Since this trade, Domantas Sabonis has played 68 out of a possible 81 games for Sacramento and has only missed serious time near the end of last season where he missed 9 games due to personal reasons.
Throughout these 68 games, Sabonis has been averaging about 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 6.7 assists on 59/33/75% splits from the field as well as being second in the league in rebounds per game at 12.2 and first in total rebounds. Sabonis is also 12th in the league in field goal percentage at 61% and 10th in True Shooting at 67 TS%. Sabonis is also 17th in the league in minutes and 14th in PER, right above Tyrese Haliburton. Sabonis has fit into the Kings’ offense as if he’s always been there and has had no problems taking over the lone center role that he used to have to fight over with Myles Turner down in Indiana.
In the 68 games before Sabonis came to Sacramento, the Kings had a record of 27-41 stretching back to the previous season and were on their way to missing the playoffs for the 16th year in a row and were by far the laughing stock of the league. At that time, the Kings were seen as nothing more than a punchline and a place where young talent went to get wasted and not live up to their potential. They had young talent in De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, and the aforementioned Haliburton but struggled with a logjam at the guard position and didn’t have enough minutes for everybody.
In the 68 games that Sabonis has played in Sacramento, the Kings have a record of 35-33, and finished the 2022 season at 30-52, taking Keegan Murray with the 5th pick of the draft. Currently, the Kings have a surprising record of 31-24 and are the current holders of the 3rd seed in the tough Western Conference with less than half of the season to go. There’s no need to single out games here, as Sacramento’s resurgence has come out of nowhere, as when the trade first went down, everybody was talking about how bad of a move it was for the Kings and how they should’ve traded Fox instead of Haliburton. Now, however, the Kings have surprised everyone in the NBA world and are well on their way to turning their franchise around and making some real playoff noise for the first time since the Chris Webber/Mike Bibby/Peja Stojakovic era of the early 2000s.