In the lone nationally televised performance of the season so far for the Sacramento Kings, the expansive audience was able to watch reserve guard Terence Davis explode for a 31-point night where he shot 7 of 10 from deep with 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and a block.
The aggressive energy that Davis brings to the floor every time was there for all to see and his propensity to catch fire really doubled down on the notion that the Kings have surplus value at the two-guard.
As a tenacious player who went undrafted coming out of college and earned a contract and an NBA career on the back of his hard work, Davis is more than a good story, he is a legitimate scoring option that could be the backup two-guard on a lot of teams. He shoots, busts his tail on both sides of the ball, is constantly willing to improve defensively, possess decent length for his 6’4″ stature, and his head coach called him “the most responsive guy” he’s been around.
While Davis is probably the best embodiment of Sacramento’s overall roster depth, it’s undeniable that his minutes this season possesses little to no consistency. Of the Kings 47 games, Davis has played in 35 of them with an average of 12.7 minutes per.
And his time has become even harder to come by lately. Davis appeared in all but one of the first 21 games for Sacramento before back stiffness kept him out of action for the next 3 contests. Prior to the back issue, Davis shot 39.4% from beyond the arc.
In the aftermath of the stiffness setback, Davis received DNP’s eight times over the previous 23 games while also shooting just 27.3% from deep. Over his last 8 appearances, Davis has only played eight or more minutes on three occasions, two of which where he started in place of Kevin Huerter, who was out with an illness.
In other words, often times, it’s mop up time that beckons his number to be called, and due to that, it’s hard for him to maintain a rhythm.
Of course, as alluded to, the ability to plug Davis into the starting lineup and maintain the rotational structure of having Monk come in off the bench has been useful for coach Mike Brown. And in his four starts–three times in place of Huerter, and once in place of Keegan Murray–Davis has performed well, averaging 13.0 points on a 37.9% clip from three with 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and a steal in just over 23 minutes per game.
But as one has probably noticed, the Kings have not been faced with a ton of instances that require the use of their depth at the two-guard. Another way to put that is that, while Davis is a commodity worth valuing, Sacramento might find greater value redistributing that depth into different positional groups.
With the need for a dependable backup to Sabonis as well as for a steady backup for Barnes–someone that possesses substantially more length than Davis–then the idea of moving their third shooting guard is more than plausible.
Even as he’s talented and liked by the fans, in the discourse surrounding Sacramento’s potential moves for February 9’s trade deadline, Davis has to be considered a movable asset.
In this league, as George Karl famously said, there’s never been an “untradeable” player. Of course, there are exceptions to that from Steph Curry to Giannis Antetokounmpo to Domantas Sabonis, but the possibility of being such an anomaly does not extend to guys getting inconsistent time off the bench.
Even folks in the national sports media are circling Davis as an asset teams could target.
On his podcast, Zach Lowe of ESPN had a conversation with Bobby Marks about the deadline season. Among the topics of discussion was Terence Davis, who Lowe figured is unlikely to be “loving his playing time” this season.
Teams like the Hawks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Lakers, or someone that could use outside shooting might find Davis useful, though it’s unlikely he’s a primary target that would initiate a deal. But as a part of a deal, he could be a great addition for another team.
Of course, ideally, the Kings would want to add a useful piece–again, either a backup 5 or a solid wing–because teams don’t just give up depth for nothing.
Perhaps it’s obvious, but it’s very possible that Terence Davis is made part of a trade deadline deal in the next two weeks.