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Who is the second best Sacramento King?

The staff debates which player is the second best King on the roster.

De'Aaron Fox is the Sacramento Kings' best player. He is a storm on the court, and his lightning-blessed abilities set the tone, pace, and future of the franchise. But the identity of the Kings second best player is much more of a debate, evidenced by the twitter polls from First-Team All-Kings-Twitter lock Brett Huff. Is it sharpshooting Buddy Hield, the well-rounded Bogdan Bogdanovic, the veteran Harrison Barnes, or fan-favorite energizer Richaun Holmes? 

In a week of Huff's polls that set out to make a Kings hierarchy ranking, the most heated contest was for the Kings second best player.

Unsurprisingly, that question was equally contentious in the Kings Herald offices, and four of our writers decided to make their cases. 

Bryant's pick: Bogdan Bogdanovic

Bogdan Bogdanović is the Kings second most important player. He's arguably the most well-rounded King on the roster, offering real shooting gravity, secondary playmaking, and solid team defense while not needing to pound the air out of the ball to be effective. He's an excellent fit with the rest of the Kings core€”he can control the ball to free up Buddy Hield, run the pick-and-roll with Richaun Holmes or Marvin Bagley (more of these, please!), and space the floor for De'Aaron Fox€”and provides offensive versatility without the usage others in this debate demand. 

He's a career 37% shooter from deep and is one of the more efficient mid-range shooters in the league. And while the Kings haven't overly relied on his self-creation skills since Fox's ascension, Bogi's ability to score off the dribble is one of the team's most efficient weapons; he sank 44.6% of such shots last season, 84th percentile in the NBA. He is also a premier secondary playmaker, finishing with a 18% asist rate this season (87th percentile for a wing, per Cleaning the Glass). He's a low-usage player (22.6% usage rate, 82nd percentile for wings) who doesn't need the ball to be effective, and who doesn't make many mistakes (79th percentile among wings for his assist to turnover ratio). None of the Kings core, outside of Fox, can equal Bogi's combination of dribble-pass-shoot skills.

Bogi makes his teammates better, and the Kings record shows it; the Kings finished the season 8 games below .500 (28-36), but were 26-27 when Bogi played. But even beyond the current roster, Bogdanovic is important to the Kings future. He's not a hidden star waiting for a breakout season, and he will not be the Kings second best player when the team finally makes that next step into contention. But whoever that Kings second best player is€”whether he is on the roster already or not€”will benefit from Bogi's wide skill set and low-usage efficiency in the same way that Fox does now.

As Jerry Reynolds put it in his interview with Blake Ellington last week, €œOn this particular team, the one guy that could probably play on every team in the league is Bogdanovic. It may be different roles because of his versatility and shooting ability and competitive spirit and all of that... you can't name a team from the Milwaukee Bucks, to the Lakers, to the Clippers, that he wouldn't play on.€ Bogi's versatility makes him an excellent fit for any smart team, and for a Kings squad aiming to finish their rebuild soon, keeping him around for the future is an absolute must. 

Tim's pick: Buddy Hield

The case for Buddy Hield as the Kings second-best player is a pretty simple one. He's not only the best deep shooter on the current roster, he's the best three-point shooter in Kings history and one of the deadliest snipers in a league chock-full of threats from beyond the arc. With the NBA transitioning to a game so focused on spacing the floor at every opportunity, Buddy's unbeatable shooting touch makes him more valuable than any other Kings player not named De'Aaron Fox.

Hield's consistency from deep may actually hurt him in a debate such as this, as Kings fans have probably begun to underappreciate Buddy's shooting because he's been so good for so long, so let's put his abilities in the proper league-wide context. Over this past season, Hield recorded the highest three-point percentage of any player to take at least nine three-pointers per game. Since the 2018-2019 campaign, Hield has recorded the highest three-point percentage of any player to take at least 400 total three-pointers, beating out James Harden, Damian Lillard, Paul George, and Kemba Walker. Since the 2017-2018 season, Hield has recorded the highest three-point percentage of any player to take at least 600 three-pointers. There's an argument to be made that Buddy Hield has been the NBA's best combination of three-point volume and accuracy over the last three years: not exactly a small feat. In fact, Buddy Hield scores more points per possession as a spot-up shooter than De'Aaron Fox, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or LeBron James manage in transition opportunities. He's the elite of the elite of the elite when it comes to open-court shooting.

