Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox is here to stay

Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox is off to a blazing start in 2018-19 and will continue to rise in the NBA.

Sacramento Kings’ guard De’Aaron Fox carries a baby face, a boyish smile and a deep passion for childhood hobbies such as comics and video games. At first glance, the average person might not see him as a prototypical NBA player.

Even some regular NBA fans watch Fox’s Snapchat stories and wonder why he plays so much video games instead of posting workout videos.

However, those who have been paying close attention understand that Fox is quickly becoming one of the most intimidating figures in the league.

The second-year guard, often undersized against NBA giants, is finding ways to thrive on a nightly basis and averaging 18.7 points, 7.1 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 50.8 percent from the floor and 44.2 percent from 3.

That’s a far contrast from his rookie year, where he often looked hesitant and far from intimidating. In his second season, Fox has become more than just a player who makes a beeline to the basket on every play.

The 20-year-old has now developed a deadly pull-up jumper, which has made it easier for him to take advantage of his quickness when he drives to the hoop. Unlike last season, Fox is no longer out of control when he accelerates.

Rather, he has found a way to control his pace, changing speed as necessary when he leads the fast break or when he drives to the paint. Fox’s ability to stay under control has not only helped limit the turnovers, but also improve his court vision.

The stats tell us that Fox only averaged 2.4 turnovers per game last season, compared to 3.2 turnovers so far this year. However, it’s important to note that Fox is handling the ball a lot more this year and playing more minutes.

The analytics in this case don’t reflect how much better Fox’s decision-making has been, especially in the open court.

As opposed to a year ago, when it was common to see Fox throw an errant pass, Kings fans are now getting accustomed to watching a more mature player who draws the defense to find the open man.

When he’s not pulling up from 3-point range or driving to the hoop, Fox is showing his ability to stop and pop from the mid-range.

Fox’s improvement in terms of leadership is also evident. The sophomore guard is looking like a seasoned veteran, as he can be seen constantly communicating with his teammates on both sides of the court.

A season ago, it was veterans like Vince Carter and Zach Randolph who put their arms around Fox and gave him pointers. Now, Fox can be seen doing the same for his teammates.

You don’t have to sit courtside to hear Fox’s voice as he yells, “Let’s go, let’s go” while pushing the ball up the court. You can actually hear him loud and clear from your living room.

Fox’s vocal leadership and renewed composure on the fast break has allowed the Kings to do what they’ve been wanting to do for a long time– play uptempo. That’s a big part of the reason why the Kings are now second in pace at 106.75.

Don’t be surprised if Fox’s hot start continues for the rest of the season and for many more years. In fact, it will only be a matter of time before he’s in the MVP discussion.

The 20-year-old will surely continue to develop his body, while his basketball IQ is likely to grow just as fast. Teams are already making Fox a primary target of their scouting report, but so far he has stepped up to the challenge.

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As the Kings become more relevant around the nation, De’Aaron Fox will get even more attention. Judging by his demeanor on and off the court, it’s safe to say he will stay hungry and become even better as his opponents learn more about him.