Articles | Commentary | Numbers

De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Fit

We have no idea how high they can fly.

Amid all the recent trade chatter, it looks like the Sacramento Kings have resorted to reorienting themselves around De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. This is arguably the most sensible path forward: at 24 and almost 22 respectively, you have two talented young guards a few years away from the prime of their careers and under full team contractual control for the foreseeable future, the fruit of drafting well. Fox and Haliburton look great on paper together, one as a battering ram aggressively pressuring the rim and the other a patient surgeon dissecting a defense with a scalpel. The Kings have all of their draft picks, several veterans with trade value, and a number of expiring contracts which will convert to capspace this coming offseason.

Basically, the Kings are in a decent position to make smart moves for pieces that fit around Fox and Haliburton.

The keyword here is FIT. Lets face the facts: the Kings are awful this season. Their record is even worse than last year, and even in a down season in the Western Conference, the Kings are on the outside looking in when it comes to the play-in tournament, let alone the playoffs. Standing pat at the upcoming trade deadline all but assures the Kings will not only miss the postseason for the SIXTEENTH consecutive season (!!!), but also hang out in the mid-to-late lottery range in the draft, a depressing spot the Kings called home for nearly the entire stretch of the playoff drought. This is the NBA's purgatory, too good for a high impact pick, too bad to make any postseason noise, and too old overall to count on internal growth to propel the team to the next step.

There has to be change. The big question is what that change looks like.

Earlier today, the unassailable Tom Ziller cautiously wandered back into the Kingdom to ask important questions: if the Kings are so bad, why should they build around Haliburton and Fox at all? The statistics he cites are quite damning:

Fox and Haliburton have played 853 minutes together this season, and the Kings are -92 in those minutes. That’s a -5 per 48 minutes. Fox has played 1,468 minutes without Haliburton, and the Kings are -157 in those minutes. That’s -5 per 48 minutes. Haliburton has played 1,501 minutes without Fox and the Kings are -138 in those minutes. That’s -4.4 per 48 minutes.

(This one is going to hurt.)

The Kings have played 203 minutes with neither guard on the floor. The Kings are +11 in those minutes. That’s +2.6 per 48 minutes.

That's the unfortunate data in the aggregate, which Ziller admits can be noisy. And the response is exactly that: there is too much noise here because, going back to the word of the day, the players don't FIT next to Fox and Haliburton.

What pieces DO fit? Its not a mystery. The Kings need a designated perimeter stopper at SF to compensate for Fox and Haliburton's weak man defense. They need a stretch PF to open up driving lanes. And they need a rim protector to clean up mistakes on the perimeter.

What do they have? They have Harrison Barnes, a fine defender for wings and small bigs, but struggles to chase guards on the perimeter. They have Buddy Hield, a high-volume three point shooter who is small and a defensive liability at SF. They have a trio of PF candidates (Marvin Bagley, Chimezie Metu, Mo Harkless) who all shoot in the 20% range from three. They have Richaun Holmes, a terrific pick-and-roll partner but who is also undersized at C and a poor rim protector.

These pieces don't FIT.

And even still, there is data here that could be promising. For all of Harkless' shooting defects, the Kings have still been able to find success with him in the lineup because his defensive versatility is a good fit for Fox and Haliburton-centric lineups with strong offensive support pieces in Barnes and Holmes. From Tim Maxwell's Twitter:

The Kings' starting unit with Harkless next to Fox, Haliburton, Barnes, and Holmes is still their most commonly used lineup at 106 minutes. The lineup boasts a strong offensive rating (113.5, would be 2nd among all teams in the NBA), a healthy defensive rating (109.6, 15th), and a solid net rating (+3.9, 6th). The Kings have inexplicably gone away from Harkless, but there were signs of something there.

To show how much fit matters, look what happens swapping one decent fitting piece for another, poorly-fitted piece: the net rating plummets with the same lineup minus Harkless, whether its with Metu (-6.9 in 69 minutes), Hield (-7.4 in 67 minutes), Bagley (-15.9 in 48 minutes), or Davion Mitchell (-21.1 in 17 minutes). The only other positive with this four-man unit is Terence Davis (+4.6 in 15 minutes), who brings a similar type of defensive versatility as Harkless, albeit at a much less disciplined level. Otherwise, the pieces just don't FIT.

