[SI] De'Aaron Fox and the Kings Are Building for the Future

Just to interject some info into this Fox vs. Morant vs. Young vs. Doncic discussion, below are some percentiles in various advanced impact metrics. The bottom table simply averages the percentiles across the 5 metrics to try and condense it a bit;

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No surprise that Doncic is the top dog here, but we actually are seeing that Doncic & Young are being ranked similarly on the offensive end.

Fox & Morant seem comparable with Fox having a slight edge as of today. However, I tend to favor LEBRON & LA-RAPM a lot more than the others. If we just look at those two metrics, this is how it shakes out:

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This shows Fox below the others. His main path to become a very high impact player is to improve defensively. He has the tools & the smarts to do it. Just comes down to if he dedicates himself to that side of the ball and puts in the work.
Hopefully this puts to rest the notion that Fox is a good defender. He's been able to play 1 on 1 defense in certain situations at certain times but overall he's really bad and he will always be really bad until he learns how to navigate screens.
 
Hopefully this puts to rest the notion that Fox is a good defender. He's been able to play 1 on 1 defense in certain situations at certain times but overall he's really bad and he will always be really bad until he learns how to navigate screens.
None of it will matter until the Kings new defensive specialist hire, whoever that is, forces this franchise to jump into the 21st century and realizes the only shot they've got on the defensive end is ball pressure and switching.
 
Whoa, careful on those defensive impact stats when your coaching staff just unleashed one of the worst defensive schemes in the history of basketball on the world, ha ha.
I guess following that logic, you'd think all Kings players would rank behind (or towards the bottom in these defensive metrics)...

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Looks like Fox is near the bottom on his own team defensively.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
Looks like Fox is near the bottom on his own team defensively.
But when the entire primary guard line for the season (Fox, Buddy, Hali, CoJo) are all horrendous on a particular metric, and three of the four have reputations as being strong defenders, either CoJo with a history in the NBA, or Fox/Hali as pitched from college as not just good but great defensive guards, then one might start to wonder if there's something specific about the the defensive scheme that makes the metric hate them so.
 
But when the entire primary guard line for the season (Fox, Buddy, Hali, CoJo) are all horrendous on a particular metric, and three of the four have reputations as being strong defenders, either CoJo with a history in the NBA, or Fox/Hali as pitched from college as not just good but great defensive guards, then one might start to wonder if there's something specific about the the defensive scheme that makes the metric hate them so.
It’s a fair call out. Definitely.

But you’re also seeing him on par with someone like Hield. You’d think there would be some separation judging by how people view Hield and Fox defensively.
 
Are those D LeBron numbers correct? When I go to the LeBron spreadsheet (Link), it has Fox's defensive percentage at 21 for the season. Of note - it's the worst of his career. His two best seasons for this metric were pre Walton. Not saying he's a good defender, or that the numbers I see are the correct numbers.

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Fox will put the clamps down once in a blue moon, but the eye test aligns with the advanced stats. He’s generally atrocious on defense.

Honestly, I think that if you polled impartial fans, Fox would end up third behind Luka and Trae.

Luka is a no-brainer (unless you’re Vlade, but jury is out on whether or not he does indeed have a brain). I think with Trae’s passing and ELITE flopping skills, he edges out Fox on offensive impact. If Fox got the treatment from refs that Trae gets, it would be a different story, and he’d probably average 30+ a game.

All that being said, Fox is good enough that we don’t really need to have these “grass is greener” conversations. I’m a believer in his stardom, he is going to continue to improve and he’s never been an issue on a franchise that’s been crippled by abysmal ownership/FOs for the past 15 years.

Bonus points to Fox for generally being a good guy. Luka is growing into quite the diva over there in Texas.
 
Bonus points to Fox for generally being a good guy. Luka is growing into quite the diva over there in Texas.
Indeed. Luka is obviously respected as a player and seems well-liked enough as a personality. But I'm curious whether any other big stars would want to play with him.

At 22, he might be the most alpha dog in the league since Jordan. He dominates the ball and the glory by design. Porzingis might not be a deserving Robin to Luka's Batman, but I suspect KP isn't the only *star* who'd be frustrated about being relegated to playing a WAAAAAAY distant second-fiddle to Luka.
 
