– Inside Article –
**Kings Off-Season Moves**
**Player, Coach, Team Breakdown and Analysis**
**Kobe Bryant & Luke Walton Rookie Story**
**My Season Win/Loss PREDICTIONS**
Sacramento Kings 2019-20 Season Preview
On October 22nd, 2019 I wrote a Sacramento Kings 2019-20 season preview article.
That was before I started writing for the AWESOME Overtime Heroics squad.
I thought it would be cool to go back and re-post the article (NO CHANGES WERE MADE BESIDES GRAMMAR AND LOOK)!
Spikeball Tom’s 2019-20 Sacramento Kings Season Preview From 10/22/19
The Sacramento Kings are one of the most exciting teams in the NBA, my favorite team, and I AM EXCITED!
While I am writing this article – it is the first day of the NBA season, and the eve of the first day of Kings season.
I am wearing my purple Jason Williams t-shirt and trying to decide whether I should wear my Doug Christie or Mike Bibby jersey tomorrow?
VIDEO: 2001 Sacramento Kings – ‘The Greatest Show On Court’
20 Years of Ups and Downs
A tough question for any Kings fans to answer who have had to go through the last 20 years of ups, downs – Tim Donaghy, the Maloofs, almost having to find a new team or be an Anaheim Kings fan.
Sacramento is currently riding a 13 season playoff drought – the longest in the NBA.
Dealing with Boogie Cousins’ antics, being called the worst franchise in sports.
And now having a roster full of young, exciting talent, a more than capable front office, a city that is ready to explode for something to cheer about. All while playing in one of the newest, nicest, most sustainable indoor arenas in the world – Golden1 Center – there is an optimistic future in Sac-Town for the first time in decades.
LET’S! GO! KINGS!
Sacramento Kings 2019-20 Season Preview
Mix of Rising Stars and Crafty Vets
The 2019-20 version of “The Greatest Show on the Court” brings back memories of the years of Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakovic running up and down the court, raining threes before Steph Curry was even in high school!
The bench mob, the cowbells, the madness that was Arco Arena… that excitement is back in the 916 baby!!!!
The Kings have rising stars, De’Aaron Fox, and Marvin Bagley who are sure to be All-Stars for years to come.
One of the best shooters in the league, Buddy Hield, happy and finally paid to be back in Sacramento for the next 5 seasons.
Along with the veteran, all-around solid player Harrison Barnes who plays much better as the 3rd or 4th option than when he is the main guy, think back to his time on the Warriors.
Addition By Subtraction
One very under looked move was an addition by subtraction, was getting rid of the succubus that was Willie Cauley-Stein.
This change will help the Kings tremendously, with a positive attitude change, while adding the ability to spread the floor with big men who can shoot, all while creating more driving lanes for Fox to score or drive and kick to open shooters.
VIDEO: 2018-19 Sacramento Kings Season Highlights
Fox Continues To Improve
The crafty Fox has beefed up this off-season and it has showed itself in the pre-season, with him not thinking twice before initiating contact and going right through it to the basket.
Fox is also continuing to build confidence in his 3 point shot.
The Kings revamped roster will be able to spread the floor with shooters, which should give the speedy Fox open lanes to drive and score – or drive and kick to 3 point shooters.
Bagley III Working Hard in Offseason
Second year player, 19 year old, Marvin Bagley has been working tirelessly this off-season with renowned coach Rico Hines on all aspects of his game.
Bagley is looking to create a more consistent and natural 3 point shot, to go along with an already explosive first and second jump, solid face up game in the paint, the ability to run and growing confidence on the defensive end of the floor.
As the future unfolds, I predict Bagley will be an all-star for years to come.
Buddy Buckets Gets Paid … Time To Perform
Buddy Hield is one of the most underrated and best three point shooters in the league.
With the small sample of pre-season games it looks as though that hasn’t dropped off any.
Buddy has talked about how he gained strength in the off season, says he feels confident, and like he can bully his way in the lane to get to the basket or get any pull up shot he wants.
My knock on Buddy the last few seasons has been his inability to dribble the ball more than few times without risk of a turnover, and his passing ability.
From a small pre-season sample size Buddy’s dribbling and passing look VASTLY improved, as well as his confidence taking the ball full court or making a tough pass in the half court offense.
VIDEO: Sacramento Kings Top Plays 2019-20
Sac-Town Bench Mob 2.0
Bench Mob 2.0 is here!
The Kings have a lot of talent and depth on their bench.
GM Vlade Divac added some needed depth and veteran presence to their roster in the off-season – which is laden with rising, young stars.
Bogdan Bogdanovich, who had a standout performance at the FIBA World Basketball Championships for his home country of Serbia, is arguably a starting guard on many teams in the NBA.
While he is still unsigned after this season, he has said loves Sacramento and I have a feeling he will increase his pay grade with a big season – one of the first where he is finally healthy entering the start of the season.
