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Royal Reading: When will the Kings make it back to the playoffs?

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The Athletic’s Jason Jones thinks the Monte McNair led squad is still a few years away from end its postseason drought.

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings’ 14-year playoff drought is the longest in the NBA. The franchise is on its fourth general manager since the last time it was in the postseason and hope Monte McNair will help the Kings end the run of futility.

McNair has a ton of work to do with the roster. Sacramento has some solid building blocks in place, starting with budding All-Star De’Aaron Fox. The Kings hope Marvin Bagley’s health isn’t an issue next season, while players like Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield have shown that they can be meaningful contributors.

Jason Jones of The Athletic was asked during a recent mailbag how long he thinks it will take for Sacramento to get back into the playoffs:

“You don’t fix 14 straight losing seasons in four months (unless the Kings somehow land LeBron James, Kevin Durant, or someone of that caliber). The Kings have been at this for more than a decade over three different general managers before McNair, and still haven’t gotten it right.

I’m not sure what assets you hope to acquire with the “little” talent unless you think the Kings would trade Fox or Bagley, whose youth and being on rookie deals make them the best assets.

It will be a combination of things. If a player can be dealt to acquire assets, he will be dealt. But there needs to be evaluations over the course of next season to see who fits McNair’s long-term vision.

I don’t see a one-year reset. At this rate, I’d think the Kings would look to be seriously in the playoff hunt by Bagley’s fifth season (so yes, I’m predicting at least three more seasons with no playoffs).”

Bagley’s fifth year in the league will be the 2022-2023 season. I don’t think Sacramento is that far off from making the playoffs. McNair will make some moves in the offseason to round out the roster, and the Kings could land a rotational piece with the 12th pick of the 2020 NBA Draft.

The Western Conference will be loaded once again in 2021. The top-eight teams will bring back most of their rosters while young squads like the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans will make some noise as well next season.

McNair will have to make a trade or two to bring in more talent. If he can hit a home run and add another piece through free agency in 2021, Sacramento could very well challenge for a playoff berth during the 2021-22 season.

Poll

How many seasons will it take the Kings to get back into the postseason?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    1
    (72 votes)
  • 35%
    2
    (129 votes)
  • 10%
    3
    (38 votes)
  • 34%
    4 or more
    (125 votes)
364 votes total Vote Now

On to some links:

The Buddy Hield situation will play itself out during the offseason. Sean Deveny of Forbes says Hield is his own worst enemy.

Sacramento added veteran coach Alvin Gentry to Luke Walton’s staff. Kings.com has a nice profile on the NBA-lifer.

McNair could look to make a move at the NBA Draft. Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley looks at one potential trade offer that could come the Kings’ way.