Rookie-Check In: James, Guy Making Their Mark on Both Ends

Throughout the season, we’ll stay locked in on the progress of rookies Justin James and Kyle Guy.
by Jordan Ramirez
Digital Managing Editor

15 minutes. Four games. Nine points.

Through Nov. 22, the No. 40 pick Justin James wasn’t seeing much action during his time in Sacramento.

And then came Brooklyn.

“Coach called my number and I was ready to play,” explained the rookie from Wyoming.

33 minutes. 14 points. 43 percent from the floor.

Those are the numbers James registered in Brooklyn, a loss for the squad, but the most valuable experience the 22-year-old had played until that point.

“Just my versatility,” James said of how he can continue to contribute.

“Being able to guard and spread the floor on offense. And do whatever coach needs me to do.”

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Gonna tell my kids this was the best James in the NBA

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James has caught the eyes of fans through his incredible athleticism, but it’s his defense that has the eyes of coaches and evaluators.

“Very impressed with him,” said head coach Luke Walton following the Brooklyn game. “He’s come a long way in the short time we’ve had him.

“But to see him out there and the way he was competing...he was playing smart. As far as the play calls and just reading the game, taking on the defensive challenge, a bright spot in a bad night. Justin was very good for us.”

Since his stretch against the Nets, James has averaged 18.75 minutes per game, including multiple stints in crunch time.

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“You can’t really overthink it,” said James following the road trip. “You’ve been working your whole life for this opportunity. So when you get it, it’s just basketball.”

Speaking of playing basketball, fellow Kings draftee Kyle Guy has experienced a scoring explosion in Stockton.

In nine G-League contests, Guy is averaging 26.6 points in 40.4 minutes per game, including a career-night in Saturday's 113-109 win over the Iowa Wolves.

Showing off his range from deep, Guy showcased his shooting ability from all over the floor.

Guy is currently on a two-way contract, splitting time between Sacramento and Stockton.

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