Wednesday, October 5 2022

The Sacramento Kings will be without Domantas Sabonis for their upcoming road trip, the team announced. An MRI showed that Sabonis does not have any structural damage in his knee, but he does have a bruise. He will be re-evaluated when the team returns to Sacramento in early April. 

Late in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, Sabonis was trying to cut off Mikal Bridges‘ drive when the two collided. Sabonis got the worst of the incident and collapsed to the ground clutching his knee. He initially tried to stay in the game but was unable to play down the stretch or in overtime. 

The good news is that Sabonis did not suffer any serious injury that would require surgery or potentially limit his availability next season. The bad news is that there’s a chance we’ve seen the last of him this season. After this five-game road trip that Sabonis will miss, the Kings only have four more games. They’re likely going to be eliminated from playoff contention by that point, and there will be little reason to bring Sabonis back, especially if he isn’t 100 percent. 

Sabonis is averaging 18.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists on 55.4 percent shooting since he arrived in Sacramento via a blockbuster trade with the Indiana Pacers at the deadline. But while Sabonis has played well individually, the Kings are just 5-10 with him in the lineup, and any slim hope they had of making the play-in tournament has disappeared. 

Regardless of whether Sabonis ends up coming back for the final few games, the Kings must now turn their attention towards the future. Their playoff drought will soon be extended to 16 seasons, which will be the most consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance in NBA history. 

They acquired Sabonis with the clear intention of getting back to the postseason, and while it didn’t happen this season they have a clear duo to build around in him and De’Aaron Fox. The question now is whether they can finally get their act together and build a competent roster around that duo that compliments their strengths and puts this team back in the mix for playoff contention. 



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