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De’Aaron Fox can’t save the Kings by himself

Fox is a young star, but still may not be the superstar necessary to lift the Kings from the cellar.

The Sacramento Kings are 15 games into a 72-game schedule, or about 20% through their season. That means we're also 20% into De'Aaron Fox's 4th NBA season, and 20% of the way done with the first season following De'Aaron Fox signing a rookie max extension for 5 years and $163 million. As we look at the season so far, we can see that the Kings are still bad, and that Fox hasn't been doing enough to lift the Kings up.

To be clear, De'Aaron Fox deserved a max extension. He is the caliber of young player that gets a max extension in free agency, but allowing him to reach free agency would be an unnecessary show of force by the franchise and would accomplish little other than hurting feelings. Our own Tim Maxwell explained before the extension why it would be a no-brainer.

Fox remains the Kings best player, and Fox still remains just 23 years old. A five year extension that kicks in next season isn't going to be a success or failure based on these 15 games.

Yet there's still some concern as Fox hasn't set hearts aflutter with any consistency. He had an incredible 43 points outing against the New Orleans Pelicans, but it came on the heels of a pedestrian 14 point showing against the Clippers.

Last night Fox came out aggressive again, fueling hopes that maybe the Pelicans game was the start of something new, but after scoring 15 points in the first half Fox finished with a quiet 10 points in the second half.

For the year, Fox is averaging 20.8 points, 5.9 assists, and 3.0 rebounds. The scoring is below last season's average of 21.1, and well below his scoring average in the Orlando bubble. Fox's assists are the lowest they've been since his rookie season, and the same is true of his rebounding.

Fox's shooting overall is similar to what it's been in year's past, and his three point shooting is at a respectable 35.5% right now, but it isn't translating to overall improvement. De'Aaron Fox, for as good as he is, is not better than he was last year, and that's disappointing.

Fox, of course, doesn't play in a vacuum. The roster is not constructed to maximize Fox's abilities, with big men still clogging the lane on a regular basis and taking away Fox's supernatural ability to get to the rim. Fox finds himself in the same dilemma that has befallen many young Kings players; we don't know if the Kings are bad because Fox isn't good enough to lift the team up, or if Fox looks worse because the Kings are simply dragging him down.

Fox has the talent and production to unequivocally be called a young star in the NBA, but he's falling short of the superstar hopes that Kings fans had for him. The book is not finished, and we'll hope that Fox makes these concerns look foolish over the remainder of this year, but right now Fox isn't playing like he can be the best player on a good team.

 

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Marty
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January 21, 2021 11:51 am

comment image

SwensonsRock
January 21, 2021 11:53 am

the desperately need someone to coach floor awareness, shot creation, and defense. What’s John Stockton doing nowadays? Maybe he can be dusted off and recruited?

BestHyperboleEver
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January 21, 2021 12:04 pm
Reply to  SwensonsRock

I have bad news. It’s about 10-20 years too late to start teaching any of these guys floor awareness and expect significant improvement.

Marty
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January 21, 2021 12:28 pm

But if we can’t root for magic transformations there will be nothing left to root for. 🤷🏻€™‚️

Last edited 1 year ago by Marty Marty
AmateurNerd
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January 21, 2021 12:36 pm

Yep. Court awareness and BBIQ in general are reflexes, and reflexes are developed in early life. Teaching BBIQ to an adult is like teaching a foreign language to an adult–they may learn the language, but they will almost always speak it with an imperfect accent and struggle to use proverbs and other parts of the language that mean something other than their literal meaning (i.e. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”). It’s no secret why so many BBIQ players have coaches for parents– they were raised to “speak basketball” from birth.

Bkroo96
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January 21, 2021 12:10 pm

Blow this [email protected]# show up! Starting with the coach please 🙏 😭 😢

BestHyperboleEver
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January 21, 2021 12:21 pm

I think Fox is fine. He’s on the right path to reach what was always his high-end reasonable outcome. With a normal development curve from here he’ll be at the “2nd-or-3rd guy on a good team” level. He was never going to be a best player on a good team type of guy.

