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Kings’ De’Aaron Fox thinks not making the playoffs again this year will be more disappointing than last season

Kings, De'Aaron Fox

Despite Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox flashing personal achievements during the 2018-19 NBA season, like nearly winning the Most Improved Player award, the former Kentucky floor general is focused on his own team improving and making a postseason berth.

Per Jason Anderson in The Sacramento Bee:

“I think it’s a realistic expectation,” Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox said. “Everybody knows the West has gotten extremely tough. It was tough before this and it’s gotten a lot tougher, but at the same time we feel like we’ve gotten better as a team, so we feel like we should be mentioned among those teams.”

Fox said “it will be a lot more disappointing than last year” if Sacramento fails to end the NBA’s longest postseason drought after 13 consecutive losing seasons. Kings guard Buddy Hield agreed.

Fox had a career year this past season, locking himself into the Kings’ franchise centerpiece position. The 21-year-old averaged 17.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in 31.4 minutes per game, shooting 45.8% from the field, 37.1% from deep, and 72.7% from the free throw line.

While Fox and young teammates in Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanović looked good for the Western Conference franchise last year, the focus for first-year head coach Luke Walton’s team is making the playoffs. Sacramento hasn’t reached the postseason since the 2005-06 season—the NBA’s longest drought.

Like Fox says, the West is no joke, though. Super teams in the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers, plus the dormant Golden State Warriors loom large. Also last season’s number-two seed Denver Nuggets regrouped with most of its main pieces still in place, and the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz reloaded with new point guards in Russell Westbrook and Mike Conley, respectively.

Last season Fox and the Kings missed the playoffs by nine games, finishing 39-43.