And that brings me to the second half of my argument. Players like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes, and Richaun Holmes are great to have around championship caliber teams. They help to raise the ceiling of the stars around them. However, clubs that are desperate to slip into the eighth seed like the Kings need a floor raiser, which is exactly what Buddy Hield does for this team. Elite skills with larger flaws in other areas are simply more valuable than Swiss army knives to teams severely lacking top-end talent, which certainly describes the Sacramento Kings.

Tony's pick: Richaun Holmes

I don't know if the case for Richaun Holmes is strong enough to win this argument, but he belongs in the conversation based on his consistent play this season. The this season part is where things get tricky for him.

Richaun Holmes played 39 games of being the Sacramento Kings' 2nd best player in 2019-20. Does that make him the Kings' 2nd best player? That depends on how you define the question we're asking, but he's been the most flawless out of the players we're debating. I have nothing bad to say about Richaun Holmes. He has played his (important) role perfectly.

Buddy Hield's shot selection and carelessness with the ball has been maddening, and his shooting numbers have been bordering on a career low all year.

Bodgan Bogdanovic has less glaring weaknesses, but his shooting has been pretty inconsistent. In 26 wins, he's shooting .422 from 3. In 27 losses, he shot just .301 from deep. Maybe my view of Bogi's potential is too optimistic, but I think he can still be better than he is. I want Bogdanovic to be the answer to this question because he has the most intriguing skill-set, but I'm not sure that he is.

Harrison Barnes doesn't have a big enough impact on a game-to-game basis for me to seriously consider him here, and I can't shake the memory of how little he stepped up when De'Aaron Fox was out of the lineup. The Kings desperately needed someone to lead this group, and the still-in-his-prime veteran you just spent $84 million on didn't do it. Am I being overly harsh? Probably, but I'm trying to win an argument here.

Richaun Holmes brings it every single night. You never forget that he's on the court.

He's been one of the most efficient offensive players in the entire NBA this season, scoring a whopping 136.1 points-per-100 shot attempts. That's 93rd percentile among NBA bigs. If Holmes has taken a bad shot this season, I don't remember it.

Holmes is also the best defender in the €˜2nd best' group. His 2.6 BLK% is 75th percentile at his position, but what makes his defense particularly effective is a 5.3 FOUL% (22nd percentile). He blocks shots and steals the ball at an above average rate, and rarely commits a foul. That's exactly what you're looking for in a defensive anchor.

Holmes is also a more-than-competent rebounder, pulling down 10.8% of OREB opportunities (80th percentile) and 18.4% of DREB opportunities (56th percentile).

He leads the team in efficiency differential (+5.4). The Kings are better across the board when he's on the court.

If you want to subtract points from the argument for Holmes because of the small sample size we're dealing with here, I can definitely understand that, but I have a hard time saying anyone has been better than him in 2019-20 outside of De'Aaron Fox.

Richard's pick: Harrison Barnes

This take will clearly put me in the minority, but I don't mind. Harrison Barnes is the second best player on the Kings, and it isn't particularly close.

Size matters, position matters, and matchups matter. Versatile forwards are the most important players in modern basketball, while guards that can't defend and centers that can't shoot are the least important.

Barnes is both the best small forward and the best power forward on the team. Perhaps Bogdan Bogdanovic will grow three inches, Nemanja Bjelica will lose 30 pounds, or Marvin Bagley will become the player Vlade thought he was. But until those things happen, Barnes is the best option at two crucial positions.

While I appreciate both Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic, neither of them is clearly the best at any one position for this team. At least Richaun Holmes has the center spot locked down. However, we all know that centers have been losing their value for years. Unless he develops a reliable jumpshot, Holmes will always be replaceable.

