There’s A New Guy In Stockton With A Smooth Jumper

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings will surely be keeping an eye on their two-way player Kyle Guy in Stockton. Here are my notes from his first two appearances.

Kyle Guy was the hero for Virginia in the National Championship, securing the victory with clutch free throws and ultimately landing himself a two-way contract on the Sacramento Kings following being draft 55th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

This Guy was one of the most dependable pure shooters in the draft class, averaging 42.6% from deep in his three seasons with Virginia, and Stockton will inevitably let him show off that sweet stroke and more as a focal point in the G-League system.

While the path to making the Sacramento roster could be complicated due to the fact of the Kings’ roster currently bolstering two starting-caliber players at the two-guard spot, teams will forever discover opportunity for elite level shooters.

Two games have concluded in the G-League season for Stockton, both coming against the Santa Cruz Warriors with each team given the opportunity to host on an opening back-to-back. Kyle Guy was far from shy, shooting a combined 27 three-point attempts in his first two contests. He shot 17 threes in game two of the season. It’s just what he does. And he made a total of 10, equating to a 37% rate, an encouraging number acknowledging the absurd volume.

In catch-and-shoot situations, Guy showed his capability to catch high and not lower the ball before releasing in a quick motion as seen in the NBA’s top-tier shooters such as Klay Thompson and Kyle Korver.

Kyle also advertised his talent of aligning his shoulders to the basket while on the move in a prompt manner. Yet another sign of a gifted shooter that inevitably would translate to the next level.

A special level of conditioning is required in order to run off screens all game long and maintain a pretty form. Guy played 34 minutes game one then 42 minutes the following night. Even though there were moments where Kyle was stationed in the corner, his gravity exists and playing that amount of minutes in a back-to-back is impressive no matter how you spin it.

Not to mention that he scored 22 points in Stockton for game one, then contributed a game-high 25 points in Santa Cruz. Which could have been made a heroic 28 had he nailed what would have been the game-winning shot as the clock struck zero.

While shooting has become one of, and debatably the most crucial aspect of the modern game, no player can be one dimensional. The pressure that a high-level shooter applies to defenses can be optimized in various methods aside from launching 17 threes a game, and Guy’s intelligence in using his strength was exhibited at times as well.

Kyle was active in moving without the basketball, as most great shooters are, but also did so effectively while moving toward the paint rather than away from it. Some solid back door cuts will be open for him, and he took advantage of those opportunities. In Stockon, Kyle will be presented a chance to dribble often, and defenders were eager to bite on pump fakes and hesitations, allowing for other, high-percentage looks and fouls.

The final positives I noted from his offensive game in these opening games (I will touch on defense in a moment), involved a comfort level with his left-handed dribbling and finishing, and a passing touch that I was not aware was in his arsenal.

His offensive game was the obvious reason for him being drafted, largely being an elite shooter from range (a la Buddy Hield), but I have apprehensions on the defensive end that Guy could be targeted regularly. Exceptional coaches and teammates are able to hide a player’s deficiencies and he is obviously far from his ceiling in any aspect of the game, but there is cause for concern.

My chief worries come when watching his lateral movement. His steps lack a width to them, his hips are facing the wrong direction often, and Guy could find himself being bullied at times with his moderately thin frame. Not being capable of remaining in front of G-League talent likely signifies that it could get worrisome in a hurry if he were launched into an NBA game anytime soon.

After his first two showings as the highlight of the Stockton team, Kyle Guy showed promise in the aspects that the Kings expected to him to produce when they traded for his rights as the 55th overall pick. A gunslinger with no lack of confidence, and maybe there is more to his offensive game than just a pretty jumper.

Guy could potentially find himself in some NBA minutes if there happened to be an injury to one of Hield or Bogdan Bogdanovic, and has the tools instantly to knock down a few shots and utilize his gravity from being a known shooter.

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I will be continuing to follow the two-way players for Sacramento in Kyle Guy and DaQuan Jeffries, along with their other talents populating the Stockton roster and doing video breakdowns here as the season progresses.