There is no need to sugarcoat it: De’Aaron Fox has not been very good through three games this season.
Fox has been ice cold from three, making just 3 of his 19 three-point attempts. Opposing defenses are begging for him to take that shot and he has obliged, by taking and missing a lot of them.
Additionally, he hasn’t been taking care of the ball, as evidenced by his 15 turnovers total, seven of which he committed in the Kings’ loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. In the Warriors game, a lot of these turnovers were puzzling and unforced.
Generally, he just hasn’t looked that comfortable on the court, and it has had a trickle-down effect on the entire team, especially at the end of games.
The Kings haven’t been able to execute offensively down the stretch in each of the three games they’ve played this season. Some of these struggles can be attributed to Fox not making jumpers or really being enough of a threat in the halfcourt when the game slows down.
In crunch time, when NBA games often turn into halfcourt shot-making contests, teams tend to lean on their best player to carry them home. If Fox continues to struggle in the halfcourt, expect the Kings as a team to as well.
Following the Warriors game, Luke Walton sounded confident that this slow start is just a blip from Fox and that he will soon return to his productive self.
“He’ll find his rhythm,” Walton said. “He knows how good he is and he knows when he plays at the highest level how good our team is, so there’s no concern there ... we’ve got all of the confidence in the world and we’ll keep looking to make adjustments to make it easier for him and our team will play better.”
Even despite his early-season struggles, Fox has continued to flash his world-class athleticism and speed several times. At this point, we know Fox is a menace in transition, but at a certain point to be considered one of the best guards in the league, he needs to become much more efficient in the halfcourt.
When it comes down to it, the Kings don’t have any other top 50 NBA players on the roster aside from Fox. So, if Fox is going to continue to struggle like this, then you might as well consider the season a wrap.
It’s obviously been three games against good teams, so it’s too early to make any nonsensical statements about his viability as a go-to guy going forward. But, in a huge season for the future of the franchise, Fox has gotten off to a pretty poor start.
I have confidence Fox will start turning things around and eventually return to the guy we saw for stretches last season, but in a competitive western conference, the clock is ticking on that development.