Really, the biggest issue with Fox is that he doesn’t really have any positional versatility and needs pretty specific guys around him. So if you’re determined to build around him, he limits the types of players/opportunities you can jump at. All of which isn’t a fatal flaw or anything. Just a bit less than ideal.

The bigger question, as always, is “where is that #1 (& ideally #2) guy going to come from? What’s the plan to acquire the star? It is depending on lottery luck and/or the perfect selection? Is it trying to stockpile B & C level players to try to trade for an A? Is it clearing cap space? Or is it just hoping Fox and/or Bagley and/or Hield suddenly take a totally unexpected leap based on skills they haven’t really shown? Is it trading our best assets?

Until that plan is in place (and maybe it is. I’m not actually privy to the FO conversation) then I think most other issues are pretty much moot.

In short, Fox is who he is. The Kings should be focused on figuring out how “who he is” fits best into the vision of building a winner.

Otis
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January 21, 2021 12:41 pm

The real problem right now is that Fox might be the “2nd-or-3rd guy on a bad team” right now. I think Haliburton and possibly Holmes have been better this season.

BestHyperboleEver
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January 21, 2021 1:21 pm
Reply to  Otis

Agreed. But I’m not too worried about €œright now.€ I don’t tend to get worked up over a handful of games early in the season. All three of those guys have been pretty decent this season. Holmes has done a good job of establishing himself as more of a fringe starter than the later rotation guy he’s been in the past. Obviously, we’ve talk a lot about Haliburton. Ultimately, I think Fox is and will continue to make the incremental improvement we’d expect.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 7:36 am

Fox is the Kings best player. Any other conclusion is not factually correct.

Otis
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January 22, 2021 8:29 am
Reply to  Hamlet1989

Actually, that is factually incorrect by most metrics. I suspect he will be, but he’s not there yet.

RORDOG
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January 22, 2021 9:54 am

his shooting efficiency improvement year to year is like the epitome of incremental. Slow and steady progress.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 7:34 am
Reply to  Otis

Really?

Inthestarz
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January 21, 2021 1:12 pm

You just rewrote his initial expectations

initially he was supposed to be on Trae/Morant level franchise piece

BestHyperboleEver
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January 21, 2021 1:23 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

No. I stated my initial expectations for him.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 21, 2021 1:41 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

Yeah I don’t know why anyone ever believed that’s what he was. I certainly never did. I’ve been saying for 3 years I thought he was a second or third banana. That’s not a bad thing because those guys are usually pretty good but he’s always been miscast a franchise savior when he just isn’t.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 7:50 am

Yes he is. And so is Haliburton.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 22, 2021 10:15 am
Reply to  Hamlet1989

There is zero evidence to suggest he’s that type of player. I LOVE Haliburton and I think he’s going to be great. If they are your second and third best players I think your team is probably very good. Still need the number one guy though.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 21, 2021 7:29 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

I don’t think either of those two guys are who you think they are.

rockbottom
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January 21, 2021 2:28 pm

Agree and why there was zero need to max contact him this soon ! You could not lose him due to RFA and what if he gets a serious injury or stagnates like a John Wall ! Remember the other players from his class to be maxed were Donavan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum ! Both were the best players on winning teams and All Stars ! That is a difference !

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
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January 21, 2021 4:34 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

This is bad

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 7:52 am
Reply to  rockbottom

They’re only the best players on their teams because they don’t have fox.

J-Fresh
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January 21, 2021 6:59 pm

Agree…this is in line with my response from previous thread.

How Fox goes from current number 1, to 2-3 is the million dollar question. However this is the start of the re-build with Monte, so let’s see how this unfolds.

No issue with Fox having a Max ATM. Need another Max level alpha to maximize Fox’s strengths, and if we ever get to that point, then the Kings may be something significant in the NBA once more.

andy_sims
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January 21, 2021 12:36 pm

I think some of it is that he may actually be depressed. I don’t think it has to do with the burden that comes with such a huge contract, but more to the fact that while Walton remains in charge, the situation is stuck on a treadmill. And this is not a nice treadmill, every session is a slog with little direction. Everyone is exhausted at the end, no one is any better off, and ultimately, you’re in the exact same place as where you started.

