Projected starting lineup: Sacramento Kings
Point Guard: D’Aaron Fox
Shooting Guard: Kevin Huerter
Small Forward: Keegan Murray
Power Forward: Harrison Barnes
Center: Domantas Sabonis
The Kings were the surprise team of the 2022–23 season. They not only snapped a 16-year playoff drought, but they also had a historic offense that propelled them to 48 wins and the third seed in the Western Conference. That feel-good season came to an early end against the Golden State Warriors, but there is no reason to believe that the Kings were a one-off success story.
In fact, they have made sure to bring back their same starting five from last season, including re-signing star Sabonis to a long-term deal and bringing back vet Harrison Barnes. Sabonis proved crucial to their success with his ability to operate as a playmaker out on the perimeter, allowing shooters to maneuver around him and find them for open shots.
Additionally, Fox took a step forward, finally living up to his potential by leading the team in scoring and ranking second in assists. He also came up big late in numerous games, resulting in him winning the first-ever Clutch Player of the Year.
In addition to Sabonis and Fox, there are also Huerter and Murray, both of whom proved to be among the best shooters at their positions last season. Huerter developed terrific chemistry with Sabonis and drained an impressive 40.2% of his 6.8 threes.
As for Murray, he knocked down 41.1% of his 6.3 attempts as a rookie, and following a strong Summer League showing, he could make a big leap in year two. More continuity and Murray’s further development should result in an even better 2023–24 season for the Kings.