Before the NBA indefinitely suspended its season in March, the Sacramento Kings were playing some of their best, most consistent basketball of the season and De’Aaron Fox was at the center of the success they enjoyed.
In the 15 games the Kings played for the season’s suspension, Fox averaged a team-high 21.7 points, 6.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while averaging 32.4 minutes per game. The Kings went 10-4 in the games Fox played in.
For the season, Fox has averaged 20.4 points, 6.8 assists, 4 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while averaging 31.7 minutes per game. He still has his flaws — particularly on the defensive end, where his effort often wanes — but he’s taken a meaningful leap in his third NBA season, and the Kings will likely show their commitment to him with a contract extension in the offseason.
While the exact terms of the contract will have to be negotiated at a later date, Fox has made it known he wants to stay in Sacramento, and the time he’s spent away from the team hasn’t changed that.
“It’s all the same. I don’t think there’s much to say about that,” Fox said of his future with the team during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “I see myself being here. I want to be here.
“Obviously, we want to win, and I think last year — I think — we put ourselves in a pretty good position. This year, we’re sort of in the same position to still make the playoffs, so that’s what we all want and then continue to take the next step forward.”
With Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and hopefully Bogdan Bogdanovic locked up on long-term contracts after this season, the Kings will have two things they haven’t had in a long time: talent and stability. That might not lead to them being a championship contender in the immediate future, but it might help them break their 14-year playoff drought and become a more attractive free agent destination.
For a fanbase that has put up with a lot over the years, that counts for something, even if it doesn’t reverse the arguably unforgivable mistakes the organization has made.