Sports Illustrated did their annual review of every NBA team through the eyes of anonymous scouts. This exercise can be very hit or miss, but this year’s comments on the Kings were pretty solid and rang mostly true. I’d encourage you to check out the post as we aren’t going to include every comment the scout made about the Kings.
I’m a big fan of Harry Giles. A successful season for them is getting an answer on Fox, Giles staying healthy and becoming a starter, and then Bagley looking like a foundation piece. I think all of those things could happen and they still finish last in the division and win fewer than 30 games.
Yeah, that seems pretty accurate. If De’Aaron Fox, Harry Giles, and Marvin Bagley III all look good I’d consider it a good season, but I’d still be pretty surprised to see more than 30 wins. Let’s back up real quick and see what this scout meant about an answer on Fox.
De’Aaron Fox’s speed plays. The health and durability weren’t there where you want them to be. His lack of shooting comes into play. I think his ceiling is still high but his floor has dropped. There’s bust potential.
I think a lot of this depends on where you saw Fox’s floor to begin with. Personally I felt the shooting was always the key. If Fox can develop his shot (by the way, he’s shooting 41% from three in his first four preseason games, over 4 attempts per game), he can be great. If he can’t shoot consistently, it’s going to be very hard for him to really shine.
Circle these guys as a trade team. They can take on a bad contract or someone else’s mistake and offer some young guys in return. They searched for Rudy Gay and Buddy Hield in the past and I think they’ll try to do that again. They tried to sign Zach LaVine too. I could see them chasing an Andrew Wiggins or a Blake Griffin in a trade
There are some crazy folks around here who think the Kings should chase Wiggins. Griffin is an interesting name for a couple reasons. First, I hadn’t even considered that the Detroit Pistons might try to trade him now that Stan Van Gundy has been ousted. Second, because it would make zero sense for the Kings to trade for yet another big man. Of course, logic has never stopped the Kings before.
Buddy Hield’s ceiling has come down fast. He’s shown that he’s a specialist rather than a potential star. He can shoot and fill it up, get hot for stretches, do a little off the dribble, but he’s streaky and a role player going forward. I can see him being a sixth man, offensive firepower type if he was playing for a good team.
I think this is the part that will ruffle the most feathers around here. My gut instinct was to argue against it, but I also understand where this scout is coming from. My belief that Buddy can emerge to become a star is based more on his odd career path than anything we’ve seen so far on the court. From the time Buddy showed up at Oklahoma to now, he’s slowly but steadily improved him game and his production. It’s far from the normal trajectory of a star, and Buddy is a few days away from turning 25. But he could conceivably still have several more seasons of gradual improvement.
That said, it’s not exactly a slam against Buddy if he ends up as a super sixth man. He could have a great, productive career as a Jamal Crawford or Lou Williams type player. Right now that’s probably his most likely outcome, if we’re honest.
Overall, I think this anonymous scout was pretty fair to the Kings. If you check out the piece you’ll see the scout also praised Bogdan Bogdanovic and questioned Willie Cauley-Stein. The scout questioned the roster construction and the team’s draft strategy. It all felt pretty spot on.