The Sacramento Kings are in need of some wings to beef up their bench depth, assuming Harrison Barnes opts in to his current deal or restructures his contract. Corey Brewer, who eventually became the primary backup to Barnes after being acquired, is also a free agent so the Kings are thin at the position.
Reggie Bullock was traded by the Detroit Pistons during the trade deadline period to the Los Angeles Lakers for Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a 2021 second-round pick. He was on a very cheap expiring contract of just $2,500,000.
The 28-year-old forward was easily the Piston’s best wing who developed chemistry with their best overall player, Blake Griffin. He was averaging 12.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists (all career highs) on 41.3 percent field goal shooting and 38.8 percent from deep. However, following the trade to the Lakers, Bullock’s numbers dipped to 9.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists on 41.2 percent shooting from the field and 34.3 percent from three.
The three ball was one of Bullock’s biggest strengths coming out of college as he steadily became better from deep year after year. When he was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers, the success didn’t translate and within a year he was already on a new team. After his short stint with Phoenix, he joined the Pistons where every season he got an increase in minutes and eventually became their best wing, albeit with little competition.
Just two seasons ago when Bullock finally broke out in a big role, he was shooting 45.5 percent from three. This season, his shooting has still been really solid and it’s one of his biggest strengths.
His shot chart illustrates plenty of green and of course the majority of his shots come from behind the arc. Bullock takes a compact amount of mid-range jumpers but clearly excels as he was 53.2 percent in that range. He shoots at 59.5% in the restricted area but shots just outside that, it’s poor.
One of the easier plays the Pistons ran when Bullock was on the squad was simple dribble hand-offs (DHO’s) between Griffin and Bullock (a reason to their high chemistry), especially since both owned a stable jumper.
The Kings have a promising guy in Harry Giles who can run similar DHO’s with Bullock in plays with the bench unit. Giles is a guy who can operate in the high post and if the cutters don’t have a clear path, Giles can simply dribble to either wing (preferably the left where Bullock excels), DHO to Bullock while blocking his defender to allow for an open three.
Simply getting him into catch and shoot situations would also help, as that’s how the majority of his threes came from. Bullock attempted 58 percent of his threes in catch and shoot situations and he made 38.9 percent from his attempts.
Bullock can finish at the rim as well and one way was cutting to the basket, which I talked about earlier. He only attempted 14 layups after a cut to the basket but made 10 for a 71.4 percent rate.
Giles and Bogdan Bogdanovic are both smart passers who will have significant bench roles and the Kings can run these plays for Bullock. Assuming Marvin Bagley is the starter, Nemanja Bjelica slides back down and he can pass the ball, too.
The Lakers were a team that played at a fast pace, a recurring theme in some of these free agents, so Bullock has experience in that department despite a slower pace in Detroit.
On defense, there’s not too many positive things to say. After watching the majority of his steals, he’s not an interceptor or a pickpocket. Most of his steals aren’t really steals but rather being at the right place at the right time when the opposition either loses the ball or makes a bad pass. Bullock also averages 0.8 deflections a game but I did notice he tends to go after 50/50 balls instead of waiting to see what happens or giving up.
When it comes to defensive field goal percentage, Bullock isn’t high quality either. Overall, players shoot 48.2 percent on 9.0 attempts when guarded by Bullock. Out on the perimeter, opponents shoot 37.2 percent from three on 3.3 attempts and on two-point shots, opponents shoot 54.7 percent on 5.6 attempts.
Bullock plays the two and three spots for the majority of his minutes and very rarely comes out as a stretch four. He has a 6’7” frame that allows him to be a combo player but when it comes to defense, he’s not great by any means but it could be worse.
Bullock also takes care of the ball at a solid rate, having a 1.0 turnover per game mark overall this season. His turnover percentage was 9.3 but was a solid 6.3 during his 19 games with the Lakers.
My offer for a guy like Bullock would be two years, $15 million. It’s definitely an increase from his previous low risk, high reward type contract. I wouldn’t overpay for a guy who primarily is a shooter but struggles with defense. But, he’s also a solid free throw shooter (85.9 percent on the year) on minimal attempts, takes care of the ball and a low usage guy who is an above average shooter.
He’s said to have interest in returning to Detroit if the feeling is mutual but if he wants more money than he’s really worth, you keep looking elsewhere.