Team USA has invited young players like De’Aaron Fox for training camp ahead of the FIBA tournament. If history has proven anything, its that young players like Fox will thrive. Whether he makes the team or not, the Sacramento Kings should benefit from the De’Aaron Fox USA Basketball exposure.
USA Basketball Will Benefit De’Aaron Fox
A trending narrative this NBA offseason has been the lack of superstars vying to join Team USA ahead of the FIBA tournament. Big names such as Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard have chosen to forego the opportunity. Despite the NBA still leading the world in talent, the players’ absences have left many to question Team USA’s chances for the gold medal.
The aftermath has allowed younger NBA players a valuable opportunity to develop their game. Among them is the Sacramento Kings’ rising star guard, De’Aaaron Fox. Fox, as well as the Kings as a whole, took a jump in the right direction a year ago. Now, the expectations have been raised in 2019, with a playoff appearance the ultimate goal.
The opportunity to compete on an international stage against more talent should pay dividends for Fox’s game. The opportunity to play and learn behind more tenured NBA players should also make him an all-around better player. Whether he makes the team or not, his time with team USA should prepare him to be the leader he is becoming in Sacramento.
To be at your best you have to play against the best, and Fox already does so on a nightly basis. The NBA is the world’s premier league in terms of talent, but one cannot overlook the global impact of the game. There are established talent outside the NBA as well. Yet what are the odds of facing off against them? Many NBA players just stick to the 82 game season grind.
The opportunity to face good, international talent comes generally in the way of FIBA or the Olympics. Otherwise, odds are a player won’t face international competition unless they themselves play regularly in an international league. Facing international competition, in a similar but different style of play, makes Fox all the more prepared for year three back in the league.
Learning From the Vets
Even without the big-name stars, the USA roster is not without a strong crop of talent. Kemba Walker and Kyle Lowry headline the veterans that are still in Las Vegas training with team USA. What are the odds that both play the same position as De’Aaron Fox, running the point? Fox can gain valuable knowledge from both NBA veterans.
Walker is a player who was the bonafide leader and foundational piece of a franchise. He ultimately kept the Charlotte Hornets competitive when they really had no business to and did so as an All-Star last year. Lowry is an NBA champion, having finally done so after years of struggles and overcoming losses in the postseason. Both offer tremendous insight for a young player like Fox, who is transitioning into not just a star but a leader.
So far, it sounds like Kemba Walker is already speaking highly of the Kings’ young guard.
Being a Role Player
With Kemba Walker and Kyle Lowry ahead on the depth chart, odds are that Fox would come off the bench. A player of Fox’s caliber, being a high recruit and top-five draft pick, it’s hard to remember the last time he was a role player. Yet filling that role can pay off in the long-term.
Fox is expected to be the bonafide leader for the Kings, not just next season but for the future. With that responsibility means being able to push and guide all your other teammates. That does not solely include your other four starters, but the bench and role players as well. Taking a backseat, being a role player in order to represent one’s country, can give Fox an added experience and ability to connect and lead the role players in Sacramento.
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