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

Sacramento Kings v Indiana Pacers
Sacramento Kings v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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1. Chris Duarte

At this point, it is difficult to pin down what exactly Chris Duarte’s job is on the Kings. He was brought in as a 3-and-D prospect and even started 11 games. After not shooting well from three and collecting fouls, he was benched, however, spending a lot of games out of the rotation.

Desperate for some good energy, Coach Mike Brown played him in the fourth quarter against Denver, and Duarte went into the All-Star Break with the Defensive Player of the Game Crown secured. Now, he will likely get another shot to regain his minutes, esp. since Sasha Vezenkov is out with an ankle injury. 

Duarte better brings the same energy he showed against the Nuggets, or he will likely be out of the rotation again. The Kings have no use for a player who can’t help them win, as they are trying to go back to the playoffs. 

So, for Duarte, this isn’t about protecting a specific role on the team but about saving his job as a rotational player in the NBA. He has not yet played more than 55 games in a season, mostly due to injuries, and if he can’t stay in the Kings’ rotation despite being healthy it might put teams off. 

The Kings would also benefit from a monster second half from Duarte, especially if it comes in the form of tough defensive contributions.