Buddy is better than Barnes at shooting and€¦ nothing else. Holmes is better than Barnes around the basket and€¦ nothing else. Bogi is better at passing than Barnes and€¦ nothing else. Barnes is the most versatile, the most well-rounded, and the least replaceable player on the Kings, outside of the obvious franchise cornerstone that is De'Aaron Fox.

I could offer a bunch of statistical arguments to this point. Believe me, they are out there. Just look at his synergy profile, his advanced stats, or just compare any of his numbers to his teammates. That's not even necessary in order to make my point. Just consider this question: What Kings lineup is better without Harrison Barnes in it? 

Face the facts, people. You would trade Buddy, Bogi, or Holmes for a second Harrison Barnes, and you would do it with a smile on your face.

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Klam
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April 29, 2020 3:58 pm

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Otis
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April 29, 2020 4:05 pm

Harrison Barnes?
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Otis
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April 29, 2020 4:07 pm
Reply to  Otis

Oh dang, that’s a bigun!

BestHyperboleEver
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April 29, 2020 4:42 pm
Reply to  Otis

This.

He’s probably closer to 5th or 6th. No way he gets above 4th.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
April 29, 2020 6:25 pm

He may not be a top 3-4 in talent on the roster, but he was a glue guy that made the sum greater than their parts. His role is worthy of some praise. I still feel he’s a tip 20 SF in the league.

BestHyperboleEver
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April 29, 2020 8:00 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

“Glue guys” usually do a bit of everything in order to cover-up for others’ shortcomings. They’re often decent passers and good-great team defenders. Barnes is neither of those things. Barnes’s greatest selling points are that he can hit open shots given to him and he can play passable defense at multiple positions. Whether he’s a top 20 SF or not, well, positional lines are pretty blurry. I mean, B-R says he played most minutes at PF this season. NBA.com classifies him as a F along with guys like Lavine and Embiid. I tend to think of Barnes as a Combo forward. The top end of which would include Giannis, LeBron, Simmons, Doncic, etc. In that classification I would put him in a tier just below guys like Jerami Grant , Oubre, Warren, etc. And above guys like Harkless, Thaddeus Young, and Marvin Williams.

TheBufferZone
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April 30, 2020 4:35 am
Reply to  Otis

It was disappointing that Barnes didn’t step up when Fox was out. Number 2 guys put the team on their shoulders when Number 1 is out.

I expect a bit more from Barnes. He’s the veteran leader of the team who won a championship with Golden State when they were BUILDING the dynasty. He’s supposed to help guide from past experiences, but he doesn’t have that impact on the court. He also doesn’t have the locker room impact that guys like Temple or Shumpert. Barnes needs to be averaging about 4-5 ppg more than he is now to be considered the Number 2.

RobHessing
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April 29, 2020 4:12 pm

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Klam
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April 29, 2020 4:25 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Can’t have a losing season if you don’t play.
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Kingsguru21
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April 29, 2020 5:43 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I don’t think I’ve seen this since I was 10 years old. My how time flies!

(Which, coincidentally, is about the last time the Kings were relevant….)

Otis
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April 29, 2020 4:28 pm

The tough part is, there are quite a few players you can legitimately make a case for as the second best player on the team. Even Fox.

But I’d say Bjelica needs more love in this conversation.

BestHyperboleEver
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April 29, 2020 4:42 pm
Reply to  Otis

The problem is, that says more about the team than the individual players. They have 6 guys that could make a case for being a top 2 player on THIS team. And probably zero guys that could make a case for being a top 2 player on a good team. Maybe Fox if we stretch the definition of good.

Greg
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April 29, 2020 8:38 pm

Matthew Bingo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

RORDOG
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April 30, 2020 12:44 am

It reminds me of that saying “if you have 2 quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks”.

MadDam
April 30, 2020 2:06 pm

Kinda of a nice quandary really. We have a team full where any one can be our #2 guy on any given game.

And those games where we are having more than one guy competing for #2, we are beating better teams.

Kingsguru21
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April 30, 2020 3:13 pm
Reply to  MadDam

Maybe I’m crazy but I rather prefer it when my favorite teams win 50 and/or 95 games in a season. I tend to think of it as an organizational success.

