Report: De’Aaron Fox avoids significant injury but will miss time
Oct 30, 2023, 10:21 AM | Updated: 11:01 am
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings fans collectively held their breath on Sunday night as trainers surrounded De’Aaron Fox under the basket closest to the Los Angeles Lakers’ bench.
Fox, who appeared to twist his right ankle after stepping on Lakers guard Gabe Vincent’s foot on his way to the basket during the fourth quarter of Sacramento’s 132-127 win, remained on the floor for what seemed like an eternity before getting up and walking to the locker room under his own power.
While Fox returned to the floor and played a role in leading the Kings to victory, he was forced to exit in overtime and was seen visibly limping to the bench before being helped by teammates and coaches to the locker room once the game concluded.
The fact that Fox was able to continue playing seemed like a good indication that the All-Star avoided severe injury, and The Athletic‘s Shams Charainia and Sam Amick confirmed that notion on Monday morning.
Kings All-Star De’Aaron Fox has avoided significant injury, but has sustained a moderate sprain of his right ankle and he is likely to miss some time, sources tell me and @sam_amick. Fox played through the sprain down stretch of 37 points and victory over Lakers on Sunday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 30, 2023
My look at De’Aaron Fox’s ankle injury tonight. No update from the team yet, Mike Brown didn’t provide an update yet because he said he hadn’t heard anything yet. pic.twitter.com/GIO8U80qPb
— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) October 30, 2023
Shortly following Charania and Amick’s report, ESPN’s Marc Spears shared that Fox could return “within a week” following a diagnosis of a moderate ankle sprain.
Fox has avoided serious injury, which is great news for Sacramento as it appears that it will not lose its star guard for an extended period.
Although Fox will not be sidelined for a large chunk of the season, the Kings will need to weather the upcoming stretch without the talented floor general.
How will the Kings look without De’Aaron Fox?
To be blunt, it will be a challenging task to replace De’Aaron Fox, but Sacramento general manager Monte McNair has built a roster that has the depth to survive the upcoming stretch.
Fox is averaging 31.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.3 steals per game over the first three contests of the season, and the Kings will lean on several players to step up in ‘Swipa’s’ absence.
Davion Mitchell will likely step into a starting role as Mike Brown has shown a reluctance to insert Malik Monk into the starting lineup, but you can bank on seeing Monk lead the offense late in games.
Monk, who is averaging 5.3 assists per game to start the season, possesses similar skillsets to Fox in attacking opposing defenses in various ways, whether it be off-the-dribble jumpers, going to the basket, or finding open teammates.
If De’Aaron Fox is sidelined for an extended period, the Kings should lean on Malik Monk as a floor general–especially late in games.
Monk is averaging 5.3 assists per game to start the season and can create offense in a variety of ways.pic.twitter.com/2ukTIJOf4R
— Frankie Cartoscelli (@FCartoscelli3) October 30, 2023
Fox’s injury also means that Keegan Murray could see a bump in field goal attempts, which could help push the second-year forward in his progression. Murray is averaging 16.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game on 14.3 field goal attempts per game thus far in the season, up from 9.8 during his rookie year.
Rookie guard Colby Jones played a healthy dose of minutes at the point during preseason, and Brown told the media that he was very impressed by the 21-year-old’s ability to make the right play and defend at a high level. Jones could find himself in a reserve role with Fox out, but Brown could also lean on Monk or Chris Duarte instead of going to the rookie.
And last but not least, Sacramento still has Domantas Sabonis to set the tone on offense. Last year’s All-NBA center is off to an incredible start for the Kings (17.7 points, 15.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists) and will see his usage rate rise with Fox sidelined.
The Kings’ schedule opens up following Wednesday’s battle against the Golden State Warriors, with the next three games coming against the struggling Houston Rockets (two games) and Portland Trail Blazers.
If Sacramento can emerge from their next four games with a winning record, they will have a chance to get Fox back for a tough stretch that includes matchups against Oklahoma City, the Lakers, Dallas, and New Orleans.
When is the next Sacramento Kings Game?
Did somebody ask for more Kings vs. Warriors?
For what seems like the 100th time over the past 101 games, Sacramento and Golden State will meet once again on Wednesday night–the second time over the first four games of the regular season.
Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Warriors coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown San Francisco.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
- Wednesday, November 1st – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
- Saturday, November 4th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5 PM PST
- Monday, November 6th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5 PM PST
- Wednesday, November 8th – Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers – 7 PM PST
- Friday, November 10th – Sacramento Kings vs. Oklahoma City Thunder** – 7 PM PST
** NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play