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Kings claim DaQuan Jeffries off waivers, promote Wenyen Gabriel

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The Kings have added a young wing for Stockton and added Wenyen Gabriel to the roster

Kimani Okearah

The Sacramento Kings have claimed DaQuan Jeffries off waivers, according to reports. Jeffries went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, and spent the summer with the Orlando Magic before being waived. Jeffries reportedly turned down a two-way contract with the Magic in July, instead preferring to compete for a full roster spot. While that didn’t work out in Orlando, Jeffries had a strong preseason and apparently caught the eye of the Kings.

Jeffries is a 6’5” 229 lbs wing who averaged 13 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists for Tulsa last year.

The Kings were already at 15 players, so the move requires the Kings to waive someone. James Ham suggests that will likely be Tyler Lydon.

Yesterday it came as a bit of a surprise that the Kings were keeping Lydon, but it makes more sense if they were just holding him until they confirmed their waivers claims were successful.

For some quick analysis on the pickup, I defer to our draft expert, Bryant West.

Bryant’s Analysis: Jeffries is a smart gamble for a 15th man. Ignore his 6’5” height; with a 7’0 wingspan and plenty of bulk, DeQuan has the strength, athleticism, and determination to defend wings and forwards. In his two years in Tulsa, he flashed potential as a 3-and-D role player at the next level with his career 37.7% mark from deep (on 212 attempts). I would expect him to compete with Justin James for any rare developmental minutes—Jeffries certainly has strength and length advantage over JJ, but DeQuan also lacks James’ court vision and promise as a secondary creator (just 1.6 APG last year). Playing time for rookies will be sparse this season, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Kings move forward with DeQuan and James.

Update:

James Ham reports that the Kings are indeed waiving Tyler Lydon. Ham adds that the Kings are promoting Wenyen Gabriel to the main roster, and Jeffries will be on a two-way contract splitting time between Sacramento and Stockton. Jeffries turned down a two-way contract with Orlando at the start of the summer, but was apparently more open to a two-way after not making Orlando’s final roster.

This is a nice move for Gabriel, who has been with the Kings on a two-way contract and had a really nice preseason. Gabriel is still raw, but has shown a ton of promise. It’s a nice success story for the Kings development system.