Every game with that incompetent in charge is Groundhog Day. I understand that players need to fight through that shit, but just knowing that you’re spending hunks of your prime trying to prop up an unqualified legacy hire has got to be like drowning slowly.

Otis
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January 21, 2021 12:44 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’m amazed how cavalier some are about just letting Walton finish the season. You’re talking about a significant percentage of some of the young guys’ contract evaluation periods – and we know that a new coach is going to take a decent amount of time to integrate his own system, so there’s another chunk of time.

This has to be strictly a money issue, because I don’t think McNair is a dumb guy.

andy_sims
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January 21, 2021 12:57 pm
Reply to  Otis

100% agreed. They fucked up hiring VD, which resulted in hiring this current maroon. Eat the money, and let’s get going.

RORDOG
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January 21, 2021 1:08 pm
Reply to  Otis

the tricky part is who do you name as the interim coach? The offensive coordinator that has never cared much about defense, or the defensive coordinator that implemented a system that has contributed to the worst defense in the NBA?

“Walton fired after team starts season with all-time worst defense. Assistant Coach responsible for defense named Interim Head Coach” would be a humorous headline though.

Otis
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January 21, 2021 1:16 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Walton’s your interim coach. McNair should have been working on his permanent replacement since he started.

BestHyperboleEver
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January 21, 2021 1:24 pm
Reply to  Otis

The challenge is that you don’t have the full rack to shop from mid-season.

Otis
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January 21, 2021 1:29 pm

I think you have most of the rack. Think the odds are slim that a guy like Quin Snyder or Brad Stevens is going to get canned. Most of the rest of the NBA head coaches are retread city.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 21, 2021 1:43 pm
Reply to  Otis

I want an up and coming assistant or a college coach ready to make the jump. I think I said it yesterday, but Darvin Ham is high on my assistant list and Jay Wright is high on my college coach list.

wilbur10
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January 21, 2021 1:47 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Jay Wright would be great.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 8:02 am
Reply to  Otis

Unless you’re in love with someone it’s just shuffling deck chairs.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 21, 2021 1:40 pm

Correct, you don’t hire your head coach until the offseason which means you really don’t need to fire Walton right now if that is your goal. I think he only gets fired because he has lost the locker room or pisses off McNair for not playing who he wants to see on the court.

Otis
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January 21, 2021 1:47 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I’m just not a fan of hard and fast rules like this one:

you don’t hire your head coach until the offseason

I think these are the types of norms that sound good, but make little sense in reality.

Walton came into this season on the hot seat. The defense is historically bad. There are plenty of qualified head coaching candidates available, you just have to ask permission to interview them.

Let’s not just burn 55 to 60 games when we could be starting to build a real foundation for the future.

Otis
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January 21, 2021 1:56 pm
Reply to  Greg

LOL. So don’t hire George Karl.

markdog333
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January 22, 2021 7:48 am
Reply to  Otis

Or, if you do hire George Karl, serve him some breakfast and get out of his way.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 8:05 am
Reply to  Otis

George Karl may be the best coach ever hired by the Kings, just not for the Kings!

BestHyperboleEver
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January 21, 2021 2:07 pm
Reply to  Otis

I don’t think that has to be a hard and fast rule. If the person/people you want are available mid-season then you go for it. But rushing it could also mean you’re settling for someone that’s available mid-season. Which, of course, precludes you from hiring pretty much anyone that’s a current NBA or college head coach. Your list narrows to current assistants or the unemployed.

Otis
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January 21, 2021 2:14 pm

A good reason they should have done this already.

And waiting until the offseason also means there are more attractive franchises competing for the best talent.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 8:06 am
Reply to  Otis

Maybe they should hire you!

…only half-joking

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 21, 2021 2:15 pm
Reply to  Otis

When was the last time an assistant coach left a team to become the head coach of another mid season? Same for a college coach joining a team after March?

BestHyperboleEver
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January 21, 2021 1:48 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Is anyone on staff known as a good developmental coach?

Peja
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January 21, 2021 1:57 pm

Rico Hines

Amonk81
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January 21, 2021 3:28 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Part of why I want Luke gone is because that would mean McNair holds the power.

