MANILA, Philippines – For the big part of the last decade, the Sacramento Kings were one of those teams where people just never really paid much attention to.
Ever since their glory days with Chris Webber, Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic faded away in the early 2000s, they never really got back into the top tier of the ultra-tough Western Conference of the NBA.
Fast-forward to the present day, and the Kings have largely wasted their high-value draft lottery selections and are still hanging around near the latter end of the conference with little to no signs of a clear-cut future ahead.
They are now set to head to Disney World Orlando for the resumption of the 2019-2020 season where they await better teams to put them out of their misery.
Current roster composition
Based on the Kings’ preseason moves, they are still wandering around in the dark in terms of what to do with the assets they have.
Since they were not expected to land any of the big-name free agents anyway, they signed former Atlanta Hawks big man Dewayne Dedmon despite already having Richaun Holmes, 2018 second overall pick Marvin Bagley Jr and Harry Giles on the roster.
Then they picked up reliable veteran Trevor Ariza despite having Harrison Barnes, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield, and Nemanja Bjelica to fill the wing spots.
After committing a combined $65 million to these two players who did nothing but eat up minutes for the younger players, the Kings eventually traded them away after less than 35 games with the team.
Their brightest young hopes are currently slashing guard De’Aaron Fox, who averages a team-best 20.4 points, and sniper Buddy Hield, who norms a shade under 20 points a game.
Bagley is currently battling one injury after another and has not given the Kings the boost they needed.
If only the Kings had selected a better player during that 2018 draft, they may have been better. Maybe that guy who got picked after Bagley, just maybe.
Like the San Antonio Spurs and the Washington Wizards, the Kings really have no business still heading down to Orlando to finish out the season and were only invited due to their 28-36 record still mathematically plausible to earn them a playoff ticket.
However, recent history shows that they have not won more than 39 games since their 44-38 finish in the 2005-2006 season. Incidentally, that was the last time the Kings made the playoffs, making them the holders of the league’s longest postseason drought.
They showed signs of legitimate promise after posting a 14-year-best 39-43 record last season under head coach Dave Joerger, but they have since taken a step back after his puzzling firing.
Fox, Hield, Bagley and the rest of the young Kings may very well be a better unit next season, but it’s just not their time this year.