NBA

Sacramento Kings on Their 29th 6+ Game Losing Streak

Apr 10, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) looks to shoot against Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) ion the fourth quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

After their loss against the Utah Jazz, the Sacramento Kings added their 29th 6+ game losing streak in 15 years. The Kings have been in a playoff drought for 15 years.

The Kings have not had a 6+ game-winning streak since the drought, along with their losing streaks. Also, the team has gone on a five-game winning streak only five times in 15 years. However, during the drought, they have gone on 47 losing streaks of 5 or more games.

One of the biggest problems for the Sacramento Kings is their mistakes in the draft. Time and time again, they pass up on star players to pick mediocre young guys who do not fully develop as players.

Draft Problems

Jun 21, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Luka Doncic greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number three overall pick to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2009 NBA Draft, the Kings selected Tyreke Evans as the 4th pick. They passed up on Stephen Curry, who was selected at 7th overall. Tyreke Evans never really developed in the league as the Kings wished he would. Moreover, Evans is nowhere near the player Stephen Curry is, and the Kings missed a golden opportunity.

In the 2011 NBA Draft, the Kings selected Bismack Biyombo as the 7th pick. The Kings passed on Kawhi Leonard, who was picked 15th overall. Again, the Kings blew another opportunity to draft star power to their team.

The same problems continued into the 2013 NBA Draft. The King selected Ben Mclemore with their 7th pick over Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was selected 13th.

In the 2015 NBA Draft, the Kings picked Willie Cauley-Stein over Devin Booker with their early lottery pick.

Most recently, the Kings are infamous for passing up on young star Luka Doncic. In the 2018 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings selected Marvin Bagley III at second overall. They passed up on players, such as Luka Doncic and Trae Young.

Staff Contributing to Losing Streak

Apr 2, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Vlade Divac was the general manager for the Kings from 2015-2020. He consistently received hate from Kings’ fans during his run, especially in the 2018 NBA Draft for picking Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic. Although Bagley shows promise, he is very injury-prone, which slows down his development as a player. Vlade Divac resigned as general manager in 2020.

Also, the organization has received hate for signing Luke Walton as their head coach in 2019. Luke Walton came off of a highly underwhelming season with the Lakers, but the Kings’ staff saw potential in his coaching style. However, he has not lived up to the organization’s desires.

In two seasons, Luke Walton holds a 53-72 record with the Kings. Last year, the Kings finished 12th with 31 wins and 41 losses.

Fixing Their Coaching Staff And Ending The Losing Streak

Feb 1, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Sacramento Kings assistant head coach Alvin Gentry taking notes against New Orleans Pelicans during the first half at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings have to assess their staff if they want to end their playoff drought. Firstly, they have to fire Luke Walton as their head coach. It is clear that he has struggled as a coach in this league and needs more experience.

He does not seem like the right coach in developing young players, which is what the Kings need as their best players are relatively young. Luke Walton emphasizes a slow-paced Kings team, which does not fit the Kings.

In the 2018-2019 season, Dave Joerger was the head coach for the Kings, and he allowed the Kings to play with a fast-paced style. This coaching style allowed their young core, such as De’Arron Fox and Marvin Bagley III, to outpace their opponents. Their fast-paced team reached the 9th seed in the Western Conference, but the Kings eventually fired Dave Joerger for Luke.

So how can the Kings reach their fast-paced style once again?

The answer is firing Luke Walton and promoting assistant coach Alvin Gentry as the new head coach. Alvin Gentry has experience as a head coach in this league, as he coached the Pelicans last year. Also, he led the Phoenix Suns to many playoff appearances, which is what the Kings need to end their drought.

This Season’s Positives

Apr 10, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) drives around Utah Jazz forward Georges Niang (31) and guard Joe Ingles (2) in the third quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

This season the Kings currently hold the 12th seed with 22 wins and 31 losses. Although not much has changed from last season, there are plenty of positives that Kings’ fans should be proud of and look forward to.

Firstly, the Kings went on one of five of their five-game winning streaks in 15 years this season. The week was March 22 to March 29. Therefore, this Kings team shows signs of improvement and ending the playoff drought.

Lastly, the Kings’ team is relatively young. Their young core consists of De’Arron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Marvin Bagley III. However, Marvin Bagley recently fractured his hand this season, which hurts their chances for playoffs. Nonetheless, all three players show signs of promise for their future careers in the league, especially De’Arron Fox. Currently, he is having a breakout season averaging 24.7 points per game, which is his highest average in his career.

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