4 bold predictions for the 2021-22 NBA season

The Sacramento Kings hope to end the longest-active playoff drought in the league this upcoming 2021-22 NBA season. Sacramento has been trying to finally break that dismal streak since their last postseason appearance in 2007.

As constructed, it’s easy to see the talent the Kings squad possesses up and down the roster. They are led by a dynamic point guard in De’Aaron Fox and banner a supporting cast that includes a good mix of veterans and young studs with potential.

Being in the ever so competitive Western Conference certainly doesn’t help their case. But if Sacramento is able to piece the puzzle together and figure it out, they could make some noise this upcoming campaign. With that said, here are four bold Kings 2021-22 predictions.

Sacramento Kings 2021-22 Predictions

4. Buddy Hield will still be a King by season’s end

Buddy Hield has seen his name pop up on trade rumors for quite a while now. In fact, he almost got dealt this past offseason to the Los Angeles Lakers. But alas, Hield will wear a Kings uniform when their campaign opens on October 20th. And we’re predicting that will be the case until the end of the season.

Hield has had some spat with coach Luke Walton in the past. The former NBA veteran has some decisions to make with regards to his lineup, especially with sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton making a strong case for the starting two-guard spot next to De’Aaron Fox.

If Walton goes with the high-IQ, do-it-all Haliburton, that means Hield gets bumped to the bench–a role he has openly said he doesn’t prefer to have. Nonetheless, despite that, the knockdown 3-point specialist maintained his professionalism, saying he’d be willing to do whatever it takes for the Kings to win, even if it means coming off the bench. If Sacramento is able to find more success with Hield just sniping in threes off the pine—and maybe be in the running for Sixth Man of the Year (another prediction) —then it’s going to be hard to envision them trading him midseason.

3. Marvin Bagley will play over 70 games

Marvin Bagley III has, for the large part, failed to live up to the billing of being the No. 2 overall pick in his class. This is especially disappointing for Kings fans since those that came after him (Luka Doncic and Trae Young) have become superstar players for their respective franchises.

Nonetheless, one of the major reasons why Bagley has yet to round into form is simply because he hasn’t been able to stay on the floor. He has only appeared in 118 out of a possible 226 regular season games.

In flashes, the 22-year-old has shown that he is a multi-skilled big man that could thrive in today’s NBA. He actually had a stellar rookie campaign, where he made the All-Rookie First Team on averages of 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds on 50.4 percent shooting from the field. Unfortunately, it has been all downhill since as he never truly established momentum due to his injuries. It seemed like every time he would recover from one, he would suffer another. This is why, like Hield, Bagley has also seen his name surface in trade rumors this past summer.

With Bagley entering this season with no nagging ailments and a stronger body, there’s a good chance he stays the course of the 82-game campaign relatively unscathed. If he gets to at least 70 games, that should be enough to give him a chance to showcase his worth and have a breakout year.

2. De’Aaron Fox will make his first All-Star team

De’Aaron Fox averaged 25.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists in the 2020-21 season. Looking at those numbers alone, you’d think he made the All-Star team. But due to the heap of talented guards out in the West, Fox wasn’t included in the NBA’s mid-year exhibition of stars, even as a replacement.

As mentioned, with the amount of elite guards in the Western Conference, it may be tough for Starfox to crack the All-Star game. Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic and Damian Lillard are essentially locks, granted they are all healthy. Then there are the likes of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Donovan Mitchell and much more all fighting for two to three roster spots.

If Fox is able to at least duplicate the production he had last season and Sacramento finally makes some noise in the West up until the midway point of the season, it’s going to be hard to keep the speedy lefty out of consideration for an All-Star nod.

1. The Kings will make the play-in tournament

Even with the play-in tournament the past two seasons, the King still failed to, at least, get the opportunity to make the postseason. The West is still so loaded and it’s hard to see any of the playoff teams from a season ago completely fall off. For a franchise that’s still looking to break a 15-year playoff drought, making the play-in, and competing in one or two meaningful games could be Sacramento’s main goal this upcoming campaign.

All the aforementioned predictions—Hield staying put and thriving as a Sixth Man, Bagley staying healthy, and Fox making his All-Star game debut—should be the main ingredients of a strong season for the Kings. Making the play-in tournament, at the very least, should account for a successful campaign for Sacramento.

michael porter jr., nuggets

fbq('init', '819338648198169'); fbq('track', "PageView"); fbq('track', 'ViewContent');