The NBA Summer League is officially over, with the Sacramento Kings standing on top as Summer League champs. Other than the Kings winning the championship, there were many other nice surprises that Kings fans noticed while watching their team in Vegas. Quincy Acy’s development in perimeter shooting, and Ray McCallum’s improvement in facilitating the offense were both welcoming sights for Kings fans. However, the biggest surprise was the unexpected production from their backup big man Eric Moreland.
When the Kings added Moreland to their Summer League roster, many thought it was just a “throw-in” addition to the team, but Moreland had other ideas. Throughout Summer League, Moreland proved to be a lively presence to the team and a positive contributor to the Kings championship run, especially on the defensive side. In his six games with the Kings, Moreland averaged 8.8 rebounds per game while swatting 2.7 blocks per game. Though Moreland is still a very raw player, he showed this summer that he has tremendous potential to be an effective rebounder and rim protector in the future. This is why I believe the Kings should be aggressive in an attempt to make sure Moreland remains on the Kings’ roster. I think it would be smart for the Kings to add Moreland, whether it’s with the Sacramento Kings or the Reno Bighorns (Kings D-League Team), because he potentially fills a requirement that the Kings desperately need.
The Kings’ front office has made it clear that they want to add a rim protector to pair up with Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, and Moreland definitely fits the bill. Moreland showed this summer that he is capable of blocking shots and making opponents uncomfortable when driving to the basket. Even though Moreland fills a definite need for the Kings right now, he is still too raw in other aspects of his game to make an instant impact for the Kings. I don’t see him as a starting four, or even a top bench player at the NBA level right now. However, I do see a high ceiling for Eric Moreland and potentially, a very bright future. Hopefully, if Moreland can polish his game on both sides of the ball, he could possibly be the missing piece to pair with DeMarcus Cousins.
Overall, Moreland exhibited a dynamic, defensive presence for the Kings during the Summer League. If he continues to work hard and blossom as a player, the Kings will not regret keeping the ex Oregon State Beaver on board. It’s hard in the NBA to find dynamic rim protectors at the power forward position, but Eric Moreland has definitely shown the energy, athleticism, and length to be one.