DeAaron Fox

Davion Mitchell sees De'Aaron Fox reaching this feat in 2023-24

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Kings guard De'Aaron Fox made a gigantic leap during the 2022-23 NBA season and put the entire league on notice.

Teammate Davion Mitchell predicts it's just the beginning for Fox.

"Man, De'Aaron. I seen something like he was a top-five MVP candidate. I think it's definitely true," Mitchell told NBC Sports California's Morgan Ragan and Deuce Mason on the "Deuce and Mo" podcast. "He's running the team, he's talking more. My rookie year, he kind of didn't really know because the coaching changes, trades, so he wasn't really talking as much. I mean you could see it a little bit, but he wasn't really talking much. Then he was injured, so it was tricky.

"But now, he's talking more. He's being a leader. We already know what he can do on the floor, he's playing defense more, he's guarding the best players, he's doing that type of stuff. And when you got a player like that at that level, playing a lot of minutes, a young player, I think we're going to be tough to beat. He's shooting the ball really well, little things like that that he's added to his game that makes him a top player in our league."

Fox led the Kings to a historic, playoff drought-snapping season last year, averaging 25 points on an efficient 51.2 percent shooting, along with 4.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 33.4 minutes. In his first postseason showing when the Kings and Golden State Warriors faced off in the first round of the 2023 playoffs, the 25-year-old didn't fold under the bright lights.

Instead, he carried the team on his back and averaged 27.4 points on 42.4 percent shooting from the field, 5.4 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 2.1 blocks in 38.6 minutes.

Fox's season -- and playoff debut -- earned him league-wide praise. And with high praise comes high expectations.

Last month, NBA champion turned ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins had Fox on his list of five candidates who could take home the NBA MVP award next season. Fox cracked that list, alongside Jayson Tatum, Nikola Jokić, Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

"I expect big things out of him," Perkins said on NBA Today. "I'm looking for De'Aaron Fox to turn out and turn up this season."

With Fox and All-NBA teammate Domantas Sabonis leading the pack, the sky is the limit for the Kings -- and the young guard. Fox finished with two fifth-place votes in last season's MVP voting. Could he be on the right track toward earning more in the upcoming season?

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