The Kings made headlines a lot this summer, with varying reactions depending on who was doing the reading. For Kings fans, much of the news was good, as Vlade Divac made a statement by reshaping this team and bringing in many fresh faces.
One such addition is Seth Curry, the unheralded little brother of reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry. Seth lit up Las Vegas Summer League for the Pelicans and chose to come to Sacramento on a two year deal. Curry joins the Kings as the third-string Point Guard, replacing Ray McCallum, who was traded to the Spurs for a future 2nd rounder.
Curry has tried to make it into the NBA for two years now, but has failed to secure anything more than ten-day deals and training camp contracts. In Sacramento, he'll finally have some security. The question is though, will he have the opportunity to start showcasing his talent?
The Kings already have two very good Point Guards on the roster in Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison. Should both be healthy and playing well, it's going to be very hard to find a situation where playing Curry anything other than spot minutes is a reality. Both Rondo and Collison will demand playing time and will probably even spend some time playing together. That leaves little opportunity for Curry to get on the floor but he shouldn't despair just yet.
The likelihood of both Rondo and Collison playing all 82 games is incredibly small, especially considering Rondo hasn't had a healthy season in a while. There will be games and even stretches of games where Curry's number will be called on and it is those opportunities where he will get the chance to prove that he deserves more playing time.
Curry developed into one of the D-League's most prolific shooters and scorers last season, and proved it wasn't a fluke this summer in Vegas. He'll have to be able to do the same thing on the big stage if he wants to make a name for himself and secure more playing time and future contracts. He doesn't have to average double digits or anything, but he does have to be able to hit his shots consistently, especially from outside. After all, shooting is a hot commodity in the NBA (see Jimmer Fredette being drafted in the lottery). Curry has the potential to be the best shooter on this Kings roster and that could make him a valuable asset. In certain situations he could see playing time ahead of Rondo or Collison if he's proven that he can hit those long-range shots at a high rate. Curry's offensive repertoire is something that can help differentiate him from both Rondo and Collison, but only if he proves he can contribute when called upon.
Shooting and scoring won't be all that's required of Curry however. He'll also have to be able to run the team at times, especially if he's filling in for one of the guys ahead of him. Curry's playmaking skills aren't nearly as refined as his shooting. His first year in the D-League he posted an assist rate of 26.4% and that fell to 19.1% last season as he became more of a featured scorer. This is an area in which Ray McCallum struggled as well. Under McCallum, Sacramento's offensive numbers fell dramatically across the board. McCallum's assist rate was right around 21.2% for his two seasons in Sacramento. Curry doesn't have to be a passing wunderkind, especially with solid playmakers at multiple positions, but the offense can't falter when he comes in.
Perhaps the best thing going for Curry is that there really aren't any expectations. Jimmer Fredette came in here and was instantly crippled by the scrutiny he received for being a lottery pick and a NCAA Player of the Year. Curry has worked his way through the system, going undrafted and playing full seasons in the D-League. Nobody thinks he's going to be his big brother and the Kings have enough depth now that he doesn't have to be. He just has to be a valuable role player who spreads the floor and makes plays for others. If he can make the most of the chances that he does get, he could see that transform into greater opportunities down the road.