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Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
Fox will put the clamps down once in a blue moon, but the eye test aligns with the advanced stats. He’s generally atrocious on defense.

Honestly, I think that if you polled impartial fans, Fox would end up third behind Luka and Trae.

Luka is a no-brainer (unless you’re Vlade, but jury is out on whether or not he does indeed have a brain). I think with Trae’s passing and ELITE flopping skills, he edges out Fox on offensive impact. If Fox got the treatment from refs that Trae gets, it would be a different story, and he’d probably average 30+ a game.

All that being said, Fox is good enough that we don’t really need to have these “grass is greener” conversations. I’m a believer in his stardom, he is going to continue to improve and he’s never been an issue on a franchise that’s been crippled by abysmal ownership/FOs for the past 15 years.

Bonus points to Fox for generally being a good guy. Luka is growing into quite the diva over there in Texas.
Right. After a while, it's sorta pointless to rank guys who are all in the same general tier as players with their own individual quirks and situations. Trae is good. Fox is good. Ja is good. Who's better than who isn't really a conversation that really needs to be had unless you're in charge of the 2K ratings or whatever.

Luka's currently in a tier above Trae and Fox and Ja but the last couple of weeks is starting to make Vlade's whole reported "I'm not drafting him because I have character questions/a grudge against his parents" thing not look as wild as it did a couple years ago, which doesn't mean he's right in passing on him by any means but it certainly makes the next couple of years as the Mavs engage in the mad scramble to not implode entirely/keep their star happy that has ruined many a franchise before them all that more entertaining.
 
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Fox will put the clamps down once in a blue moon, but the eye test aligns with the advanced stats. He’s generally atrocious on defense.

Honestly, I think that if you polled impartial fans, Fox would end up third behind Luka and Trae.

Luka is a no-brainer (unless you’re Vlade, but jury is out on whether or not he does indeed have a brain). I think with Trae’s passing and ELITE flopping skills, he edges out Fox on offensive impact. If Fox got the treatment from refs that Trae gets, it would be a different story, and he’d probably average 30+ a game.

All that being said, Fox is good enough that we don’t really need to have these “grass is greener” conversations. I’m a believer in his stardom, he is going to continue to improve and he’s never been an issue on a franchise that’s been crippled by abysmal ownership/FOs for the past 15 years.

Bonus points to Fox for generally being a good guy. Luka is growing into quite the diva over there in Texas.
Except when they pressured, then it looked like they had a chance. The whole team looked different when they did. Pressuring the ball rather than playing a help scheme like they did is when you see where the eye test and the truth aligns. When your defense is basically intended to leave the basket area covered at all costs and allow open shots, those guys up top and on the sides expected to help are going to suffer.
 
With respect to the effect that a good coach can have on a team and a player like Trae or Fox, one needs look no further than the Hawks themselves. They brought in a good coach and their entire season changed. Similarly, when the pacers replaced McMillan the entire team collapsed. The difference in Fox's success vs these guys is in large part coaching. Part if it is roster construction. When the best defender on the team is holmes who is fairly average at best you have a problem. At least on the perimeter issues i think are somewhat addressed with the addition of Wright and Davis, hopefully they can retain Harkless but they have a lot of work to do.

As for Fox himself, he needs to be more consistent on defense. He has the skill and ability but needs to understand the importance with respect to his how he is perceived around the league and his teams success. He also needs to understand that part of Traes offensive successes have to do with his success on the foul line. He gets to the line a lot a makes 88% of his attempts. He takes 2 more shots than fox and makes 2 more shots than fox per game. The difference isntuat fox doesn't need gimmicks (or cheeky plays) to get to the line which may be affected by rule changes this off season. If he improves at the line it will force teams to back off of him a bit which should help improve his own shooting but also open up passing lanes for him to hit his teammates. He need to improve his free throw percentage to at least 80% and his 3pt shooting to around 35% and his passing game will likely improve too. But the players around him need to change. If clips dont win or at least get to the NBA finals, i expect PG13 to be available (though im not sure the kings have the assets to get him without throwing in Fox or Hali). I think Myles Turner could be a legit target, as could Tobias Harris
 
Fox will put the clamps down once in a blue moon, but the eye test aligns with the advanced stats. He’s generally atrocious on defense.

