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Monte McNair discusses the selection of Devin Carter

What does the pick mean for the roster next season?
By | 20 Comments | Jun 27, 2024

Jun 26, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Devin Carter walks on stage after being selected in the first round by the Sacramento Kings in the 2024 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings drafted Providence guard Devin Carter with the 13th pick in the NBA Draft Wednesday. The 22-year-old Carter is known for his disruptive defensive capabilities and tenacity. Depending on his NBA readiness, the rookie enters a currently crowded Kings backcourt. Carter’s upside on defense is the main reason for his presence in the lottery. Following the pick Kings general manager Monte McNair spoke to media and emphasized his ability on both ends of the floor though.

“We try to find tough, physical guys who can play on both ends, make a shot, score the ball, switch, guard guys, rebound. A guy like that we couldn’t pass up,” McNair said.

At 6’2’’ Carter is a bit undersized for a combo guard, but he does have a 6’9” wingspan. This length, something the Kings have desperately needed, allows him to switch and guard different positions. McNair said his rookie can play bigger than his height would indicate: “He just plays even bigger. He rebounds on both ends. He blocks shots. He’s tough. He’s strong.”

At Providence last season, he averaged 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game in 35 minutes. He shot 47.3% from the field and 37.7% from three.

Of course, those rebounding numbers for a guard pop off the page, and it’s something McNair sees translating well.

“Devin will rebound in the NBA, and that’s a very important skill,” he said. “Being a rebounder means not just rebounding, it means you’re smart, it means you’re active, it means you’re tough, it means you can jump. It signals a bunch of other things that you could do on the court.”

His 42″ vertical and a 2.87 three-quarter court sprint at the NBA Combine would further support this.

“One of the best athletes in the class. At the Combine, I think had one of the fastest sprints and one of the best verticals,” said McNair, who expects Carter to play some point guard and off the ball and guard the pick and roll and point of attack. “We try to draft the best player available. We look for versatile guys. Devin Carter just checks all the boxes. If you watched the playoffs this year, there were a lot of Devin Carter’s out there. I’ll put it that way.”

The rookie’s shooting ability in the NBA is something under a bit of a microscope. In his first college season at South Carolina, he averaged 26% from three and 68% from the free throw line. In his second college season at Providence, he improved to 29% from three and 72% from the free throw line. And then last season that jumped to 37% from three and 74% from the free throw line. So that incremental improvement is good to see. This gave the Kings front office more confidence in the pick: “Improved his shot. Somebody who’s always popped in both for our scouts and our analysts just because of all the things he does on the floor. But to add more scoring and shooting this year, I think was a big uptick,” McNair said.

Backcourt Rotation

Adding Carter provides the Kings a little more depth and versatility in the backcourt, giving Mike Brown more options. McNair spoke about the importance of roster balance across the positions and skill sets. He said the rest of offseason will give him an opportunity to mold the roster further. Carter’s versatility may provide the front office some flexibility in that regard.

The Kings now have De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Keon Ellis, Malik Monk, Davion Mitchell and Carter in the backcourt. So, this pick will certainly shake things up. The rise of Ellis last season should earn him a spot in the rotation. It is hard to imagine at this point seeing much of an Ellis-Carter duo in the backcourt, at least initially, but if it were to happen, it may allow Ellis to move to focusing even more on perimeter defense while Carter crashes the boards. (Playmaking here would probably be too much of an issue though.) Huerter will certainly retain a fair share of minutes, and could serve as a mentor for Carter to help improve his offense. Monk, of course, is going to get a lot of minutes and if he does share the court with Carter at times, it could be a pretty exciting combination of on-and-off-ball versatility. He could also help Carter with his offense. Fox is going to do his thing and be the head of the offense.

Where it gets interesting is with Davion Mitchell. Mitchell and Carter share very similar profiles coming out of college, most notably both are late bloomers, undersized guards known for defense, but Carter makes up for it with his wingspan. It would make the most sense for Mitchell to be part of trade offers as it will probably be difficult for him to see many minutes if the roster is fully healthy and the Kings want to continue developing Ellis, which I am sure they do.

The Concerns

Like with any NBA rookie, projections are just projections and there are endless unknowns. This could all end up being nothing if he spends all of next season in Stockton after all. Though Carter’s three-point shot did improve last season, we’ll have to see if his shooing technique (somewhat awkward release) translates. Physical opponents with size still may bother him even with his length. Additionally, his playmaking/dribbling abilities and decision-making are somewhat limited, even though he probably wouldn’t be relied on for that at least initially.

Injury

Carter is dealing with a shoulder injury the team is monitoring, according to McNair.

“We knew he was dealing with one. I think we’ve got to get him in here and get with our doctors and just see what it is,” McNair said. “Our docs are confident. We’ve been in touch with his team. We’re confident it’s not a long-term issue.”

