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Kings In Review: What does Sacramento need to do to keep Sabonis long-term?

This offseason will be pivotal in retaining talent in Sacramento.

Milwaukee Bucks v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

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

When the Sacramento Kings acquired Domantas Sabonis in the blockbuster trade that sent Tyrese Haliburton to the Indiana Pacers at the deadline, they made a franchise-altering in two parts.

Off the bat, the Kings’ brass, starting with Monte McNair, decided De’Aaron Fox would remain the main cornerstone of the organization on the roster. Secondly, Sacramento had shifted into a very serious “win-now” in an effort to snap a 15-year playoff drought.

Unfortunately, the Kings weren’t able to capitalize on their goal of playing in the postseason and Sabonis and Fox missed the last 10 games with injuries. Had their season been competitive from the jump, it’s likely that the Fox and the Ox would have remained on the court to help their team qualify for the play-in tournament.

In the brief time Sabonis was on the floor for the Kings, he was stellar and his performances were enough to give fans some hope for what is to come from the two-time All-Star.

Averaging 18.9 points in a Kings uniform, Sabonis, right now, is the most talented player to run alongside Fox. But the Ox’s expiring contract in 2022-23 was a dicey dip into Sacramento’s decades long endeavor to keep stars. Sabonis has already disclosed that this offseason he would like to be actively involved in choosing Sacramento’s next coach, an extension that shows a will to stay with the Kings.

Despite the talented tandem, the Kings will need to embrace free agency this summer in finding competent players who can mold around Sabonis and Fox as they look to form a winning culture and cohesive brand of basketball.