How will Juan Toscano-Anderson fit into the Kings’ rotation?

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages

One of the Kings’ weakest spots is their wing depth, and outside a trade, a high-level upgrade is hard to come by. So, the Kings signed veteran forward Juan Toscano-Anderson on December 15. 

The 30-year-old first started his professional career in Mexico before finding his way to the G League and then the Golden State Warriors. During their latest title run, he was a solid rotational player, averaging 13.6 minutes over 73 regular season games. 

Now an NBA champion, Toscano-Anderson scored a contract with the Lakers but was traded to the Jazz in the deal that sent Mike Conley to Minnesota and D’Angelo Russell to Los Angeles. 

In Utah, he unfortunately didn’t stick and went back to the G League. Now, he has a chance to return to the NBA with the Kings. 

What role will Juan Tosacano-Anderson play for the Kings?

Mike Brown knows Toscano-Anderson from their time together with the Warriors and obviously sees something in him that he would like to have on his team. In the G League, he averaged 19.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals over 11 games as one of the better players in the league. 

During his NBA stints, he never produced nearly as much, but no one is asking him to do that, and Coach Brown has shown the willingness to give anyone a shot. Keon Ellis, who is on a two-way contract, for example, broke the rotation while Davion Mitchell, Chris Duarte, and Kessler Edwards are all collecting DNPs. 

That being said, Toscano-Anderson will get his shot to make his case for minutes. It is very unlikely that he will permanently replace anyone, however. Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, Trey Lyles, and Sasha Vezenkov, who all get time at the two forward spots, should be rather safe for now. Except for Vezenkov, they are all proven NBA players. 

Plus, Toscano-Anderson’s one-year deal is non-guaranteed, which on one hand gives the Kings roster flexibility to make moves before the trade deadline and, on the other, shows a certain doubt about the impact he will be able to have.

This is certainly not the move that will transform the Kings, but adding a veteran forward with championship experiences always has its benefits. First of all, it gives them important depth. In case of injuries, Toscano-Anderson will be able to step right in, providing fight and defense. 

If he plays well, it will hopefully push the other forwards to play their best basketball. Mike Brown has said before that no one’s position on the team is sacred and if someone doesn’t play well or he feels that he has to send a message, Toscano-Anderson might very well take someone’s spot for a while. 

In an interview with Andscape, the new King said, “I’m just hella grateful and blessed to get another opportunity.” He added that he would bring leadership, energy, toughness, versatility, comrade rise, and defense to the team.