Summer League is over and the Kings are champs. It was an impressive five game stretch for Sacramento that included plenty of highs and lows.
The defensive effort was over the top. Plenty of young players shined. Head coach Bobby Jackson got every player on the roster to buy in.
Not everything was perfect, but here are the takeaways from the Kings’ extremely successful run in Las Vegas.
“Off Night” was always going to suit up and play this season in Sacramento, but how much was the question. The Kings have two top-flight young guards that are expected to play major minutes in De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. Fitting in a third is a challenge, but Mitchell is a game-changer.
Mitchell led the team to a 5-0 record and a Championship. He won the co-MVP and was named All-Summer League First team. He’s different and brings something the Kings have been missing. Now it’s on head coach Luke Walton to figure out how to steal minutes from other positions in order to get this group as much floor time as possible.
King was just sitting out there waiting for someone to take a gamble on his tremendous potential. Sacramento inked the 22-year-old to a two-year, two-way contract at the end of the year and he made some nice strides in the final week of the season when the Kings were short-handed.
Mitchell won the co-MVP, but it was King who took home the Finals MVP. It was also King who averaged 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3.2 steals per game for Sacramento. He showed a defensive intensity that was missing before and the fact that he knocked down 45.2 percent from 3-point range on 6.2 attempts should open some doors for the former Oregon Duck.
King will bounce back and forth between the main roster and the Stockton Kings, but his performance in Las Vegas opens up the potential for more.
Ramsey looked completely lost late in the season. He looked even worse when the Kings stepped on the floor at the California Classic. According to summer league head coach Bobby Jackson, Ramsey was questionable to play due to an ankle injury that had slowed him over the last few months.
When Ramsey stepped on the floor in Vegas, it wasn’t pretty for about a half of basketball. And then he settled down. He struggled with his 3-point shot, but the 20-year-old wing ran the floor like a gazelle, finished above the rim and played stellar defense. He averaged 16.2 points per game in just 25 minutes of action and once again became a prospect.
Ramsey will spend the season with Jackson in Stockton, but there is a lot to like about his game. The Kings are deep at his position and can take their time developing the former second-round pick.
There was a buzz about Terry entering summer league and he didn’t disappoint. The lanky big man has springs in his legs and a motor that won’t quit. His build and rebounding ability is reminiscent of hall of famer Dennis Rodman.
Terry isn’t on the Kings’ roster, but he’s earned a training camp invitation at the minimum. Sacramento has plenty of options in the post, but none that bounce off the floor like this guy. He’s worth a gamble if the team can come up with a roster spot.
From the second he stepped on the court, you could see that Queta needed a professional training staff to work out some of the kinks in his body. He ran out of gas late in Summer League, which is to be expected. Now the real work begins.
Matt Coleman III
When you load a roster with young NBA hopefuls, you never know what you are going to get. What you are hoping for is to find a couple of players that you can invite to training camp and that might fit on your G League squad.
Coleman didn’t have a perfect run, but he was a standout player in a couple of key games, including the Finals. He’s a mature player that can handle both guard spots and looks like he might be ready to take on a big role at Stockton.
Taking a step back
Robert Woodard III
Woodard looked really solid in the G League bubble in February and there were some high hopes for the 21-year-old out of Mississippi State. Those hopes hit a snag in Vegas. Woodard looked heavy-footed, out of sorts and his 3-point shot looked like it was going to hit the ceiling in the gym.
The Kings gave Woodard a two-year guaranteed deal coming out of the draft last year, but there should be some pretty substantial concerns about his play. He had two or three nice dunks, but the rest of his play was a mess. Woodard has a few weeks to get things right, but there are players that will fight for his roster spot like King and Terry.
Fourth-year players should dominate Summer League. Metu played well in stretches, but he definitely didn’t dominate and his decision to punch another player was unacceptable.
Metu isn’t going anywhere. He’s under contract for this season and he’s shown that he can play when given the chance. But every time you step on the court is an opportunity to put your best foot forward. Metu averaged 10 points and 6.8 rebounds in his four games. He also shot 31.6 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from 3-point range.