30Q | Articles

30Q: Who will start at Shooting Guard?

Who will join De'Aaron Fox in the starting backcourt?

When the Kings traded both Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton for Domantas Sabonis back in February, the shooting guard position became a bit of a question mark for Sacramento after previously having been a position of strength.  After the trade, the Kings primarily used the newly acquired veteran Justin Holiday, with Donte DiVincenzo playing most of the backup minutes.

Neither Holiday or DiVincenzo are on the team anymore but the Kings did bring a few guys in who could reasonably fill that hole.

The Case for Kevin Huerter

Perhaps the biggest acquisition of the summer for Sacramento (aside from Keegan Murray) was Kevin Huerter, the 6'7 swingman from Atlanta. Huerter spent his first four seasons in Atlanta and started most games for them at Shooting Guard.  Huerter gives the Kings the most size at the position, as well as being the most consistent shooter. Huerter is also locked up for four more years, and given that the Kings invested a future first round pick into acquiring him, it makes sense that he's probably the favorite to start.  However, I do think there's a possibility that the Kings will play a little bit smaller and as a result play Huerter at Small Forward instead, moving Harrison Barnes up to Power Forward and leaving the Shooting Guard position open to someone else.

The Case for Malik Monk

Monk was another big acquisition for the Kings, coming off a career-year with the Lakers, where he started half the season.  As a starter, he averaged 17 points on 47.8% from the field and 42.2% from three to go along with 4 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Monk also has previous experience playing with Fox back in Kentucky and is probably the most athletic of any of the options.  However he's also probably the weakest choice from a defensive perspective. While I could see him starting in a small ball situation like I described above, I do think that with coach Mike Brown's defensive mindset that Monk will instead operate off the bench as a 6th man scoring punch.

The Case for Davion Mitchell

Davion Mitchell is an unlikely choice because he's the team's primary backup Point Guard, but he's also probably the best individual defensive player on the team.  Mitchell's not terribly big for the Shooting Guard position but he is plenty big and skilled enough to guard the opponent's best backcourt player. Offensively though, he's probably one of the worst fits. He's the weakest outside shooter, and as we saw in his rookie season, he's best when he has the ball in his hands. Sharing the ball with De'Aaron Fox would probably mean he'd have to play more off the ball and out of his comfort zone.

The Case for someone else

Now I don't see the Kings considering anyone else, but I've also seen weirder things these last 16 years.  Could Mike Brown want a veteran like Kent Bazemore or Matthew Dellavedova to start as tone-setters but then play limited minutes for the entire game (kind of like how the Kings used Mo Harkless in his time here). Or could we see another trade before the season begins that brings another option in? Again, I think that's pretty unlikely at this point.

***

If I had to bet on who is named the starter from Day 1, it'd be Kevin Huerter. He's got the experience and he provides enough on both sides of the floor, whereas the other options are a bit more awkward in terms of fit. All three of those players will likely see plenty of playing time, but Huerter makes the most sense to me as a starter.

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1951
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September 6, 2022 9:47 am

Jordan Taylor Clarkson.

BestHyperboleEver
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September 6, 2022 8:13 pm
Reply to  1951

Man, I really hope they don’t give up anything of consequence chasing Clarkson.

murraytant
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September 6, 2022 9:48 am

Red Velvet.

He is taller and used to playing alongside a PG who is a questionable defender. Mitchell or Monk would result in a small backcourt.
Monk’s value is off the bench with a green light to shoot.
Huerter is best at catch and shoot, Monk can create.

Kosta
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September 6, 2022 9:57 am

I’m excited about our guard rotation. It seems more competent than the previous seasons.

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Klam
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September 6, 2022 10:12 am
Reply to  Kosta

Hopefully our guards can get past the defense.
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OG_Aggie
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September 6, 2022 10:31 am

Fox, Red Velvet, Barnes, Murray, Ox

thats a playoff starting lineup

Mitchell, Monk, Holmes, somebody, somebody

I’m hopeful we can find decent somebodies

Fox, Michell, Red Velvet, Barnes, 0x

Strong options situationally for the closing lineup

Jack
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September 7, 2022 12:25 pm
Reply to  OG_Aggie

One of those somebodies could be Terrance Davis.

