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Pre-season prediction check-in: What went wrong for the Kings?

Were our predictions right?

NBA: Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

That *something* we thought the Kings may have been building in the pre-season, has yet to come to fruition.

It is almost certain they will miss the playoffs for a 16th consecutive season and to be honest likely won’t even make the play-in. Besides Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell, the Kings have looked hopeless this season. They were able to make a trade for a big time player in Domantas Sabonis, but got rid of Haliburton and Buddy Hield in order to make it happen. Hopefully Sabonis will cause a Chris Webber like shift in Sacramento.

Our ‘best case’ scenario?

Before the season, we said that this scenario would include breakout years by De’Aaron Fox and Haliburton with a newly found defensive identity en route to the playoffs.

Fox has had a bad year so far. His averages are down in seemingly every category and his heart doesn’t look to be in it. The same goes for the team’s defense. Aside from Mitchell, the rest of the lineup looks lost defensively on a nightly basis. Their loss to the Celtics by 53 points sums up this year’s defense perfectly.

However, since acquiring Sabonis Fox has begun to look how he did last season. He is attacking opposing defenses and playing with a newly lit fire in his heart. It may have not begun as a breakout year, but the remainder of the season is trending upward for him.

Our ‘worst case’ scenario?

Our worst case scenario was the Kings essentially being the same as they were in ‘20-‘21. To be honest, they were looking worse than they were last season. This year’s roster had more talent and a higher ceiling than most King’s rosters in the last decade. Yet the mediocrity continues.

The big and obvious brightside is how well the Kings performed at the trade deadline. They typically do not have great success were but able to acquire more than one talented player that can help them salvage the rest of the season. Once the new players build chemistry with the rest of the team and the coaches there is a lot of potential in Sacramento

Our ‘most likely’ scenario?

Lastly, our best case scenario was that the team would show improvement throughout the lineup and compete for at least the play-in. We also believed Fox would breakthrough and become an All-Star.

The way the trade deadline played out for not only the Kings, but the West as a whole, there is actually a legitimate chance Sacramento will make the play-in tournament. The roster, when healthy, has more depth and talent than before. If they can muster up some defense in the second half of the season they may shock the rest of the league.

At the moment, Fox is further from being an All-Star than the previous two years. Becoming an All-Star is a next year thing. However. he has shown vast improvement in recent outings. Everyone knows how good he can be, he simply has to do it.

Why I am not excited for the rest of the season?

Although it will be interesting to see how Fox and Sabonis complement each other, this season already feels over. Sadly it has felt this way for a while. The aforementioned loss to the Celtics was the cherry on top. They were already playing poorly and looked hopeless before the loss and after, Sacramento just looked dead. Haliburton leaving has also left many fans feeling heartbroken. He was the new leader of the team and made it known that he was going to change the organization's culture. Only for them to trade him weeks later. The entire basketball world is looking at the Kings with disgust. Many have even called them the worst organization in sports. Are they wrong?

It would be exciting for them to make the play-in, but it is not realistic that they would win it and advance to the playoffs. The team doesn’t have the chemistry or all around game of a playoff team.

Seeding and Record

We predicted the Kings would finish with a record of 38-44 finishing as the 10th seed in the Western Conference. They currently have a record of 20-35 going into tonight’s game and are the 13th seed. They bare without Haliburton or Holmes tonight so let's just call it 20-35. Still the 13th seed.

With the acquisition of Sabonis, Dante Divincenzo, and the rest of the new squad, the Kings will improve. Even if it’s just a little. We predict they will finish with a record of 31-51 and finish as the 12th seed.

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