- (Fun Fact: Did you know the oldest Serbian Orthodox church in North America is only 40 miles east of Sacramento in the small gold rush town of Jackson, CA. Fellow Serbian and Kings general manager Vlade Divac, often travel to visit and celebrate their Serbian heritage!)
Bogdanovich can shoot the ball with the best of them from deep and can also act as point guard in certain line ups if first year Kings coach Luke Walton so chooses.
Can Free Agents Make Impact?
The Kings added a few key veteran pieces to bolster their roster of young talent.
The Kings added center Dwayne Dedmon, who can shoot the three as well as grab rebounds and get dirty down low. Dedmon will add some toughness and stretch the floor in ways previous big man Willie Cauley-Stein was unable to.
Signing small forward Trevor Ariza brings a veteran mentality, defense and three point shooting to a Kings roster which lacks playoff experience.
A not-often talked about Kings offseason pick up was power forward Richaun Holmes.
When Holmes became a free agent multiple Kings players directly told Vlade Divac that they Kings NEEDED to sign Holmes.
He can also stretch the floor, play defense and run up and down the floor with this fast paced Kings offense.
The addition of veteran point guard Cory Joseph will add depth and leadership, to go along with a stellar third string point guard and Kings fan favorite Yogi Ferrell.
Say it with me now, “YOOOOOOOGIIIIIIIII…. FERRRRRELLLLLLLL!”
Coach Luke Walton
The addition of head coach Luke Walton has brought just what was needed to this young, talented Sacramento squad.
Coach Walton has shown that he can relate to younger players, while also having the respect of veterans.
Another addition by subtraction was getting rid of Coach Dave Joerger. Notorious for snubbing rookies playing time, he was not what the Kings needed going forward with a roster so young.
Walton is head coach who is not very proven, but has a lot of experience learning from a winning culture during his time as an assistant coach and interim head coach for the Golden State Warriors, as well as head coach last season for the LA LeBro… I mean Lakers.
Thirty-Five 3’s Per Game
Coach Luke has said he wants to put up thirty five 3 point shots a game and score 40 points a quarter.
The Kings have the capability to do that with this very talented, and continuously improving roster.
Will There Be A Bill Walton Sighting In Downtown Sacramento?
I just hope that with the addition of Walton as head coach, we Kings fans will be blessed with the melodious, sometimes psychedelic voice of Luke’s father and basketball legend Bill Walton.
I can see purple and black tye-dye filling the arena on a Grateful Dead tribute night… a guy can dream right?
A funny story I read about Coach Walton:
When Walton was a rookie with the LA Lakers he showed up to practice hungover one day.
Veteran teammate Kobe Bryant didn’t take that lightly.
Bryant instructed the team that Walton would cover him ALL practice and that no other teammates could come over and play help defense.
I would assume that may have been the most painful few hours of Walton’s athletic career.
Moral of the story: show up ready to work, or you’ll be exposed.
Link To Story –
Kobe Scores ’70 something’ on Hungover Luke Walton in Practice
Kings Have DEPTH
The Kings added depth and shooting will afford coach Walton to be able to use many different lineups – whether it is to counter an opponent’s current lineup or to set their own tone and make their opponent match their moves.
Many players on the Kings have the ability to play multiple positions- making the line up options are endless.
Barnes can play 2,3, or 4 – Bogdanovich can pay 1,2,3 – we will see if Bagley can guard centers in a smaller lineup as he gains more confidence on defense.
If they need shooters, they can load the floor – if they need defense they can put a lineup out there to get stops – if they need speed and want to get out and run they have that capability in just about every lineup they can put on the floor.
SpikeballTom’s Season Win/Loss Predictions!
I think that the Kings are going to improve their 39 win record from last season.
The western conference is STACKED, so it will be tough to get wins and even tougher to make the playoffs.
I predict that the Kings will win 44 games (Vegas has them at 39.5 wins…. Anyone know a good bookie) but miss the playoffs and be the 9th seed.
The Kings will turn many heads, and be a game no team looks past, and will probably dread playing.
Draymond Green said it best last season after playing a game against the Kings, “Them guys are fast man…. Like it’s ridiculous how fast they are.” He went on to say, “…They’re going to be a force to be reckoned with for sure, and sooner rather than later.”
Best case scenario – if Kings are fortunate to play teams when their opponents key players are out for load management or injury – if they get a few rolls and calls to go their way – if the Kings don’t have many unfortunate injuries, and continue to improve, they could sneak into the 8th seed.
And I think the Kings are the last thing any ‘1 seed’ wants to see in the first round on their long trek to the NBA championship.
I’ll end this article with a phrase I think I will be yelling many times this season….
Thank you for reading Spikeball Tom’s Sacramento Kings 2019-20 Season Preview!