The Sacramento Kings missed the playoffs for an NBA-record fifteenth consecutive yr, however there are causes for optimism going into subsequent season.
A type of is rookie Tyrese Haliburton. The 21-year-old was picked twelfth general final yr and appears to be the steal of the draft.
Haliburton averaged 13 factors, 5.3 assists and three rebounds per recreation final season. He emerged as a playmaker to assist take strain off star level guard De’Aaron Fox and will probably be one of many basis items for the franchise transferring ahead.
However it wasn’t a very clean journey for Haliburton in Yr 1. After a powerful begin, his degree of play dipped in mid-January. Haliburton additionally missed 14 video games because of damage. He harm his knee in a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Might 2 and sat out the season’s ultimate eight video games.
The excellent news for Haliburton is that the damage isn’t as severe as first thought, however the incident did look scary when it occurred.
“I used to be scared greater than something to be trustworthy with you, I believe that was that quick shock,” Haliburton mentioned in his exit interview. “However there was confidence by way of the analysis from the Mavericks docs and our medical workforce. In order that gave me loads of hope.”
Haliburton will be capable to resume on-court exercises once more within the coming weeks. He’s centered on enhancing his recreation and can emphasize getting stronger this offseason.
“I’m actually wanting ahead to subsequent yr,” Haliburton mentioned. “Subsequent yr begins at the moment. I’m wanting ahead to getting ready and dealing actually arduous to be higher coming into subsequent yr.”
Regardless of a pair of nine-game dropping streaks, the Kings completed simply two video games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the ultimate play-in spot within the Western Convention. With some extra consistency and higher damage luck, Sacramento may have gotten in. However Haliburton was centered on the larger image and recognized the primary space the workforce has to enhance to be able to finish the playoff drought.
“We wish to get the Sacramento Kings again to the playoffs, however that’s not gonna occur if we’re not higher defensively,” Haliburton mentioned. “In order that’s clearly the most important enchancment for us.”
The Kings completed within the backside three within the NBA in factors allowed per recreation, opponents’ subject objective share and defensive ranking. Head coach Luke Walton has taken loads of blame for his defensive scheme because the workforce sat close to the underside of the league in a number of defensive classes for a second consecutive yr.
However Haliburton says the entire blame shouldn’t fall on the coach. The rookie praised Walton for his efficiency and is hopeful he will probably be again on the sideline once more subsequent season.
“Me and coach’s relationship has actually grown all year long, simply studying extra about him,” Haliburton mentioned. “As a result of he’s very a lot so a participant’s coach … it’s been very nice to play for [Walton] and in addition develop our relationship as a result of it’s going to assist us have extra success as time goes on.”
Common supervisor Monte McNair may have some powerful selections to make this offseason. Heart Richaun Holmes is scheduled to hit the open market, whereas Walton’s future with the workforce stays up within the air.
The excellent news for the Kings is that they now have some constructing blocks in place to arrange a greater future. Haliburton is a type of items, and if his rookie marketing campaign is any indication, he ought to assist Sacramento ends its postseason stoop ahead of later.