The Emergence of De’Aaron Fox as a MIP Candidate

Last seasons rookie year of the year race was between Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, and Ben Simmons. De’Aaron Fox thought he showed flashes, wasn’t seen as on the same level as the aforementioned players. This year Fox might be the best player out of last years class. He has been showing out with a new highlight every game and is putting the league on notice. He’s stepped up every facet of his game and is giving the Sacramento Kings fans something to cheer about. Let’s find out just how De’Aaron Fox has leveled his game up in every way this season.


Let’s start with the basic stats first. Here’s a side by side of Fox last season compared to this one.


Last Season This Season
PPG: 11.6 18.3
APG: 4.4 7.7
RPG: 2.8 3.6
SPG: 1.0 1.7
FG%: 41.2% 47.4%
3P% 30.7% 39.1%
TS% 47.8% 56.3%
PER: 11.2 19.4


As you can see from the chart above, Fox has improved in every facet of his game. No improvement has been more important than Fox’s three-point shooting. Nearly a 9% increase in one season is exceptional on its one, nevermind the fact that he’s gotten better at everything.


Fox’s three-point shooting has helped the Kings spread the floor as well as make it easier for himself to get in scoring lanes. One big comparison Fox got coming out of college was to John Wall due to their speed. Wall has never shot above 37% from three while Fox is at nearly 40% in just his second season. Fox is also shooting better from the field than Wall ever did. Fox’s percentage of iso shots has also increased from 78.3% to 84.4% on 2 point attempts. His percentage of iso shots from three have also increased from 38.3% to 53.5%. Both are impressive considering his shooting percentages as a whole as seen above have increased. now that he is the bonafide key that starts this Kings offense. He may not lead them in scoring but it’s clear that they depend on him the most.


Fox came into the league as a decent defender, especially for a rookie but he’s naturally improved on that end as well. He looks bigger and stronger this season which has helped on both ends of the floor. His steals going up are a direct correlation of him understanding the NBA game more and playing passing lanes. De’Aaron came into the league as a confident player but this season he’s been playing with a different type of confidence. He doesn’t just think he belongs in the NBA, he knows it.


Fox’s combination of speed and quickness made him a tough cover last season but his lack of a jump shot proved to be an Achilles heel. Now that Fox is consistently hitting his shots he’s emerging as a star in his second season. De’Aaron is proving that he belongs to be in the same tier as other notable young stars in his rookie class, and is making a case to be the best out of the bunch. Regardless of if he wins Most Improved or not this season one thing is for certain, Fox will be in an all-star game within the next few seasons. This young Kings team has exceeded expectations this season and the catalyst has been wearing number 5 in a Kings Jersey.    

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