Donte DiVincenzo’s career in Sacramento has gotten off to an uneven start.
In some games, he looks like the jack of all trades role player that every winning team needs. On other nights, he falls into the habit of taking difficult shots mostly reserved for star players.
If you squint hard enough, though, DiVincenzo looks like the ideal role player that can enhance the surrounding stars.
DiVincenzo’s long-term fit on the team is one of the more pertinent questions in the Kings’ final nine games this season, especially as he enters restricted free agency this offseason. So what has he shown us through his first 16 games with the Kings?
One thing that DiVincenzo brings every game is defensive activity. He always seems to have a good read on where defenders are going with their passes and has quick hands when poking the ball away from ball-handlers.
Since coming to Sacramento, DiVincenzo has had games with 5 steals, 4 steals and two different games with 3 steals. At 6 foot 4, with his aforementioned quick hands, he can pretty effectively guard either guard position.
Alongside Davion Mitchell, DiVincenzo has made Sacramento’s bench unit a plus on the defensive end.
Offensively, DiVincenzo’s still struggling to be efficient, shooting just 34.4% from the field and 35.3% from three as a King. It’s worth noting that Divicenzo was similarly inefficient in his 17 games with Milwaukee earlier this season.
A lot of these struggles have been due to his propensity to take off the dribble three-point attempts, eerily reminiscent of the former Kings Buddy Hield, who never met a three-pint shot he didn’t like.
One positive since coming to Sacramento is that he’s been lights out as a catch-and-shoot three-point shooter, where he shoots 42.4%. For the team this offseason, it should further stress the need to enhance the top of your roster, so guys like DiVincenzo don’t need to take these types of shots.
Donte DiVincenzo is now shooting 42.4% on catch-and-shoot 3's with the Kings.— Kings Film Room (@SacFilmRoom) March 21, 2022
If he can get his feet set and squared up, he's a great shooter. Off the dribble shot selection is where things get shaky. pic.twitter.com/BrY3k5j5YO
Another area he excels in is as a secondary playmaker that can run pick and rolls and make you feel comfortable with his decision-making. Unlike Hield, DiVincenzo can pick and roll effectively and be trusted to make the right pass, most of the time.
DiVincenzo’s best game in a Kings jersey came on March 16 against his old team, the Milwaukee Bucks. He finished that contest with 19 points, and three steals, making four of his eight three-pointers. DiVincenzo was playing with some real swagger in this game, hyping up the Golden One Center crowd and getting into his former teammates defensively.
If the Kings can add that much-needed young forward player in the draft this year, the idealized version of DiVincenzo could be a great fifth starter for this team. The 25-year-old, DiVincenzo, fits the aging curve of the team’s two core pieces long-term, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, making a long-term marriage beneficial to both the team and player.
Luckily, the Kings have his restricted rights, meaning they can match any contract thrown his way. If Sacramento gets The Big Ragù on a deal worth $6 to $10 million a year, it could be a boon for the franchise.