Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox is one of the frontrunners for the Most Improved Player of the Year honor as the midway point of the season approaches and he’s this week’s guest on “Posted up with Chris Haynes, a Yahoo Sports Podcast.”
With an increased role in what his sophomore campaign, his numbers were expected to ascend, but it is his shooting that has surprised many this season.
The fifth pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Kentucky is averaging 17.8 points, 7.5 assists and shooting 38 percent from three-point range, which these statistics are up 6.2, 3.1 and 7.3 respectively from his rookie year.
Fox is already one of the most athletic and arguably the fastest at his position. However, the concern with him entering the league was that he might not develop into a respectable deep threat shooter, and his 30 percent three-point accuracy didn’t help dispel those concerns. Fox’s trainer, Chris Gaston, noticed a slight snag in his shot, but waited until the offseason to address it.
“There wasn’t anything mechanically wrong with his shot. I saw one small flaw. He was locking out his elbow on his shot and not following through. A lot of players do that. It’s just bad habits,” Gaston told Yahoo Sports.
“Messing with a guy’s shot can create serious issues. “By the time the guy’s a pro, that’s like his baby. You can’t touch it. That’s what got them to this stage in their career. So, all I try to do is integrate small adjustments such as make sure he’s following through on form, sliding his elbow and getting more legs into his shot. You don’t want to mess up a player’s shot. If you try to change it, you’ll start messing with their head.”
From there, it was just repetition and rigorous workouts that rarely exceeded an hour in length.
“The main thing was reminding him that he’s a Top 5 pick, and that he’s better than anyone in his class,” Gaston said. “We felt he should have been the No. 1 pick. But this is what we expected his rookie year. He was scratching the surface. This year, he’s much more aggressive and assertive. He’s still deferring slightly, but he’s in control and his jumper his falling, which we expected.”