The Sacramento Kings on Tuesday pulled off a big trade, dealing Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson to Indiana for Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis is a two-time All-Star, so the Kings were very excited to acquire him. De’Aaron Fox already seems pretty thrilled with the move.
The Kings on Wednesday night beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 132-119 in Sabonis’ first game with his new team. At the end of the victory, Fox gave his new teammate a big hug.
Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox is one of the few remaining top picks from the 2017 NBA Draft who is still with his original team. But even that could be changing in a matter of weeks.
Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Friday that Fox’s name is circulating around the league as a big-name player who could potentially be moved before the Feb. 10 trade deadline.
Fox actually addressed the topic of a possible trade after a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
“You definitely think about potentially being traded because we’re struggling,” said Fox, per Haynes. “If you do have a change of scenery, it changes everything. I’ve been here for five years. I’ve built a life here, a family here. But once I’m on the court, all that is out the window. You’re not thinking about anything else that can happen outside of your control.
“But I’ve been through some deadlines,” Fox added. “I’ve seen people get traded at the last second. You try not to think about it, but you know it’s a business and anything can happen. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Obviously, you see reports on Twitter. Am I worried about it? No. Can it happen? Yeah, it can definitely happen.”
The 24-year-old Fox is a fine player. While he has regressed from last year, he is still averaging 20.9 points and 5.1 assists per game with a fairly weak supporting cast around him, thus making Fox the focal point of defenses. But it is clear that the Kings, who are 17-27 and have never had a winning season during the Fox era, are not going anywhere with the dynamic guard as their top option. Fox’s situation almost seems similar to that of DeMarcus Cousins, a homegrown Kings star who was among the best in the NBA at his position at one point but was still eventually traded after Sacramento consistently went nowhere with him.
Fox is in the first year of a five-year, $163 million contract, which makes him a bit hard to trade. But Fox is young and talented enough where the contract is far from an albatross. While the Kings have other potential trade targets on their roster as well, trading Fox would be by far the biggest earthquake that they could create at this year’s trade deadline.
Photo: Feb 8, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) warms up before a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Nobody will argue with the placement of Tatum, Mitchell, and Adebayo, all of whom have had a multitude of success in both the regular season and the playoffs. But Collins is the clear No. 2 in Atlanta to Trae Young and struggles to create his own offense consistently. Meanwhile, the slight advantage that Ball has over Fox defensively is nowhere near enough to counterbalance the huge gulf in offensive ability between the two. Fox averaged 25.2 points per game last season, stratospheres above Ball’s 14.6.
The 23-year-old Fox was drafted No. 5 overall in 2017, so the list actually downgraded him somehow. Add that to his longstanding rivalry with Ball, and you can see why the Kings felt compelled to jump to Fox’s defense.
The former lottery pick Fox, a 25-point-per-game scorer last season, is one of the fastest players in the league. But at an official listing of 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, some extra bulk would do him a lot of good as well.
The Sacramento Kings do not seem willing to flip one lefty star for another.
Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reported on Wednesday that the Kings are highly unlikely to trade De’Aaron Fox in a deal for Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons. Anderson does add that the Kings have expressed interest in Simmons, noting that Sacramento GM Monte McNair worked with Sixers president Daryl Morey for 13 years on the Houston Rockets.
Fox, 23, is easily the best player on the Kings roster right now. He averaged 25.2 points and 7.2 assists per game this year, which were both career highs. Fox also signed a five-year, $163 million extension with Sacramento, which starts next season.
As for Simmons, it is pretty tough to see him fitting in with the Kings as they are currently built. Fox is a ball-dominant player who is below-average from the three-point line. Meanwhile, Sacramento usually starts two big men in Marvin Bagley and Richaun Holmes, neither of whom is much of a threat from deep either. If the Kings have to include top three-point shooter Buddy Hield to make a Simmons trade happen, the fit will make even less sense.
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.
The NBA’s decision to hold an All-Star Game in Atlanta in 2021 hasn’t gone down well with a player who might actually have a shot of playing in the game.
Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox was asked for his thoughts on the league holding the game this season, and he did not hold back, saying it was “stupid” to try and go through with the event.
De'Aaron Fox on the possibility of an All-Star Game this season: "I’m going to be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid. If we have to wear masks and do all this for a regular game, what’s the point of bringing the All-Star Game back?"
Fox has a point. The NBA’s protocols are strict even for teams that have been traveling together. Bringing in players from across the country to one city to play in the game adds more risk.
It’s not really clear if Fox is in the minority here. There’s significant support for playing the game, and since the NBPA had to agree to it, this wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t backed by the union. Still, Fox probably isn’t alone in his sentiments.
The Sacramento Kings are keeping De’Aaron Fox long term for a hefty price.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Kings have agreed to a five-year deal with Fox. It is worth an initial $163 million, with the potential to rise to a $195.6 million supermax deal.
It’s clear that the Kings will be building around Fox for years to come. The 22-year-old is coming off a season that saw him average 21.1 points per game, a career-best mark, and 6.8 assists per game. Plus, it’s pretty clear that he’s very comfortable in Sacramento despite the smaller market and lack of success.
Fox is quickly developing into a leader and a star for the Kings after just three NBA seasons. As long as he stays healthy, this deal should pay off for everyone involved.
De’Aaron Fox appeared to poke fun at the New York Knicks on Thursday over the Eastern Conference team’s poor draft lottery fortunes.
The Knicks had the sixth-worst record in the league this season and ended up with the No. 8 pick in the NBA Draft when the lottery order was revealed Thursday. Many mocked the Knicks for being so bad but not reaping the reward with a higher pick.
That included Fox, who said on Twitter that the Knicks were probably sick over it. He added “#8,” which was likely a reference to the Knicks getting the eighth pick.
Fox has been with Sacramento for three seasons since being drafted by them No. 5 overall in 2017. He averaged a career-best 21.1 points per game this season and wants to stay with Sacramento long term.
Fox will be reevaluated in 7-10 days, which does not mean he will be back during that time frame. That could put his status for the team’s first game of the resumed season, which is on July 31, in doubt.
This marks the second time this season that Fox sprained his ankle in practice. The 22-year-old is averaging 20.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game this season. Cory Joseph and Buddy Hield would likely see increased roles if Fox misses time.