Basically, if the Kings were a car, Ziller is asking how fast can they really drive with this engine. It’s a legitimate question that can't be answered, because while the car turns on just fine, the tires are flat, the car is stuck in first gear because the clutch is worn out, and the steering wheel is missing. Again, at 24 and 22 years old, Fox and Haliburton are young enough where there's time to fix the parts and then take stock of the engine.

If the latest report from Shams Charania and Sam Amick are accurate, it seems that Monte McNair understands this. The task is not easy, but if the Kings can win smaller trades with their aging core veterans going out for defensive-minded roleplayers coming in, they might find that Fox and Haliburton can take the team to greater heights than originally anticipated.

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SexyNapear
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January 25, 2022 12:17 pm

Neither can play a lick of defense. But perfect, it’s not like that’s been a problem for the team for a decade.

Greg
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January 25, 2022 12:52 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

I disagree. Neither are good man defenders. Both have a knack for gambling in passing lanes. As Omer points out, that means you need wings who *are* good man defenders and you need a big man who can protect the rim when guards get burnt. It’s a challenge to build correctly around those defensive issues, but I also think its overboard to say neither can play a lick of defense. Those guys aren’t Buddy Hield.

RikSmits
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January 25, 2022 2:07 pm
Reply to  Greg

Oh dear. That they gamble does not make them decent off ball defenders. Probably on the contrary.

Tyrese shows some good awareness as a team defender, so I’ll give you that. Fox is just subpar by every possible metric.

Greg
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January 25, 2022 4:01 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I’m not arguing that Fox is a good defender. I’d argue his problem is more a problem of effort than ability, but he’s definitely a bad defender right now. But he’s got a knack for gambling and creating turnovers.

But to the larger point, the argument is that having bad defender doesn’t mean your team is going to be awful if the rest of the roster is constructed properly. For example, the Atlanta Hawks. Trae Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic are both bad defenders. If we look across the NBA at Defensive Win Shares (using this for simplicity, not suggesting any one stat accurately captures all defensive ability or skill), Fox ranks 466th while Trae and Bogi are 447 and 448, respectively. None of them are good. All of them are bad.

And yet Atlanta has been able to build a successful team around that backcourt because, to Omer’s point, they built a roster to protect those flaws.

Gregoryl
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January 25, 2022 4:09 pm
Reply to  Greg

I’d argue his problem is more a problem of effort than ability

I have heard this from a number of sources. Isn’t this a major problem and a real reason why they should consider moving on from Fox?

Last edited 10 months ago by Gregoryl
RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 12:29 pm

I don’t see a particular fit issue. What I see is this –

This team needs an infusion of top 30 talent. Add a top 30 player, and you still need Fox to become much more consistent and for Hali to continue to develop. That in itself is a very narrow needle to thread, made even harder by trying to figure out how you add a top 30 talent without offering up Fox or Hali as compensation. It seems that there are two options:

1 – Get insanely lucky in the lottery / draft.

2 – Sell your draft picks for a top player (the list of such available players is usually painfully small).

Add Giannis to Fox and Hali, and you have a nice big 3. Or Durant. Maybe healthy Kawhi. But I don’t see any of those guys coming through the door. And I don’t think that a John Collins or Myles Turner gets you quite there (I’m looking at a 50 win team with upside as being a reason to sell off your future picks). Sabonis might not even do it for you.

It’s not the lack of support around Fox and Hali that is the 50 win problem. It is that there is not a player on the roster for Fox and Hali to support.

MichaelMack
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January 25, 2022 1:05 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

This is a good take Rob. I worry about getting hyped about Turner. I watch a lot of Indiana basketball (they have always had players I really liked, going back to Billy Knight, Herb Williams, Clark Kellogg, Detlef Schrempf, Dale Davis, David West, Vern Fleming, Paul George, Darren Collison, Victor Oladipo, and Sabonis). He is really just what he is, a rim protector who rebounds poorly and whose shot looks better than the percentage he shoots. If he is your third best player then your team is the Kings or Pacers, on the outside looking in.

RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 1:24 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Yep. The top 30 list is certainly subjective, but the only two guys that I can come up with that could be considered top 30 material and may be available are Sabonis and Jaylen Brown. Would I give up a couple of draft picks for either one? I think that I would, but there would be considerable, considerable risk there. And my guess is that two draft picks and salary filler would not be enough. Would Boston take the ’22 & ’24 picks with light protections plus Barnes and filler? Don’t know, and again, that would be a large and risky move for the Kings. Would Indy do that deal for Sabonis? They might, but without exponential growth from Hali and a large leap in consistency from Fox, you’re not going to get a return on that investment.

The 3rd option, of course, is to determine that you are not going to get there via lottery luck or big trade in the near-term, in which case you are best off selling everything of value and hoarding picks and prospects. But this organization as presently constructed does not appear to consider that path to be an option.

RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 1:26 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I guess you could throw Simmons on that list if you don’t include his current volatility, but I think that they would be unimpressed by the aforementioned trade package.

MichaelMack
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January 25, 2022 2:30 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I think Pritchard is an odd position too, with what Simon wants for his franchise and a prickly but talented Coach. I would risk a pretty fair amount on a Sabonis-Fox-Haliburton core though, I don’t think that would be a complex formula to fill in the blanks, especially if the FO is smart at scouting and drafting.

RikSmits
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January 25, 2022 2:04 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

I see one name missing in that Pacers Pantheon and I can’t help but wonder if you did that on purpose.

RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 2:07 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Michael is banished to the Smit house!

RikSmits
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January 25, 2022 2:11 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Derrick McKey was a swiss army knife and a problem and you and Michael know it!

Last edited 10 months ago by RikSmits
RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 2:18 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I give Michael full credit for omitting Mark Jackson.

MichaelMack
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January 25, 2022 2:27 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Mark Jackson is on the all time list of players I just irrationally disliked from the start. Maybe on the Mt. Rushmore of that group. Luke Walton and Scott Wedman could be two candidates as well.

RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 2:28 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Irrational dislike? Put me down for ML Carr. No reason whatsoever, just had a dislike for him.

MichaelMack
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January 25, 2022 2:33 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I am with you on that one. Junior Bridgeman is another from that era that always rubbed me the wrong way.

But really no one compared to Luke Walton for me. I thought he was the worst player in the NBA, and couldn’t figure out why he got so many minutes. When he was hired as Kings coach it was like the basketball gods were testing my fandom.

RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 2:46 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Luke went from irrational hatred to completely rational hatred.

1951
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January 25, 2022 2:52 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I rationally disliked the hire when it occurred. 🙂

RikSmits
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January 25, 2022 2:40 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Wasn’t Wedman the one who shot a perfect 11 for 11 in a Finals game?

MichaelMack
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January 25, 2022 2:54 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Yeah, he was. Against my idol KAJ. Boston put up like 150 in a finals game.

I have to say, going back to that era of Indiana basketball, one of the reasons I followed was because that is where Kings Pantheon Great Lasalle “Tank” Thompson went after his Sacramento stint.

One of my top ten favorite Kings. As Jerry would say, he was a tough buckaroo who wasn’t afraid to knock someone’s dick in the dirt.

MichaelMack
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January 25, 2022 2:25 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Dammit! I forgot about him! I love the moderately successful role players who do a little of everything. Smits was just an oversight! Not really. I did like him, but I have an issue with big guys who don’t rebound (TURNER), so while he and James Edwards were fun to watch, they were not why I watched.

RikSmits
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January 25, 2022 2:38 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Smits was more focused on boxing out than on rebounding, much like Brook Lopez. I don’t know if there advanced team stats from that time but I would suspect the Pacers were a good defensive rebounding team with Rik on the floor.

MichaelMack
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January 25, 2022 2:41 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

That is probably the correct take. I thought he was a pretty clutch player as well.

richie88
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January 25, 2022 3:57 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Reggie Miller is the most glaring omission I see.

MichaelMack
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January 25, 2022 3:59 pm
Reply to  richie88

RICHIE! You don’t post as often as you should.

