The Four Kings star makes ESPN’s top 100 players list for the 2022-23 season

The Four Kings star makes ESPN’s top 100 players list for the 2022-23 season

The post Four Kings makes ESPN’s top 100 players for 2022-23 appeared first on NBC Sports Bayarea

It’s back! ESPN’s NBArank is back as the 2022-23 NBA season is right around the corner.

With big names like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic expected to land near the top of the list, others may be surprised who did – or didn’t – make the cut.

There were only two rookies on the annual list: Kings forward Keegan Murray (No. 95) and the No. 1 overall pick. 1 in the 2022 NBA Draft, Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (No. 82).

And three of Murray’s Kings team joined him on that list.

Below is a complete list of Kings players who were ranked among the top 100 in the league.

Keegan Murray (No. 95)

Murray enters his first NBA season with many possibilities and high expectations. The 22-year-old already has some hardware to show for it.

Named overall pick No. 4 in the 2022 NBA Draft as the Most Valuable Player of the 2K23 NBA Summer Series after a great performance in Las Vegas.

Murray led the way across the board in all four games he played in Sin City, averaging 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc.

He scored at least 20 points in all four contests and easily outscored the three players drafted ahead of him in Banchero (20.0 PPG), Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chet Holmgren (12.0) and Houston Rockets’ Jabari Smith Jr. (14.4).

The Iowa product still has a lot to prove, but his future is already very bright as his success with the Kings brought a glimmer of hope and excitement back to Sactown.

Barnes is entering his 11th season in the league and fourth with the Kings.

In his career, he is averaging 14.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. But in his most recent campaign with the Kings, he averaged 16.4 points, 5.6 goals and 2.4 assists per game.

As a hero with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, Barnes was tasked with a bigger role in Sacramento and has been averaging solid numbers ever since.

And that’s not expected to change anytime soon for the 30-year-old as his veteran leadership and championship background will be key to helping the Kings snap a 16-year playoff drought.

De’Aaron Fox (No. 54)

Fox’s incredible growth was on display last season as the young point guard stepped up in significant ways for Sacramento.

So much so that his steady progress landed him on a celebrity list.

Fox missed the final 11 games of the 2021-22 season with a hand injury, but had his best ball playing just before that. From February 14 to March 9, Fox put up 20 or more points and shot 50 percent from the field in 10 straight games.

Antetokounmpo was the only other player in the league to do so.

With the late-season addition of Domantas Sabonis, Fox blossomed into a player for the Kings and his numbers reflected that. Since Sabonis joined the squad, Fox has averaged 28.9 points per game.

They only played in 15 games together, but the two of them put on a show that fans quickly loved and in return were known as “The Fox and the Ox”.

And it was just a glimpse of what’s to come.

RELATED: See Sabonis’ Hulk-like reaction after teammate avenges block

Domantas Sabonis (No. 47)

The Kings are eager to get back to the postseason, and they believe Domantas Sabonis can help get them there.

That’s why they brought him in from the Indiana Pacers in a blockbuster trade that sent guards Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton to Indianapolis.

The two-time All-Star played in his 916 debut on February 9 and the difference his presence made was immediately apparent.

Sabonis has repeatedly said since landing in Sacramento that he is excited to play with Fox and ready for the 2022-23 season.

In their first game ever playing together, “The Fox and the Ox” combined for 49 points, 22 rebounds and eight assists in the Kings’ 132-119 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on February 9th.

It wasn’t the way they wanted the season to end by any means, but the brief preview we’ve seen will make next season even more exciting with a newly revamped squad playing a full season together.

Buck up. It’s almost time.

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