And given the last time my favorite NBA team did that Twitter hadn’t been invented, I think it’s time for the pendulum to start swinging the other way.

Occasional success just doesn’t cut it for me.

BestHyperboleEver
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April 30, 2020 3:54 pm
Reply to  MadDam

I would find it a nice quandary if we had a team full of multiple guys that could be a #2 in any given game on a good team. Unfortunately, they’re only #2s relative to the rest of our roster. We currently have guys that can be a #2 once in a while for a 36-win team. We need guys that can be #2s on a 50-win team.

Kosta
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April 29, 2020 4:51 pm

Follow up question: Assembling your two-man NBA Jam team of current Sacramento Kings, which two players would you choose?comment image

BestHyperboleEver
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April 29, 2020 4:54 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Based on how that game usually works, Hield would never miss a shot. So he’d definitely be one of them.

MaybeNextYear
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April 29, 2020 4:59 pm

I’d probably go with Hield and Holmes for NBA Jam.

Kosta
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April 29, 2020 5:03 pm
Reply to  MaybeNextYear

I imagine a lot of Hield’s passes would get picked, though.

BestHyperboleEver
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April 29, 2020 5:28 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Why would you have Hield pass?

Kingsguru21
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April 29, 2020 5:47 pm

Buddy 2018-19 A/TO ratio: 1.40
Buddy 2019-20 A/TO ratio: 1.31

Discuss.

BabalooMagoo
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April 29, 2020 7:00 pm

Haven’t you heard?, he’s our point guard

Ducks

Kosta
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April 29, 2020 7:42 pm

Haha, point taken. 🙂

If he doesn’t pass, he’ll likely get it stripped then. I remember that part of the game where if you weren’t careful the other team could swipe their hands for steals.

Of course you could always launch 3-pointers with Buddy from anywhere on that court and he’d probably have good chances of making it and catching fire!

Sacto_J
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April 30, 2020 9:23 am
Reply to  Kosta

“Point taken”
I see what you did there…

MaybeNextYear
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April 29, 2020 5:03 pm

If we want to make any noise next year, the answer then needs to be Marvin Bagley.

Kosta
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April 29, 2020 5:06 pm
Reply to  MaybeNextYear

Would that mean we traded away, Hield, Bogi, Bjelica, Barnes, Richaun, Bazemore and got worse players in return?

MaybeNextYear
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April 29, 2020 8:10 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Of course not. I’m just saying if this team wants to realize its potential, Bagley also needs to realize his.

1951
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April 29, 2020 6:07 pm

You guys did a great job of explaining why the Kings were not going to make the playoffs this year!

Setting aside the problem that one of these guys is the second best player on a team that our GM has had five (5) years to assemble, the correct answer (sadly) is Buddy. Yes, he has flaws, hence the “sadly,” but he is an elite weapon when used correctly. Think Joerger-Buddy not Walton-Buddy.

Regardless, if Buddy (or Bogie or Holmes or Barnes) is your No. 2 then your team is likely poo.
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Adamsite
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April 29, 2020 6:24 pm

I can’t believe Namanja isn’t a part of this conversation. The dude was written off to begin the season. I think many of us had him pegged as a bench big fighting for minutes behind Bagley, Dedmon, and Giles. The fact that he started 61 of his 68 games this season, shot for 42% from three…42%!!! and had a career year is being overlooked. With Marvin going down this team crippled at the big rotation. Nemanja went from 4th banana to, IMO, the best bing on team. I know Holmes gets a lot of love, and deservedly so, but Namanja brought the skill set that the Kings needed. He was the perfect stretch big, rebounded well, led the bigs in assists, and played a type of defense that goes under appreciated in this league.

IMO, he was to the Kings as Joe Ingles is to the Jazz.

Greg
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April 29, 2020 8:40 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Problem is that he’s a huge liability on defense. Same can be said for Bogi or Buddy, but it’s an issue with Bjelly.

richie88
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April 29, 2020 10:35 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I wouldn’t consider Bjelly a better player than BB8 or Buddy, but I’d certainly consider him a better player than Barnes.