Kingsguru21
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September 6, 2022 11:14 am

It’ll likely be Huerter. There’s alot more reason to being Monk off the bench than to start him. Monk is one of those guys who can create his own shot. That’s a valuable thing (assuming you have the buy in from Monk on that role) to have with Sabonis likely to play a number of minutes with the bench. Also, Monk might thrive with a pick n pop partner like Richaun Holmes off the bench.

If Monk and Huerter aren’t playing at least 28 MPG, I’ll be very surprised. Huerter is avg’g a tick under 30 MPG for his career, Monk has avg’d 20 MPG for his career and avg’d a career high 28MPG last year in LaLa land.

There are 96 minutes in the backcourt. Slate Fox in for 34. After that, divvying up the remaining 62 MPG gets tricky. Mitchell is somewhere in 26 MPG. Monk likely is after 28 MPG. Huerter is a 30 MPG player. That’s 118 minutes total, so to a large degree injuries and playing SF will alleviate some of that.

But I think Huerter will be the guy ultimately.

Jack
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September 6, 2022 11:34 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I agree Huerter should be the starting SG. I still believe we should try and trade Barnes for a younger SF. He doesn’t have to score 20 pts.a game, maybe somewhere around 10 to 14. He has to play defense though. He would probably be the 5th. option after Fox, Sabonis, Murray and Huerter. Two players that come to mind are Okoro and Mann. I really like Mann as he shoots 38% from 3, loves to drive and cut(great with Sabonis) and has played the 2, 3, and 4. He is only 25 and hasn’t reached his potential yet. He also shoots 60% on drives and pull ups.

Kingsguru21
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September 6, 2022 1:45 pm
Reply to  Jack

Barnes won’t get you Okoro or Mann. You’re looking at a guy like Gordon Hayward or Duncan Robinson if you’re trading Barnes in the next few weeks, is my guess.

Jack
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September 6, 2022 2:08 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I was looking to trade Barnes and a first for Luke Kennard and Terance Mann. Money works.

Kingsguru21
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September 6, 2022 2:46 pm
Reply to  Jack

I guess I could see it, but I don’t see a 2026 1st being that attractive to LA for those guys.

murraytant
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September 7, 2022 1:18 pm
Reply to  Jack

Kings might do that but……. the first is a problem. Can trade next year’s first but that is in a top tier draft and the 2024 and on drafts are held hostage by the Huerter trade with all the restrictions.
Mann and Kennard have some skill but who can they guard?
and LAC say no.

Adamsite
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September 6, 2022 2:36 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I’m calling it…Barnes and Holmes for Hayward and a pick. It will happen by the deadline.

Kingsguru21
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September 6, 2022 2:47 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Wouldn’t doubt it.

Jack
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September 6, 2022 7:45 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I hope not!

murraytant
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September 7, 2022 1:23 pm
Reply to  Jack

Jack- we see trades so differently. There is no way the LAXC do the Barnes trade that way and have to wait a long time to get the pick. No way Cavs trade Okoro. Not an up and comer for a broken down vet.

On the other hand, the Hayward trade makes some sense to me- Kings rid them selves of the Holmes contract and rent Hayward for what? 1 or 2 years? and Kings get the pick. Barnes and Hayward are about equivalent.

Jack
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September 7, 2022 5:17 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Hayward is 32 and accident prone. He doesn’t play very good defense. The heat want a PF really bad. Barnes is one of two at the top of their list. Could trade for Duncan Robinson( who they don’t want anymore) and Max Strus who could be our starting SF. He hasn’t reached his potential yet and shoots threes at 41%.

Jack
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September 7, 2022 5:19 pm
Reply to  Jack

PS What’s wrong with Holmes contract?

catterj
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September 6, 2022 12:57 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

If Huerter starts (as seems likely) and Monk is the primary backup at shooting guard, I believe I support staggering Fox in for some minutes in the late first/early second and late third/early fourth. This is to give Fox and Monk some time together and also has the benefit of keeping one of Fox or Sabonis on the court for more of the game (Sabonis would have the typical starting player rotation). Even though the guard defense could be atrocious, I would still like to see more of Fox and Monk together than we otherwise might see with a traditional starter rotation for Fox and a backup rotation for Monk.

Kingsguru21
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September 6, 2022 2:49 pm
Reply to  catterj

Good points here Jon. I don’t know that there is that much to discuss about rotations really. Play your best players. If that’s more 3 G lineups, then it’s more 3 G lineups.