Honestly, I think that if you polled impartial fans, Fox would end up third behind Luka and Trae.

Luka is a no-brainer (unless you’re Vlade, but jury is out on whether or not he does indeed have a brain). I think with Trae’s passing and ELITE flopping skills, he edges out Fox on offensive impact. If Fox got the treatment from refs that Trae gets, it would be a different story, and he’d probably average 30+ a game.

All that being said, Fox is good enough that we don’t really need to have these “grass is greener” conversations. I’m a believer in his stardom, he is going to continue to improve and he’s never been an issue on a franchise that’s been crippled by abysmal ownership/FOs for the past 15 years.

Bonus points to Fox for generally being a good guy. Luka is growing into quite the diva over there in Texas.
I’ll take a diva whose on tack to be a top 10 player of all time and Trae is elite elite player people focus on his scoring but man can he run an offense.

I died laughing at “elite flopping skills”
 
Right. After a while, it's sorta pointless to rank guys who are all in the same general tier as players with their own individual quirks and situations. Trae is good. Fox is good. Ja is good. Who's better than who isn't really a conversation that really needs to be had unless you're in charge of the 2K ratings or whatever.

Luka's currently in a tier above Trae and Fox and Ja but the last couple of weeks is starting to make Vlade's whole reported "I'm not drafting him because I have character questions/a grudge against his parents" thing not look as wild as it did a couple years ago, which doesn't mean he's right in passing on him by any means but it certainly makes the next couple of years as the Mavs engage in the mad scramble to not implode entirely/keep their star happy that has ruined many a franchise before them all that more entertaining.
I don’t know about this the reports it looks like that gambling guy that Cuban is backing is the bad apple. They lost Nelson/Rick because of him and he’s hated by mostly everyone
 
With respect to the effect that a good coach can have on a team and a player like Trae or Fox, one needs look no further than the Hawks themselves. They brought in a good coach and their entire season changed. Similarly, when the pacers replaced McMillan the entire team collapsed. The difference in Fox's success vs these guys is in large part coaching. Part if it is roster construction. When the best defender on the team is holmes who is fairly average at best you have a problem. At least on the perimeter issues i think are somewhat addressed with the addition of Wright and Davis, hopefully they can retain Harkless but they have a lot of work to do.

As for Fox himself, he needs to be more consistent on defense. He has the skill and ability but needs to understand the importance with respect to his how he is perceived around the league and his teams success. He also needs to understand that part of Traes offensive successes have to do with his success on the foul line. He gets to the line a lot a makes 88% of his attempts. He takes 2 more shots than fox and makes 2 more shots than fox per game. The difference isntuat fox doesn't need gimmicks (or cheeky plays) to get to the line which may be affected by rule changes this off season. If he improves at the line it will force teams to back off of him a bit which should help improve his own shooting but also open up passing lanes for him to hit his teammates. He need to improve his free throw percentage to at least 80% and his 3pt shooting to around 35% and his passing game will likely improve too. But the players around him need to change. If clips dont win or at least get to the NBA finals, i expect PG13 to be available (though im not sure the kings have the assets to get him without throwing in Fox or Hali). I think Myles Turner could be a legit target, as could Tobias Harris
Yep. And you have to have proper usage before deciding anything. For instance. Walton wants to and does run 4 guard lineups consistently. Now, wouldn't common sense lead you to the possible strengths of a team like that defensively? I would think you'd be quicker. Those players will vertically be closer to the same area as the ball when a bigger player is dribbling at them. Easy answer there, pressure the ball! Play under the man you're guarding. Nope, he had players like Cojo help down on penetration. What the heck is a player that size going to do as a rim protector? Well, we know quite well by now, and it's not good! Joerger did some of the same things to much the same effect. He didn't run teams that hopelessly small however.
 
I’ll take a diva whose on tack to be a top 10 player of all time and Trae is elite elite player people focus on his scoring but man can he run an offense.