KangzofLeon
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January 22, 2021 10:42 am
Reply to  RORDOG

What about hiring Becky Hammon?

ForKingsandCountry
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January 21, 2021 1:43 pm
Reply to  Otis

Yeah I tend to think that Walton can and probably is already having a negative developmental impact on the young guys on this roster so I’d prefer to see him gone sooner rather than later but I just don’t think it’s going to happen because it’s just more dead contract money for a coach.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 8:10 am

Or maybe Luke is setting the table for his successor in the way Trump did for Biden.

wilbur10
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January 21, 2021 1:46 pm
Reply to  Otis

Couldn’t have said that any better. Especially considering there were rumors Vivek wanted to possibly move on from him at some point in the middle of last season. Absolutely has to be a money issue.

Last edited 1 year ago by wilbur10
Amonk81
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January 21, 2021 3:26 pm
Reply to  Otis

Totally agree w Otis and Sims. My fear has been, and still is, Vivek is not letting go. Don’t know that the Kings can ever get out of the abyss unless V backs off. Fuck him by the way. The ego…….

This team has the look of players not caring because they see the organization (or the coach) is fucked up.

Get rid of fucking Walton. Move on. He’s killing the growth of youngsters. It’s holding back any progress.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 7:57 am
Reply to  Otis

That’s why they hired Gentry. Teaching w/o winning our ping-pong balls away!

Beavis81
January 22, 2021 8:46 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I actually just finally registered to comment on this. I agree 100% and think Fox is actually technically clinically depressed because,while probably a potential All-Star, he’s realizing he’s not the transformational star they can pull a whole team out of the shitter, especially with the turd king helming the coaches chair. Fox is nothing if not passionate, and it’s often passionate people have a hard time with inflated expectations. At this point I’d rather halliburton drop all the X’s and O’s than the turd king.

KangzofLeon
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January 22, 2021 11:09 am
Reply to  Beavis81

It’s funny because I just registered too, but I’ve also thought about how demoralizing it must be for Fox especially to know they’re basically doomed to being a bad team yet again. The question is, does Luke do enough to instill any progress? Doesn’t really seem like it (at all) thus far, so Fox is probably feeling like he’s supposed to be the star but he’s just part of the trudge now

PhutureKings
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January 21, 2021 12:42 pm

Fox plays for a team that gives regular minutes to Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley and Cory Joseph, and is helmed by arguably the worst coach in the NBA.

It’s hard to lift a team like that up. If you put Jayson Tatum on the squad in place of Fox, I don’t think the team would be doing much better, however, I think Tatum would be delivering beefier stats, which makes sense because he is likely a better player overall. That’s okay. Fox is still a star, has room for improvement, and is worth every penny to this franchise that the Kings paid him.

The real key to unlocking his further potential is trading away the guys mentioned above (as well as Belly, James, etc), bringing in a competent coach, and hopefully drafting a top-5 player in the next draft who becomes the team’s best player. At that point, you’re looking for Fox to be the 2nd or 3rd best guy on the team alongside the new pick and Halliburton, and that’s a much more winning combination.

1951
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January 21, 2021 12:47 pm

Fox can be the beginning of a competitive team building exercise, but he is not the end. We need more players at or above Foxes caliber to become that team, plain and simple.

True superstars who are the beginning, middle and end of the road to NBA relevance are exceedingly rare and the acquisition of Fox was not the decision that caused a miss of a dude who is potentially one of those rare birds!

Last edited 1 year ago by 1951
ForKingsandCountry
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January 21, 2021 1:37 pm
Reply to  1951

Completely agree with all this. Fingers crossed that we can find that guy in next years draft. Haliburton this year is a good start at getting more players that move the needle.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 21, 2021 7:35 pm

yeah, a lot must be said about what it means that we finally have what seems to be at least an average & competent GM

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 8:27 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

I don’t love all that Monte has done but to this point I would grade out his tenure as an ‘A’ based solely on the Haliburton pick. That’s the decision with true gravity. Also he spared us the on-going injury saga that is Bogdon.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 21, 2021 7:32 pm
Reply to  1951

Completely agree

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 8:22 am
Reply to  1951

Fox is a star in his role. The only comps that make any sense are other PGs. Our two best trade assets(i.e.our 2 most valuable assets) are Fox and Hali. Two young, creative pgs is a good place to start. Tatum isn’t part of this conversation.

