Positional Breakdown in Review: Shooting Guard

The shooting guard position contained a variety of weapons for Sacramento during the 2016-17 campaign, many of which emerged as promising young talent for the Kings.

Rookies Buddy Hield and Malachi Richardson were given chances to show their worth, while veterans Garrett Temple and Ben McLemore provided depth to the corps of talented two guards.

This crew would combine to average 34.6 points, 5.7 assists, and 10 rebounds per contest in 2016-17, providing a well-rounded boost for Sacramento.

BUDDY HIELD

Since landing in Sacramento, Buddy hit the ground running.

The sharpshooting guard from Oklahoma was one of the best performing rookies since the All-Star break – which coincided with the beginning of his tenure with the Kings.

Hield averaged 15.1 points per game since the break, the second highest amongst rookies, only behind Philadelphia’s Dario Saric. In that same time frame, the 23-year-old also led amongst first-year players who appeared in at least 10 games in three-pointers made (59) and three-point percentage (42.8).

One of the most memorable moments of No. 24’s season came in a road contest against the Los Angeles Clippers. The 18-point fourth quarter comeback was sparked in part by a series of spectacular Buddy plays. Watch the highlight below:

As he continues to develop into a reliable scoring threat, Hield has certainly laid down a formidable foundation to be a valuable part of the Kings roster moving forward.

GARRETT TEMPLE

After a whirlwind path in his professional basketball career from international stints to 10-day contracts to the NBA D-League, Temple had finally carved out a role for himself and spent the previous four seasons as a contributor for the Washington Wizards before becoming a member of the Kings this past summer.

Temple got acclimated quickly while providing an immediate boost for Sacramento during the season. In all, No. 17 enjoyed one of the best statistical seasons of his career.

The former LSU Tiger averaged 7.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.3 steals during his 26.6 minutes of action per contest — all of which were career-highs.

His versatility also allowed him to play a multitude of positions, including both guard spots as well as small forward. This allowed head coach Dave Joerger to be flexible with his lineups knowing that he had a multi-faceted talent like Temple at his disposal to fill in where needed.

Off the court, No. 17 also made a significant impact, leading to the guard being honored with the Oscar Robertson Triple-Double Award at the final home game of the season — an award presented to players who are exceptional in the way the play on the court as well as how they lead their teammates and contribute to their community.

BEN MCLEMORE

Now in his fourth season with the Kings, Ben McLemore continued to contribute to the squad.

No. 23 saw action in 61 games in 2016-17, while also starting 26 of those games. In 19.3 minutes per contest, the Kansas product averaged 8.1 points per game behind a career-high 38.2 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.

The 24-year-old guard turned in one of his strongest performances of the season in April, when he buried all five of his three-point attempts en route to 22 points and a victory over the visiting Dallas Mavericks.

MALACHI RICHARDSON

Richardson had somewhat of a rollercoaster first season in the Association after being selected 22nd overall in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft.

The Syracuse product had earned his way into the rotation, playing consistent minutes towards the end of January and into February, only to sustain a hamstring injury that would end up sidelining him for the remainder of the season.

Malachi averaged 3.6 points in his nine minutes per contest but was one of the crucial contributors for the Kings during their win on the road against the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. In that contest, No. 5 tallied 12 points and three rebounds in his 14 minutes on the floor, helping to seal Sacramento’s 116-112 victory.

Moving forward, Richardson will now also have the opportunity to play with his fellow rookie and shooting guard Buddy Hield, as the two did not have the chance to see minutes together in Sacramento during the 2016-17 campaign.


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