Position-By-Position: Sacramento Kings 2022-23 Training Camp Roster
Sep 26, 2022, 10:00 AM| Updated: 10:03 am
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Sacramento Kings have officially announced its 2022-23 training camp roster. Now that the roster is set, the real questions surrounding this year’s Kings team are beginning to take shape.
General manager Monte McNair will need to trim this roster to 15 players (not counting two-way contracts) by opening night on October 19th, meaning that there are some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks.
Let’s take a look at the 20 players that will be in attendance for training camp:
Kings Announce 2022-23 Training Camp Roster
📝⏩ https://t.co/oN04e7L4T1 pic.twitter.com/lBiYT3XmtK
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) September 26, 2022
*Players in Italics have signed non-guaranteed deals*
- De’Aaron Fox
- Davion Mitchell
- Matthew Dellavedova
- Quinn Cook
What to watch for: Dellavedova vs Cook for the third-string spot
De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell enter camp as the two players that will get the keys to new head coach Mike Brown’s offense. What comes after Fox and Mitchell, though, is a mystery.
In 2021-22, the Kings opened up camp without a clear third-string point guard. With Fox, Mitchell, and Tyrese Haliburton in the fold, the team essentially had three floor generals on the roster. However, once Haliburton was traded to Indiana, Sacramento didn’t have another point guard on the roster, something that was a glaring issue following Fox’s season-ending hand injury in March.
Over the final 11 games of the season, Mitchell logged 40 minutes per game while Donte DiVincenzo chipped in with some spot point guard minutes off of the bench. By bringing in Matthew Dellavedova and Quinn Cook to training camp, it’s clear that McNair is aiming to roster a third-string guard this season.
On one end, Dellavedova can provide the Kings with intensity on the defensive end, something that Brown could find appealing as a defensive-minded coach. Cook is a known marksman from three-point range, holding a career 40 percent mark from beyond the arc.
It’s likely going to come down to what Brown and the rest of the coaching staff prioritize in their third-string guard: defense or offense. If your three-point threats in Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk, Keegan Murray, and Harrison Barnes are all healthy and performing, this could give Dellavedova a leg up on this competition.
Of course, as we talk about a point guard battle, neither of these players are what you would call ‘floor generals’. Dellavedova is averaging 3.7 assists per game during his career, while Cook has dished out 1.6 dimes per game during his five NBA seasons.
What’s being taken into account for these players isn’t their ability to run the offense, because let’s face it–if either Dellavedova or Cook see significant playing time, the Kings are in big trouble. Rather, it’s the fact that the entire culture of this organization needs a facelift, and you do that by bringing in guys that can help move that needle.
Dellavedova and Cook both are capable of doing just that, whether it be in practice, in the locker room, on road trips, or on the floor.
These players have experienced winning at the highest level and played meaningful minutes for NBA championship teams. Both come from winning backgrounds and possess postseason experience, something that you can only hope to have rubbed off onto the rest of the roster.
Keep an eye on how Brown uses Dellavedova and Cook come preseason as these two guards will battle it out for one roster spot.
- Kevin Huerter
- Malik Monk
- Terence Davis
- Sam Merrill
- Keon Ellis* (two-way contract)
What to watch for: Huerter vs Monk for starting role
Behind the team’s atrocious defense, shooting was a clear area that needed to be upgraded this summer. By bringing in Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk to head Sacramento’s two-guard position, the Kings have surrounded De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis with some legit perimeter threats.
After shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc over four seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Huerter will look to bring his sharp-shooting abilities to a team that needed stability beyond the three-point stripe.
Joining Huerter in the fold at the two-spot will be Malik Monk, who is coming off of a career-year with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Kentucky product posted career-highs across the board, most notably in games played (76), points per game (13.8), rebounds per game (3.4), assists per game (2.9) and field goal percentage (47%). Monk’s 39 percent rate from beyond the three-point arc would have tied Harrison Barnes for Sacramento’s team lead in 2021-22.
Mike Brown has options when it comes to who he will roll out in his starting backcourt. Will he go with Huerter, a 6’7 wing that can play the two and some three, or will be reunite De’Aaron Fox with his college running mate in Monk?
All signs point to Huerter being the choice at the starting two-spot seeing that Monk has started in just 38 of his 309 (12%) appearances at the NBA level. Over 274 career appearances, Huerter has started in 216 games (78% of his appearances).
