Sacramento Kings: Could recent success continue when play resumes?

Sacramento Kings (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings went on a stellar run before the NBA’s suspension, but will they be able to carry over their late-season success when play resumes?

After having fallen far out of playoff contention, a rejuvenated Sacramento Kings‘ team went on a late run in the season and elevated themselves back into the postseason hunt.

With a 7-3 record post-All-Star break, the Kings made their way into the 11th spot and had a genuine chance to end their long-awaited postseason drought.

However, with the NBA season suspended and possibly facing cancellation, the red-hot Kings’ late-season surge is halted for now. Depending on which way the NBA decides to go, Sacramento could face either some severe problems or a welcomed situation.

If the NBA were to resume sometime this season, the Kings are going to be in an excellent position to succeed. Their current roster was firing on all cylinders before the stoppage and appeared to be playing their best basketball of the year.

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De’Aaron Fox emerged as a true leader with some career numbers, the Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic lineup swap thrived, and Sacramento consistently trended upwards in a jam-packed Western Conference standings.

The Kings could very well contend for that 8th and final playoff spot, and possibly make it into the playoffs with this roster they have this season.

However, if the season gets canceled instead, the Kings could face a problem. Several key players will enter free agency once the season has officially concluded, and Sacramento may not be able to keep all of them to run it back next season.

Both De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley have team options for next season, which the Kings will undoubtedly pick up as both players are essential core pieces.

These are arguably the two most significant pieces for the Sacramento Kings in free agency because, with both of them under 23-years-old, they have only scratched the surface of their potential.

Then comes players such as Kent Bazemore, who provided a vital spark for this team when he joined them midseason. Bazemore is 30-years-old and proved that he can still contribute to a team looking to contend, and could be a great veteran piece long term.

Centers Harry Giles and Alex Len will also become free agents — both players that had fantastic seasons for the Kings. Sacramento would likely want to bring at least one of these players back, which makes center a position of need.

The most significant free agency question mark for the Kings has surrounded Bogdan Bogdanovic. The 27-year-old was offered a four-year, $51.4 million contract extension before this season, but the shooting guard ultimately turned it down.

Likely in search of a more lucrative payday, the Kings could face a pricey dilemma as they faced problems with another shooting guard this season.

The Kings’ other star shooting guard, Buddy Hield, is currently the highest-paid player on the Kings’ roster with a four-year contract that could pay him up to $106 million.

Hield has already shared displeasure since Bogdanovic took his spot in the starting lineup and could potentially request a trade if his role remains this way. An extension for Bogdanovic could be the nail in the coffin for Hield’s tenure with Sacramento.

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The likelihood of losing Hield or Bogdanovic after this year is very realistic, meaning this stoppage could turn costly if the season does eventually get canceled. The Kings were all-in post-All-Star break, and could now face a significant break up with one of their stars in free agency.

The loss of either of these players would be a significant blow as both of them produced incredibly for Sacramento this season. The Kings could be successful if one of them departs, but still, this season was one of their most hopeful in several years, partially because of these two on the court.

The NBA is in a unique situation, unlike anything seen before, and presents a problem to the Sacramento Kings that could turn sour if canceled.

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Right now, with no timetable for a possible return, the only thing to do is wait and see what the future holds.