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How Do the Sacramento Kings Build Off of Successful Season?

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
What do the Sacramento Kings need to do this offseason to ensure the Beam Team has staying power and isn’t just a one-hit wonder? Boardroom explores.

The Sacramento Kings had a special season. There’s no question about that.

They broke their 16-season playoff drought with an extremely fast, fun, and frenetic offense that shattered the NBA’s all-time single-season record for efficiency at 119.3 points per 100 possessions. Sactown boasts two All-Star level players in De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, two intriguing young pieces in Keegan Murray and Davion Mitchell, and — of course — they have the beam!

The beam was a viral phenomenon that brought an immense sense of pride to a loyal fan base starving for a winner, desperate to fill its arena, ring their cowbells, and cheer the Kings on. Sacramento was rightfully the feel-good story of the league, with Fox winning the league’s first-ever Clutch Player of the Year, Mike Brown unanimously taking Coach of the Year honors, and a 48-win season that earned the Kings the third seed in the Western Conference.

Sacramento more than held its own against the defending champion Golden State Warriors in its first playoff action in over a decade, forcing a Game 7 and taking the lead before falling apart and bowing out in the first round. The fairytale season is officially over and now the Kings, led by excellent general manager Monte McNair, have to look to the future.

McNair and Co. must ask themselves a simple question: What do the Kings have to do this offseason to sustain and build off of this success, ensuring this magical run wasn’t a blip or an aberration?

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Fox still has three years and just over $104.5 million left on his contract, but Sabonis will be in the final year of his deal next season and should receive an extension ASAP. Fox, Mitchell, Murray, Kevin Huerter, and Richaun Holmes are the only Kings players under contract beyond next season, giving McNair the ability to really reshape this roster moving forward.

The largest orders of business will be to extend Sabonis and figure out what to do with unrestricted free agent Harrison Barnes, as well as rotation players like Trey Lyles — who’s due a substantial raise— Terrance Davis, and Alex Len. Barnes and Matthew Dellavedova were the only players on the roster over 30 this season.

Do the Kings try to bring in more veterans to bring a dose of experience, or go young and sign players more in line with the existing core?

Sacramento’s draft ledger is clear aside from a first-rounder owed to Atlanta for the Huerter trade which is protected 1-14 in 2024, 1-12 in 2025, and 1-10 in 2026. Does McNair swing a trade to bring in Barnes’ replacement? How will he fill out the back end of the Kings’ rotation and roster?

The offseason after a young team makes the playoffs for the first time is always an important one — especially so for these Kings — trying to balance maintaining continuity with attempting to add more building blocks to a strong foundation. Those decisions this summer will help determine whether the Beam Team (light it!) is here to stay or if the Kings were a flash in the pan we’ll reminisce about in 20 years as another one-hit wonder that briefly took the NBA by storm.

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About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.