Sacramento Kings: An overlapping youth movement
De’Aaron Fox sure looked like a franchise point guard last year. Buddy Hield had one of the best 3-point shooting seasons ever, filling it up from deep by canning 42.7 percent of his whopping 7.9 attempts per game. Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s role wavered at times, but he was a confident weapon on the wing and still has plenty of room to grow. Marvin Bagley III is going to be good despite concerns over his true position, and Harry Giles III should get ample run too if he can stay healthy.
The Sacramento Kings aren’t lacking in young, foundational talent. What they may be lacking in, however, and what head coach Luke Walton will need to carve out, are clearly defined roles for slightly overlapping positions. The NBA has become position-less, but he’ll need to figure out whether Hield and Bogdanovic, and Bagley and Giles — two sets of players who may be optimized at the same position — can thrive together, or need to be separated into starters and reserves.
That might be easier on the wing, especially if Harrison Barnes plays the small-ball 4 role or disappoints this year. But Barnes at the 4 complicates matters for Bagley, who may not be ready to play the 5 full-time yet. And even if he is, that then overlaps with Giles’ minutes, which are already in question thanks to the offseason addition of Dewayne Dedmon.
There’s nothing wrong with having depth, young players with upside and newly added veterans to help take the next step toward ending the league’s longest playoff drought. But watching Walton navigate through these lineups, when there are so many different directions he could go in, will be a decision-making process worth watching. Doing so correctly could bring out the best in some intriguing youngsters; failing in that regard could tack another year onto the Kings’ ongoing draft lottery streak.