Mar 31, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Jared Cunningham (9) shoots the ball as New Orleans Pelicans center Jeff Withey (5) defends in the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
No, Jared Cunningham didn’t get much floor time with the Kings this season, but he did finish the year on the roster and that means he gets a season review.
Granted, it’s not exactly easy to grade such a small sample size but we here at A Royal Pain will put on our GM hats and attempt to break down Cunningham’s short Sacramento stay.
I’m as excited for the long-term possibilities of the Kings/Reno Bighorns as anyone, but in the ideal world, Cunningham wouldn’t have been the third guard in a three guard rotation. He never flashed enough potential to warrant much long term optimism, but he still is young.
When Isaiah Thomas went down late in the year, Cunningham was brought in to provide some depth behind Ray McCallum. Not to be harsh, as Cunningham didn’t get much time to display his skills, but the point guard really wasn’t much more than a body to bring the ball up court. Cunningham was an aggressive player and worked hard defensively. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough talent to justify much playing time. He’s training camp material, most likely outside of Sacramento.
Hard to believe that Cunningham was a first round pick just two seasons ago, especially after how he played in Sacramento. That said, there is probably a place in the NBA for the former Oregon State guard, even if it is at the end of the bench thanks to his hard work. Sadly for Cunningham, he simply has too many warts at the current moment and will need some rather hefty refinment in a NBA D-League stint. I’d be more than welcome to bring Cunningham back with the Bighorns, but he shouldn’t be on the Kings roster anytime soon.