Pete D'Alessandro made many moves during his short tenure as GM of the Sacramento Kings, some good, some bad. The one that sent Quincy Acy away was not one of his more popular moves although it did save the Kings some money. Acy had shown some promise in his brief stint in Sacramento and to move him for cap relief stung a little bit.
Acy spent last year with the New York Knicks, a team so decimated by injury that he found himself in the starting lineup at various points throughout the season. In New York, Acy played more than he had at any point in his entire career and while he didn't put up huge numbers, he played well enough that new Kings GM Vlade Divac signed him to a two-year deal this offseason.
So how did Acy improve last year? Should Kings fans have higher expectations for Acy now?
Perhaps the most important improvement Acy made was on the defensive end of the ball. According to basketball-reference, the Knicks, one of the NBA's worst defenses, were actually a whopping 7.4 points per 100 possessions better with Acy on the floor. NBA.com's defense dashboard also shows that opposing players shot a worse percentage than average in every single spot on the court with Acy defending them, particularly from three point range. That speaks to Acy's athleticism, as while he's not the biggest guy, he has quick feet and length, able to stay with guys and bother opposing shooters.
Offensively, Acy tried stretching his range out a bit more, attempting about a three a game and making 30% of them. That's not a particularly good percentage, but given the sample size of just 60 attempts, it's pretty close to being good. If he had made just 4 more threes last season, his percentage would have been about 37%, or about as good as Sacramento's best three point shooters last year. Under George Karl, I think it's fair to say that we'll probably see Acy's attempts from range go up, especially if he can knock them down at a decent clip. Derrick Williams shot 156 three pointers last year and only made 31.4% of them.
Acy can potentially be a very nice roleplayer on offense for the Kings, especially in the Pick and Roll as he's a very good finisher. Last year he made almost 67.3% of his attempts at the rim. Unfortunately he also shot the least amount of times around the rim than at any point in his career as New York wanted him to operate more as a jump shooter. He shot almost 30% of his attempts in the 16 ft to 3 point line range, also known as the least efficient shot in basketball. That's partly due to being a shot that the Triangle Offense loves, so hopefully we see less of that in Sacramento and a return to focus around the basket and potential corner threes.
There's no question that Acy is a better player than he was the first time he was here. That doesn't mean he'll be a great player, but he can be a valuable one. He's now in a system where he can focus on simply defense, rebounding and hitting open shots, and that seems like a role he's well suited for.