I died laughing at “elite flopping skills”
Oh me too, but that ship has sailed (or one could say Vlade and Williams sunk it in the harbor)..

But since we have Fox, I think we’re allowed to be happy that he’s got such a chill/drama free disposition.
 
Oh me too, but that ship has sailed (or one could say Vlade and Williams sunk it in the harbor)..

But since we have Fox, I think we’re allowed to be happy that he’s got such a chill/drama free disposition.
Not sure if it's true but i heard the vlade didnt draft luka because he didnt like his father dating all the way back to serbia.
 
Whoa, careful on those defensive impact stats when your coaching staff just unleashed one of the worst defensive schemes in the history of basketball on the world, ha ha.
This is a valid point, and I think the metrics are negatively skewed as a result of how bad the team was as a whole defensively, making Fox look worse than he actually is.

However, watching him play, I do not think it is difficult to identify that he doesn't consistently play good defense. Yes, he can do it. But he doesn't very often. He is a sieve on the perimeter way too often, along with the rest of the players on the team both as an on ball and off ball defender. It's amazing to me how much he gets blown by as the primary defender on ball given his physical attributes. It's also amazing how much he falls asleep off ball and loses his man or decides at awful times to apply double teams or go for steals at moments when his chances of succeeding are slim to none.

On another note, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I thought the consensus on this site was that he's a great defender and felt like an outlier any time I claimed otherwise.
 
Fox has made improvements every year in the league which indicates hard work and self awareness. My biggest frustration with him has always been defense since I think he can be elite. Give me a couple percentages better on three and from the line along with consistently solid defense and I’ll be thrilled.
 
This is a valid point, and I think the metrics are negatively skewed as a result of how bad the team was as a whole defensively, making Fox look worse than he actually is.

However, watching him play, I do not think it is difficult to identify that he doesn't consistently play good defense. Yes, he can do it. But he doesn't very often. He is a sieve on the perimeter way too often, along with the rest of the players on the team both as an on ball and off ball defender. It's amazing to me how much he gets blown by as the primary defender on ball given his physical attributes. It's also amazing how much he falls asleep off ball and loses his man or decides at awful times to apply double teams or go for steals at moments when his chances of succeeding are slim to none.

On another note, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I thought the consensus on this site was that he's a great defender and felt like an outlier any time I claimed otherwise.
Fox’s area under the curve is like at 85% on offense and like 55% on defense. At his absolute best, his improvements can grow incrementally on offense, but his improvements on defense has levels to go.

Qualitatively speaking, there’s no reason why he can’t guard 1 to 3. 1 to 2, he can do now with some efffort. Guarding 3s, he’ll need to bulk up a bit more—not significant, but enough to not get bullied (like what Booker does to Buddy every time they play).
 

SLAB

Hall of Famer
And, as it relates to Trae, this thread is example number 1 of recency bias and example 2 of small sample size bias. Remember bubble Murray or bubble Herro? Easy to fall in love with players when they’re on the main stage. Once the Kings make the playoffs, boards from opposing teams will yearn for some of the kings as well.
“Once the Kings make the playoffs” is a series of words that I understand individually, but put together into a sentence it doesn’t compute.
 
This is a valid point, and I think the metrics are negatively skewed as a result of how bad the team was as a whole defensively, making Fox look worse than he actually is.

However, watching him play, I do not think it is difficult to identify that he doesn't consistently play good defense. Yes, he can do it. But he doesn't very often. He is a sieve on the perimeter way too often, along with the rest of the players on the team both as an on ball and off ball defender. It's amazing to me how much he gets blown by as the primary defender on ball given his physical attributes. It's also amazing how much he falls asleep off ball and loses his man or decides at awful times to apply double teams or go for steals at moments when his chances of succeeding are slim to none.

On another note, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I thought the consensus on this site was that he's a great defender and felt like an outlier any time I claimed otherwise.
I personally think with the burden he has on the offensive end it is always going to effect things defensively. I do think Fox can be great on defense with the main issue being the kind of defense he could be great at (steals, ball pressure, switching). That type of defense (which is the only defense you can really play nowadays) comes with foul risk and if he's not on the floor he can't carry everyone else like he did last year at times.