Kings Positional Breakdown: Point Guard
Losing all but one of the team’s point guards from last season’s roster to free agency, Sacramento’s PG rotation has quickly filled with veteran play heading into 2016-17. A Sixth Man of the Year candidate, one of the quickest players in the League, and a two-time NBA champion now headline the team’s rotation at the one, each carrying unique skill sets.
Heading into his eighth season in the Association, Darren Collison is looking to build off an impressive 2015-16 season with Sacramento – one in which No. 7 shot the ball at a career-high mark and earned a Sixth Man of the Year vote. Despite starting in a career-low 15 games, Collison tallied the second-highest point total of any season to date, rivaled only by his 16-plus points per contest in 2014-15 – when the speedy guard served as the squad’s starter.
Expected to return to his starting role in 2016-17, the UCLA product has found success within Head Coach Dave Joerger’s offense early this preseason. In under 20 minutes per game, Collison has tallied an 12-point average while shooting at a high rate from both two and three-point range.
The multi-faceted guard will have opportunities to continue utilizing his offensive repertoire throughout the upcoming season, with an equal emphasis upon his speed on the defensive end as Coach Joerger has stated his desire for DC7 to pressure opposing guards the length of the floor.
Once among the NBA’s assist leaders, Ty Lawson joins the Kings in hopes of recapturing the success he carried throughout the first six seasons of his career. Lawson is just two years removed from averaging 15-plus points and nine-plus assists per contest, with No. 10 spending the 2015-16 campaign between the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers.
Now, the former Tar Heel is embracing his new opportunity with Sactown, optimistic about the team’s preseason progress.
“I think we’re gelling at the offensive and defensive end – especially at the defensive end, I think we’re playing well…hopefully it translates on the court,” said Lawson.
Should the Kings see the reemergence of the speedy point guard in Sacramento, the aforementioned on-court translation is expected. Along with a knack for attacking the rim, Ty has often netted his teams open looks, as evidenced by his career 6.2 assists per game average. Additionally, the 5’ 11” PG boasts a respectable 1.2 steals per contest over his time in the League, perfectly fitting into Coach Joerger’s aggressive defensive plans.
Combining Collison and Lawson in the backcourt rotation will surely keep the opposition on their toes, as the duo is undoubtedly among the speediest point guards in the NBA.
A late offseason acquisition by the Kings, 10-year veteran Jordan Farmar serves as another backup point guard who has had success throughout his career. Farmar, a two-time NBA Champion had most recently been with the Memphis Grizzlies for their final 12 games of the 2015-16 season, starting in 10 contests. No. 20 averaged nine points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal during his stint with Memphis.
After playing in three preseason games with Sacramento, Jordan has averaged six points in 12 minutes, shooting 50 percent from the floor and 57 percent from beyond the arc.
Farmar’s court vision and three-point shooting will add to the team’s depth at the position, likely backing up Darren Collison and Ty Lawson.
Sacramento’s 2016 second round draft pick, Isaiah Cousins, is a versatile addition to the team’s backcourt – able to play both the one and two. Cousins has played primarily as a PG throughout training camp and preseason, but for the first three seasons of his collegiate career, played as a shooting guard at the University of Oklahoma.
It’s likely that Cousins will bounce between the NBA D-League and the team’s roster throughout the season as the 22-year-old gets acclimated with the professional level.