This article is part of our NBA Team Previews series.
2022-23 Sacramento Kings Team Preview
Sacramento had a relatively busy offseason, kicked off by the selection of Keegan Murray with the No. 4 pick in the 2022 Draft; he went on to win Summer League MVP. The Kings' biggest loss was Donte DiVincenzo, who signed a contract with the Warriors. But, the franchise still managed to beef up the shooting guard spot by signing Malik Monk and trading Justin Holiday and Maurice Harkless for Kevin Huerter.
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2021-22 Record: 30-52; finished 12th in Western Conference
2022-23 NBA Win Total Odds: 33.5 wins (DraftKings)
2022-23 NBA Title Odds: +70,000 (DraftKings)
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Sacramento Kings Fantasy Basketball Preview
Sabonis provides a rare skillset for a player of his size. He's a walking double-double, averaging at least 18.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in each of the last three seasons. Although he doesn't provide much in the way of blocks, he makes up for it with his ability to rack up assists. He averaged a career-high 6.7 dimes during the 2020-21 season, further cementing himself as a top fantasy option. The Pacers decided it was time to move on from him, though, sending him to the Kings before the trade deadline last season. The Kings hoped he could help propel them to the playoffs, but they fell short yet again. Sabonis was not the reason they failed in their mission, considering he averaged 18.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists over 15 games with the team. He'll now have a full offseason to adjust to his new surroundings and will be playing alongside another shot maker in Keegan Murray, who is expected to immediately step in as a significant contributor from behind the arc during his rookie season. The Kings also added Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk, two additional shooters who could boost Sabonis' assist totals. Sabonis has one of the highest floors in fantasy among big men, making him an excellent selection in the second or third round of drafts.
Fox's 2021-22 season got off to a slow start. In October and November, he averaged a solid 20.1 points, but it was on poor shooting splits of 43/26/74. He also averaged just 5.5 assists and 1.2 steals compared to his 2020-21 mark of 7.2 dimes and 1.5 swipes. Fox's decrease in usage coincided with the emergence of second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton. However, the Kings made a big shake-up at the trade deadline, moving Haliburton to the Pacers and getting Domantas Sabonis in return. Fox no longer had to share backcourt playmaking responsibilities with Haliburton, facilitating his reemergence toward the end of the campaign. During Fox's 16 appearances in the final two months of the season, he averaged 28.9 points on 50/38/77 shooting, 6.8 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 38.5 minutes. Sacramento did bring in more backcourt help for this season - Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk - but neither player should remotely challenge Fox for playmaking responsibilities. Fox ended last season as the 62nd-best fantasy player per game, his lowest rank since he was a rookie. However, he's ranked as high as 46th before, so optimistic fantasy managers can explore drafting him around that range. He's established a relatively high floor, but to reach the next level, Fox will need to prove his improved three-point shooting at the end of last season was real. His poor free-throw shooting also drags his rank down. Over the past three years, Fox has shot just 31.6 percent from three and 72.2 percent from the charity stripe. The upside is clear, but it won't materialize unless he can correct the shooting woes.
History dictates that fantasy managers should be inherently skeptical of any player drafted by the Kings, but the early returns on Murray are overwhelmingly positive. In four Summer League games, Murray turned in four 20-point efforts, averaging 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 3.5 made threes per contest. As he did at Iowa last season, Murray played within himself and consistently capitalized on fast breaks and advantage situations. The three-point shooting (40% 3PT, 8.8 3PA/G) was especially encouraging for a player who will likely have plenty of open catch-and-shoot looks as a rookie. He'll fall in line behind De'Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and perhaps one of Harrison Barnes or Kevin Huerter, but if Murray's defensive numbers at the college level (3.2 blocks/steals per game) translate, he could easily threaten for a top-75 fantasy season as a rookie.
Barnes has not reached the status he had during his years with the Mavericks regarding his offensive numbers, but the veteran continues to be a consistent performer who can score at an above-average rate while also providing value in other categories. Such was the case during the 2021-22 season, when he averaged 16.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.2 blocks per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from three-point range. While Barnes is not going to stand out in any category, he's scored at least 16 points per game in five of the last six seasons, and with the Kings failing to make substantial moves in the offseason, it seems fair to expect those kinds of figures again for the veteran. He can be targeted in the final rounds of most fantasy drafts.
Sacramento Kings Depth Chart for 2022-23
Click ahead for a detailed Sacramento Kings Depth Chart
- PG: De'Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell
- SG: Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk
- SF: Harrison Barnes, Terence Davis
- PF: Keegan Murray, Trey Lyles
- C: Domantas Sabonis, Richaun Holmes
Sacramento Kings Predictions for 2022-23
This team lacks continuity. There were shake-ups last year, and more changed this offseason. While they should be improved this season, it still may take some time, and there could be hiccups along the way. As a positive, they're clearly above the basement of the West -- Utah, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Houston. But the Kings also don't seem to have the upside as teams above them like Portland, New Orleans, Dallas and Minnesota.
- Misses playoffs
Keegan Murray establishes himself as the true third option and competes for Rookie of the Year.
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