Over the past two seasons, the Sacramento Kings have experienced a renaissance as they finally snapped a 16-year postseason drought last year.

While the arrival of three-time NBA All-Star Domantas Sabonis in February 2022 is widely credited for the Kings’ success, the growth of De’Aaron Fox into an All-NBA player has been just as crucial to their rise.

Both Sabonis and Fox were named to the All-NBA Third Team last year—the first-ever All-NBA recognition for either player in their career—and they look like they are on track to make it once again this season.

Sacramento is in the thick of the Western Conference playoff hunt where they are currently in seventh place with a 36-26 record. They are only a game and a half behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the fifth seed, and this race is likely to go down to the wire over the coming weeks.

With the West as competitive as it has ever been, Fox was surprisingly left off this year’s NBA All-Star Game roster after making it a season ago. What makes this snub even more shocking is that his scoring numbers have actually improved this season to a career-best 27.1 points per game.

Fox’s offensive improvement has primarily come from his refined three-point shooting. He is converting 36.7% of his three-pointers—much better than his 33.1% career average—despite taking a career-high 7.6 attempts per game. This improvement has inevitably opened up the driving lanes for Fox as opposing defenders can no longer sag off him as he can now punish them with his outside shooting.


The 26-year-old guard came into this campaign with six 40-point games accumulated over the first six years of his career, but he has already exceeded this number in this season alone. Fox already has seven games where he has scored at least 40 points this season, with his latest one coming in Sacramento’s 130-120 win over the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week.

The fifth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft put on a thrilling performance against the Lakers, leveraging his speed and quickness to dominate the game. He tied his career-high with 44 points on 19-of-32 field goals and also had two three-pointers, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Los Angeles had no answer for Fox throughout the contest, but at this point, these types of performances from him no longer come as a surprise. The reigning Clutch Player of the Year is slowly entering the top tier of guards in the NBA and a repeat of this year’s All-Star snub should be unlikely for many seasons to come.

The following evening, he put up 33 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals, and just one turnover to give the Kings a 131-129 win over the San Antonio Spurs on the second night of the back-to-back set. 

The electric play of Fox has helped revive this Kings franchise that looks poised to reestablish itself as a perennial Western Conference playoff team in the coming years.

The future looks bright in Sacramento, and while most fans might be content with this return to relevance, a few savvy moves could push the team into contention and put Fox further in the spotlight where he should get the recognition that he deserves as one of the best guards in today’s NBA.