The Kings’ start to the season has been defined by inconsistency. De’Aaron Fox, Trey Lyles, Keegan Murray, and Alex Len have all missed extended time already. Davion Mitchell, Sasha Vezenkov, and JaVale McGee have been in and out of the rotation.
They put together great wins against the Lakers and the Timberwolves, for example, and stormed back from a 24-point deficit to finally beat the Warriors. On the other hand, however, they also dropped two ugly games in Houston and were destroyed by the Pelicans.
The one consistent force on the team has been Fox, who is averaging 30.3 points, 6.6 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.6 steals. While the Kings are currently sitting in sixth place in the West, primed for playoff contention, it seems that they need more.
So, let’s take a look at three pieces the Kings still need to be serious title contenders.
3. Another true point guard
Currently, the Kings are starting Fox at the point guard spot with Davion Mitchell or Keon Ellis as his backup, and it has caused problems. When Fox went down with an ankle injury, Mitchell was next in line to start.
No one expected him to replicate what Fox does on the offensive end. All the Kings needed him to do was push the pace and hit a couple of threes. Instead, the offense was sluggish and slow, averaging only 92.9 points per 100 possessions with him in the starting lineup according to Cleaning the Glass.
As a result, Ellis stepped into the backup point guard spot, but he is a two-way player and more of a shooting guard. Over 10 games played so far, he is averaging only 0.8 assists per game.
Malik Monk has come a long way as a playmaker, and Domantas Sabonis takes over point guard duties by dishing out 6.9 assists per game, but in Fox’s absence, the lack of another true point guard became apparent.
Of course, there’s still a chance that Mitchell or Ellis develop enough to fill the Kings’ needs here. It seems more likely, though, that the Kings could use another point guard who doesn’t expect to play many minutes but can push the pace, distribute the ball, and defend when Fox is out.