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    Season Review: Alex Len

    Len had weird year, but was ready when his number was called.
    By | 15 Comments | Jun 2, 2023

    Welcome to the return of our Season Review series! We will do a brief (and sometimes no-so-brief) review of how the season went for each member of the Sacramento Kings. We’re kicking things off with Alex Len!

    Alex Len had a truly bizarre season for the Sacramento Kings. Len appeared in just 26 games, starting for 2 games, both career lows for Len. He spent most of the season seeing spot minutes in garbage time and going long stretches without appearing in games at all, racking up DNP-CDs on a regular basis.

    The lack of Len minutes even as the Sacramento Kings were desperately searching for an answer at center behind Domantas Sabonis seemed to indicate that Len didn’t have a future with the team. We didn’t know why the coaching staff wasn’t looking to Len as part of trying to find a backup center, we just knew Len was buried on the bench.

    And then, with less than 10 games remaining in the season, Alex Len suddenly started seeing regular minutes, playing more than 10 minutes per game in each of Sacramento’s final 7 games and playing reasonably well.

    Even going into the playoffs we weren’t sure if the Kings would continue to use Len. Perhaps, we thought, Mike Brown was simply playing Len to see what else he had in case there were playoff matchups where Len might be useful.

    Despite the assumption that Len wouldn’t be a good matchup play against the Warriors, Mike Brown continued to use Len in the playoffs, and Len played well! The stats don’t jump off the page, but Len is a big body, plays some defense without fouling, and grabs rebounds. For the Kings, that was better than the other options available.

    Len is an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Kings have his Early Bird Rights, but it’s unclear if the organization would want to bring him back for another year, or if Len would even be interested in returning after such an up-and-down year of playing time.

    To his credit, Len is regarded as a good teammate. Mike Brown said he gave Len a shot at playing time because Len continued to work hard and practice well even when he wasn’t getting game minutes. If the Kings want Len as an emergency backup center option, I think they could certainly do worse.

    I imagine the Kings will be seeking a more significant upgrade behind Sabonis, especially if they can find a way to move Richaun Holmes this summer, but I also wouldn’t be shocked if Sacramento brought Len back for another year on a low-cost deal.

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    15 Comments
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    Klam
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    Nostradumbass 19
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    Nostradumbass 19
    June 2, 2023 11:19 am

    I was wondering when the “Season in Review” articles were going to pop up again!

    I’m glad Len had a good Game 1 in the playoffs; even though he was pretty much an end of bench guy, always ready to play. Wishing him well wherever he goes in the future.

    RikSmits
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    June 2, 2023 12:33 pm

    That blocked shot in game 1 of the playoffs (or was it game 2? it was one big pink – or purple and black – cloud) was electric.

    A true Lensanity moment.

    TheGrantNapear
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    June 2, 2023 12:52 pm

    We need an upgrade at backup center.
    I wish Len the best, a consumate professional.

    UpgradedToQuestionable
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    June 2, 2023 1:09 pm

    Oleksii Yuriyovych Len, the Ukranian Terrapin, was drafted as the 5th pick in the 2013 draft between #4 Cody Zeller and #6 Nerlans Noel (#7 was Ben McClemore). He will be hitting the big 30 years old on 16 June. He was drafted by the Phoenix Suns and played his first 5 seasons in AZ before a couple of seasons with ATL.

    On February 6, 2020, the Hawks traded Len and Jabari Parker to the Kangs (they were that at that time) in exchange for Dwayne Dedmon and two second round picks. Some juvenile giraffes might be interested in that.

    Len has a career average of 18 min though he had his career low in games and PT this season with Sac.

    He was a delight in the playoffs, even garnering a Playoff DPOG. As he is a 10 year veteran he will command a veteran minimum salary which might price him off the squad unless there are plans to increase his playing time.

    Seems the consummate professional – it would be nice to have him stay and play, but expensive to have him as the 4th (and often 5th) big. (IMO).

    Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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    June 2, 2023 1:42 pm

    Yeah he should go to where he will get paid the most. Ukraine could use them NBA dollars.

    Hamlet1989
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    June 2, 2023 9:27 pm

    Today I watched B West’s “Locked on Kings” interview, and I have to say, I couldn’t find a single thing he said to disagree with. After watching some video of Cissoko, and Miller, I came away thinking either of them would make a strong addition in Sac., both in terms of talent, and fit. I thought he made an especially insightful point that the Kings don’t really need a lot of help to be a force in the regular season. He really helped crystalize, in my mind, how and why the focus should be on playoff improvement, and that may not be available in the draft.
    Or focus on long-term improvement, because any additions which don’t help in the playoffs, are essentially superficial. I think you have to look for players with high potential down the road. Would you rather see this team win 55 this season, or 47 and make the 2nd round? Cissoko, and Miller are likely long-term plays for upside, and not playoff difference makers, but there’s value there.
    Short of a big who can impact the game defensively, and on the boards, what else is really going to move the needle in the post-season? Lively could be that guy (if he’s still there), and I could see Nnaji being someone with the defense and rebounding this season and beyond, not sure there’s a third.
    If a playoff caliber big is not available at #24, (and maybe regardless) the Kings should be looking for a trade that brings back another star. One insider/writer noted J. Grant is a lock to re-sign in Portland because he was so good he made them realize they need more players just like him, not less. He mentioned Siakam by name. The Kings should also be in that pursuit as they would definitely benefit from that same long, skilled athlete, who can handle, rebound and even shoot a bit. He’s not cheap at $38 mil. this season, but considering the Kings paid roughly that price between Holmes, Barnes, Len, and Davis this season for a fraction of his production in the playoffs, it’s time to swing for the fence.

    Yakshi
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    June 2, 2023 11:52 pm

    Слава Україна.

    Adamsite
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    Nostradumbass 14
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    Nostradumbass 14
    June 3, 2023 10:02 am
    Reply to  Yakshi

    I can’t even imagine the emotional stress that man has had to go through this year. Slava Ukraini!

    HongKongKingsFan
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    June 3, 2023 8:46 am

    You cannot teach SIZE….Len is 7″2…

    Len is a big presence inside the paint….and those guards would be hesitated to drive into the paring….and I would really welcome to see him back..(Although I wanted to see more Queta…but Queta is only listed 7″0 tall)…

    You still need some decent and compariable size….especially facing Wembanyama.

    Adamsite
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    Nostradumbass 14
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    Nostradumbass 14
    June 3, 2023 10:05 am

    Yup, every team needs a large 7′ banger on their roster. Even if said player doesn’t get a lot of playing time, you need him in practice and specific matchups. Miami is going to learn that the hard way in trying to slow Jokic.

    Kosta
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    June 3, 2023 9:11 am

    comment image

    Last edited 3 months ago by Kosta
    Hamlet1989
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    June 3, 2023 7:21 pm
    Reply to  Kosta

    You post some really great jokes Kosta, but could you maybe dumb them down, just a bit, because most of them, apparently, like this, just fly right over my head. I know I can be a bit clueless, but I don’t see a photo of Keegan Murray. WTF?

    SuperShaka
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    June 4, 2023 4:11 am
    Reply to  Hamlet1989

    50 Cent said his favorite player was Alex but then described Keegan’s scoring demeanor when asked why.
    Probably an honest mistake though. 50 is a big sports guy. You should check out his first pitch for the Mets.

    Last edited 3 months ago by SuperShaka
    Hamlet1989
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    June 4, 2023 7:33 am
    Reply to  SuperShaka

    Good one, thank you!

    NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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    June 4, 2023 7:25 pm

    At my one game at G1C this season, I watched Len in warm-ups tearing up 3 pointers and mid-range jumpers. Swish, swish, swish! Sure it’s practice but I think he has alot of game in him like back in his PHX days but has become a timid facilitator on offense. Bring him back, make him more of an offensive alternative when Domas is sitting.

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