Sanjesh Singh joined the Hoops Addicts Anonymous podcast to forecast the Sacramento Kings’ playoff chances amidst and up and down season.
The Sacramento Kings, in recent years, have been the laughingstock of the NBA. Incompetency from the top-down has kept the Kings from returning to the glory days of the Rick Adelman era.
However, in 2020, the Kings have at least have a bevy of good young players with talent. So much so, that the Athletic’s Sam Vecenie tagged the Kings organization with the sixth-best in the NBA rookie scale rankings.
Equally important to young talent is the coach charged with molding that talent. The Hoops Addicts guys brought on Kings Herald writer Sanjesh Singh and started the conversation with an honest evaluation of head coach Luke Walton.
“It’s an interesting dynamic because there was no hiring process when it came to Vlade choosing the coach he wanted after firing Joerger,” Singh explained. “As soon as Walton became available, we snatched him up…Kings’ twitter became excited for this idea that, oh, Walton is a player’s coach.”
“But when Fox goes down, then you bring in Cory Joseph, and that’s not on Walton, he didn’t ask for Fox to get injured…the pace had to get slowed down…and that led to Buddy Hield becoming an initiator, which I have a piece coming out on soon, it didn’t work out, but Walton stuck to it, for some reason that I really don’t understand.”
After discussing the up-and-down season for sharpshooter Buddy Hield and his need to get to the free-throw line more often, the trio moved onto Marvin Bagley III. The second overall pick from the 2018 NBA Draft, Bagley has seen his fair share of injuries as well as inconsistent production. Given Bagley’s age, Singh was still hesitant to write off the former Duke star.
“We all see 20-10 potential from Marvin Bagley but he hasn’t been able to show us that he can stay on the court for, you know, more than 10 games, playing more than 25 minutes per game. And so, part of Walton figuring out how to use Bagley is can he be used as a starting center?…can he compete and hold his own against the better centers in the NBA, because if he can do that…that’s going to be positive for Bagley going forward.”
With eight games left in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Kings are 3.5 games out of a playoff spot. A playoff appearance would go along way towards reassuring fans that there is a credible plan in place for team development.