Mason: Kings Could "Be A Force In The West"

Sacramento could finish with a winning record for the first time since 2006

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
March 07, 2019 - 8:21 am
Buddy Hield Sacramento Kings Oklahoma City Thunder NBA

USA Today Images

Categories: 

While the Warriors and Lakers – mostly the Lakers – have dominated headlines this season, the Sacramento Kings (32-32) have, understandably, flown under the radar. Dormant for more than a decade, Sacramento could finish with a winning record for the first time since 2006.

“I thought this team was going to win like 25 games this year, Vegas thought they were going to win 25-ish games this year – people had low expectations, and they’ve surpassed all of that,” Kings analyst Deuce Mason said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think they’re one of the better stories in the league. They’ve been the laughingstock – for good reason – for a long time. They haven’t made the playoffs since I was a senior in high school. Sacramento has seen a lot of misery, and for the first time in a long time, there’s hope now because of De’Aaron Fox, because of Buddy Hield, because of (Marvin) Bagley – it’s very positive right now in Sacramento.”

The Kings trail the Spurs (37-29) by four games for the final playoff spot in the West, but with Hield, 26, Fox, 21, and Bagley, 19, the future is bright.

“There’s so many young guys that they’ve just kind of grown up together now that they’ve been together for a couple of years,” Mason said. “It’s really been a strategy of (general manager) Vlade (Divac) for a long time to try to build that chemistry that those Kings teams had in the early 2000s. I think it all started when they traded for Buddy and got rid of DeMarcus Cousins and got somebody like Bogdan Bogdanovic. You get these good guys in there, and you start to get the change.”

Hield is averaging a team-high 21.0 points per game, while Fox, Bogdanovic and Bagley are averaging 17.2, 14.7 and 13.9, respectively.

“De’Aaron Fox, he may be 21 years old, but he’s got the maturity of someone who’s like 27, 28,” Mason said. “He’s a seasoned pro. These guys legitimately are just good guys, they work hard, and they’ve got talent. Long-term for Sacramento, they should be very, very confident that they’re going to be a force in the West.”