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Kings’ point guard Cory Joseph is looking forward to being leader on the defensive end

The veteran wants to guard the opposing team’s best player each night.

Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings underwent some significant changes in the offseason. The organization hired general manager Monte McNair, who put his finishing touches on the roster.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, Alex Len and Harry Giles are gone, while McNair brought in free agents Glenn Robinson III, Hassan Whiteside and Frank Kaminsky. One of the players returning for his second season with the Kings is veteran point guard Cory Joseph.

The 29-year-old is entering his 10th year in the league, and he provides head coach Luke Walton with a reliable option off the bench. Joseph averaged 6.4 points and 3..5 assists while shooting a respectable 35.2% from the 3-point line. Although his numbers aren’t remarkable, Joseph earns his money on the defensive end. He prides himself on wanting to defend the best player on the other team.

“I mean it’s challenging but that’s what I do,” Joseph said. “That’s my job. I go out there and I take on that challenge every night. That’s what I bring to the table, play 110% and kind of make it tough on them. I mean I wouldn’t expect anything less from me or my position.”

Sacramento gave up 3.5 fewer points per 100 possessions with Joseph on the floor. His -0.3 net rating was third-best on the team out of any player who suited up for more than 20 games.

The Kings made some significant changes to the coaching staff, adding some veterans to surround Walton. Joseph believed the team will play a different style, both on the offensive and defensive ends.

“I think that’ll help us, just switching up coverages, obviously depending on who we are playing and their personnel,” Joseph said. “I think it’ll help us with our communication, get on the same page quicker, because you know when you change up your coverages on defense a lot, you have to be in sync.”

Sacramento got the steal of the draft when Tyrese Haliburton fell to No. 12. The rookie’s defensive versatility will help offset the loss of Bogdanovic. As a veteran player. Joseph is going out of his way to make sure Haliburton is comfortable after the Iowa State product got a place in Joseph’s area.

“I reached out to him and just told him any time he wants to come over, come by and talk and chop it up, and that goes for any of the young guys in camp,” Joseph said. “I think you can do stuff like that outside of the court and then on the court and in the game those guys are going to speak for themselves. But we got to get them caught up in terms of our terminology, our schemes, and how we do things you know on a professional level on NBA.”