Joe Paige | Sports Editor
One of the biggest surprises to the start of the 2022-2023 NBA season certainly are the Sacramento Kings. They haven’t seen postseason action since 2007, they currently hold the longest active playoff drought in the history of the NBA, this season they appear to have a solid chance in ending that streak.
Last season this team executed a massive 6 player trade with Sacramento trading their 2020 12th overall pick, Tyrese Haliburton, and veterans Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson to the Indiana Pacers for big man Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, and Jeremy Lamb. There was much controversy over the trading of Haliburton as he’d step up tremendously whilst their star player De’Aaron Fox was injured on the bench, many believed he should’ve been the centerpiece of the franchise moving forward. Haliburton spoke on his thoughts about the trade after the deal got done, saying things like “Before I got traded, I felt invincible” and “They kept bringing up trade rumors and I wouldn’t even bat an eye because I’m like, ‘There’s no way that they actually would trade me.’ I wasn’t worried.” After sending away their rising star many fans were in disarray not knowing what direction this team was headed. This start to Sacramento’s season has silenced all that noise.
They’re currently first in the league in offensive rating and are top 5 in both assist percentage and assist to turnover ratio. They have put up 120 points per game in these six straight wins and have shot the ball better than anybody else as the only team in the league shooting above 50% from the field. Veteran forward Harrison Barnes has revived his offense providing a boost to this team all over the floor, in his last five games he has averaged 18 points on nearly 60% field goal percentage. Malik Monk, after stints with the Hornets and the Lakers, has given Sacramento another guard to help Fox run the offense, as well as be an athletic playmaker capable of creating his own shot from all three levels. This team may not be filled with many stars or household names, but they are comprised of players who know how to win and want to contribute to winning. The only question is whether they can sustain this level of success for the rest of the season, so far, they’ve shown no signs of slowing down.