Sacto_J
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April 30, 2020 9:25 am
Reply to  richie88

That’s a stretch…

BestHyperboleEver
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April 30, 2020 9:51 am
Reply to  Sacto_J

I mean, Bjelica is a better shooter, more efficient scorer, better passer, better rebounder, gets significantly more steals and blocks, has a better dRTG, a better DPM, more DWS, better RPM (by a razor thin margin), better NBA.com PIE, better PER,…

I don’t think it’s much of a stretch. Honestly, I think Barnes is still living off the reputation of being a Warriors starter (despite being the least impactful starter and probably about the 7th most impactful player on that team).

Maximus
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April 30, 2020 2:34 pm

It depends on which stat websites you look at. Barnes is substantially better defender if you look at DRPM from ESPN, or DRAPM from nbashotchart
http://www.espn.com/nba/statistics/rpm/_/sort/DRPM/position/6
http://nbashotcharts.com/rapm?id=-1989918732

To be honest, the eye test also says Barnes is quite a bit better defender.

On offense, Belly is more efficient shooter while Barnes draw more fouls. Barnes is the only effective post up option this team has.

BabyGiraffe
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April 29, 2020 7:21 pm

My full 10 player ranking

Fox
Buddy
Bogi
Barnes
Holmes
Bjelica
Bagley
Bazemore
Joseph
Len

SactownSportsfan
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April 30, 2020 8:29 am
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

Wait a second, no Yogi? This is fake news.

RikSmits
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April 30, 2020 11:04 am

No Giles either.

Migz
April 29, 2020 7:27 pm

Looking forward to next year its going to be Fox and Bagley running shit. You are all sleeping way too hard on Bags!

RobHessing
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April 29, 2020 7:45 pm
Reply to  Migz

If Bagley can just play in 22 straight games next year, it will be a career best for him. 63 games for the season would be a new best for him, too.

Migz
April 29, 2020 8:43 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

He’s 21.

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April 29, 2020 9:31 pm
Reply to  Migz

So his inability to stay healthy is not due to old age.

LadyGrey
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April 30, 2020 4:49 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Maybe he will find a way to run the show from the bench? Just believe okay!

Kosta
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April 29, 2020 7:48 pm
Reply to  Migz

Fox, Bagley, and Flanders for the TRIUMPH!comment image

BabyGiraffe
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April 29, 2020 7:59 pm
Reply to  Migz

Do you think Bagley was the second best player this year?

Migz
April 29, 2020 8:34 pm
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

Yes but Ayton roid raged him off the floor. Obviously a lost season. You look at this roster top to bottom and only Fox has more ability to dominate games.

BestHyperboleEver
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April 29, 2020 8:42 pm
Reply to  Migz

Let’s start with having any positive impact at all. Then we’ll worry about if he can dominate or not.

Nardell
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April 29, 2020 9:26 pm

Bagley consistently had a positive impact on the floor from February on his rookie year. I believe the player we saw the final 20 games that year, when Joerger finally gave him extended periods of run, is a true representation of his talents.

RikSmits
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April 30, 2020 12:20 am
Reply to  Nardell

Could you please show me the advance stats to back that up?

Nardell
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April 30, 2020 12:08 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Nope. Just my opinion from watching the games.

Otis
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April 30, 2020 4:30 am
Reply to  Nardell

His numbers down the stretch were still nothing special. From 2/1 on, the team was almost 5 points per 100 better with him sitting on the bench.

Frankly, the 1,500 minutes Bagley played in his rookie season may have cost Joerger a win or two.

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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April 29, 2020 8:57 pm
Reply to  Migz

Smh. Dominating the ball isn’t the same as dominating games.

Otis
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April 30, 2020 6:32 am
Reply to  Migz

It would be interesting for a team to slow-walk the return of their second best player, if they’re serious about making the playoffs.

Greg
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April 29, 2020 8:41 pm
Reply to  Migz

I would be very happy if Bagley proved himself to be the Kings second best (or best!) player next season.

BestHyperboleEver
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April 29, 2020 8:48 pm
Reply to  Greg

You’re going to want to be way more specific with that wish.

