Positional Breakdown in Review: Small Forward

Learn about the team’s small forwards and their contributions to the squad during the 2016-17 campaign.
by Shahbaz Khan
Managing Editor, Digital

With three veterans spending time at the small forward spot, Sacramento’s experienced crew proved to be one of the team’s most impactful positions this season. With Rudy Gay sideline for the Kings final 52 games, Arron Afflalo and latecomer Tyreke Evans split time, interchangeably between the two-guard slot and small forward.

Combined, the trio of Gay, Afflalo and Evans averaged 38.7 points, 11.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per contest in 2016-17.

Rudy Gay
In his fourth season in Sacramento, 11-year veteran Rudy Gay continued his consistent play, tallying a near 20-point average for the Kings. In 30 games with Sactown, No. 8 recorded 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, shooting at a 45-percent clip in addition to 37-percent from beyond the arc.

Gay scored 20 or more points in 15 of his 30 contests, including an impressive month of November in which Rudy scored 18.8 points per game, with a 30-point outing marking his season high.

Despite the early promise from the team’s starting forward, Gay’s season was cut short in Mid-January due to a ruptured achilles.

“I vow that I am committed to coming back stronger than ever,” said No. 8 following the injury.

Arron Afflalo

A newcomer in Sacramento, veteran Arron Afflalo appeared in 61 games for the purple and black this season, splitting time between shooting guard and small forward. Utilizing a unique back-to-the-basket game, Afflalo scored 8.4 points per appearance this season.

Tallying an effective field goal percentage over 51-percent, the 10-year vet secured his best mark since the 2013-14 season. Additionally, No. 40 converted 41-percent of his three-point attempts in 2016-17, with no bigger long-distance make than his game-winner over Cleveland in late January.

Tyreke Evans

In his return to Sacramento, Tyreke Evans saw action 14 games for the Kings.

Evans’ ability to get to the rim with ease opened up the perimeter for the eight-year forward – who knocked down nearly 44-percent of his attempts in Sactown. Although a small sample size in just 14 games, Evans attempted over three treys per game, connecting on an average of 1.5 per contest. Averaging 22 minutes, No. 32’s time in Sacramento resulted in averages of 11 points, three rebounds and two assists per outing.

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