The Sacramento Kings had a desperate need for shooting heading into this offseason in order to ideally complement centerpieces De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis on the offensive end. General Manager Monte McNair seems to have solved that issue by adding Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk, seemingly leaving Terence Davis II on the outside looking in. His rotational opportunity at the start of the year may be scarce, but the internal competition should be healthy for all involved.
What it comes down to is that Huerter and Monk are undeniably more proven at this point in their careers. They both played upwards of 2000 minutes for their respected teams last year while converting a matching 41.9 percent of their catch-and-shoot three-point attempts. Meanwhile, Davis has played 1,610 minutes throughout the previous two seasons combined and is the oldest of the group, albeit by a slim margin.
Monk will likely function solely as a two-guard, but Huerter (6’7”) has the ability to play up, as does Davis, who’s spent nearly 41 percent of his career at the three, per basketball-reference.
With the backup three unclear after either Harrison Barnes or Keegan Murray, I suspect that will be the key to Terence Davis finding consistent opportunity under head coach Mike Brown. He could function in a three-guard set alongside Monk or take the opposing two when thrown out there with Huerter. KZ Okpala and Kent Bazemore are the other primary candidates, but Davis is a far superior shooter.
Throughout his career, Davis has converted 36 percent of his three-point shots on four attempts per game and has had his moments positively contributing on the defensive end. Prior to going down in Boston, where he suffered a right wrist ECU tendon that ended his year last season, Davis had started the previous three games and played at least 30 minutes each night.
Former interim head coach Alvin Gentry was undeniably in search of anyone that could help bring the team out of their horrendous downward spiral, but that shouldn’t discredit their willingness to look in Davis’s direction. Yet, it’s worth noting that the context will be drastically different this coming season with a new coaching staff along with the additions of Monk, Huerter, Murray, Okpala, Bazemore, and even Chima Moneke.
While Davis may be the oldest of Sacramento’s shooting guards at the current moment, viewing him as a finished product is probably irresponsible. It’s certainly not out of the question for a 25-year-old who is entering his fourth NBA season to improve his game by a notable margin.
He could progress into something closer to a 40 percent shooter from beyond the arc. His handle could have improved this offseason and his self-creation ability with it. Maybe a jump comes on the defensive end with improved lateral movement or a better understanding and recognition of needed rotations.
Any significant growth would assumedly secure him a nightly spot in the rotation. For now, the big question surrounding Terence Davis’ opportunity this coming season seems to revolve around how comfortable Mike Brown feels about Sacramento’s defensive ability in small-ball lineups and how Davis performs in spotty opportunities early on. For streaky players like Davis, inconsistent opportunity and not being given the leeway to get into a rhythm can be tough, but he will have to overcome that.
Will he be asked to play 10-15 minutes per night coming out of camp or will he start the year on the outside looking in? Could he be viewed as a trade piece in an attempt to balance out the roster? It’s a good problem for Sacramento to have. A player of Terence Davis’ caliber at the end of your rotation, or even as potential injury assurance, is a luxury Sacramento is not accustomed to but one they likely benefit from.