Sacramento Kings first-half player grades: Starters
Keegan Murray: B+
Kings rookie forward Keegan Murray is proving himself to be a lethal shooter in the NBA already. He is attempting six three-point field goals per game and is knocking them down at a 41.5 percent clip.
It’s clear he is a great fit next to De’Aaron Fox and Sabonis moving forward and there is little to not love about what he is already doing. He falls short of the A tier because he is a bit dependent on those outside looks. Some games he doesn’t seem to engage the same way he does other nights if the first shot or two don’t fall.
This could be already fixed, too. Murray has taken his rebounding responsibilities a bit more seriously recently. It helps him get engaged and is a massive help to the team.
Kevin Huerter: B
Like Murray, Huerter is proving himself to be a great fit around the Kings star players. In his first season with the Kings, Huerter is shooting just under 40 percent from behind the arc and is averaging a career-best 14.9 points per game.
He was avoiding the inconsistency issues he had earlier in his career at the beginning of the season but in the month of February, he finally struggled with his shot at times. Like Murray, one naturally wishes Huerter would make an impact in more ways every single night because he is capable. He needs to offer a bit more on offense unless the shot is always going to be dropping.
Harrison Barnes: B-
The wily veteran, Harrison Barnes has continued to get it done this season. He had a stretch of games where he was scoring as he did in his absolute prime and it was one of the biggest factors why the Kings didn’t start dropping games at that time.
Barnes is a great offensive weapon to have when needed and it seems he can operate in that role pretty effectively. Still, it would be ideal to get consistency out of him as he flashed earlier in the season. He might get things going again soon, as he is going to hit the free-agent market after the 2023 season ends. Could we get a ‘contract year’ type of burst from the veteran forward?
De’Aaron Fox: A
Is there anything to explain here? Fox has broken out in undeniable ways this year. The critics used to say he needed to do it on a good team. Now he is doing exactly that while being the best player in the NBA during ‘clutch moments’.
Fox is the face of the Kings franchise and an NBA all-star. His absolute dominance in tight games has been incredible to watch. There is nothing to nitpick here in order to bump his grade. Like the all-star appearance, Fox earned the A.
Domantas Sabonis: A
Joining Fox is fellow all-star Domantas Sabonis. These two do so much for the Kings game in and game out that it is hard to truly and rightfully explain how much they bring. Sabonis has been brilliant all season, collecting casual triple-doubles to spice up his seemingly automatic double-double each night.
Sabonis has 45 double-doubles this year in 55 games. He has six triple-doubles.
Sabonis carries so much of the burden on the glass for the Kings and delivers without question. The fact that he is averaging nearly 20 points per game as well while being the primary facilitator for the group, is a cherry on top.