He is the third lottery pick out of Providence. The other two NBA picks were Austin Croshere in 1997 and Kris Dunn in 2016.

Watch the full press conference here.

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HoustonJP
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June 27, 2024 12:29 pm

Kings trade Davion and Sasha to Toronto for Jalen McDaniels.

Amonk81
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June 27, 2024 12:30 pm
Reply to  HoustonJP

Monte is indeed making moves. I don’t know Daniels really. Gotta check it out.

SlamsonsRollerskates
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June 27, 2024 12:32 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Saving 7 mil and opens a roster spot, plus reduces the logjam at guard. Huerter’s gotta be next

Amonk81
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June 27, 2024 12:37 pm

McDaniels a backup? Bench guy?

RikSmits
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June 27, 2024 12:39 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

End of bench guy at Toronto.

SlamsonsRollerskates
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June 27, 2024 12:39 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

He’s gotten some shine before but ya he’s a 10-15 guy. I don’t see him in the rotation.

Last year we traded Richaun and a first to dump salary. This year we traded a lottery pick, our biggest signing last year, and our 2nd to basically dump salary. This better be a part of a bigger move.

Amonk81
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June 27, 2024 12:40 pm

Certainly hope so.

Hobby916
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June 27, 2024 12:40 pm
Reply to  HoustonJP

A bit underwhelming, I suppose. Maybe they are getting that 31st in the 2nd round tonight?

HoustonJP
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June 27, 2024 12:41 pm
Reply to  HoustonJP

https://www.hoopsrumors.com/2024/06/kings-trading-davion-mitchell-sasha-vezenkov-to-raptors.html

I believe Woj is saying the 45th Kings pick goes in the trade to Toronto and frees up 6MM plus in cap space. Jalen is a defensive minded wing but a really low 3 point shooting percentage.

Something else must be brewing. Cap space may be the goal.

Amonk81
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June 27, 2024 12:43 pm
Reply to  HoustonJP

Also said this got them under the tax. It’s a bit concerning if Vivek just won’t go into tax at all.

Hopefully the kings needs still get addressed.

SlamsonsRollerskates
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June 27, 2024 12:44 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Opens up the non-tax MLE

Amonk81
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June 27, 2024 12:46 pm

Ahhh. That’s good. Guess Monte has to thread the needle.

Bummer Davion and Vez didn’t work out. Both were head scratching draftees/pickups for this team.

SlamsonsRollerskates
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June 27, 2024 12:47 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I’m gonna miss Davion!

HoustonJP
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June 27, 2024 12:47 pm

Excellent point Slamson, that provides some flexibility for other moves. Hopefully.

outrider
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June 27, 2024 1:02 pm

That’s a big difference, based on what I saw and assuming I’m interpreting correctly:

Mid-Level Exception (Non-Taxpayer): 2024/25 $13,025,250

Mid-Level Exception (Taxpayer): 2024/25 $5,250,000

So who are we targeting for 13 mil a year?

Last edited 15 days ago by outrider
outrider
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June 27, 2024 1:09 pm
Reply to  outrider

Got those numbers here which were based off the author’s projections, so I’m not sure if they’re official.

Last edited 15 days ago by outrider
andy_sims
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June 27, 2024 12:43 pm

No way to know at the moment. All that can be accurately said is that there are now more assets in the mix.

Hobby916
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June 27, 2024 12:44 pm

Well King’s fans, they just got longer with the Jalen McDaniel’s trade…

UpgradedToQuestionable
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June 27, 2024 1:14 pm

Hey – how about some trivia!
Famous Friars – NBA picks from Providence College;

Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkins – In as both a Player AND a Coach
Former King – Otis Thorpe
A number one pick – Jimmy Walker (1967, Pistons)
Ernie D! (Digregorio) – and you can’t mention Ernie D without adding…
Marvin (Bad News) Barnes (no relation to Harrison (Good News) Barnes)

There are others – Austin Croshere, Kris Dunn, Dickey Simpkins, MarShon Brooks, Eric Murdock, Eric Williams.

I don’t believe Dev Carter can beat out Lenny Wilkins – but Welcome to the Kings. I like that he was bright enough to add “Light the Beam!”

Also – his Dad (who I remember as a Miami Heat(er?) was an Asst Coach for George Karl while he was heading the Kings bench. AC played for 8 teams in his 13 season career.

macdoogs
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June 28, 2024 7:39 am

The Keon/Carter back court will probably be rare but I could see a lineup of them with domas and keegan on the court together working in spurts. It would certainly help the point of attack and drives to the lane for domas on defense, while having some shooters on the court as well. Overall I do love the carter pick. We needed more players who give a damn about getting Ws and doing what it takes

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