Kings Youth Movement: Where Sacramento's Young Core Stands in 2018-19

It's a youth movement in Sacramento. Young players make up most of the Kings' rotation and so far, it's working. The team is off to a fast start, posting a 12-11 record over their first 23 games.

We'll track their improvements throughout the 2018-19 campaign. Here is a first look at how the young core stacks up early in the season.

9. Skal Labissiere (trending down)

Previous rank: 9
First 10 games: 2.6 points, 1.4 rebounds, .4 assists, .2 blocks, 44.4% FG, 5.6 min
2018-19 Stats: 2.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, .3 assists, .1 blocks, 46.2% FG, 5.7 min

Labissiere can be seen working on his game long after practice. He shows up to the gym early and is on the floor getting up shots with the coaching staff three hours before every game. Unfortunately, the Kings have five or six other players in front of him in the rotation and the outlook is bleak for the 22-year-old big.

8. Frank Mason III (trending down)

Previous rank: 7
First 10 games:  7.3 points, 4.1 assists, 1.7 rebounds, .8 steals, 25.0% 3-pt FG, 16.4 min
2018-19 Stats: 5.4 points, 3.0 assists, 1.3 rebounds, .6 steals, 20% 3-pt FG, 14 min

Mason came out of training camp with the backup point guard job, but he's quietly lost time as Dave Joerger has shifted to a three guard rotation of De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic. After shooting 36 percent from 3-point range last season, the second-year guard can't seem to buy a 3-ball this year. 

7. Harry Giles III (trending even)

Previous rank: 8
First 10 games: 3.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, .6 assists, .3 blocks, 35.0% FG, 10.6 min
2018-19 Stats: 5.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, .2 blocks, 46.8% FG, 10.3 min

Giles is so full of energy that he's struggled to stay on the court due to foul trouble. The 20-year-old big has scored in double-figures three of his last four games and he's raised his shooting percentage nearly 12 percent since the last Youth Movement rankings. He has a long way to go to earn major rotational minutes, but the Kings are taking a long term approach with the rookie after he missed most of the last three years. 

6. Justin Jackson (trending up)

Previous rank: 6
First 10 games: 8.4 points, 1.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds, .6 steals, 26.3% 3-pt GF, 26.3 min
2018-19 Stats: 6.7 points, 1.5 assists, 2.9 rebounds, .5 steals, 34.4% 3-pt GF, 20.6 min

Jackson has had a good stretch of games, which might earn him a longer look moving forward. He's still the only player on the roster with the length and size to defend longer threes. He needs to continue to hit his open shots and find a way to stuff the stat sheet. 

5. Marvin Bagley III (trending up)

Previous rank: 4
First 10 games: 12.8 points, 1.1 assists, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 52.7% FG, 23.0 min
2018-19 Stats: 13.0 points, .9 assists, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 51.0% FG, 24.1 min

Before a minor back injury, Marvin Bagley was trending up. Way up. Over his previous six games, the 19-year-old is posting 16.3 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Kings. He looks like a star in the making and he's only going to get better as he adjusts to the NBA game.

4. Willie Cauley-Stein (trending up)

Previous rank: 3
First 10 games: 15.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 57.1 FG, 28.5 min
2018-19 Stats: 14.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.2 steals, 53.9 FG, 28.3 min

The light bulb appears to be going on for Cauley-Stein. In the midst of a contract year, the fourth-year big is finding ways to help the team outside of jumping over people for dunks. He's still doing that as well, which could be seen in the final seconds of the Kings' win over the Indiana Pacers. If he can be a stat stuffing big that does the dirty work, he'll make his money next summer.

3. Bogdan Bogdanovic (trending up)

Previous rank: 5
First 10 games: N/A
2018-19 Stats: 15.3 points, 3.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds, .7 steals, 39.7% 3-pt FG, 25.9 min

There is very little Bogdanovic can't do on the court. After missing 10 games, he's back, but in a new role off the Kings' bench. Nothing seems to phase the Serbian-born wing. He's quickly integrated himself into the rotation and thriving in a Manu Ginobili type role in Sacramento. Don't be surprised to see Bogdanovic take another leap forward in production now that he's 100 percent healthy.

2. Buddy Hield (trending up)

Previous rank: 2
First 10 games: 19.7 points, 2.6 assists, 5.8 rebounds, .5 steals, 48.0% 3-pt FG, 31.4 min
2018-19 Stats: 18.4 points, 2.6 assists, 5.5 rebounds, .5 steals, 41.8% 3-pt FG, 30.6 min

Adjusting to the return of Bogdanovic isn't an easy task, but Hield seems to be finding his way. He's scoring 20 points or more on most nights and his ability to shoot from the perimeter opens up everything for Sacramento. He still needs to get to the line more, but Hield has proven he is an NBA starter, which is a major development for the Kings

1. De'Aaron Fox (trending up) 

Previous rank: 1
First 10 games: 18.6 points, 7.6 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 35.7% 3-pt FG, 31.9 min
2018-19 Stats: 17.3 points, 7.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 38.2% 3-pt FG, 32.4 min

Fox continues to draw praise from around the league. He's had a small rough patch in an otherwise great start to the season, but he continues to push the tempo and lead the Kings in their new style of play. Still just 20-years-old, Fox has the talent to be a star in the league and he's taking the necessary steps to get there in his sophomore season.

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