In the midst of all the reorganization of the Western Conference teams in recent weeks, it is easy to forget that the Sacramento Kings are one of the future teams of the NBA.
Led by De & # 39; Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles, the Kings won 39 games last season and have a promising future.
But the group of coaches that helped bring those players to where they are will not get the job to reach the finish line. The Kings dismissed head coach Dave Joerger after the season and let all of his assistants go.
Two of those coaches, Elston Turner and Larry Lewis, recently spoke with the Sacramento Bee about their departure and what they are leaving behind.
"They have a couple of stars," Lewis told The Bee. "I saw a lot of potential in that young core group, these players have a learning curve, but they were adapting very quickly to what was happening, do they have a lot to learn? Of course, but at the same time, these guys are real. I would have loved to be part of that in the future, but her decision is her decision and I am at peace with her. "
Fox and Hield made the biggest jumps last season. It is clear that working with Lewis, who was a player development coach, paid off.
"It was a great experience," Lewis told The Bee. "The players really grew up, they really matured a lot, we had a great season, the team got much better, the players have improved a lot, that's all it is."
From year 1 to year 2, Fox went from an average of 11.6 points per game to 17.3. His field goal shot improved from 41.2 percent to 45.8 percent, and his 3-point shot improved from 30.7 percent to 37.1 percent. Those numbers combined with the highlights he made were good enough to help him finish third in the NBA's most improved Player vote.
As for Hield, he blossomed from start to become a player who started the 82 games for the Kings this past season. He entered the season with questions, but responded to each of them with an average of 20.7 points per game and sinking a single-season Kings record with 278 three-pointers.
Bagley and Giles, both rookies, proved that they have the potential to be great in the NBA.
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"You could see the improvement," Turner told The Bee. "A lot of guys improved and Larry was the head of the player development department, so he did a great job."
Now it will be up to new head coach Luke Walton and his staff to help the young people of Kings continue their development. If they do, Sacramento will be a force in the Western Conference for years to come.