Reggie was not an omission, he just wasn’t one of my favorites.

richie88
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January 25, 2022 4:15 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

It’s hard for me to be interested in posting about the Kings when they want to pursue a path that I don’t think will work unless they have lottery luck. I think Ziller pointed out the problems w/trying to build around Fox & Hali. Idk if it’d be successful, but trading Fox for a talented player like Simmons or Sabonis would at least be something different.

outrider
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January 25, 2022 1:49 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yep. This is what I was thinking while reading. Talent (or lack thereof) is the main problem. To me, fit/finding the right pieces is the step in the process after you’ve got your core of 2-3 studs in place. We don’t have those 2-3 guys yet, so therein lies the problem in my eyes.

Last edited 10 months ago by outrider
Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 25, 2022 1:56 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

For me it boils down to what is easier for a team like Sacramento to acquire, top 30 talent, or core non-all-staar pieces like Fox and Hali? If it is acquiring players like Fox and Hali, then they should be on the table to get top 30 talent. Once top 30 talent is acquired go find more pieces like Fox and Hali that are easier to get.

From that, I think there is 3 option as well. Lottery luck and the selling of draft picks aside, a team like the Kings can move high end players like Hali or Fox with parts like Barnes, Buddy, or Holmes.

As an example, IMO, Fox and 2 picks are going to get you Jaylen Brown, but Fox, Barnes/Holmes and 2 picks might. Is it an overpay? Maybe, but you just might get top 30 talent and still have a player Hali to build from there.

Long story short, if you want a top 30 player, one of Fox or Hali very likely has to be included in a trade. Sorry, and I’d love to be proven wrong, but Barnes, Holmes and picks aren’t bringing in that kind of player.

RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 2:06 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t disagree with any of this, but the option of trading Fox or Hali does not appear to be on the table.

It would be interesting to know whether Indy would prefer Barnes or the expiring contracts of Bagley/TT. I mean, if it is the latter, you can roll out Holmes / Sabs / Barnes / Hali and Fox as your starting lineup. If Lillard stays out as presumed you probably back into the play-in, and you still have an interesting core moving forward.

I mean, perfect it sure the hell ain’t, and I don’t think that it is the right path. But if this is the path that the organization is hell-bent to pursue, what is the best method? Is it Sabs? Brown (noting that it would likely need to include the picks, Barnes and Davi)? Simmons (noting that it would likely need to include a 3rd pick)? Or make no deal and just pray to the lottery Gods? Because overpaying for Jerami Grant isn’t going to get it done.

Such a tight path the Kings are carving out for themselves if their Fox/Hali speak is legit.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 25, 2022 2:13 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

This!

Such a tight path the Kings are carving out for themselves if their Fox/Hali speak is legit.

Unless Monte has some Jedi sorcery to win big on trades, get some lottery luck, and hit homeruns on his picks, it ain’t happening. Keep in mind this will also take a season or two longer while Fox grows older and possibly more disgruntled with the process.

Kingsguru21
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January 25, 2022 2:21 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Such a tight path the Kings are carving out for themselves if their Fox/Hali speak is legit

This is generally true in building a 50 win team IMO. .

Jack
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January 25, 2022 2:15 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I agree and if so then Fox is the one I’d move.

murraytant
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January 25, 2022 4:08 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

A top 30 (subjective) is going to cost Fox or Hali and picks.
Trades and sign + trade free agency comes with a price. Straight free agency requires cap space (Kings lack that now)
Picks are free.
My only reluctance on that front id the old mantra- if you keep doing what you are doing you will keep getting what you got.
I debate doing it one more time.
For Monte- Hali was a home run- what about Mitchell?

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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January 25, 2022 12:33 pm

We need more Moe…

comment image

Last edited 10 months ago by Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
BilboSwaggins
January 25, 2022 12:35 pm

Nice Office reference.

jwalker1395
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January 25, 2022 12:49 pm

All this talk about fit and no mention about the fact that Fox and Hali straight up don’t seem to play very well next to one another…

Greg
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January 25, 2022 12:53 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

based on what

rockbottom
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January 25, 2022 1:16 pm
Reply to  Greg

Lack of Defense, and results ! Team is 18-30

Greg
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January 25, 2022 1:49 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

if only Omer had written a whole article explaining why that lack of team success doesn’t support the conclusion of Fox and Hali not fitting together.

