People in and around the NBA will always discuss the top players in the league at any given time because having one of those guys often determines a team’s chances to win a title.
Earlier this week, the topic came up on ESPN’s NBA Today when Hall of Famer Becky Hammon announced that Jalen Brunson was too small to be a 1A guy for the Knicks.
Bigs are important in today’s NBA, even though the prototype has changed. The last five MVP awards have gone to three different bigs—Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo—and the same three players are once again leading the NBA MVP ladder.
At the same time, however, some of the best scorers in the league right now are guards, and the topic of who can be a 1A player came up on Friday’s NBA today once again. The subject was again Jalen Brunson of whom Zach Lowe said that he wasn’t a top-twelve player in the NBA or a top player on a title team.
De’Aaron Fox should be mentioned with the top players in the league
Kendrick Perkins then compared Brunson to De’Aaron Fox, asking whether he could be the number one option on a championship team. Lowe’s answer mirrored what many Kings fans firmly believe as well but qualifies as a rather bold claim on national TV.
Despite averaging 29.7 points on efficient shooting, 4.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.6 steals, Fox was not included in the top ten of the latest NBA MVP ladder. Even Anthony Edwards made the list ahead of him. This is not to say that Fox should win the MVP this season. He shouldn’t—other players like Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic have much better cases—but he should at least be mentioned alongside the best scorers and two-way players in the league.
De’Aaron Fox does not get enough recognition outside the Kings community for what he is doing this season. Lowe, however, gave the Kings guard some love and said, “I think he’s close.”
To anyone who regularly watches the Kings, this is not a wild claim. Fox started his ascent last season and led the Kings back to the playoffs. This season, he is the best player on one of the best teams in the West once again as well as one of the top scorers in the league.
To get to the next level, the Kings still need another piece, but Fox is also still getting better. So, yes, maybe he cannot be the number-one option on a championship team yet, but he is on the way.