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.
Terrence Ross, the Orlando Magic sixth man, will be entering free agency as his three-year, $31,500,000 comes to an end. Ross played 81 games this season, the most he’s played since 2014-15, but didn’t start any of them. He was their true sixth man and primary guy off the bench because Orlando usually stuck with Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon as their two and three on the court.
Ross only played 24 games a season ago and posted some of his worst numbers in recent years. However when his knee injury healed and he was ready for this season, he balled out. Ross racked up 15.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists on 42.8 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent from deep. He was also great from the free throw line, shooting 87.5 percent on 1.8 attempts a game, making 1.6.
Ross boasts a really good shot chart. He’s above league average everywhere on the floor except behind the left elbow. His 15.1 points per game was tied for third on the team with Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic scored more per game. Ross also attempted 1027 shots so he was a guy who often had the ball in his hands.
Ross can play both off ball and on ball. He can shoot the three on catch and shoots at a 38.6 percent clip and when he pulls up from three, he shoots 38.4 percent.
Another thing he does well is hit his open jumpers. When the nearest defender is 4-6 feet away, Ross hits his shots at 46.4 percent and when those are three point attempts, he shoots 41.1 percent.
In the video, he comes off the staggered screen and knocks down the tough jumper.
Finishing at rim and scoring in the paint is another area of his game that’s above league average.
Ross is able to create the space he needs to get a good look around the basket. Whether he gets screens or tightropes along the baseline here, Ross is a capable rim finisher. On 64 attempted layups and finger rolls, Ross was blocked just five times. All those five blocks were against good defenders like Hassan Whiteside and Wendell Carter Jr. among others.
However, one important note is that Ross is a high usage player. His usage percentage for this past season was 23.9, the second highest mark on Orlando behind Vucevic’s 28 percent. For comparison, De’Aaron Fox had a usage rate of 24.5 and Marvin Bagley had a 24.2 mark. It’s also more than Bogdan Bogdanovic’s rate of 22.3.
Defensively, Ross averages 0.9 steals a game but the majority of those come off him capitalizing on bad passes. One of those is in the video, where Fox attempts a lob to Kosta Koufos but Ross flies from the weak side to bat it away and get the steal.
Ross also averaged 1.5 deflections a game which is a solid number among forwards. Deflecting bad passes was a common theme among the steals he earned. He also recovered 63.6 loose balls on the defensive end, one of the higher marks amid other forwards.
The 28-year-old forward also posted 2.6 defensive win shares for the Magic this season, which was the fourth highest on their team. That number would be second on the Kings behind Willie Cauley-Stein’s 2.9 and just slightly above Fox’s 2.5 DWS mark.
Ross is also an athletic wing despite being on a team that plays at a slow pace and he uses that to his advantage on defense with quick lateral movements and the ability to bounce like the video above.
When opponents attempted three point shots with Ross guarding, they hit on 34.2 percent of them on 4.4 attempts. When opponents shot from more than 15 feet with Ross guarding, they were 36.4 percent on 5.4 attempts which are solid numbers from mid-range and beyond.
Ross has the ability to play both the three spot and the two with his 6’7” frame. This past year, 66 percent of his minutes came at small forward and the rest came at the two spot.
The concern I have is that Ross would definitely command more than his $10,500,000 salary and he’s a guy that benefits with a higher usage rate. It could be a problem considering the way the Kings roster is assembled, but Ross would definitely accept a bench role as long as he gets his minutes.
My suggested salary would be three years for $42 million, giving him $14 million a year (assuming no other signings are made). Ross is definitely a talented player who can score from anywhere and defend at a better level than most players, but I’m skeptical the price you pay for him won’t equal to the production you’d like if his usage rate is lowered. Nonetheless, he’s one of the few wings I’m high on and if acquired at the right price, he could be a valuable pickup for the team as a high impact bench wing.