- With the Kings off to a hot start, is it time to buy stock in De’Aaron Fox? The Open Floor podcast breaks down his ceiling and more.
We're hardly 10 games into the NBA season and very few definitive conclusions have emerged, but if there's anything everyone can agree on, it's that there might be something special happening in Sacramento. The Kings have been better than expected to start the season, and that could mostly be chalked up to a fairly easy slate and the exhilarating play of De'Aaron Fox. So is it time to invest in the second-year guard? The Open Floor podcast crew discusses.
(Listen to the latest Open Floor podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Andrew Sharp: I am all in on De'Aaron Fox, who we talked about last week and so we don't need to double back, but I just love him, man. And granted, a little bit of a reality check with a 45-point loss to Giannis and the Bucks on Sunday afternoon, but I watched almost the entire Kings game on Thursday night, which is a little embarrassing to admit out loud. But De'Aaron Fox is so good and he's fast, he's strong, he hits those little floaters in the lane. The dude is going to be a star and I think there's still enough people out there who think De'Aaron Fox sucks that you can actually make some good money on Fox stock right now. So that is my nomination, get in early, let's ride this train to the top.
Ben Golliver: The thing about him is we knew about him before the draft and I think we actually both said this is like, whether or not he's a star on the court, he's got the moxie and the confidence and the charisma off the court to be a star, right? So it's like, can he just work around his lack of a jumper and his small frame defensively enough so he can wind up being like a Damian Lillard effect or a Donovan Mitchell effect or a young Derrick Rose effect, where all of the sudden he's a guy that's not only your best player but he's somebody who can rally a community.
I don't want to swing too far in huge, wide directions based on two weeks of gameplay, but Sacramento has needed that player for a decade. They needed it so badly, they were talking themselves into DeMarcus Cousins being that kind of a guy, right? So, to me, the sky is the limit. I'm curious, though, because with Giannis, a couple of years ago I was making fairly outrageous-at-the-time claims like, 'OK, he's going to be the heir apparent to LeBron as the king of the East and all this'.
Golliver: What is Fox's ceiling in your eyes? Are we talking five All-Star Games, are we talking All-NBA-level point guard—better than John Wall, down the road obviously—how would you frame his ceiling?
Sharp: It's interesting. Giannis is even an interesting example because he's a guy who everybody looked at and said, 'OK, he's an incredible athlete but how far can that really take him?' And I think what caught a lot of people by surprise were his intangibles. I mean, he really kinda developed that killer instinct by like year three and you could see it on the court and now he does. He just wants to maul people every night. Fox has those same intangibles, which is a really good sign. And as an athlete, he's almost ... I don't want to put him on Westbrook's level but I do think he can kinda be John Wall. And John Wall with the right intangibles should be an All-Star for 10 years and will make some All-NBA teams.
And that, I think, I wouldn't call it a realistic outcome, that's probably like the most optimistic timeline with De'Aaron Fox, but that's what I would bet on because I kinda have a good feeling about him. And I do think that Wall with the right intangibles is an amazing player and so that is what Kings fans should be excited about. And the other thing I would mention is that he's already further along physically ... like he's stronger than I think I expected after watching him last year. But watching him against Trae Young last night, it was like two guys in two different leagues. It's only been a year of NBA development but Fox already looks a lot more filled out than I would have guessed.