SACRAMENTO -- Welcome to the squad.
The Sacramento Kings rolled out the purple carpet Thursday for two of their three second-round draft picks. With their names lit up on the main scoreboard in Golden 1 Center, Justin James and Kyle Guy stood in to field questions from the local media.
Kings rolling out the purple carpet for Justin James and Kyle Guy. pic.twitter.com/y7X8qzs2Hu— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) June 27, 2019
Taken with the No. 40 overall selection in the 2019 NBA NBA Draft, James was overwhelmed when he got the call that the Kings were selecting him.
“It was the greatest night of my life, honestly,” James said with a huge smile on his face. “There was just so much build up that whole night. I pretty much knew I was going in the second round, so me and my family were all sitting around the TV. Once I finally heard my name, we were all super excited.”
Before the draft, James’ father went out in search of hats to purchase in case his son’s name was called. The family had a list of three teams that might select the 6-foot-7 guard, but his father found just one team when he hit the local stores.
“He was planning on buying the three hats and he went to the store and there was only one hat that was remaining and it was a Kings hat,” James said. “He didn’t tell me about it obviously until after I got drafted. So once I heard my name got called, my dad pulled the hat from his car and he gave it to me.”
Coming out of the University of Wyoming, James put up big numbers last season. He’s a combo guard that was asked to carry most of the load for his college team, which may have helped him better prepare for what he’s about to face at the NBA level.
For now, he has to get stronger and the Kings already have a list of items for him to work on.
“Just continue to be versatile, just continue to work hard and just play my game offensively,” James said. “Play-make and make shots whenever I can.”
According to James, Kings general manager Vlade Divac called his agent after his original work and expressed interest. He was high on the Kings' list from the beginning and they jumped at the chance to select him with their first second-round selection.
In addition to James, Guy took center stage for a round of questions. The sharpshooter out of Virginia had no idea when he would get drafted and the long wait took its toll on draft night.
“It was starting to get really somber, it was quiet,” Guy said of his draft night. “It’s such a long night. It started at 7-7:30 and I got drafted at like 12:15 or something. All my family and close friends were there, it was a great night.”
Out of the 101 prospects to roll through Sacramento, Guy was the lone player to visit twice. He knew the Kings were interested, but was slightly confused when his agent messaged him and said they were selecting him with the No. 55 overall pick, which was held by the New York Knicks.
Once he received a text that he was about to be selected, he told his cousin, his best friend and then his fiancé and then hit record on TV and sat back.
“It was a nice surprise,” Guy said.
A flamboyant shooter and high-energy player on the court, Guy was almost shy in front of the cameras. He quietly described his evening and the whirlwind of action since that night. Maybe it was the setting or speaking to fresh faces, but his real personality is likely to come out eventually.
“I’m very extroverted, I’m very transparent, you ask me anything, I’ll tell you the truth,” Guy said. “I definitely like to have fun, enjoy myself and one of the things I pride myself the most is being a good teammate. That means off the court too.”
[RELATED: Why Kings should call Rockets on Capela]
It’s going to take a while before the Kings know how these two young players fit into their system. With free agency just around the corner, things can change dramatically from one day to the next.
There is a good chance that one or both of these players will spend time in Stockton with the team’s G League affiliate. Fans will get their first look at the duo beginning Monday at the California Classic. James and Guy are expected to suit up in Sacramento and then again when the team travels to Las Vegas for a second round of summer league games.