For much of the season, Kings head coach Luke Walton centered on a small group of players to carry the load. The core rotation of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley and Richaun Holmes all played huge minutes, leaving scraps for the remainder of the roster.
General manager Monte McNair added depth at the deadline, which came in handy as injuries forced Walton to expand his rotation late in the year.
The sample size is small for this group, but here is a look at the three additions at the deadline that made an impact on the Kings’ stretch run. The 2020-21 stats are based on their performances in Sacramento alone.
20-21 Stats: 10.0 points, 3.6 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 46.2% FG, 39.8% 3pt
19-20 Stats: 6.9 points, 3.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 46.2% FG, 37.0% 3pt
Sometimes you don’t know what is missing until you find it. Acquired at the deadline for Cory Joseph and a pair of second-round picks, Wright stepped up huge in his 27 game audition in Sacramento. He became a leader on the second unit and when Fox went down late in the season, he was a difference-maker in the starting lineup.
Long and athletic, Wright is the type of defensive agitator the Kings desperately needed. He played the passing lanes, mixed it up amongst the trees for rebounds and brought a toughness the team…