By Mardeio Cannon | OBSERVER Columnist
Now that all the Kings’ men have returned from Hawaii, Cancun, Cabo, Jamaica, the Bahamas — or wherever their favorite mid-season get-a-way spot is — now is the time for your Sacramento Kings to make a sprint for the playoffs.
The Kings have retooled their roster after a flurry of trades by General Manager Monte McNair before the NBA’s trade deadline. Kings fans are holding their breath in the trade with the Indiana Pacers to see if McNair made the correct decision in giving up on fan-favorite Tyrese Haliburton (instead of De’Aaron Fox) to acquire two-time NBA All-Star Domantas Sabonis.
Time will tell who comes out better on this blockbuster deal that shook Kings fans to the core. In the games played after the trade, Fox has been balling like a new man. First of all, he seems to be playing with more joy after the trade that is showing up on the court. It’s no question that Fox has an All-Star in Sabonis who is only 25 to run with for the first time as a Kings player. Kings fans are also amazed at how McNair acquired Donte DiVincenzo along with Josh Jackson (former No. 4 pick in the draft) and Trey Lyles for Marvin Bagley III.
Bagley finally has been traded to restart his career with the Detroit Pistons. Because we passed on a perennial All-Star in Luka Doncic in the 2018 NBA draft and selected Bagley, the forward was never going to live up to the comparisons with Doncic. Bagley was a huge disappointment because of his injury history and meddlesome dad. We wish him good health and the best with his NBA career.
Divincenzo, who should have been a Sacramento King two years ago in the botched trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, can add much-needed production at the guard spot whether he is starting or coming off the bench.
With a healthy Davion Mitchell, who seems to be improving as the season progresses, the Kings will be well-stocked at the guard spot.
Now the question is can this team play well enough down the stretch to reach the play-in game as they are currently 3.5 games behind as I pen this column.
Even if the Kings somehow get to the 9th or 10th seed, that will not erase their playoff drought, which will approach 16 years if the Kings don’t make it to the 8th spot.
No matter what happens, King fans feel a little better about this team going into the future than they did before the trades.