Kings get back huge reinforcements to help diminished bench 

Utah Jazz v Sacramento Kings
Utah Jazz v Sacramento Kings / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Kings were not a very deep team to start with. Keon Ellis, Davion Mitchell, Chris Duarte, and Sasha Vezenkov all spent most of the season being in and out of the rotation. That left Malik Monk and Trey Lyles as the only reliable contributors off the Kings’ bench. 

By now, Keon Ellis and Davion Mitchell have found their games and are both regulars in Mike Brown’s rotation. Their emergence came at the same time as several injuries, however, and thus did not help the Kings’ depth. 

Sasha Vezenkov was the first King to go down for an extended time with a serious ankle sprain. Then, Trey Lyles suffered an MCL sprain in early March, seriously diminishing the Kings’ forward depth. Next, Kevin Huerter suffered a dislocated shoulder and labral tear requiring season-ending surgery. 

Just when it seemed that things couldn’t get any worse for the Kings, Malik Monk got hurt during the Kings’ rematch against the Dallas Mavericks. He will likely miss four to six weeks with an MCL sprain. While the other injuries were bad, losing Monk was definitely the biggest blow to the Kings’ season. He is one of the team’s three best players and a huge part of why the team believed they could make the playoffs. 

With him missing the rest of the regular season and most of the postseason, the Kings’ chances of making a notable playoff run are much slimmer. 

The Kings’ bench gets some much-needed help in win over Utah

With Malik Monk, Kevin Huerter, Trey Lyles, and Sasha Vezenkov all sidelined, the Kings’ depth looked incredibly concerning. Keon Ellis already had to step into the starting lineup in the wake of Huerter’s injury, meaning that he couldn’t even provide a spark off the bench. 

That left the Kings with a bench of Davion Mitchell, Chris Duarte, Alex Len, JaVale McGee, and Kessler Edwards. Len has been good as the backup big in limited minutes, and Edwards just had a great game against Dallas, but this is not a bench unit you want to go to the postseason with. 

Luckily, Trey Lyles and Sasha Vezenkov both returned in the Kings’ win over the Utah Jazz. This was a must-win game, and the bench contributed. The main production came from the starting lineup, with Keegan Murray and Harrison Barnes both having big games, but the bench was solid. 

Mitchell played good defense while putting up 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Edwards, Len, and Vezenkov all played some good minutes as well but the real star of the show was Lyles. Finishing the game with 11 points on 3-5 shooting from three, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block, he didn’t miss a step. 

Getting Lyles and Vezenkov back in good shape is huge for the Kings at this point of the season. They need the size, rebounding, and shooting to have any chance of surviving the final stretch of the regular season and hopefully the Play-In Tournament without Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk.