Kings’ Kevin Huerter Out For Season Following Season-Ending Surgery

As the 2023-24 NBA regular season begins to wind down, the Sacramento Kings have been dealt a massive hit to their NBA title chances. Starting shooting guard Kevin Huerter will now undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum. He is expected to be ready to go for the start of next season, but will miss the postseason this year. His agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports informed ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski of the news:

Huerter was one of the better role players on the Kings roster, so this certainly hurts them with the playoffs quickly approaching. His ability to space the floor at a high rate with his three-point shooting allowed the Kings more flexibility and versatility on the offensive end. Sacramento will now need others to step up in his absence, which may not be as easily done. Keon Ellis has been starting in his stead.

The Kings were 11-4 on the season when Huerter scored more than 15 points, so his absence will be felt throughout the roster. The veteran guard was averaging 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. But he was shooting 36.1% from beyond the three-point line, which opened up the offense away from the basket for Sacramento.

Kevin Huerter
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 12: Domantas Sabonis #10 high-fives Kevin Huerter #9 of the Sacramento Kings during their game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Golden 1 Center on March 12, 2024 in Sacramento, California. Huerter…

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The 42-30 Kings are currently fighting for their playoff lives, sitting in the 8th spot within the Western Conference standings. Luckily for them, they hold the tiebreaker over the team directly under them, the 41-32 Los Angeles Lakers, so Los Angeles would need to completely jump them for Sacramento to drop. The Kings are 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers for the 8th seed at the moment.

The Kings would love to jump up within the top six of the Western Conference to avoid playing any extra games. But with Huerter now out for the year, it’s looking more likely that the Kings will be in the play-in tournament. Sacramento would need to win at least one game to reach the official playoff bracket if things stayed the way that they are now.

However, there is still time left in the season, and the Kings do have an opportunity ahead of them. They will be playing against the Dallas Mavericks tonight at home, so if they can take down Dallas, it could go a long way in their pursuit. The Mavericks sit one game ahead of Sacramento in the standings and are currently the West’s sixth seed, but Dallas defeated the Kings in their previous matchup a few days ago.

Even without Huerter, the Kings still have one of the better offenses in the entire NBA. They will be a tough out in whatever playoff capacity they find themselves in, but their depth will be tested more so going forward.