LLcoolRay
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January 21, 2021 12:50 pm

Totally agree Greg, these have been my exact concerns. Fox is obviously very good (and very clearly the Kings’ best player) but he hasn’t shown any improvement so far this season or last – and that’s concerning for someone that just got a max contract. If we’re building around him, we need him to be the leader and to constantly bring that aggression.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 8:44 am
Reply to  LLcoolRay

I think we’re putting too much on the numbers. Fox is getting to the basket mostly at will. He can score. He isn’t judged on scoring alone. He’s doing his job. The other #s have a lot to do with the scheme, and performances around him. I’m thinking, one more off night for Haliburton will have people lined up for his head too. Relax people! Past performance isn’t necessarily indicative of future results. Whereas a guy like Holmes wouldn’t necessarily be as valuable to a team like the Sixers, a guy like Fox could be even more so. Judging a players performance in this system is like diagnosing an electrical part in a car with a bad battery.

KangzofLeon
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January 22, 2021 11:21 am
Reply to  LLcoolRay

I actually don’t think Fox has been stagnant in his progress from last year. At least in the last few games he seems to show more initiative and willingness to take charge, take more shots, be aggressive. If his 3pt% remains around 35% then I’m honestly satisfied with him. He is not the superstar, not the no 1 guy on this team at all, but if he cuts down on turnovers and keeps the rest up, I see him as a piece of a very good team (potentially). Max contract was something kings really had to do or lose him for nothing basically, I think. I mean we just don’t have the means to attract good / great players like big markets. It’s clear now we are building around him, but not as the best player on our team. That’s going to have to come from somewhere else

Inthestarz
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January 21, 2021 1:13 pm

hes 23, and still doesn’t imprint games

ArsLegendi
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January 22, 2021 9:49 am
Reply to  Inthestarz

Hahahahaha there it is.

IMPRINTTTTTTTTTTTT

KangzofLeon
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January 22, 2021 12:11 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

maybe he should work at popcopy for a while and learn how to use a PRINTER

TheGrantNapear
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January 21, 2021 1:16 pm

I’d put the over/under on Fox all star appearances at 2.5.
I’d take the under. So, I don’t think Fox is a future super star, he has borderline all star potential. It is what it is.
We need to land a potential all star caliber player in the upcoming draft.
A core of Fox, Hali and Mobley would be nice.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 21, 2021 1:38 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I’d definitely take the under. Like I’ve said before, if CJ McCollum hasn’t been named an All-Star then Fox has a long ways to go. Off of the top of my head I can name at least 11 more guards that are more worthy of an All-Star nod than Fox on any given season.

Luka, Paul, Booker, Curry, Klay, Lillard, Murray, DeRozan, Mitchell, Russell, Oladipo

That list doesn’t even take into consideration up and comers like Morant, SGA, Dejounte Murray and Edwards.

When it’s all said and done, Fox may not even be a top 15-20 guard…just in the West.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 21, 2021 1:44 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I feel bad for McCollum because I think there is a really good chance this would have been the year for him to be an all star because he’s been insane thus far. Injuries stink.

wilbur10
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January 21, 2021 1:52 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Not to nitpick, but did you really just put Anthony Edwards in the conversation with those guys? Or is there another Edwards I’m just not thinking of?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
January 21, 2021 2:13 pm
Reply to  wilbur10

He’s not there yet, but he’s gonna be good in the coming years.

wilbur10
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January 21, 2021 6:38 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Not sure about that one lol

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 8:57 am
Reply to  wilbur10

A number of those names were reaches. A.E. has done nothing yet, and Klay is washed. Most the rest are debatable. None of them really replace what Fox brings.

wilbur10
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January 22, 2021 5:19 pm
Reply to  Hamlet1989

Edwards in that convo is the reach of the century. I wouldn’t put Russell or Oladipo ahead of him going forward but they’ve had better careers so far. Everyone else he named is legit IMO.

