The Sacramento Kings showed off their backcourt depth right away in the first game of the preseason.
Buddy Hield had 12 points and guards accounted for three of the four Kings in double figures of their 106-100 win over the San Antonio Spurs last night at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
Hield shot 6-10 from the field, added four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 25 minutes.
He missed both three-point attempts but was a significant part of the offence and already shows signs of an improved dribble-drive game.
Rookie guard Frank Mason III led the Kings with 17 points and six rebounds while fellow rookie De’Aaron Fox had 16 points on 7-8 shooting from the field. Skal Labissiere also added 15.
With several players capable of playing the shooting guard spot, presumed incumbent starter Buddy Hield could find himself in a position battle for playing time and lineup fits according to Kings head coach Dave Joerger.
Hield, seven-year veteran Garrett Temple, 20-year veteran Vince Carter and newcomer Bogdan Bogdanovic are all listed at the shooting guard spot. Minutes at the position are also expected to be shared between second-year wing Malachi Richardson, rookie Justin Jackson, and veteran combo guard George Hill.
Hill, Carter, and Temple each logged nine minutes while Richardson played 17 and Bogdanovic played 14.
“Bogdan, this is my first opportunity to see him so I’m looking forward to that. Obviously, I know what Garret can do, and then having Buddy for half of a season, there are three guys there competing for two spots there,” Joerger said, “Everybody just has to go out there and play with a pure heart, get better every day and we’ll figure it out from there. We also may want to slide George Hill over there and play some shooting guard, more so for De’ Aaron Fox to continue to develop.”
Hield started 18 of 25 games last year since the midseason trade to the Kings. During his tenure he averaged 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.4 three-pointers made and 2.1 turnovers per game with the Kings. He shot 48 percent from the field, 43 percent from three-point territory, 81 percent from the foul line and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
The Kins face the Spurs again on October 6. They get their first opportunity for a back-to-back when they face the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trailblazers on October 8-9 respectively. Those games are followed by a matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers October 12 and the preseason concludes October 13 against the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
The Kings open the regular season Wednesday, October 18 against the Houston Rockets.