De’Aaron Fox has been one of my favorite players since his one year at the University of Kentucky. He was electric on the court. I fell in love with Fox after seeing him lose in the NCAA tournament. After the game, Fox and his teammate, Malik Monk, were filmed visually upset. This showed me how much passion and love for the sport Fox has. This is something players are born with. This is not taught. This made me want the 76ers to draft him in 2017. Instead, we traded up for Markelle Fultz. I was so into Fox that I made my MyPlayer look like him in 2k the year he was drafted. He had his number, his face, his jump shot, and his play style. I knew he was going to be so good. He was one of the few players I was actually right about. This gets me into the real question. Why is De’Aaron Fox getting disrespected? Outside of the Kings fanbase, it feels like no one talks about him.
As you can see here, a discussion was made on Reddit by u/Nickcrizzle asking viewers to rank the following players: Trae Young, Ja Morant, De’Aaron Fox, Donavan Mitchell, and Jamal Murray. In my opinion, the answer is Mitchell, Fox, Morant, Young, and finally Murray. I think Fox and Morant are interchangeable. Currently, I say Fox but long term the answer is Ja. Young feels like one of those players who puts up empty stats. He can do as well as he wants, but his team is not competitive. We have also seen his teammate, John Collins, publicly comment on his play. His style does not lead to wins. Murray is also one of those players that I love, but he is really having a hard time taking the next step. We all thought Murray would continue improving the way he had while he was in the bubble. That has not happen thus far into the season. Looking through the replies, some of them really blow me away. Some are saying Fox is without a doubt last. Some are saying, “Why is Fox on here instead of SGA?”. This shows the type of disrespect I am talking about. People do not want to rank him above the leagues best even when he is averaging 21 points, 6 assists, and playing excellent defense. Compared to the rest of the list, him and Mitchell are the only players who can compete on both sides of the court. That is why I see him higher on this list.
One reason I sort of understand the downplaying is the lack of wins the Kings get every season. I have a hard time putting that blame on Fox. The Kings organization has historically been a joke. They drafted Marvin Bagley over Luka Doncic, they let Bogdonovic walk with no compensation in return, and they still have yet to put real talent around Fox. Buddy Hield is looked at as their second best player yet he was struggling to stay in the starting lineup last season. Other than Hield, they have Harrison Barnes, Bagley, and a bunch of other role players. The only other positive on their roster is Tyrese Haliburton. He is fighting for Rookie of the Year. This organization does not bring in valuable free agents to help the team compete since they are a small market team. At this rate, Fox will demand a trade or the team will stay in limbo. It is not a good sign if Barnes and Hield are your 2nd and 3rd highest paid players.
I think this is a fair argument, but the other players he is compared to are in the exact same situation. Other than Mitchell, Morant and Young have both struggled to win a significant amount of games. Yes, they are both very young, but so is Fox. Morant has not had a lot of help either. His side kick Jaren Jackson Jr. has yet to play close to a full season. There is no excuse for young. The team that was put around him this season has completely set him up for success. They are extremely disappointing thus far. He is the only one on the list that is in the East. The East has been known to be significantly weaker than the West. In my eyes, if you put Morant or Fox on the Hawks, they would be in a much better position. I see them as players who make the players around them better.
All in all, I may be biased, but I think Fox is one of the most under appreciated stars in the league. He is incredibly efficient for the point guard position. He is shooting 48% from the field and 35.5% from deep. His field goal percentage is much higher than other players in his position. For example, Trae Young is shooting 39% from the field this season. I do not think Fox will be fully appreciated until he is in a new situation. I would love it if he pulled a Kevin Durant and said, “I can’t win with them cats”. It would be a dream come true to see him play in Philadelphia. I am drooling thinking about him playing in place of Ben Simmons. I guess a man can dream. Until that day comes, I will be rooting for him.