The Sacramento Kings have started the season 7-6 and are winners of four straight games and seven of their last nine. Sacramento has been a solid team this season, and they have the potential to make it to the postseason.
The Kings have not made it to the playoffs since the 2005-06 season, and fans are hoping they can end this drought. They are led by star guard De'Aaron Fox with big man Domantas Sabonis as his co-star. Fox is playing at an All-Star level, averaging 25.5 points along with 5.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists. He is shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three. If he can maintain these percentages, it will be a career-high in both.
Fox's play is the leading factor for Sacramento's success, but they are getting contributions from many others. The offseason additions to the Kings have helped them become a competitive team. Sacramento's major additions brought in Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk, and Keegan Murray. Adding three quality contributors has been highly beneficial early on.
It's hard to win in the NBA without great depth, especially if a team doesn't have a bona fide superstar. The Kings constructed a good roster in the offseason, and they are reaping the benefits.
With that said, here is one pleasant surprise for the Kings early in the 2022-23 NBA season.
While Huerter was expected to make an impact for Sacramento, he has exceeded expectations. The 24-year-old guard played for the Atlanta Hawks for the first four seasons of his career and put up solid numbers. However, this season, Huerter is breaking out and finding a bigger role with the Kings.
In an interview with The Athletic, Huerter said, “My role has the potential to expand a little bit more here. Just the way we're built, the personnel, a lot of that has to do with (Domantas Sabonis) playing through a five-man.”
Huerter was right. His role has expanded and he is making the most of it. Through 13 games, he is averaging 16.8 points, along with 3.2 assists, while shooting a highly efficient 51.4 percent from the field and a ridiculous 52.6 percent from downtown. Huerter is not doing this on a limited number of attempts either. He is taking 7.3 three-point shots per game.
Huerter's shooting complements star guard Fox well, as he thrives as a slasher. When Fox is consistently getting to the rim, defenses are forced to collapse, which leaves players like Huerter open for three. Knocking it down at an elite rate has made him emerge as one of the best players on the team. Like Huerter said, having Sabonis at the five is highly beneficial, as it allows great spacing.
The Kings are having their best season in a while, and credit goes to their team effort. Head coach Mike Brown has a good job of integrating the new players and having them thrive around the star duo of Fox and Sabonis. In addition to Huerter's play, number four overall pick Murray has played well. He is averaging 12 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from downtown. Getting play like this out of a rookie is phenomenal and has helped the Kings out of the gate.
Sacramento will look to continue their success on Thursday as they take on the San Antonio Spurs.