Nine takeaways from Kings' 2016 Summer League
What we learned
Las Vegas Summer League is not a predictor of future success. It’s nothing more than a glimpse of young players with very little preparation time. The Sacramento Kings finished a disappointing 0-5 in Vegas this week, but just like a few summers ago when they won the tournament, it means absolutely nothing moving forward. While the action wasn’t pretty, here are nine observations from the summer league action.
1 - Skal Labissiere might be one of the steals of the draft
The 7-foot Haitian showed a fire that was missing in his lone season in Kentucky. Labissiere led the Kings in scoring, averaging 11 points per contest on 45.8 percent shooting and he chipped in 5.8 rebounds in 24.2 minutes a game. He’s long and mobile with a soft touch, but he has to get stronger.
2 - Georgios Papagiannis needs a lot of work
The Kings stunned the hoops world when they selected Big George with the No. 13 pick in the draft. While he has tremendous size, he looked out of shape and not at all ready for the speed of the NBA game. He can rebound and if you feed him in the low post he will score, but he might not be ready to contribute in his first year.
3 - Willie Cauley-Stein didn’t look like a sophomore
Dave Joerger is completely reinventing Cauley-Stein’s role in the offense and the second-year big looked out of sorts. The game will look much different with DeMarcus Cousins in the middle, but Cauley-Stein shot just 25.7 percent from the floor against inferior competition. He’ll have plenty of time to learn the playbook over the summer.
4 - Malachi Richardson will tantalize, frustrate as a rookie
Richardson lit up the Rockets for 20 points on 3-of-4 shooting from downtown and added seven rebounds. He also held fellow rookie Buddy Hield in check for parts of game. The potential is there, but he needs time to develop, gain strength and work on his shot.
5 - Isaiah Cousins is on the bubble
The 22-year-old guard didn’t look completely comfortable as a lead guard in a very small sample size. He has an NBA body and he will fight for a roster spot in training camp. But if the Kings land another point guard via free agency or trade, his road to the NBA might have to go through Reno.
6 - Duje Dukan has an NBA skill, but is it enough?
Dukan spent last season commuting between Reno and Sacramento. He worked extremely hard on his game, trying to develop as a knockdown shooting stretch four. When given an opportunity, he shined in Vegas, hitting 6-of-15 from 3-point land. But he may need more time in the D-League or overseas.
7 - David Stockton has NBA game, but not an NBA body
Stockton was a late addition to the roster and the Kings were a much better team with him on the floor. He is a floor general, much like his father was, but his physical build is something he can’t seem to overcome. He’s already locked into a deal overseas, which comes with guaranteed money. Two inches taller and 20 pounds heavier and David Stockton would be a heck of an NBA player.
8 - Retin Obasohan has NBA body, but does he have NBA game?
The Belgium guard went undrafted out of Alabama this season. He loves the bull rush move, which may earn an invite to training camp. He also has an infectious personality, which never hurts. This might be a player to stash in Reno and see if he develops into a Rodney Stucky-type player.
9 - Kings left off
Neither Arturas Gudaitis nor Luka Mitrovic are landing a roster spot in Sacramento anytime soon. The rights to the duo came over from Philly in the Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas deal and the Kings will likely keep them stashed in Europe for the next few years to see if they develop.