Like Greg said, I think it’s a good problem to have.

Last edited 4 months ago by Kingsguru21
Adamsite
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September 6, 2022 2:45 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Good point on the guard minute rotations. It’s gonna be tight, and that doesn’t take into consideration Terrance Davis possibly earning minutes as well. From that, I definitely expect to see Huerter play quite a few minutes at SF and the Kings playing a lot more small ball this year.

Kingsguru21
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September 6, 2022 2:52 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think Davis is likely seen as the backup SF, not SG, FWIW.

andy_sims
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September 6, 2022 3:20 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

He’s listed at 6’4″ which I would estimate is generous. I’d love for Davis to find minutes, though, I really think he could be valuable as a scorer and creator. He’s shown that he can play vigorous defense, and I hope he leans into that under Brown.

Monk, Fox, Mitchell and Davis are all lightning-quick, and that alone puts a lot of pressure on a defense over forty-eight minutes. One or more of them is likely to be on the floor at any given time, so whoever’s job it is to stay in front of them will be on jelly-legs by the second half.

MaybeNextYear
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September 7, 2022 2:07 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think Huerter starts at the two but plays most his minutes at the three.

something like:
Pg: Fox 34/Mitchell 14
Sg: Huerter 14/ Monk 24/Mitchell 10
SF: Barnes 30/ Huerter 18

Greg
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September 6, 2022 11:50 am

I think Huerter is most likely, but I think the more important thing that this question highlights is that Mike Brown has a lot of options at his disposal. I expect we’ll see a variety of combinations especially earlier in the season as he figures out his optimal lineups.

Kingsguru21
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September 6, 2022 1:37 pm
Reply to  Greg

Agreed. Brown knows the math issues and so does the FO. It’s really, I think, an issue of how often they want to play small. Or smaller at least. Huerter and Monk aren’t exactly little guys.

AnybodyButBagley
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September 6, 2022 12:14 pm

This a completely insane idea for this team but…..

The player that competes for the job and earns the job.

Imagine that reality.

KingBob
September 6, 2022 1:11 pm

It’s a lot better than our old strategy of giving someone a max deal just because they said they want to be in Sacramento.

AnybodyButBagley
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September 6, 2022 8:16 pm
Reply to  KingBob

One of the only benefits of being on the Kings roster.

You are tall…..max deal for you.

You are fast…..max deal for you.

When your current deal expires is of no concern.

Last edited 4 months ago by AnybodyButBagley
andy_sims
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September 7, 2022 9:06 am

What year is this?

AnybodyButBagley
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September 7, 2022 12:37 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Pick one of the last fifteen or so.

Mike120
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September 6, 2022 2:07 pm

I think 20 games in we’ll have a good sense of where these guys will get minutes. I see Monk and Huerter as the clear top two SGs with Mitchell as the primary back up PG. not sure what to do with Terrence Davis. He’s great when he’s hot but he does shoot too much sometimes.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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September 6, 2022 2:43 pm

I think Huerter is the presumptive starter with Monk as the super 6th man, but minute rotations are gonna be tight with Mitchell likely deserving of at least 20 minutes a night, including time at SG.

Now, if for some reason Keegan struggles as a rookie, I could see Barnes slotting to the 4, Huerter to the 3 and Monk to the 2. I actually think Huerter and Monk’s minutes and position of play will be determined a lot by how well Keegan performs. He’s a legit stretch 4, but Barnes has been playing there a lot and will now get slotting back at SF. I also really don’t see Brown making Barnes come off the bench.

Kingsguru21
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September 6, 2022 2:50 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I keep wondering if Miami throws in their 2028 1st rd pick, along with Nikola Jovic and Duncan Robinson, is there a deal to be made for Barnes?

Last edited 4 months ago by Kingsguru21
Adamsite
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September 6, 2022 3:02 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Barnes does make a lot of sense for Miami, and they are pushing for a title this year. Robinson’s deal is a tough pill to swallow with 4 more years at $74M, especially after he was unplayable last year during the playoffs. Miami might need to sweeten the pot a bit more than a far future pick and Jovic.

Jack
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September 6, 2022 7:57 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

How about Max Strus instead of Jovic?

