3 Key takeaways from Sacramento Kings Vegas Summer League opener

Sacramento Kings (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

After a win on Friday over the Atlanta Hawks, the Sacramento Kings are now 3-0 in their summer league campaign. The Kings looked hot in their first summer league game without Keegan Murray, who dominated the previous two games.

Here are some key takeaways from Friday’s match.

Jordan Ford deserves a roster spot

Jordan Ford, once again, performed incredibly well. The guard scored 20 points after a monstrous second half that had 14 of his points. He also had 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. As the Kings are looking to finalize their roster, Jordan Ford, a Sacramento native, is looking all but sure to fill the third-string point guard role.

Ford could be signed to a two-way contract, which the Kings are able to offer one more of after already signing Keon Ellis and Jalen Slawson to two-way deals. He could also be straight-signed to the team, which seems to be what many Kings fans think on social media.

Neemias Queta is starting to show why he has dominated the G League

After struggling a bit in the first two summer league games – despite having good stats – Neemias Queta had a solid performance to go along with Jordan Ford’s last night. The duo came alive in the fourth quarter to send the Kings on a 12-point run, and Queta, 7-foot, used his size to land a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Queta finished second in G League MVP voting for the 2022-23 season after dominating the year with an average of 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game while also shooting 68% from the field.

Queta, who was drafted by the Kings in 2021, has not had a big opportunity to show his abilities in the NBA yet. While there is still some development he needs to undergo, this might be the year we see Mike Brown give Queta a larger role, as the team is still in need of options at the back up center.

Keon Ellis had a defensive masterclass

Keon Ellis, while not making headlines like Ford or Queta, had a fantastic game on the defensive end Friday. His final stat line was 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and a game-high 5 steals. On top of that, he had 10 deflections. The next highest on the team had only three.

Keon Ellis could crucial in helping the Kings on defense next season after the Kings’ defense immensely struggled in 2022-23, ranking 24th in the NBA. With Ellis’ ability to read the play, a backcourt of him and Davion Mitchell would be full clamps on the perimeter. Since Ellis has already signed a two-way contract, we may see some more minutes for him this upcoming season.