Kings 2026 Preseason Preview

  • By Andrew Seitz, Day 1, 2026

The Kings enter the 2026 season as favorites to come out of the East, but there are so many good teams in the conference that the odds of it happening are pretty low. The Kings have a two-year window with this team, but anything less than a championship would probably be a disappointment.

(Rankings are among players that played the same position as them with >50 games and >10 mpg.)

Starter: Eli Custer (WS/48 3rd/51, BPM 2nd/51)
Depth: Marcus Richardson (WS/48 41st/51, BPM 26th/51), Sean Green (R)

Custer isn’t flashy but he is a great example of a system guy. He shoots 40% from 3 and takes 94% of his shots either at the rim or from 3. The training wheels have been taken off Richardson and he needs to step up. He hasn’t been terrible, but hasn’t been up to the Kings standards either. However, he had some good improvement in training camp and a good preseason, shooting 59% eFG and a per36 line of 20-4-5 with only 1.5 turnover. Hopefully some of that carries over into the regular season. Green we have high hopes for as a lockdown defender, but will work on his outside shooting in the J League this year.

Starter: Detrez Owens (WS/48 13th/46, BPM 8th/46)
Depth: DeMarco Prince (WS/48 13th/49, BPM 11th/49)

Owens is the offensive focal point for the team and the franchise player. His less than stellar on-ball defense is somewhat ameliorated by his ability to get rebounds. He is haunted by inconsistency and turnovers; if he solves those issues he could be a top 10 player. Makiavelli had formerly been the back-up wing, but with the addition of Craig (and Prince’s small stature) that will likely change to back-up SG only.

Starter: Victor Olojakpoke (WS/48 9th/49, BPM 3rd/49)
Depth: Tezale Craig (WS/48 4th/49, BPM 10th/49), JaMarcus Thybulle, DeMarco Prince, Devion Jensen

Olojakpoke is turning into exactly what I wanted to have next to Owens. He is a fantastic all-around player and good defender. There were four players that averaged more than 16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block per game last season: Weaver, Sowder, JRob, and Olojakpoke. Craig I have written about a lot already, but I love his championship attitude. He is a 3-time champion and an all-star 13 of the last 14 seasons, the perfect player to come off the bench for this young team.

Starter: Richmond Benson (WS/48 1st/48, BPM 3rd/48)
Depth: JaMarcus Thybulle (WS/48 8th/48, BPM 1st/48), Christian Barr, Kyle Northwood

BENSANITY is probably my favorite player now. Two-time All-JBL, despite being held back somewhat by the need to get Thybulle playing time. He is clutch as well: in the playoffs last year he averaged 21 and 9 and shot 48% from 3 (29 of 60). Thybulle is a top 10 PF with fantastic defense, rebounding, and efficiency, and will start many games this season. Craig will play some PF in some small ball lineups as well. Barr will play in the J League, working to recover from his season-long injury last season.

Starter: Latrell Mason (WS/48 29th/49, BPM 12th/49)
Depth: Jacob Wincowski, Joseph Turner (R)

Mason I had hoped would be further along by now, but always suspected he would be slow to develop thanks to his personality. However, he had career highs in points and rebounds, and career low in turnover rate, last season, as well as getting back to a decent three point percentage. And I know I live on Advanced Stats Mountain, but I really think his contributions to offense go beyond his numbers: he was 2nd last year behind Illic in three point attempts per game by a center. That is going to drag down his eFG compared to other centers. Wincowski played decent backup minutes last year, but might see his role reduced further by Benson at backup C, now that I can see that Benson and Thybulle had a +17 net rating together last season. Turner is a player we love the potential of, but he will be in the J League to start the year.