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Kings Positional Breakdown: SG

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Kings Positional Breakdown: SG

With Training Camp quickly approaching, get an overview of Sacramento’s depth at shooting guard, which features youth, range and clutch proficiency.

While Sacramento’s shooting guard foursome started a combined eight NBA games last season, the position is loaded with exceptional outside scoring and oozing with breakout potential. Jimmer Fredette and Marcus Thornton finished first and second, respectively, on the team in three-point accuracy (minimum 50 attempts) in 2012-13, No. 7 pick Ben McLemore ranked second in the category in the Big 12 as a collegiate freshman and recent signee Trent Lockett knocked down 3-of-8 attempts (37.5 percent) from long-range during Las Vegas Summer League action.

Kings Shooting Guards – 2012-13 Statistics
Player

PPG

3PT%

RPG

APG

Jimmer Fredette

7.2

41.7%

1.0

1.3

Trent Lockett*

7.0

33.3%

5.1

1.8

Ben McLemore**

15.9

42.0%

5.2

2.0

Marcus Thornton

12.7

37.2%

2.5

1.3

*Played at Marquette University
**Played at University of Kansas

Although Thornton’s scoring average dipped from a team-leading 18.7 points per game in 2011-12 to 12.7 last season, the LSU product’s per-36-minutes numbers were on par with his stellar production over the prior three seasons. No. 23 ranked second on the team in points per 36 minutes (19.1) in 2012-13, notching 19.2 points on 47.8 percent from the field and 43.6 percent from behind the arc in 20 games in which he played at least 30 minutes.

The Louisiana native led Sacramento in three-point makes for the second consecutive season – hitting a career-high 141 triples – while also setting career-bests in free-throw percentage (88.1 percent), effective-field-goal percentage (52.0) and true-shooting percentage (55.2).

Able to score in a variety of ways – from attacking the rim to pulling up for quick jumpers – Thornton has exhibited the ability to provide instant offense regardless of his role. As an integral sixth man last season, the 6-foot-4 guard was one of only three players in the League to tally two 30-plus-point games off the bench, notching the second-highest single game output (36 points) of any reserve.

Fredette similarly delivered a scoring punch each time he stepped on the court, showcasing an array of runners and floaters, in addition to unlimited range, en route to recording 18.4 points per 36 minutes. The BYU product averaged 13.4 points on 46.7 percent from the floor in 13 contests in which he earned at least 20 minutes of playing time, including a career-high 22 points in 22 minutes against the Suns on Dec. 17, 2012.

Demonstrating improved efficiency in his sophomore campaign, No. 7 set career-highs in numerous statistical categories, including three-point accuracy (41.7 percent – 17th in the NBA), free-throw percentage (85.9) and true-shooting percentage (54.6).

“I’ve continued to work really hard, I think I’m in really good shape right now, playing some really good basketball and feel really confident and good about where I am,” says Fredette, who joined several teammates for workouts with Sacramento’s coaching staff in Las Vegas. “I’m excited about this year – excited to come in and play a big part on this team and have a great season.”

The athletic and energetic McLemore – one of the most talented players in the 2013 Draft – has displayed the ability to finish at the basket and connect from the perimeter, drawing comparisons to 10-time All-Star Ray Allen for his smooth jumper and efficiency from downtown and the foul line.

The consensus Second Team All-American and First Team All-Big 12 selection placed third in the Big 12 in scoring (15.9 points per game) in 2012-13, and led the Kings Summer League Team with 15.8 points per outing during five contests in Las Vegas.

With an offseason focus on refining his all-around game, No. 16 reveals he’s aiming to become the second Kings player in the last five years to earn Rookie of the Year honors while providing a nightly spark to help the team win.

“I know the mindset I’m going to come in and show everybody I could be the alpha dog and win that Rookie of the Year,” McLemore told Gary Bedore of KUSports.com. “I’m definitely going to work hard to get that.”

Lockett, an explosive finisher and prolific outside scorer, averaged 7.0 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in five Summer League contests, notching 12 points on 4-of-6 from the field (2-of-3 from downtown) against Toronto on July 16.

A versatile, two-way threat with a high basketball IQ, the 6-foot-5 guard earned team Defensive Player of the Year honors at Marquette after averaging 5.1 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game as a senior. Lockett – a Second Team All-Pac-10 selection as a sophomore at Arizona State – grabbed a season-high-tying 11 boards in Marquette’s Sweet 16 victory over Miami on March 28, and tallied a season-high five steals to go along with seven rebounds and three assists against Colgate on Nov. 11, 2012.

“I pride myself on playing good defense and rebounding the ball for my position,” said Lockett in a recent Q&A with Kings.com. “I feel like I can knock down the open shot and handle the ball in pressure situations, so (I can do) just a little bit of everything.”

Fan Take

Which Kings shooting guard are you most excited to watch this season?

  • Brian Spiker

    McLemore, obviously.

  • Brian

    Free Jimmer. New coach, new ownership, new opportunity for a 28 ppg scorer in college.

  • Chis

    Marcus Thornton until McLemore is ready to start

  • autopartsman

    Trade McLemore – he won’t make it. Give the rock to McCallum and tell him to set up Jimmer for 40%+ shots from downtown. Watch your middle open up then.

  • Sonny Phillips

    JIMMER!!! Good grief use him or trade him!

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