LadyGrey
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April 30, 2020 4:47 pm
Reply to  Greg

As much as I still long for Luka, I also hope Bagley comes back with a vengeance and makes us all look stupid for doubting him. I don’t expect it to happen, but time will tell.

Otis
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April 30, 2020 5:33 pm
Reply to  LadyGrey

There are certainly some things to like about Bagley. But the questions regarding how his skills fit in today’s NBA have not been answered. And the Kings need him (unfortunately) to be a high-end player.

MyHumbleOpinion
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April 29, 2020 8:03 pm

Good arguments guys. Everyone making good points. Kinda depends on what definition you use. 2nd most talented? 2nd best statistically? 2nd most important? 2nd most valuable? Fun to read about though.

Sacto_J
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April 30, 2020 9:31 am

“2nd Best” per the article. Its up to you to qualify your answer. And then…comment image

TheFifthMookie
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April 30, 2020 1:11 pm
Reply to  Sacto_J

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Malrock
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April 29, 2020 9:52 pm

I vote Holmes. His high energy and defense is irreplaceable.

Nardell
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April 29, 2020 9:54 pm

I’d say Bogi is our 2nd best player due to his offensive playmaking and 3 point shooting. Bogi can get his own shot in isolation and is pretty good in the PnR at turning the corner and attacking the paint. His court vision and passing instincts when driving the lane make his teammates better, something I wouldn’t say about Buddy. Bogi’s range as a spot up shooter off the ball keeps defenders honest and he’s also shown to have ice water in his veins in the clutch. I’ve always liked his moxy and we need more of that imo.

RikSmits
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April 29, 2020 9:57 pm

Potato-potato

We have one star (who needs to be a bit smarter, more consistent and aggressive, both on offense and defense) and then a whole bunch of complementary playets with limited playmaking ability.

This is a league of superstars, and especially of superstars with playmaking ability and range to their shot.

Bogi has playmaking abilities but he is awfully streaky and inconsistent, and despite what someone wrote, he most definitely does pound the rock too much on too many occasions.

Buddy has almost no playmaking ability and needs teammates and a system to get up goos shots. His D is horrible.

Holmes is a glorified garbage man and very good at it it seems, but the sample size is awfully small.

Bagley is a raw prospect, has decent handles but lacks range, as well as the vision, the BBIQ and the mindset to become a decent facilitator, which is kind of important for a playmaker. His D is very much a work in progress. He may become a (super)star, but I doubt it.

Bjeli and Barnes are great complementary pieces but not more than that. Harry has the potential to become that, but not more than that.

So we have a bunch of okay players, one star who needs to show he can put it together consistently and two young prospects with IMO limited upside.

It’s certainly great to hear that Vlade’s job is safe. Yay for continuity! Unless we are talking about coaching and systems. There we have zigzagged like a drunken sailor. Luke even managed to fo that several timed within one shortened season! So glad that he is safe too.

Go Kings!

PretendGhost
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April 30, 2020 7:40 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I disagree about Harry’s potential. His playmaking and scoring touch are both very intriguing, and on defense he’s shown the ability to be a rim protector (the numbers are bad for him right now, I know. He’s learning).
It may not be the most likely scenario, but I think with some added strength and experience, he could become an Al Horford type.

Kingsguru21
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April 30, 2020 8:09 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

You must be smoking argyle meth to believe H Gizzy could become lil Al. Although, I would ask for a hit off that argyle meth, please?

Want to believe in Harry….. but I’ll believe it when I see it. Hoping I get to.

PretendGhost
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April 30, 2020 9:04 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Hey thanks for treating me like a human with a valid opinion and not being a dick.

Kingsguru21
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April 30, 2020 9:15 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

Hmmm. I thought you were pure unadulterated evil sitting behind a desk trying to kill Inspector Gadget. So much for that notion.

RikSmits
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April 30, 2020 11:02 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

I hope you are right, because I love his personality and I love his passing and team play (almost the anti-Bagley).

I just think he lacks the lateral quickness top stay with forwards and lacks the strength and frame to put on more bulk in order to deal with centers. As to rim protection as shot blocker, it seems to me his injury his robbed him of some of the explosiveness/leaping ability that is needed for that.

