Terence Davis was a solid contributor for Sacramento in his 27 games with the team after coming over in a deadline deal from the Toronto Raptors. Then this offseason, the Kings re-signed Davis on a reasonable, fully guaranteed 2 year $8 million contract.
It was a minor move, but a savvy one by general manager Monte McNair to acquire Davis at the cheap price of a second-round pick.
Let’s take a look at the best and worst case for Davis as he enters his first full year in Sacramento.
Best-case: Sacramento’s glut at the guard position clears out in the remaining weeks of the offseason with a trade that sends Buddy Hield elsewhere. In Hield’s place, Davis steps into Hield’s role on offense as the sparkplug guard that can be relied upon to shoot above league average from three while occasionally getting hot enough to win you a game.
In a way, Davis is sort of a facsimile of what Buddy Hield provides. Davis is clearly a worse and less versatile shooter than Hield is, but can be trusted a bit more so to make plays off the dribble than Hield. Also, Davis while not great on defense, is a bit better than Hield on that end.
With Davis making $4 Million in 2021-22 compared to Hield’s $22,477,272 Million, the Kings might be better served to trade Hield for some more wing talent and replace some of his production at a fraction of the price with Davis.
Davis showed the ability to get unconscious from distance on a few different occasions after coming to the Kings. If this becomes a more frequent trend, then Davis could end up being a key role player for the Kings, especially if the Kings end up balancing their roster out.
Worst-case: The Kings’ positional glut never gets settled during the season and Davis becomes the odd man out, catching DNPs at times during the season.
As it stands now, Davis likely enters the season behind De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Davion Mitchell in the team’s guard rotation. Unless the team is playing three-guard lineups most of the game, it’s hard to envision Davis getting more than 15 to 20 minutes a game with the roster as currently constructed.
Davis, a bit like Hield can become a bit overzealous with his shot attempts, taking some overly aggressive heat checks at times. With the Kings having as much guard depth as they do currently, there might not be as long of a leash for Davis if he is constantly taking and missing contested shots.
I think there is a good chance that Davis’ career three-point average of 37.7% is an accurate portrayal of how good of a shooter he is, but if that dips even a few percentage points, Davis might not provide elsewhere enough value to remain on the court.
I think the most likely scenario is Davis starts off the early portion of the season getting spot minutes here and there and then eventually moves up in the rotation, once Sacramento makes a Hield trade or some other roster-balancing move.
If Davis plays as he did in Sacramento in the 27 games after the trade, then it could be hard to keep him glued to the bench, even despite the Kings' excess of guards.