Last edited 10 months ago by Greg Wissinger
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January 25, 2022 2:08 pm
Reply to  Greg

Omer pointed out the obvious problem of a lack of a supporting cast, but he doesn’t really offer a solution. Ziller did the same but hints that building around Fox and Hali is going to be very difficult and will require luck as well. Per Ziller:

How the hell are the Kings going get all that talent without trading Fox or Haliburton? They aren’t! Not without acing the draft this summer, striking gold on prospects in trades involving Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes, Mitchell, Buddy Hield and future picks.

Even if you think Hali and Fox can be the core and better parts like a 3-D wing, stretch 4, and rim protecting big are all that is needed…then you living in a dream. Those types of players can’t be had for Barnes, Buddy, Holmes, and picks and it would take multiple years of lottery luck to land those kinds of players.

More from Ziller:

This is what makes the star trades floated around so alluring. Trade one of the guards for Ben Simmons, and you have a new set of problems, but you also shake up the paradigm and see something completely new. Trade one of the guard for Domantas Sabonis, and you still have some defensive problems and you still don’t have a clear-cut superstar, but at least it’s a different look, a different set of issues to discover and solutions to explore.

That is what is needed. Move one of the guards to land the better player…then go from there because the current process is futile.

Kingsguru21
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January 25, 2022 6:33 pm
Reply to  O.Khan

Hitting on your draft picks, free agents, and trades is the NBA GM’s entire job. All good teams get there because their GMs brought in the proper pieces. There’s no way to do it otherwise.

There’s no shortcuts to the process. And I feel like ownership doesn’t really get that.

jwalker1395
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January 25, 2022 1:53 pm
Reply to  Greg

The premise of the article is that Fox and Hali aren’t being optimized by the players around them. Well…they are both one of those players to each other. Fox needs the ball in his hands to create offensively, Hali needs it to facilitate the offense. Fox is not a great slashing wing, nor a corner specialist, and oftentimes is just standing to the side waiting for the ball to come back to him when Hali has it. That doesn’t help Hali as a facilitator, that doesn’t help Fox as a scorer. They both play each other’s position of primary creator, and just the mere fact of them being on the court together puts one of them out of it. Not to mention the defense is atrocious and the team is constantly losing and the numbers suck.

RighteousandHopeful
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January 25, 2022 1:00 pm

Haliburton’s floor vision makes him a good defender.

Claystreet
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January 25, 2022 1:13 pm

I just can’t anymore. If this “organization “ thinks Fox and Hali are a good fit, the Kings are years away from the playoffs. Fox should be traded for a player who fits with Hali, someone who can shoot and takes good shots. Someone who can play defense. If they can’t manage to find a trade, we’ll, so be it. It’s already been 15 years, what’s another 15 at this point.

Ifeanyi
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January 25, 2022 1:35 pm

If the right package isn’t out there, let them try to figure it out the rest of the season and see what we have. I’d rather do that than making a trade just to make a trade.

Looking back, although there were no guarantees of consistency up to that point, I’m still of the mindset we gave up on the Evans/Martin backcourt too soon.

AmateurNerd
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January 25, 2022 1:36 pm

The Kings need to stop thinking of Fox as “our best player” and start thinking of him the way other teams do: the third-best player on a true contending team. You don’t build around a third-best player. You either hold onto them in order to put them next to a “best player” to be acquired later, or you trade them (plus other assets) to acquire a best player (or a super-high pick) now. A championship team’s best player is its foundation; the third-best player is the furniture. You build a house on a foundation, not on furniture.

RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 1:38 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

This team defends as well as furniture. Reminds of when pre-draft Porzingis worked out vs. a folding chair.

1951
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January 25, 2022 1:57 pm

Step 1 – top end talent.
Step 2 – more top end talent.
.
.
Step 5 – maybe worry about fit a tiny bit.

jwalker1395
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January 25, 2022 2:32 pm
Reply to  1951

In fairness, this is the same argument which drafts Davion and Hali with first round picks despite having Fox as your PG. Not saying I disagree with it, but if collecting talent regardless of fit got the Kings in this position…

RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 2:36 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

That said, the problem to this point has been Mitchell’s lack of needle-moving talent and not positional fit. If Mitchell shot it better you’d see a lot more of him and a lot less of Hield or Davis. No reason that Mitchell can’t play with Fox or Hali, other than he lacks the talent (at this point) to be any sort of contributor on the offensive end of the floor.

RikSmits
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January 25, 2022 2:53 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I think size and lack of rebounding would still be a big issue, but yeah, agreed.

