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#pounditThursday, August 18, 2022

De’Aaron Fox wants Kings to keep Luke Walton as coach

The Sacramento Kings have a decision to make on the status of Luke Walton, and the team’s star player is throwing his support behind his coach.

De’Aaron Fox made clear that he wants the Kings to keep Walton and preserve some continuity. Fox said Walton has become “someone that I’ve grown to trust” and added that teams turn into winners when “players play together longer and develop chemistry, and coaches continue to grow and trust all their players.”

“If you’re not winning as a team, guys get traded, guys who were barely hanging on … get cut and are out the league and coaches get fired,” Fox told Howard Beck of SI. “Everybody wants to continue to grow together and keep this group together, and continue to play for a coach that you trust in.”

It’s not clear how much weight Fox’s words will carry, but they’re probably worth noting since he’s the franchise player. GM Monte McNair was hired in September, and while he’s worked well with Walton, it remains a simple fact that the current coach was not McNair’s hire. At 30-38, the Kings are set to miss the playoffs again as well. Add in the fact that Walton is only 61-79 as the team’s coach and it’s understandable why he’s on the hot seat.

On the other hand, the Kings have hung in there despite injuries to several key players throughout the season, and have flashed exciting potential on offense. Plus, the Kings may not be eager to pay off the $11.5 million Walton is owed over the next two seasons while simultaneously hiring someone else to replace him.

There have been some indications fairly recently that Walton’s job security is in decent shape, though not completely safe. Fox’s comments can only help solidify that.

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