DeAaron Fox

How Fox's game has surprised McGee since big man joined Kings

NBC Universal, Inc.

De'Aaron Fox put the league on notice during the 2022-23 NBA season with a career year while leading the Kings to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Since Fox entered the league in 2017, JaVale McGee, a 16-year NBA veteran and three-time champion, played for six different teams before signing with the Kings this offseason. While McGee witnessed from a distance what Fox could do on the court over the years, joining Sacramento this summer revealed something to him about his new teammate.

"One thing I was surprised [about], and I watch basketball, but I didn't really realize how good he is on defense," McGee said on the "All the Smoke" podcast. "Oh my god. Because I'm on the second team, so when the second team plays the first team every practice, I'm trying to hand it off. I can barely hand it off to the man he's guarding because he's shooting the gap and it doesn't even look like he's going to get to it.

"But he's so fast and he has great hands. It's really impressive to be here every day and be able to see that."

Last season, Fox averaged 25 points on 51.2-percent shooting while adding 4.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.1 steals in the 73 games he played. In his playoff series debut, the 25-year-old didn't waiver. Fox averaged 27.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 2.1 steals in the seven-game thriller against the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Fox was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, named to the All-NBA Third Team along with teammate Domantas Sabonis and took home the league's first Clutch Player of the Year award.

His offense never has been a question or concern, but as the Kings look to take things a step further in 2023-24, Fox has stepped up both on the other side of the ball and as a leader.

"Hell of a leader man," McGee said. "He's a vocal leader, but he's more like he's going to show you on the court."

This season, Fox already is off to an incredible start, averaging 31.3 points on 48.6-percent shooting, with 4.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists in three games. He currently is recovering from a moderate ankle sprain he sustained on Sunday, but once he's back, there's no doubt he'll pick up right where he left off.

Contact Us