3 Sacramento Kings who need monster second halves to save their jobs

Sacramento Kings v Indiana Pacers
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2. Kevin Huerter

Kevin Huerter has never been known for his defense. While he was knocking down threes at a high level, that was excusable, however, especially on an offensive-minded team like the Kings. 

As soon as training camp started, Mike Brown put an emphasis on defense, knowing that the Kings had to improve if they wanted to win a playoff series. That put Huerter’s shortcomings on that end of the floor on full display, and Chris Duarte even took his starting spot for a bit. 

As if that wasn’t enough yet, Huerter is having his worst shooting season since 2020-21. If he is not making shots and gets blown by on defense, it hurts the Kings. He has had some solid shooting games in February, and hopefully, he will come out of the All-Star Break firing and locked in defensively—Huerter will never be a lockdown defender, but he has good size and can use that to get deflections. 

Otherwise, his job might be in jeopardy. The Kings won’t trade Huerter lightly because he is still a good player. His three-point shot didn’t just disappear and will hopefully fix itself soon.

If the Kings want to make a move for a 3-and-D starter in the summer and Huerter didn’t play well to end the season, he might very well be included in the deal, however. After all, they already made him available for deals at the trade deadline. Or, who knows, maybe Chris Duarte or Keon Elis will come out of the All-Star Break on fire, and Mike Brown decides he wants a more active defender in the starting lineup. 

So, a monster second half from Huerter isn’t just necessary to secure a playoff spot but also to solidify his role on the team.