Following the conclusion of the much-delayed 2019-20 NBA season, the Sacramento Kings will have an opportunity to extend the contract of former No. 5 overall pick De'Aaron Fox for up to five years. According to NBC Sports Bay Area's James Ham, Fox and the Kings have already "had conversations" about keeping the young star in Sacramento for the long haul.
Sacramento's desire to extend the 22-year-old should come as no surprise. Fox is an elite athlete by NBA standards, and over his three seasons with the Kings, he has consistently improved, showing that his pre-draft hype in 2017 was far from unfounded. After averaging 11.6 points and 4.4 assists per contest as a rookie, Fox has upped his production significantly during subsequent seasons. In 45 appearances during the '19-20 season, he is putting up 20.4 points and nearly seven assists per game.
Meanwhile, he has become a more efficient scorer in addition to elevating his raw numbers. Fox's effective field goal percentage is over 50 for the first time this season, thanks to his improved shot distribution, and he's also getting to the free-throw line at a higher rate (.44 free throw attempts per field goal attempt) than ever before.
With an increasingly significant sample size backing the notion, Fox has the look of a legitimate franchise player, and he seemingly wants to fill that role in Sacramento. During a Zoom meeting with members of the media, Fox maintained that the COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent suspension of the current NBA season and everything else going on in the league and in the world at large has done little to curb his enthusiasm for playing with the Kings.
"I see myself being here. I want to be here. Obviously, you know we want to win and right now, I think last year, we put ourselves in a good position. This year, we're sort of in the same position to still make the playoffs. So that's what we all want and then continue to take the next step forward."
Fox is currently in the third year of his four-year, rookie-scale deal with the Kings. As the team has two Designated Player extensions at its disposal, the Kings could potentially extend Fox for up to five years, which is an additional year beyond the maximum under other circumstances.
However, the loss of revenue caused by the season's suspension and its impact on the league's salary cap going forward could make for a difficult negotiation.
And Fox isn't the only member of the 2017 NBA draft class that could be impacted by the changing financials. As shared previously by The Inquisitr, Jayson Tatum is leaning toward signing a maximum extension with the Boston Celtics. Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell is also eligible for a max extension.