MichaelMack
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January 25, 2022 4:03 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

So you are saying we should go all in for Sabonis since he is a tremendous rebounder?

rockbottom
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January 25, 2022 4:30 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Sabonis is a solid rebounder, scorer and assist leader as proven by his many Triple Doubles ! He would be the Kings best player !

ArcoThunder
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January 25, 2022 7:18 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Not sure how the numbers reflect this but if Mitchell was getting all of Buddy and Terrance Davis minutes I whole heartedly believe the kings would at worst have the same record. At best they’d have 5 more wins. And the dude is a rookie. Getting rid of buddy is addition by subtraction plus the asset/draft capital you get in return. I’m a believer that his defense cancels put the gain of buddy’s shooting and pathetic defense. Throw on top of that he’d be taking 107 less shitty ill advised shots from deep.

this is part of what pissed me off about the buddy over Bogi decision that Monte made. Sure you’d have a log jam of buddy and Bogi if you kept both. However, you keep the best of the two and move the other for anything other than himself/keeping buddy. 2 seconds and a young wing who hasn’t proven shit yet with Bogi as your starting 2 guard and this team is significantly better. You don’t always have to “win” trades to make your team better.

part of why I’m so frustrated with Monte’s performance in trades thus far. Trading Buddy for whatever you can get and keeping Delon Wright and this team is better than they are now. Did we get 2 seconds and a backup PF instead of a first round pick for buddy? Sure, maybe. Fact remains the team would have a better record and more flexibility with the financials moving forward.

Last edited 10 months ago by ArcoThunder
Bill2455
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January 25, 2022 2:07 pm

Seems they both need to practice harder on the skills they lack.

andy_sims
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January 25, 2022 2:30 pm

Omer, your dispassionate, fact-based analysis is very much appreciated, and I hope that you’ll be able to contribute more frequently. I understand that your plate is pretty full in a wonderful way.

I am in no way a statistician, but my question after reading this is, if your team loses most of its games because you score fewer points, aren’t the players who get the most minutes the most likely to have negative ratings? Of course, you’d prefer to take consolation by having your starters post better numbers, and see the more negative numbers from your bench, but I’m wondering if being a starter on a really bad team, barring something extraordinary or flukey, there’s any hope of having positive or even neutral numbers?

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January 25, 2022 2:36 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’d guess compare numbers to good players on other bad teams. How Sabonis, Ingram or SGA’s numbers look? Or maybe folks like Devin Booker or Zach LaVine from a few seasons ago to their numbers today on very good teams?

andy_sims
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January 25, 2022 3:46 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I’d guess that there will be a lot of variance, but that’s a pretty good idea!*

*I must reiterate that I am in no way a statistician

TheBaker
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January 25, 2022 2:43 pm

Nah. Blow it up.

I think Hali can be dynamic at times, and I would be sad to see him go. But at this point, I don’t really care who stays and who goes – the team needs a big shake-up: not one of the “value buys” the organization is attempting to sell the fans in.
The nightly empty area should awaken the management that this blue-collar loving, one-team supporting, purple-bleeding fan base has had its fill of oft-empty value moves.

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January 25, 2022 3:04 pm
Reply to  TheBaker

Right. Tristan Thompson and Terence Davis don’t fill seats, or win columns.

They’re pretty sh*tty people, too. Kings fans will root for losing players, and they will root for character-deficient players, but not both at the same time. We’ve had too much losing along with too much crappy personalities for too long. Cousins, Barnes, Rondo, Lawson, (Coach) Walton, Davis, Thompson… the human indecency is as never-ending in Sacramento as the losing.

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January 25, 2022 2:47 pm

Great post Omer.

I think building around Fox and Haliburton is the right way to go, but there’s more to it than just them. First, I think the Kings need to start a Mitchell/Haliburton/Fox trio with Fox defending SF’s. I know that seems crazy, but I think it’s worth collecting data on a bigger sample size to see how Fox defends SF’s on a bigger sample size and using Mitchell on PG’s to stop some of those issue’s works out.

Especially since you stink to begin with.

I’m hoping trades and a reconfiguring of the roster can happen. But, using that trio as your PG/Wing players seem s a wise way to go as I think Mitchell’s impact is greater than Harkless’ is.

