The Sacramento Kings’ Summer League kicks off on July 11th, and they will play a minimum of five games, including the playoffs. Coached by assistant Chris Jent, the Kings’ Summer League roster is filled with players who have NBA experience. Of course, there are also a handful of rookies eager to show they have what it takes to make it in the pros.
Quincy Acy, Sim Bhullar, MarShon Brooks, Jared Cunningham, Dwayne Jones, Ray McCallum, Ben McLemore, Nik Stauskas and Derrick Williams all could end up on the roster at some point during the season. The Kings will likely float around the ninth or tenth seed in the Western Conference, barring any trades, so the development of the summer league players who will make the final roster could help push the Kings into the eighth seed.
The first Summer League position battle to watch for is at shooting guard. Fans will get their first look at eighth overall draft pick Nik Stauskas, who could end up in the starting lineup if the McLemore trade rumors ever come to fruition. Even without any McLemore deal, Stauskas could push McLemore for playing time if he impresses.
Stauskas did develop into more than just a spot-up shooter when Trey Burke left for the NBA, but creating your own shot in the NBA is arguably the most difficult transition from college. While McLemore isn’t exactly a world-beater on the defensive side of the floor, he does possess more lateral quickness than Stauskas, which helps him stay in front of the quicker guards. Pay attention to these two areas during the Summer League because if Stauskas can show he is capable in both areas, he could show the Kings enough to deal McLemore before the deadline.
Bhullar is probably this year’s best known undrafted prospect thanks to his towering 7’5”, 360 lb. frame. His game needs a ton of work and he is a long shot at best to even make the 15-man roster, but his size alone will keep him in conversations. Seriously, he makes DeMarcus Cousins look like a guard. Any big man who can defend and rebound will always have a place in the league, but size can only do so much.
Bhullar’s footwork is in dire need of improvement and he needs to cut down and turnovers and fouls, but the Summer League will provide him with quality experience in these areas. On the offensive end, Bhullar’s game is actually quite polished. He has a nice baby hook, and he was fairly efficient with his post looks at New Mexico State. Don’t expect much from Bhullar, especially early on, but he’ll be a project player the Kings will keep tabs on.
Similar to the situation with Stauskas and McLemore, McCallum could be next in line if Isaiah Thomas leaves via restricted free agency or by trade. While it is likely that any deal sending away McLemore and/or Thomas would bring a point guard in return, McCallum could still be due for a larger role in the offense. McCallum was a Summer League standout last year and although he didn’t contribute much for the majority of the season, he came on strong when Thomas went down with an injury.
There was a five-game stretch where McCallum improved his scoring total each game, ending with a 27-point outing against the Los Angeles Lakers. McCallum is actually a better distributor than given credit for and he proved this when filling in for Thomas.
In the 10 games where McCallum logged starter minutes, he averaged 7.3 assists per game. His defense was solid as well with several two and three steals per game. McCallum’s main focus will need to be cutting down turnovers and if he can do that, I’d feel comfortable with him as a starting point guard if Thomas does end up leaving.
Below is the schedule and the roster, so tune in to the Kings website or NBA TV to see the team in action.
Kings Summer League Schedule
|1||Friday||July 11||vs. San Antonio||7 p.m.||Cox Pavilion|
|2||Sunday||July 13||vs. Charlotte||3 p.m.||Cox Pavilion|
|3||Monday||July 14||vs. D-League Select||1:30 p.m.||Thomas & Mack Center|
|4||To be determined after seeding|
|5||To be determined after seeding|
2014 NBA SUMMER LEAGUE SACRAMENTO KINGS MINI-CAMP ROSTER (16 players)
|Player||Birthdate||College, Last team/Home Country|
|5||Quincy Acy||F||6-7||225||10/6/90||Baylor, Sacramento Kings/USA||2|
|55||Sim Bhullar||C||7-5||360||12/2/92||New Mexico State/Canada||R|
|0||MarShon Brooks||G||6-5||200||1/26/89||Providence, Los Angeles Lakers/USA||3|
|9||Jared Cunningham||G||6-4||195||5/22/91||Oregon State, Sacramento Kings/USA||2|
|20||Ra’shad James||G||6-1||193||1/26/90||Northwood (FL), Reno Bighorns (NBA D-League)/USA||R|
|52||Dwayne Jones||C||6-11||248||6/9/83||Saint Joseph’s, Al Jaysh Army SC Doha (Qatar)/USA||5|
|3||Ray McCallum||G||6-3||190||6/12/91||Detroit Mercy, Sacramento Kings/USA||1|
|16||Ben McLemore||G||6-5||195||2/11/93||Kansas, Sacramento Kings/USA||1|
|40||Eric Moreland||F/C||6-10||218||12/24/91||Oregon State/USA||R|
|18||Jake Odum||G||6-4||170||2/11/91||Indiana State/USA||R|
|42||Josh Owens||F||6-8||240||12/7/88||Stanford, Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel)/USA||R|
|7||Alex Stepheson||F||6-10||250||8/7/87||USC, Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia)/USA||R|
|32||Nick Wiggins||G||6-6||187||2/4/91||Wichita State/Canada||R|
|13||Derrick Williams||F||6-8||241||5/25/91||Arizona, Sacramento Kings/USA||3|