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30Q: Can Eric Moreland become a contributor for the Kings?

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Eric Moreland's play in Summer League earned him a contract with the big team, but will he actually be able to get on the court?

Ralph Freso

One of the highlights of Sacramento's summer league team this past July was the play of undrafted rookie Eric Moreland.  Moreland came in and became a defensive anchor as well as a sparkplug by bringing energy and effort to both ends.  The Kings rewarded Moreland's play with a contract, and now he has a chance to showcase his talents on the world's biggest stage.

On paper, Moreland is almost exactly the type of player that we as Kings fans have been clamoring for a while now: a super-athletic shotblocker who doesn't need the ball to be effective.  At Oregon State, Moreland was one of the premier shotblockers and rebounders in the country.  In his 4 years, he averaged a ridiculous 8.3% block rate and a 19.7% total rebounding rate, both elite numbers.  In his 6 games at Summer League, Moreland averaged 2.7 blocks and 8.8 rebounds a game in just 19.2 minutes a game.

Moreland's biggest weakness right now is probably his size.  He's listed at just 6'10 and a very light 224 lbs, which is not good for going up against the size and strength of most NBA big men.  He's also not a great offensive player, although that's not what his role is anyway.  The Kings have plenty of scorers and need the other things that Moreland can bring.

By far the biggest barrier to Moreland playing meaningful minutes for the team this year is simply the amount of depth the Kings already have a Power Forward.  With Reggie Evans, Jason Thompson, and a healthy Carl Landry, Moreland isn't likely to see much time in his rookie year, especially when you factor in the Kings playing smaller at times with Rudy Gay, Omri Casspi or Derrick Williams at PF.

More likely than not, Moreland will end up seeing a lot of time in Reno with the Bighorns to help his development.  The Kings were pretty good about sending Ray McCallum down there last year when minutes weren't available and it seemed to work well, especially during the last part of the season.

We might not see too much of Eric Moreland in his rookie year, but he is a prospect worth keeping an eye on and developing, because he does have the talent and skill to be a very useful roleplayer in the NBA.