After drafting big man Marvin Bagley III, the Sacramento Kings are heavily relying on their youth this year and it’s completely changed their offense.
Sacramento had the slowest pace in the league last season, but they want their speedy point guard De’Aaron Fox to lead a faster team this year.
The Kings ran 14.6 possessions per game in transition last season, which ranked No. 21 in the NBA. This year, the Kings have run 23.6 possessions per game in transition. It’s a small sample size, but that’s currently the fourth most in the league.
“De’Aaron will play right from the jump. Last year he didn’t have the keys right away, but it’s becoming his team, piece by piece. And when you look at the forward and center positions, we’re lanky, we’re long and we’re pretty athletic, so our strengths aren’t throwing it down there in the post or playing slow. For those guys to be effective, they’re going to have to get out and use their athleticism in transition.”
Since becoming a professional, Bagley has not been especially effective as a post-up big, which is how he was used most often at Duke.
Fortunately, however, he has been very impressive when getting out in transition during his first few games for the Kings.
The big man averaged 1.14 points per possession in transition during his sole collegiate campaign. That ranked in the 67th percentile among all players in the NCAA, per Synergy Sports. He was 38-for-60 (63.3 percent) from the field on these attempts.
Through his first five games in the NBA, Bagley is currently 9-for-10 (90 percent) with 1.54 PPP. That’s most comparable to New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, who is 8-for-9 (88.9 percent) with 1.64 PPP.
As the league gets faster, it’s going to be essential for Bagley to continue to dominate in transition. If he’s able to keep up with Fox as he has shown he can thus far, this young group will certainly have some fastbreak highlights that will be worth watching.