimism. But we also know that, based on history, it’s quite likely that at least one or two team that are “locks” to be ahead of the Kings will end up closer to the bottom of the West. We don’t know which team or teams it will be, but it happens every year. As long as the Kings aren’t the recipients of bad luck, they’re likely to be in the play-in. A little luck in those games, a la last season’s New Orleans Pelicans, and the Kings could end their drought.
It’s a long road to get there, but the optimism around this team and the fan base is real. This feels like the best chance to end the drought in a very long time. All that’s left to do is go out an execute.