RORDOG
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April 30, 2020 1:46 am

this about Barnes just kinda seems like ranking archetypes versus the actual player’s on-court impact:
“Size matters, position matters, and matchups matter. Versatile forwards are the most important players in modern basketball, while guards that can’t defend and centers that can’t shoot are the least important”

regarding this:
“I could offer a bunch of statistical arguments to this point. Believe me, they are out there. Just look at his synergy profile, his advanced stats, or just compare any of his numbers to his teammates”
I no longer have access to Synergy, but none of the advanced stats really jump off the page. He doesn’t rank in the top 5 in BPM (or VORP which would at least give him a MP bump). He’s 3rd on the team in Win Shares (7th in WS/48). He’s ranked 10th based on NBA.com’s PIE (Player Impact Estimate) stat. For players that have played significant minutes, he’s 8th in PIPM. ESPN sucks balls at sorting stats, but I know that the second best player on the team shouldn’t be ranked 278th. He’s 5th in Net On/Off according to Bball Ref. Regarding his numbers, he’s 6th in TS%, 9th in Pts per 100 Poss., 15th in REB%, 7th in AST/TO, 4th in 3p%, 4th in 3PM. I’m sure I’ve missed something, but I can’t really even find any individual statistic that Barnes is ranked in the top two on the team.

I think if I was going to rank players based on this season I’d probably go: Fox, Holmes, Buddy, Bogi, Bjelly/Barnes. Bjelly probably has more dramatic swings in on-court impact than Barnes does, so I can see the argument to put him below Barnes, but Bjelly’s playmaking and shooting efficiency give him the edge for me.

Sacto_J
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April 30, 2020 10:19 am

I think the popular opinion outside of Sacramento would be Buddy Hield and its hard to argue. He has developed an elite skill that’s invaluable in this league. He’s also one of the more vocal members of the team. Not related to being the best, but I think it adds to the perception (again, outside of Sacramento.)

I think within player circles and coaches the popular opinion would be Barnes, mostly because out of all the Sacramento Kings he is the most accomplished. Say what you will about his role on the Warriors, he was a key contributor during his tenure and showed capability as a high usage player (I realize mileage may vary on this opinion, but I believe players respect this kind of thing.) And, while I agree that Bogi would play a significant role on any team in the NBA, so would Barnes.

Speaking of Bogi, while its true that he’s probably the 2nd most valuable player on this team due to his versatility and being a “glue guy”, that doesn’t make him the 2nd best player on the team. It’s a bit difficult to qualify this, obviously, but I’ll stick with my “elite” criteria: Fox has elite level athleticism, Buddy an elite skill set, Barnes an elite reputation and pedigree. Bogi has yet to show he is elite at anything and, while I’m not sure how much that matters, it makes it difficult to definitively name Bogi the 2nd best player on this team.

Right now, I think the answer is Buddy, flaws and all. He’s the one player on the Kings that other teams consistently scheme for, defensively, and that’s very difficult to replace. He’s a huge part of the Kings’ current offensive game plan would likely require a serious over haul. That might actually be a good thing but, as of today, my answer is Buddy Hield.

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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April 30, 2020 10:25 am

Fox would have been our 2nd best player if Vlade knew how to make the obvious draft pick.

1951
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April 30, 2020 10:38 am

Perfect comment for this article. Congrats! You won today! 🙂

(Edit add – wow, that is one creepy smiley face!)

Kosta
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April 30, 2020 10:47 am
Reply to  1951

The smiley face looks like Tweety Bird if s/he were in Clockwork Orange.

SmallBallReject
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May 1, 2020 3:58 am

The former SR Writers ! But on who the 2nd best PLAYER is …. my mind changes daily. Most undisputed is “Fox if Valde had picked Doncic”. Anyway, I have taken the plunge and signed up on the KingsHerald. The new guys on Sactown Royalty are trying, fair enough, but missed your guys’ takes, even occasionally the grumpy comments! I am sure this site will grow to what SR once was. 🙂

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