WizsSox
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January 21, 2021 3:55 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

That’s rather extreme…Yes there are many guys in front of Fox currently and making 2-3 ALL Stars in West may not be in the cards. To put Russell, Oladipo, DeRozan and Jamal Murray clearly ahead of him I think is unfair. J Murray is wildly inconsistent after one hot bubble streak and I think almost any GM in the league would trade Russell or Oladipo straight up for Fox. For sure with DeRozan.

Also, if Dejounte Murray gets to be up and coming then so does Fox. Same draft year and Fox is younger.

Only people on that list that I would clearly bet are better than Fox over the next 3-4 years are Luka, Booker, Curry (almost 33 though), Lillard, Morant and maybe Mitchell. The rest is a crapshoot.

Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
BeTheBall
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January 21, 2021 7:34 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

I know he’s ours, and we love him, but to be fair, Fox has also been wildly inconsistent in for most of his career.

WizsSox
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January 21, 2021 8:11 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

True. Without a doubt. Point is J Murray at this point isn’t a clear upgrade.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 9:44 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Fox eats Murray’s lunch head-to-head. And that’s an important piece of the eye test. Rather than comparing his average stats to other pgs league wide. Fox usually outplays the guy guarding him, and that’s true against most of the players named above. That’s the comp that matters, not Tatum.

Otis
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January 22, 2021 10:21 am
Reply to  Hamlet1989

I wouldn’t say he eats his lunch. Beyond the Nuggets being 8-2 in the ten games these two have competed, Murray’s statline is 16.3/3.4/3.3, and Fox is 15.6/3.0/7.3.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 9:00 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

While I totally agree, I would say that same applies to the entire team. I believe if he had been drafted by the Spurs you would see more consistency.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 21, 2021 7:41 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t think Klay, DeRozan, Russell or Edwards?! should be on the list. I’d replace them with Morant, SGA, Fox and Murray as the next ones up.

Klay needs to show he can still play, he may never be the same.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 8:51 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t really agree. Some of those players may be better than Fox but not all. Of the bunch the only one who could possibly replace Fox’s skillset is Morant. For better or worse Fox’s talent is very unique.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 10:20 am
Reply to  Adamsite

The goal is championship, not all-stars. Tyler Herro may never make an all-star appearance. Miami fans aren’t worried, because he’s a star in his role. You don’t trade those guys, you collect them, and arrange them accordingly to assemble a team. Then the star will come, just like Jimmy Butler did.

deepshot22
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January 21, 2021 1:43 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Fox, Hali and Kuminga then sign a defensive center. But not Whiteside. Thats my reasonable hope.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 21, 2021 1:45 pm
Reply to  deepshot22

Or just re-sign Richaun who has been the one guy who isn’t atrocious on defense.

andy_sims
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January 21, 2021 2:03 pm

Holmes is incredible, but watching a guy like Zubac go to town on the offensive glass last night just proves that he isn’t big enough to deal with center-sized centers. Holmes should absolutely be getting a hard look as far as being part of the team going forward, but it can’t be at the five unless you’re running a super-small-ball lineup.

ImJoeKing
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January 21, 2021 9:55 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Most of those came when Holmes left Zubac to help on-ball. It worked in that the first shots missed, but Zubac was either alone underneath or the rotating man on to Zubac was too small to make a difference. I didn’t really see that as on Holmes, but it was damn frustrating because I’m pretty sure all four of those offense boards led to 2 points.

BestHyperboleEver
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January 21, 2021 2:10 pm

I believe there were some limitations to our ability to re-sign Holmes due to originally signing him with the Room exemption, but I haven’t really dug into the nuances.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 22, 2021 10:20 am

Yeah I believe you’re right but he’s one guy I could see sticking around if we’re able to work out a reasonable deal. He seems to get better every year so I’d bet on him if we can make the contract numbers work. I loved Richaun going back to his Sixers days so I’m not at all surprised he’s played great since we signed him.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 9:21 am
Reply to  deepshot22

Even with the worst record in the league, it’ll probably take some luck to get Kuminga because he’s probably top 3. It’s always better to be lucky than good in the NBA draft, but Vlade got lucky with Fox outside the top 3. Then his luck tripped him up when he got #2 and took Bagley when he would have gotten a better player further down his list. Picking Haliburton gives me hope that Monte can maximize our draft position. I think that’s reasonable.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 21, 2021 1:35 pm

Cue the why not both meme:

we don’t know if the Kings are bad because Fox isn’t good enough to lift the team up, or if Fox looks worse because the Kings are simply dragging him down.