Jack
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September 7, 2022 6:54 am
Reply to  Jack

I think Barnes for Robinson and Strus would work. The Heat really want a PF bad. Barnes would be their man. Of the two above Strus is our guy. Robinson, when he is healthy would be a good backup SF. I believe Strus could be our starting SF. He can shoot the 3, play pretty good defense. and is a solid play maker and only 25. He doesn’t have to be a first thru fourth option.

murraytant
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September 7, 2022 1:30 pm
Reply to  Jack

Strus plays hard, has improved. A Miami project.
Jovic has more upside since Strus is older.
Not sure who Max can guard.
I know who DR can guard— the Gatorade can.

Jack
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September 7, 2022 5:25 pm
Reply to  murraytant

If you want to win now then I would take Strus over Jovic anytime.

andy_sims
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September 6, 2022 3:09 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Man, you really do keep wondering that!

Kingsguru21
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September 6, 2022 5:34 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’m the merry go round of Kings fans.

murraytant
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September 7, 2022 1:27 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I would do this quickly. Jovic looked horrible early in SL but then adjusted well. DR plays aggressive but ineffective D and can shoot it.
Rebounding would suffer.
But yes.

Jack
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September 6, 2022 7:54 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

If we are going to keep Barnes then a lineup of Fox, Huerter, Barnes, Murray and Sabonis would be my choice.Monk as the super 6th man.

catterj
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September 7, 2022 6:27 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I agree Mitchell will play at least 20 MPG, but I would move up the reference point to at least 25 MPG.

Before the trade deadline, Davion played 25.8 MPG. This is with Fox playing 34.1, Tyrese 34.4, and Buddy 28.6. Fox will get similar minutes, but I think Huerter and Monk could get a little less than Haliburton and Hield respectively. Ergo, there will be minutes for Davion.

I’m pretty sure Buddy was the 3rd guard sometimes, and I think Huerter will do that this year. Plus, injuries will play their part in allowing for more minutes for Mitchell.

andy_sims
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September 6, 2022 3:02 pm

Without any additional information, I’d probably start Monk at two, and Huerter at three. It has the added benefit of not having to throw the rookie in as a starter on day one. I’d not be surprised to see Monk play considerably improved defense, I do think he’s capable of being a good defender.

The roster appears to offer the luxury of flexibility, where against bigger lineups, Murray can start at four, Barnes at three, and Huerter or Monk at two. I can’t wait to see what happens.

Last edited 4 months ago by andy_sims
NinjaFetus
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September 7, 2022 12:54 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’m with this thought as well, for at least the first 10-20 games. Let Keegan adjust to the full pro experience without throwing him to the fire that the Kings usually do with rookies. Monk hopefully still has plenty of chemistry with Fox, and Huerter at the 3. See what happens and go from there. Davion would be my 6th man I’m this situation. Probably not the best stat lineup or defensively, but worth a tryout.

Milkman
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September 6, 2022 9:43 pm

Huerter.
Because usage percentage.
Because Fox is still on this team.
Because Keegan needs some touches.
Because there’s only one ball on the court.

fossilizedflatus
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September 6, 2022 11:19 pm

To me, it’s simple economics.

The acquisition of Atlanta’s starting two, Kevin Heurter, who makes another $64M/4 yrs, and a future first rounder solidifies his spot as a starter. You can argue SG or SF, and positionless basketball, but Kings #9 is a starter, in pen, not pencil. Sabonis and Fox as well, and Harrison Barnes included. Who’s your 5th starter? That’s the question.

Holmes, Monk, Murray, and I guess Mitchell are all possibilities. Maybe it’s a matchup decision.

If they added anyone from Ainge’s Utah roster I would hope it was Bojan Bogdanovich

Last edited 4 months ago by fossilizedflatus
andy_sims
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September 7, 2022 9:08 am

Boj would be a great add, but Ainge wants seven first-rounders, fifty-eight pick swaps, and all the blood he can drink.

And the fact of the matter is, some dumbass would agree to it.

Jman1949
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September 7, 2022 11:35 am
Reply to  andy_sims

You rang?!

comment image&ct=g

andy_sims
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September 9, 2022 5:15 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Too soon.

murraytant
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September 7, 2022 1:33 pm

Bogie 2 would be an upgrade. I doubt it would happen unless Ainge thinks Barnes expiring deal has value but yes, indeed he would want 3 firsts and 3 pick swaps.

eddie41
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September 7, 2022 8:45 am

Probably Huerter

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