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Rating the Roster at the Sacramento Kings for 2020-21

| December 12, 2020 5:19 am PDT
Sacramento Kings Roster in 2020-21

Finishing three games out of the 8th spot in the West wasn’t a complete disaster for Luke Walton’s first season in Sactown. Heading into the second year under the Walton regime, expect this squad to move up the standings and clinch a berth into the playoffs.

For those who think that statement sounds a little far-fetched, perhaps you need to familiarize yourself with the Sacramento Kings roster. Here’s my assessment.

The Sacramento Kings Roster for 2020-21

  • Key Additions: Hassan Whiteside, Tyrese Haliburton, Glenn Robinson III
  • Key Losses: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kent Bazemore
Likely Starting 5
  • PG – De’Aaron Fox
  • SG – Buddy Hield
  • SF – Harrison Barnes  
  • PF – Marvin Bagley III
  • C – Hassan Whiteside  

The departure of Bogdan Bogdanovic paves the way for Buddy Hield to become a full-time starter in the backcourt with De’Aaron Fox. Considering that the front office inked Hield to a four-year/$94 million extension, it makes sense to get the most out of his skill set.

Shining a light on the frontcourt, there’s no doubt that Harrison Barnes is one of the most overpaid players in the league. At the same time, he’s still an effective small forward who can score inside and out. Marvin Bagley is hopeful that the right foot injury that ended his season prematurely won’t hinder him at the start, while Hassan Whiteside returns to the organization that drafted him in 2010.

To nab Whiteside on a one-year minimum deal was a strong move by Monte McNair. We’re talking about a player who averaged 15.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks last season with the Trail Blazers.

A Crowded Bench in Sactown

  • Richaun Holmes
  • Tyrese Haliburton
  • Glenn Robinson III
  • Nemanja Bjelica
  • Jabari Parker
  • Jahmi’us Ramsey
  • Frank Kaminsky

As reliable of a rim protector as Hassan Whiteside is, don’t be surprised if he cedes minutes to Richaun Holmes in the fourth quarter of games. In fact, Holmes could wind up as the team’s starting center after contributing more than 12 points and 8 rebounds in what was a breakout campaign.

The Sacramento Kings coaching staff will likely be tweaking their lineup until they land on what they feel is their optimum rotation. Divvying up minutes between all of the capable pieces will be easier said than done.

Glenn Robinson comes over from Philadelphia as a free agent and figures to be a key component of the Kings’ second unit. The 6’6” swingman isn’t alone as Nemanja Bjelica was quietly really stellar a season ago. The 6’10” Serb has shot over 40% from beyond the arc in each of the last three seasons.

And there’s more to the Sacramento Kings roster worth extolling.

Frank Kaminsky and Jahmi’us Ramsey will have opportunities to carve out roles, while Tyrese Haliburton could go down as the steal of the 2020 NBA Draft. Haliburton is a versatile combo guard who most anticipate playing big minutes during crunch time.

Jabari Parker has a chance to be a genuine difference-maker, but more on him momentarily.

Best Player on the Kings

  • De’Aaron Fox

Entering his fourth year in the Association, De’Aaron Fox’s scale up the NBA ranks has been fast and furious. His increased output on the offensive end is glaring, but I know that he’s doing it by becoming a more efficient scorer.

De’Aaron Fox – By the Numbers
Year Points FG%
2017-18 11.6 41.2
2018-19 17.3 45.8
2019-20 21.1 48.0

The left-handed PG has quickly arrived as one of the most thrilling players to watch in this league due to his explosion off the dribble. Frankly, the former stud at Kentucky is a consistent three-point shot away from being one of the best players in basketball.

Sacramento Kings X-Factor in 2020-21

  • Jabari Parker

Believe it or not, it hasn’t been De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton who has been turning heads at Kings training camp. It’s been, Jabari Parker.

After Fox verified that Parker indeed had been the most impressive player thus far, center Richaun Holmes was quick to echo the same sentiment.

“I think he’s just flying around. He’s healthy, perfectly healthy. He’s got his mind right. He’s just in here flying around, doing what he does. He’s a great scorer, a great facilitator.”

Serving out his final year in what was a two-year deal worth $13 million, Parker is clearly re-energized. Remember, the 6’8” hybrid forward picked 2nd overall in 2014 is a career 14.9 ppg player. Parker shot over 50% from the floor in 38 games last year.

Final Assessment of the Sacramento Kings Roster 

  • Balance – check.
  • Budding superstar – check.
  • Rim protection and frontcourt depth – check.

Don’t look now, but Luke Walton and company should not only make the NBA playoffs in 2021, but they could be a sleeper team who advances once they get there.

The problem is if you look out West, there’s some pretty stiff competition.

As much hype as there is surrounding the Sacramento Kings roster, they aren’t the only team in the NBA that has drastically improved. Aside from the defending champs refurbishing their squad, there are some teams in the East to keep tabs on.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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