Kings' dynamic duo De'Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis 'excited' for future

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Why dynamic duo Fox, Sabonis 'excited' for future together originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis played in just over a dozen games together last season, but the bond created in that short time showed early signs of a bright future in Sacramento.

Fox and Sabonis played in 15 games together since Sabonis was traded to the Kings, and the pair was quickly dubbed “The Fox and the Ox”.

Although the Kings missed the playoffs for an NBA-record 16 consecutive seasons, Kings fans got a promising glimpse of what the future of the franchise may hold.

“I’m excited,” Sabonis told reporters in April. “I like playing with him. Those 15 games were great. We didn’t get as much time as we wanted to play together but we’re going to have a long offseason so we’re going to see if we can get some workouts in, so I’m just excited for next year.”

Sabonis played in his first game in the 916 on Feb. 9, and the difference his presence made was instantly noticeable.

Not just for him, though, as he immediately made those around him better.

Fox was one of those players, and he was putting up numbers he never had before. Since his partner-in-crime joined his squad, Fox averaged 28.9 points for the remaining games he played.

“Obviously somebody like that, he takes a little bit of pressure off of you, well he takes a lot of pressure off of you,” Fox said. “He’s such a dynamic roller, a guy that can post up, and obviously, I’ve always talked about it but I’m seeing the best defenders every night, no matter what, no matter who it is.

“We talk about it, the way he screens, the way he passes, he opens up a lot more opportunities. I think I score pretty well off the dribble, but just being able to have him out there, and having guys who know how to play and move, that’s something we obviously need to do more of. It just opens up and gives you a wider range of opportunity to make plays and to score.”

“I think he just took advantage that he already had the role of the leader on this team,” Sabonis said. “But he kind of had the ball in his hands more, you know? I was out there to help him get open, and attract more attention, and he just took advantage of it. He was great at making shots. Anytime we needed a bucket he was there to get it, pushing the pace on defense. He really showed a side that I didn’t even know he had. And that makes me really excited for next year.”

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Kings general manager Monte McNair talked about what it’s like having Fox and Sabonis as the two building blocks as they continue to put in work this offseason.

“Bringing in Domas, having De’Aaron, the Fox and the Ox, they’ve already from Day one hit the ground running, I think De’Aaron averaged almost 30 points a game with Domas," McNair said. "That’s a fantastic foundation … I think those two make others better. We obviously need to continue to find more pieces around them. But certainly having those two is a foundation we can continue to build on.”