Sacramento Kings

Fox and Bogdanovic had an impact. How the Kings' rookies compared to rest of NBA

The Kings' De'Aaron Fox, left, and Bogdan Bogdanovic celebrate during a game against Brooklyn on March 1.
The Kings' De'Aaron Fox, left, and Bogdan Bogdanovic celebrate during a game against Brooklyn on March 1. hamezcua@sacbee.com

The Kings were committed to a youth movement this season. When the opening day roster was announced, 10 of the 15 were either rookies, second-year or third-year players.

The team tried to boost that focus in mid-January, when it was announced that veterans would be rested so that the team could better assess the younger players' skills. However, injuries slowed that plan.

De'Aaron Fox, selected fifth overall last year, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, whose rights were acquired by the Kings in a draft-day trade in 2016 but didn't come from Europe until the start of 2017-18, drew most of the attention among Sacramento's rookies. Justin Jackson and Frank Mason III also saw decent playing time. Harry Giles, a player the front office raves about, didn't play this season mostly to allow his surgically repaired knee more time to heal.

The Kings added a rookie late in the season when they signed Nigel Hayes on March 31, meaning five first-year NBA players played for Sacramento in 2017-18, a season that ended with a 27-55 record and what is now the league's longest postseason drought at 12 years.

While no Kings player is being talked about as a Rookie of the Year candidate – that looks like a two-man race between the Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell and the Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons – Sacramento's rookies had their moments.

Here’s a final look at how some of the Kings’ rookies compare numerically to the NBA’s other first-year players, according to ESPN statistics:

Scoring – Bogdanovic was eighth with an 11.8 scoring average. Mitchell led all rookies at 20.5 points per game.

Rebounding – Bogdanovic ranked 25th, averaging just 2.9 per night. Simmons led at 8.1 per contest.

Assists – Fox was fifth with 4.4 per game. Simmons also led this category, with 8.2 a night.

Field-goal percentage – Bogdanovic shot 44.6 percent from the field, good for 14th among rookies. Golden State’s Jordan Bell finished at 62.7 percent.

3-point percentage – Bogdanovic was fifth at 39.2 percent. Boston’s Jayson Tatum led the way at 43.4 percent.

Steals – Fox didn't quite average a full steal (70 in 73 games, 0.96 percent), but he still finished seventh, one spot ahead of Bogdanovic (72 in 78 games, 0.92 percent). Simmons paced all rookies at 1.73 per game.

Blocks – Only two first-year players averaged more than one a game: Brooklyn's Jarrett Allen (1.22) and Atlanta's John Collins (1.08). Fox's 0.27 average (20 in 73 games) led the Kings and was 25th overall.

Minutes – Bogdanovic's 27.9 minutes per contest puts him 10th, just ahead of Fox (27.8, No. 11). The Lakers' Lonzo Ball led with 34.2.

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