Sacramento Kings: Injuries, coronavirus tests, it’s all piling up

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

The Sacramento Kings appear to be in trouble at the NBA restart nears.

Luck has not sided with the Sacramento Kings recently, as injuries and positive coronavirus tests have plagued the team.

The latest development revolves around guard De’Aaron Fox, who suffered an ankle sprain in practice on Wednesday and will get reevaluated in 7-10 days, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.

This latest injury is undoubtedly a significant blow, but given he heals within the next 7-10 days, the guard will be ready for the NBA’s restart. Still, this is the same ankle that Fox injured back in November, which caused him to miss 17 games after it got deemed a grade-three sprain.

The Kings must now face a difficult situation if Fox should even suit up for the NBA’s restart, regardless of health. Although alive, their postseason dreams are slim, especially with this injury looming large.

Fox will be eligible for a contract extension this offseason, something that both he and Sacramento would like to take care of sooner rather than later.

Likely discussing a deal in the max-contract range, risking Fox’s health given his injury history might be too significant a gamble for both sides in the restart. Still, all signs point to the guard returning to the lineup in the coming weeks, but anything could change.

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Just days prior to Fox’s injury, Sacramento forward Harrison Barnes announced that he did not travel with the team to Orlando after testing positive with the coronavirus.

“I’ve been primarily asymptomatic and am doing well,” Barnes said. “I’m quarantined and am abiding by the safety protocol until I’m cleared for action. I hope to join my team in Orlando when it is safe to do so!”

Barnes became the fourth player on the roster to test positive for the Kings, joining Buddy Hield, Alex Len, and Jabari Parker. Hield and Parker recently joined the team in Sacramento, but what the future holds for Len and Barnes remains up in the air right now, detailed by Kings’ coach Luke Walton.

Head coach Luke Walton had the following to say about Harrison Barnes and Alex Len’s status, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

"“We have to prepare as if we’re not going to have either one of those guys. And that’s just getting ready for what worst-case scenario would be. And there’s a reality that might be it. So our mindset is we prep that we’re not going to have them with us, and we’re hopeful that they rejoin us.”"

The Sacramento Kings at least have some good news regarding Marvin Bagley

Being down two substantial role players would be a significant hit to Sacramento’s contending chances, but one positive is that Marvin Bagley appears to be ready for a return.

The big man recently assured that the hiatus had given him the proper time to heal after playing in a mere 13 games due to a foot injury.

The 21-year-old stated in February that he was unsure if he would even play again this season, but that, of course, was before the NBA suspended play in early March.

Adding him back into the lineup would be a noteworthy boost, but like Fox, the risk might be higher than the long-term reward.

The Sacramento Kings are certainly not the only team battling through adversity right now, but they are one of the most apparent.

Currently, 3.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, the Kings have a chance at the postseason, but how intact their roster is when play resumes will be the deciding factor.

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Hopefully, with so many questions surrounding the team, there will be more answers when the team takes the court against the San Antonio Spurs on July 31st.