Image Credit: USA Today Sports
The Sacramento Kings were this year’s sweetheart, feel-good story for much of the NBA season. Now with less than a 1 percent chance to make the playoffs, one of the youngest teams in the NBA has a few things to play for. First, the franchise has the opportunity to avoid finishing with a losing record for the 13th-consecutive season. Second, the duo of Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox has blossomed before our very eyes. Let’s zero in on the latter budding star.
The 5th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Fox had immense hype surrounding him coming out of the University of Kentucky. The former wildcat posted averages of 11.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists his rookie season. While those numbers are certainly acceptable for a rookie, field goal and three-point percentages of 41.2 and 30.7, respectively, are alarming. There were certainly growing pains for a Kings team that finished with its lowest OFF RTG since 2010-11, and Fox was no exception.
Fast forward just one offseason, and we’ve seen a completely different player. Not only has the former Wildcat improved his scoring numbers, but he’s done so at
What’s even better is Fox’s game has improved as the season’s unfolded. Let’s take a look at another table, this time comparing the sophomore’s stats pre- and post-ASB:
The consistency displayed by Fox this season is impressive. Questions surrounding his three-point shot should be silenced for the foreseeable future. All-in-all, Fox’s offensive game has come a long way compared to where it was a year ago.
He’s not just doing well on offense, though. Ranking 12th among 98 qualifying point guards in ESPN’s DRPM metric, Fox has made his presence felt on the defensive end. 4th among point guards in steals, ‘
Already doing all of this at the age of 21, De’Aaron Fox’s future is bright. With room to improve as a playmaker and scorer, his ceiling is quite high. Could All-Star appearances be on the horizon for one of the league’s fastest players? With an improved offensive arsenal, great court vision and a proclivity for swiping the ball away from opposing players, that question should be answered sooner rather than later.