An oft-ignored player in the blockbuster trade that sent Omri Casspi and DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans is Langston Galloway. With Buddy Hield and the first round pick being the centerpiece, and Tyreke Evans a hometown favorite returning, it’s easy to overlook the young guard that the Kings acquired.
Sacramento’s newest combo guard has had quite the unique journey to the NBA. After a successful high school career at Christian Life Academy in Louisiana translated into a scholarship to Saint Joseph’s University in the City of Brotherly Love, Galloway found himself on the outside looking in at the end of the 2014 draft. Although he averaged an impressive 17.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a senior, and was named to the First-team All-Atlantic 10, all 30 GMs passed on him.
After the professional setback, Langston joined the New York Knicks in the Summer League and while he was able to secure an unguaranteed contract in September, he was cut just before the beginning of the year in October of 2014.
Galloway then signed with New York’s D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks a couple of weeks later and was given his first true NBA opportunity in January of 2015 on a 10 day contract. He was signed to a second 10 day contract immediately after the first expired, and followed that up with a partially guaranteed, two-year deal. After an impressive stint through the end of the year, Langston was named to the NBA All-Rookie second team which is quite the honor for an undrafted player.
He was once again a Knick in the 2015-2016 season and was a solid bench contributor for New York. This past summer, Galloway signed a two year, $10.6 million contract with the Pelicans to shore up their backcourt rotation and now he’ll be trying toprove his worth once again, this time to Dave Joerger.
Galloway is most certainly a scoring point guard with a very small affinity for making his teammates better on the offensive end of the floor. Although he’s listed at only 6’ 2”, he’s more of an undersized shooting guard than a point guard. His extremely low assist percentage of 8.9% and almost non-existent turnover rate of 5.7% demonstrates a spot-up shooter more than a willing passer. In fact, Galloway has the lowest assist percentage of any point guard in the league who plays at least 20 minutes per game. Our true point guards on the team, Ty Lawson and Darren Collison, have assist percentages of 22.4% and 28.5%, respectively.
The former Pelican not only struggles to create opportunities for his teammates, but he also struggles to create opportunities for himself. On pull-up shots, Galloway shoots 29% from the field and 33% from three point range, whereas he sinks 41% of his shots and 41% from deep in catch-and-shoot situations. Along the same vein, a whopping 92% of his made three pointers have been assisted this year. The combo guard is also not a good slasher as 81% of his attempted field goals are either from beyond the arc or long-twos and he shoots 14% worse than league average at the rim.
While his offensive game is limited to that of a spot-up shooter from deep, the Kings newest player does have some defensive chops. On the year, he’s recorded a defensive rating of 104, which is better than any Kings rotation player, and opponents shoot 1.1% worse from the field when he is guarding them and an impressive 2.9% worse on two point attempts. He is a bit of a ball-hawk as well as his steal percentage of 21.6% will be the third best on the team after the trade.
Langston Galloway’s likelihood of stardom is about as low as it can get. The twenty-five year old guard’s most positive outlook is that of a career role player who can contribute in limited minutes. His lack of size and court vision will probably lower his overall ceiling, but his determination to make the NBA and his commitment to the defensive end of the floor may help to overcome some of his clear limitations. The Kings didn’t get a star player or even a starter in Langston Galloway, but Dave Joerger’s player development may turn him into a valuable 3&D bench contributor.