We’ll see though. Watching this team in the current iteration fail over and over isn’t enticing anyone that’s for sure.

andy_sims
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January 25, 2022 3:48 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I like to amuse myself with the absolute speed you’d have with a Fox/Mitchell/Davis lineup. Your bigs would need to be excellent defenders, but it would have to be a struggle to stay in front of three waterbugs at once.

Kingsguru21
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January 26, 2022 8:24 am
Reply to  andy_sims

The Kings need excellent defenders anywhere they can get ’em right now Sims!

oshima9
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January 25, 2022 3:21 pm

This isn’t it. Fox is a mediocre distributor who can’t defend and can’t shoot from the perimeter with consistently while being ball dominant. Building around him and Hali will impede Hali’s development, result in more years out of the playoffs and make a move of the franchise out of Sacramento a real possibility.

TaintedMeat
January 25, 2022 3:33 pm

Kings need to be careful they don’t find themselves in a Portland Trailblazer like situation. If you are paying big money to two guards then there’s no money left for other important positions. Look at the top teams in the league, very few have their two best players as PG/SG. In fact the only team that fits that bill might be Phoenix, and they have Ayton on a rookie deal which is the only way they’ve gotten away with it.

aplumley
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January 25, 2022 3:44 pm
Reply to  TaintedMeat

At this point the Kings would love to have had the playoff run Portland has put together.

RobHessing
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January 25, 2022 3:46 pm
Reply to  TaintedMeat

Not disagreeing, but Portland has made the playoffs the eight years that they have had the Lillard / McCollum backcourt and made it to the WC finals once. Their winning percentage over that period is .578, which prorates out to 47-35.

Of the teams that are playing .600 ball or better right now, the Nets, Bulls, Heat, Suns, Warriors and Jazz have significant investments in their respective backcourts.

To your point, today’s NBA seems to favor the wing position. But creating success through your backcourt is not untenable – the key is to invest in the right players.

andy_sims
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January 25, 2022 3:50 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

A very good point. We’d still be bitching, but Portland’s problems over the last decade look like prime rib & Champale compared to ours.

TaintedMeat
January 27, 2022 6:05 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

All true but our end goal is not to be as good as portland…

Marty
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January 25, 2022 3:48 pm

This article is proof #735 that we’ve been traumatized for so long, in our minds we make bad players average, average players good, and good players stars.

rockbottom
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January 25, 2022 4:35 pm
Reply to  Marty

Perfect summary of the problem !

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January 25, 2022 9:21 pm
Reply to  Marty

100% spot on.

Amonk81
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January 26, 2022 11:19 am
Reply to  Marty

This! Trying to get blood from a stone.

Fox has limitations. He’s not to be built around. More importantly, no need to hang on to him if you can trade/rebuild using him.

And he doesn’t fit well with Tyrese. In fact, not a good team player cause he can’t shoot and doesn’t defend well. Plus, his style is based on athleticism. What happens when he loses t
Maybe Fox becomes a shooter, effort guy but I doubt it. This is John Wall without the D.

Tiring hearing some fans buying into hanging into players cause they’ll become something they aren’t. It hasn’t happened and it ain’t happening.

jjdski
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January 25, 2022 4:15 pm

I’m not sold on Devion at all. Can’t score, older rookie, defense overrated.,Sengun would have been my pick.I saw a better fit going forward. Trading for TT was a boner move as well. The imbalance on this roster and fit are and should be a major concern. Fox and Tyrese do need help around them at sf, pf, and center.

LesJepsen3pointer
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January 25, 2022 5:18 pm

Omer! Thanks for posting, I always enjoy your analysis.

A slasher and a playmaking shooter can absolutely play together. On the Kings? Of course not. Should they trade or keep them? It doesn’t matter.

ajonez81
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January 25, 2022 6:37 pm

Great analyis, you guys know this team better than the coaches and front office lol. Betting on Fox seems pretty dicey but we’ll see, fit is definitely everything, like you see with Phoenix having the right pieces in right places.
To me the biggest issue with this team is we don’t have an MVP calibur talent to build around and Fox/Hali are not that but it shouldn’t be this hard to at least make the playoffs after this many years, there are multiple formulas.

Last edited 10 months ago by ajonez81

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