Sacramento Kings Summer League Roster Preview
Nik Stauskas, G: Probably the best sharp-shooter in the 2014 draft class, Stauskas is ready to contribute now for the Kings. His shooting ability makes his defender always have to be conscious of where he is, and he can attack a closeout with ease when his man overplays on his fake. With Ben McLemore already slated as the starting shooting guard, Stauskas’ opportunities will likely come off of the bench – at least for now.
Players Under Contract:
Quincy Acy, F Acy is an energy guy, and he has always added decent value off the bench. He rebounds at an incredibly high rate (9.2 per 36 minutes in 2013-14) because of his impressive wingspan, and he also uses his strength to scrap down low for buckets around the rim. Defensively, he’s both quick enough and strong enough to be a perimeter stopper. All this should keep him on an NBA roster for a while.
Ray McCallum, G: It’s tough to find a player more fundamentally sound than McCallum, but as long as he remains an average distributor in the half court and in the pick and roll, he will be just a backup point guard in the Association. That’s not a bad thing, however. He brings a lot to the table, including scoring in a variety of ways. At the very worst, he projects as a useful role player for many years to come.
Ben McLemore, G: This blurb will probably be more efficient than McLemore was on the basketball court during his rookie season. He had one of the lowest player efficiency ratings (PER) in the NBA at 7.7. That’s basically halfway to average (15.0). He still has tons of upside and plenty of time to gain consistency on his shot and in other areas, but the time to start is now.
Derrick Williams, F: Williams didn’t pan out in Minnesota, and now he’s in the process of turning over a new leaf in Sacramento. Heading into his fourth season, a lot of the luster around Williams has worn off, but he can still be a serviceable player in a limited role. He has a nice mid-range jumper, and his range does extend to the three-point line. His size will always make him a tweener, but I still believe he can be successful in the right role.
Former NBA Players
MarShon Brooks, G: Currently an unrestricted free agent, the Providence product will have something to prove heading into summer league. Brooks has always been an electric player, but his production has steadily decreased since his rookie season. He’s a talented scorer that is a good guy to stash on the end of the bench in case injuries occur to guys ahead of him on the depth chart. He’s played for four different teams in just three seasons, and now he’s looking for his fifth. Given that this game has and will always be about buckets, Brooks should land on another squad soon.
Jared Cunningham, G: Long and super-athletic, Cunningham thrives in the open court and attacking the rim. However, he’s undersized for a shooting guard and doesn’t shoot the ball well enough from deep to get regular minutes there, and he doesn’t have the chops to play point guard at the NBA level. He’ll likely take his exciting game to the D-League or overseas soon.
Dwayne Jones, C: He’s big and strong enough to average a double-double easily in the D-League, and that’s what he’s done for many seasons. However, that never carried over during his brief stints in the NBA. His athleticism allows him to move exceptionally well for a seven-footer. He’s quick enough to leak out and fill a lane in transition, and he can also slide laterally well enough to be a good pick and roll defender. However, he’s 31 years old now, and that alone will make it tough for him to ever get another chance in the NBA.
Rion Brown, G: At Miami, Brown imposed his physicality on others in transition and when headed to the rim. He uses his explosiveness to get up and catch alley-oops, but the rest of his game is still coming along. He shot worse his senior season than he did his freshmen season from deep, and that’s a sign of lack of development. With Brown, it’s hard to see the upside of a guy that’s about to turn 23 and is still extremely raw.
Jake Odum, G: Odum is a big point guard that doesn’t have a great fit. His skill set is somewhere in between scorer and distributor, and he’s not proficient enough at either to stick in the NBA. Defensively, he has quick hands that allow him to come up with steals, but staying in front of people could be an issue. He might not be quick enough or strong enough to guard a position.
Nick Wiggins, G: Why yes, this is Andrew Wiggins’ brother. Why no, he doesn’t have nearly the potential his brother has. However, he does play like his brother. Like Andrew, Nick is an athletic small forward/shooting guard that is best when he puts the ball on the floor and utilizes his athleticism to get to the rim and finish. He also projects as an excellent perimeter defender. The question for Nick is will he be good enough at any one thing to ever make it in the NBA? Probably not, but a guy with his game can have a lengthy career in Europe making great money if that’s what he wants.
Brendan Lane, F: After barely seeing the court for three seasons at UCLA, Lane transferred to Pepperdine where he played a more prominent role. In a small sample size, Lane demonstrated the ability to stretch the floor and play out on the perimeter. Yet, he can still play down low and crash the boards well. He will likely catch in the D-League.
Eric Moreland, C: Great length is what makes Moreland an interesting prospect. He’s 6’10″ with a 7’4″ wingspan, and he’s very mobile for his size. Offensively, he uses that length to hang around the rim, and he lives off tip-ins, which is not a ringing endorsement for his offensive polish. He still has a lot of work to do on even the fundamentals, and that doesn’t bode well for his NBA future.
Sim Bhullar, C: Bhullar was a fan favorite in college and certainly everyone’s favorite Indo-Canadian basketball player. I mean, how many are there? At 7’5″, his biggest strength is rebounding. He has huge hands and a huge frame, but he doesn’t know how to use his frame to his advantage, which causes him to get pushed around by much smaller guys. He also really struggles to even make it up and down the court for an extended period of time. His size will be his biggest strength and his biggest enemy.
Non-Rookie, Non-NBA Players
Ra’Shad James, G: Despite being an undersized guard, James can jump through the roof. He had several incredible dunks in his first and only D-League season, but nothing else about his game really stands out. His stats for the Reno Bighorns in 47 games were pretty underwhelming. That means back to the D-League he will go next season.
Josh Owens, F: If athleticism was the only thing needed in the NBA, Owens would likely be in the league. Unfortunately for the big man, there are many things that are just as important that he does not thrive at. He’s raw on both ends, and he fares best when he can get the ball in transition for a dunk. That will help him during summer league, but it won’t cut it in the NBA. He averaged nearly a double-double playing for Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel last season, and he will probably continue to pursue the game overseas.