Kings' De'Aaron Fox Ruled Out vs. Timberwolves After Suffering Back Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2019

Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox brings the ball down court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Sacramento, Calif., Friday Nov. 1, 2019. The Kings won 102-101.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

The Sacramento Kings announced point guard De'Aaron Fox exited Thursday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with back spasms.

While Fox was durable in his first two seasons in the league and missed just 10 combined games, this is another setback for him in 2019-20. He suffered a sprained ankle in November, missing significant time, and could be sidelined again following this development.

When healthy, Fox is a primary reason there is long-term optimism in Sacramento.

The No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 draft averaged 17.3 points, 7.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals a night last season and has followed up with 18.8 points, 6.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals a night this season. His athleticism allows him to blow past defenders in transition and get to the rim in half-court sets.

He can also extend his game beyond the arc and consistently sets up his teammates for open looks when opposing defenses collapse on his penetration.

While the Kings don't have a point guard who can replicate his production on a nightly basis, they do have other options. Look for Cory Joseph and Yogi Ferrell to see more time, while Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic can serve as additional facilitators from the wing.