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Kings In Review: Can De’Aaron Fox still be the cornerstone of the franchise?

A back look at De’Aaron Fox’s 2021-’22 season.

Sacramento Kings v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Welcome to Kings In Review, where we’ll recapping the season for every player that ended the season in Sacramento.

In what was the first year under his five-year, $163 million rookie contract extension, De’Aaron Fox was not what the fans or he himself anticipated.

Coming off of a breakout year in which he cemented himself as one of the better young talents in the league, Fox sort of regressed this past season. His numbers dropped in every category except his average minutes and rebounds, 35.3 and 3.9 respectfully.

Fox also had to deal with a revolving door of distractions and setbacks including yet another head coaching change, COVID, and injury. There was also a brief period of time when his tenure with the Sacramento Kings was up in the air. Fox was in a gigantic slump early on in the season and also missed substantial time due to COVID. At the same time, Tyrese Haliburton was looking like he could have been handed the keys to the city as he gave passionate interviews about the Kings while posting insane numbers and seemingly have a double-double every game. However, Sacramento made their decision by trading Haliburton and not Fox in early February.

Once the trade deadline passed Fox came back with a vengeance. In the first 12 games after the Kings acquired Domantas Sabonis, Fox averaged 27.9 points per game while shooting almost 52% from the field. He also posted 5 games with 30 or more points after the trade.

Fox was also given the one thing every guard needs, his big man. The duo now being called “the Fox and the Ox”, looked very good for having such a small sample size together.

Once they have had a full offseason together and some time with the incoming head coach, this duo could set the league on fire.

Bold prediction: the 2022-23 season will be the season Kings fans have been waiting for from Fox. Not only will he have the big man he’s always needed, but hopefully the coach as well. Look for him to finally make the jump to All-Star status. And at minimum, lead the Kings to the postseason.