It has been tough to watch the Sacramento Kings.
Sacramento has not made the playoffs in 12 years. On top of that, draft picks Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, Hassan Whiteside and Isaiah Thomas are no longer on the roster while Ben McLemore, Thomas Robinson and Tyler Honeycutt did not pan out the way they would have hoped.
Through all the pain and suffering, there is hope at the end of tunnel. De'Aaron Fox was selected with the fifth pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Marvin Bagley III was selected with the second pick in the 2018 Draft. Former top-10 pick Buddy Hield arrived February 2017 in a trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Looking into the future, it is evident that these three will be the perennial organization pillars that the franchise has not seen in quite some time. Looking ahead, these three are who the organization should build around.
What the Kings could look like on the floor
Combining Bagley with Willie Cauley-Stein will improve the front court. Either player is capable of bringing in 10 rebounds or more per game and can shoot from high or low post. With Cauley-Stein in a contract year, he will be playing for his future in the NBA.
Even though it appeared he struggled at times, Bagley will be very productive in his first season in the NBA. If it wasn't for a pelvic bone bruise, he would have had more time to improve his game.
Hield struggled over the course of the first two months of his NBA career. In late December of 2016, Hield started to heat up, especially from three-point territory. Upon his arrival to Sacramento, Hield shot 43% from behind the arc in the final 25 games of the 2016-17 season. In 80 games last season, Hield shot 45% from the field, shooting 43 percent from three-point territory.
The 24-year-old still has a lot to prove going into his third season. If he hits his stride, Hield could averaged 15 points and five rebounds per game. The Kings would like to see some improvements on the defensive side of the floor. Through two seasons, Hield has averaged 1.1 steals and .3 blocks per game.
Then there's De'Aaron Fox. Over shadowed by Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Dennis Smith Jr., Fox played well enough to earn a spot in the 2018 Rising Stars Challenge. In 73 games, Fox averaged 11.6 points, 4.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game. Fox shot 41 percent from the field shooting 30 percent from three point land.
The Kings are looking for their next Mike Bibby/Bobby Jackson to hold down the point guard position. With Fox in place, they could have their point guard for the foreseeable future. Given enough time, Fox could develop in an All-Star. Going into season two, he will definitely be one of the young guys to watch.
Early season outlook
Once again, the Western Conference is going to be very crowded.
The Los Angeles Lakers are going to be one of the teams that finished outside of the top-8 that are expected to challenge for a playoff spot this season. The Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets will also be vying for a playoff spot.
The Kings won just 27 games a season ago. Like the Phoenix Suns, they find themselves on the outside looking in for this upcoming season. With no first round pick next year, they will likely be drafting high in the second-round in the 2019 NBA Draft. There could possibly be a talent that could help in the future.
If the pillars that are in place click, the Sacramento Kings could be a force to be reckoned with in the foreseeable future.