Sacramento Kings: Developing Talent Will Be No Issue For Luke Walton
The Sacramento Kings have a great deal of young talent. It’s imperative that Luke Walton develop that talent. In fact, the Los Angeles Lakers did see growth in their players during the Walton era. However, to coach the Kings, Walton needs to continue his style of coaching. a style that has drawn unfair criticism by NBA analysts and fans.
There was nothing wrong with the way Luke Walton coached the Lakers. He did a great job considering the hand the Lakers dealt him. Julius Randle (who wasn’t re-signed last off-season) improved under Walton. Brandon Ingram saw improvements under Walton. Kyle Kuzma saw improvements under Walton. The notion that he didn’t improve his talent is a crappy take.
Don’t believe he helped these players?
Randle went from 13.2 points per game and a .488 field goal percentage in 2016-17, to 16.1 ppg and a .558 percentage in 2017-18. He did this while starting 24 fewer games for the Lakers in 2017-18. Of course, Randle would have his breakout year in New Orleans this season. But, to say Walton never helped develop him is wrong.
Even Brandon Ingram grew as a player under Walton. During his rookie year in 2016-17, Ingram averaged 9.4 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. His sophomore season in 2017-18, Ingram had averages of 16.1 ppg, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. Indeed, Brandon Ingram found his game under Walton.
As Walton approaches his tenure with the Kings, it’s safe to say he’s inheriting a young, loaded roster. Dave Joerger did a fantastic job getting these young stars built up. It’s now Walton’s job to do even more than Joerger did. De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield are All-Star caliber players. Marvin Bagley is a walking double-double. How does Walton go about taking them to the next level?
There are doubts Luke Walton is the man for the Sacramento Kings job. Indeed, he’s the best option. Walton will likely run a similar offensive structure to the Kings. Sacramento was 2nd in field goal attempts per game in 2018-19. Meanwhile, the Lakers were 8th.
All Walton needs to do is let the Kings do what they do best. He also needs to preach defense, especially in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Above all else, help the team find a swagger about themselves. The rest of the development will take care of itself. Fox, Hield, Bagley, Giles, they are all guys who know the game. They’ll play well under Walton.
Nonetheless, this is a big year for the Sacramento Kings. Luke Walton, who many consider being an average coach, is the best man to lead this roster. Despite what some may say, he’s had no issues developing talent. A lot of the stars on this Kings team have evolved. Walton needs to let them play their style of offense. If he does, Luke Walton and the Kings will be in the postseason next year.
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