Who is this guy?
That was my initial reaction upon seeing this 6-foot-1, 167-pound rookie guard for the Stockton Kings during last month’s season opener against the Santa Cruz Warriors.
He drove to the basket with confidence along with being armed with a nice jumper from long range. But then he displayed superb court vision, threading the needle with a near length-of-the-court pass to hit a teammate in stride for the transition layup.
That guy was Kyle Guy, who was fresh off winning an NCAA hoop title for the University of Virginia.
Never mind that he wowed those in attendance at the Stockton Arena that night against an already thin Warriors G League squad.
The G League is the NBA’s official minor league used to prepare players, coaches, officials, trainers and front-office staff for that next level of professional basketball while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory.
The NBA G League consists of 28 teams with each of those minor league franchises having two sports for players under “Two-Way Contracts.”
Guy, who was the 55th player selected in the most recent NBA draft – he was picked by the New York Knicks and came to Sacramento via trade – and DaQuan Jefferies are the two-way players for the Sacramento Kings.
The latter is a rugged 6-5 swingman from the University of Tulsa who was ranked by ESPN as the fourth-best prospect that went undrafted during the 2019 NBA draft.
As two-way players, Jefferies, who had a tryout with the Orlando Magic – he played on their summer league team, and has the potential to be a good defensive player – and Guy will spend a bulk of this season in the G League but not more than 45 days with the Sacramento Kings.
The Warriors had that problem with Damion Lee, who was a two-player in the G League for “Splash-less” Golden State – Stephen Curry, who is the two-time league MVP not to mention Lee’s brother in law, and Klay Thompson have been all but lost for this season due to injuries – looking at being sent back down to Santa Cruz before the front office stepped in by waiving Marquese Chriss in order to sign Lee to a multi-year deal with the big club.
Stockton and Santa Cruz play in the Pacific Division. Included are Agua Caliente Clippers, the Northern Arizona Suns, and the South Bay Lakers.
Formerly the Reno Bighorns, the Stockton Kings came to be on April 17, 2018.
Elected leaders of the Port City unanimously authorized for the city to proceed with a lease agreement with the Sacramento Kings to located their G League team to the Stockton Arena beginning that fall.
“Our NBA G League team has been an incredible asset in helping prepare players for NBA action and bringing the team closer to Sacramento,” General Manager Vlade Divac said back then. “Kings fans in Stockton will have an opportunity to see the next generation of NBA players each week.”
Gabe Vincent , who was among the returning players on this year’s team, just got left, signing on with the Miami Heat on a two-way deal. The 6-3 guard played his college ball at UC Santa Barbara, where he second team All-Big West (2018), Academic All-Big West (2017), Honorable Mention All-Big West (2016) and Big West Freshman of the Year (2015). But before that, he was a standout at nearby St. Mary’s High.
He was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 23.9 points per game.
That leaves Guy (22.1 ppg) and Isaiah Canaan (21.6 ppg) to carry the scoring load.
Canaan has NBA experience, having played for the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Milwaukee Bucks. He had a stellar career at Murray State, where he was twice named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and three-time first team all-OVC.
Murray State recently retired his No. 3 jersey.
Other members on the team include Cody Demps and Isaih Pineiro.
Demps is a 6-4 guard from Sacramento State. He was a two-sport star for Pleasant Grove High (Elk Grove) in both football and basketball.
Pineiro was also a standout in football and basketball at Placer High. The 6-7 forward played college hoops at San Diego and was a member of the Puerto Rico national team not too long ago.
Cost to attend a game at the Stockton Arena average out to about $20.
Like most sporting events, these games feature plenty of fun for the entire family, from t-shirt giveaways to halftime entertainment.
For more information, log on to www.stockton.gleague.nba.com.