Sunday Musings: Domantas Sabonis changes DNA of Kings' franchise
Breaking down Domantas Sabonis' incredible first half
We are running out of superlatives to describe Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis.
Kings general manager Monte McNair took a tremendous gamble when he swapped budding star guard Tyrese Haliburton for the All-Star center at last season’s trade deadline, but less than a year later, the move has been transformative for Sacramento’s franchise.
From the lighting of the beam to their current fourth spot in the Western Conference standings, the Kings are the talk of the NBA. Sabonis isn’t the only reason for the success, but he is the center of the Kings’ universe on the court.
After earning a nomination for Western Conference Player of the Month for December, Sabonis is making another push in January. He should be a lock for next month’s All-Star game in Utah and he’s quickly cementing himself as one of the best centers in the NBA and a potential All-NBA selection.
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In 40 games this season, Sabonis is averaging 18.9 points, a league leading 12.5 rebounds per game and 7.1 assists per game. He is currently riding a 19 game double-double streak and he posted his fourth triple-double of the season in the Kings’ win over the Houston Rockets on Friday.
For as great as his raw numbers look, the advanced numbers put Sabonis in elite company. So far this season the Kings’ star center is third in the NBA in win shares behind only Nikola Jokic, the league’s two-time reigning MVP, and Luka Doncic, who is an early favorite for this year’s MVP award.
After 16 years of futility, Sabonis, and his upstart Kings, are making a move in the standings. Adding to the excitement is that the 26-year-old is just entering his prime and this could be the beginning of a special run in Sacramento.
As we hit the midway point of the season, it’s time to dig deep into what makes Sabonis so special on the court and how the Kings can continue to build around him moving forward.
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