I think it’s a little bit of both. I haven’t really seen anything from Fox that suggests to me that he’s more than a good, not great, player. I also don’t think this roster is constructed to help him and the talent base is low. His three point shooting is marginally better so far this year but the free throw shooting remains a huge problem and leads me to believe he’ll never anything above an average shooter. His defense has been terrible but for the most part so has everyone else’s. He’s incredibly fast in a straight line and he has an amazing ability to change speeds but he seems rather pedestrian to me moving laterally and that I think is where a lot of his defensive issues stem from. He also just doesn’t anticipate very well on either offense or defense.

So in summation I would say that Fox seems like a player that is more solution than problem, but when the surrounding environment is as poor as our is, he’s not the type of player that will have a meaningful impact on dragging this team to respectability.

wilbur10
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January 21, 2021 1:57 pm

I agree that it is a little bit of both. In Fox’s defense, he started out pretty slow and the last 5 games he’s been a lot better. His defensive awareness isn’t always great but contrary to some of the other comments in this thread I do believe that can be worked on and improved. But that starts and ends with accountability and every coach over the past decade who’s held guys accountable- Joerger and Malone- has been fired prematurely.

BestHyperboleEver
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January 21, 2021 2:12 pm
Reply to  wilbur10

I think it can be worked on and improved. But only to a certain degree.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 21, 2021 7:44 pm

Defense is all attitude, effort, and timing. His size will always be his biggest limitation on D but he has the physical tools to be a great defender.

Otis
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January 22, 2021 8:33 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

Well, it’s coaching/scheme as well. This is a very similar roster to the team that finished 22nd in defense last season. They are 30th this season, and if there were 60 NBA teams, I’d guess they would rate 60th.

I think Fox is unlikely to become a great lockdown perimeter defender, but I think he’s athletic and smart enough to be a solid piece of a good team defense.

Bluejohn
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January 23, 2021 11:08 pm
Reply to  Otis

Good point Otis. Ladies and gentlemen I igive you Steph Curry. Who when he first appeared on the Warriors required another player to defend his man which allowed him to be hidden on the opponents weakest offensive player. Has he ever become a lock down defender? Uh…..no but he has become a solid piece of what was a great team defense.

BestHyperboleEver
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January 22, 2021 9:57 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

Defense is absolutely not all attitude, effort, and timing. It takes physical tools, BBIQ/awareness, and technique the same way offense does. You absolutely have to have the attitude and effort, but those aren’t nearly enough to defend well in the NBA. Fox has enough physical tools. But he lacks the awareness and technique.

andy_sims
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January 21, 2021 2:04 pm

I’m not sure if anything frustrates me more than Fox missing free throws, although Buddy serially turning the ball over is certainly a contender.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 21, 2021 2:21 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I feel like Fox rushes his free throw attempts. He doesn’t have much of a routine when he steps to the line. He catches, gives the ball a spin and shoots. He also short arms it. His release is never fully extended with his elbow is left bent.

Hamlet1989
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January 22, 2021 9:24 am
Reply to  andy_sims

This!

ForKingsandCountry
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January 22, 2021 10:24 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Yeah it drives me nuts. If you’re a lead guard and you get to the line as much as he does you HAVE to make your free throws at a solid clip. I think going to the line and constantly missing free throws is demoralizing on the rest of the team. You make a good play and get to the paint and then you get either nothing or 1 point every time. It’s just a waste of a possession and with this team’s inability to get stops they can’t waste any possessions.

SMF-PDXConnection
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January 21, 2021 1:50 pm

Have we tried turning the Kings off and on again?
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