Rounding out the depth at the shooting guard spot is Terence Davis, a player that was seemingly coming into his own last season before going down with a season-ending wrist injury on January 25th. It’s currently unknown how Brown will utilize Davis, but it’s possible we see the 25-year-old play some minutes at both the shooting guard and small forward positions, depending on matchups.
Davis provides the Kings bench with a wild card of sorts, a player that can come in and be a burst of energy that can change the momentum of games with his hustle and scoring ability. Whether or not there will be clear minutes for Davis remains to be seen.
- Harrison Barnes
- Keegan Murray
- Trey Lyles
- Chimezie Metu
- Kent Bazemore
- KZ Okpala
- Chima Moneke
What to watch for: Who will start alongside Harrison Barnes?
I know, you probably read that ‘what to watch for’ question and screamed “KEEGAN MURRAY!”. Yes, Murray could be–and in my opinion, should be–the other starting forward alongside Harrison Barnes come opening night.
The fourth-overall pick from June’s NBA Draft secured Summer League MVP honors after dominating play in San Francisco and Las Vegas, giving Kings fans a reassuring sign that McNair has found franchise staple to pair with Fox and Sabonis. The fact that both Murray and Barnes can be interchanged at the small and power forward positions bodes well for the rookie’s chances at being tabbed as a day one starter.
Of course, college basketball and Summer League are not the NBA, so there is the possibility that Brown chooses to bring Sacramento’s prized rookie along at a more leisure pace in the form of a reserve role. Trey Lyles and Chimezie Metu are options at the starting four spot, but Murray still makes the most sense here.
I’d expect the Kings to give their rookie a starting role in day one as they hope that Murray can become another key piece of this team’s hopeful turnaround.
Behind Barnes and Murray, a lot remains to be seen in how Brown will round out his bench unit at the forward spots.
Defensive-minded forward KZ Okpala has been brought into camp as an intriguing candidate for the backup small forward position, and the fact that Brown has an established relationship with the 23-year-old from their time with the Nigerian men’s basketball team could bode well for his chances in securing a guaranteed roster spot.
Kent Bazemore is back for his second go-around with the Kings as the 33-year-old hopes to crack the final roster and bounce back from a rough 2021-22 season with the Lakers. Bazemore can play the two and three, but due to Sacramento’s loaded two-spot rotation, it’s fair to assume that the bulk of any potential playing time the 10-year veteran will see will come at the three.
Chimezie Metu’s contract for 2022-23 has already been fully guaranteed, so expect the 25-year-old to battle Trey Lyles for minutes at the backup power forward position.
- Domantas Sabonis
- Richaun Holmes
- Alex Len
- Neemias Queta* (two-way contract)
What to watch for: The reinvention of Richaun Holmes
Having Domantas Sabonis in the fold for an entire season is one of the more exciting aspects of the 2022-23 Sacramento Kings.
Another exciting aspect–in my opinion–is what Richaun Holmes will look like playing behind Sabonis, or possibly even alongside the two-time All-Star. Since Mike Brown was hired back in June, the word around the organization was that Brown was very high on Holmes.
After signing a four-year contract with Sacramento last summer, Holmes had a strong start to the 2021-22 season to the tune of 15.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 71 percent from the field during his initial 20 appearances. However, the 28-year-old suffered multiple injuries to his eye and head in December that would effectively put an end to his impressive start to the season.
With Holmes struggling, the Kings made the move to acquire Sabonis during February’s trade deadline–a move that sent Holmes back into a reserve role for the first time since the 2019-20 season. In eight games as a reserve, Holmes looked uncomfortable while posting averages of 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game while shooting an uncharacteristic 44 percent from the field.
When the season came to an end in April, it seemed as if the book was closing on Holmes’ time in Sacramento as an offseason trade was all but an inevitability.
Instead, Holmes is back and looks primed to play a huge role in Mike Brown’s rotation, whether it be alongside Sabonis or coming off of the bench as a reserve. If Holmes can rediscover his play from 2020-21 and the start of last season, the Kings will have two efficient big men that can be utilized in an assortment of ways and situations.
To me, the possibility of Holmes tapping back into his old self is be one of the more important training camp/preseason storylines to keep an eye on over the next two weeks.