The Kings have been bad for so long that the idea of them being good sounds absurd at this point. That being said, if you squint hard enough, you can find some hope. The Kings were scrutinized for taking Duke’s Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic, but the fact is, he was considered to be as much of a sure thing as Deandre Ayton, and it’s quite possible that the pick is being viewed in a negative lens purely due to the recent history of poor drafting by the Kings. Basically, just because they’ve gotten it wrong before just mean they’re destined to get it wrong this time, too.
Indeed, if we’re looking at how many strides the Kings can make this year, the first ingredient would be Bagley looking more like Jayson Tatum than Jahlil Okafor. That being said, the sophomore campaign of De’Aaron Fox is key here as well. While rookie point guards — especially one-and-dones joining poor teams — can be forgiven for taking their lumps, it was honestly shocking how ineffective he was last year, looking nothing like the relentless scorer he was in his lone season at Kentucky. It feels like Fox has nowhere to go but up.
Let’s be honest, the Kings aren’t going to be good this year in terms of wins and losses, but this still has a chance to be their most successful season in years. The Kings have been botching the lottery for years, but Bagley could be their most talented player since DeMarcus Cousins left town. If he can have an impact right away, and Fox can recover from his disappointing rookie year, and Buddy Hield — probably their best shooter now — can make a leap in year three, this team can actually have a solid young core, and break the cycle of misery that’s been haunting Sactown for over a decade now.