George King Adds to Game While Keeping Elite Range

By Jacob Withee | April 15, 2019

The more opportunities George King gets, the more he impresses.

It started back in college, as King finished his freshman year at the University of Colorado averaging 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 27 games. He redshirted and came back as the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player, averaging 13.6 points on 45.6 percent shooting from distance and 4.7 rebounds per game. He concluded his time with the Buffaloes averaging 10.2 points (44.4 FG%, 40.1 3FG%, 73.1 FT%) and 5.4 rebounds in 127 games (89 starts), ranked second in school history in three-point percentage (40.1%). But still, he had work to do.

He elevated his stock throughout the pre-draft process, being named Most Outstanding Player of the East team at the NABC College All-Star Game before garnering all-tournament honors at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament to earn an invite to the 2018 NBA Draft Combine. He impressed enough teams, including the Suns, to get drafted in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft.

King embraced the opportunity as a Two-Way forward with the Northern Arizona Suns. He said one goal entering the year was improving his work off the dribble, something he never did much in college. So, King spent much of the year doing just that, finding his way in the lane based off his own playmaking ability and taking the ball up the floor himself often after gathering the rebound. In fact, just over 37 percent of King’s made field goals were unassisted.

Of course, King remained an elite shooter, making 90-of-210 shots from downtown, a 42.9 percent clip. That mark led the Northern Arizona Suns, the best three-point percentage in a season by a Suns player in team history, surpassing Danuel House’s 41.7 percent clip in 2017-18. In the NBA G League this season, King had the 13th highest three-point percentage (min. 100 3FGA) and the second highest among Two-Way players, just behind the top mark of 43.0 percent by Kalin Lucas.

King had a great rookie year all-around, leading the NAZ Suns in total points (634) and total made field goals (222) besides three-point percentage. He was second in rebounds (219), second in blocks (24) and fourth in assists (102). He was the third player in team history with 200+ rebounds and 100+ assists in a single season (Elijah Mill­sap, Josh Gray) and the fifth player in team history with 500+ points and 200+ rebounds in a season (Gray, Alec Peters, Mike Young, Millsap).

He provided some of the top moments for Northern Arizona, including one early, as he made a game-winning three-point shot as time expired against the Agua Caliente Clippers on Nov. 16.

The 25-year-old had the most 20+ point games on the team, earning 11 on the year, adding three double-doubles as well. Overall in 2018-19, he averaged 15.5 points (47.5 FG%, 42.9 3FG%, 82.0 FT%), 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 41 games (39 starts).

He made his NBA debut on Dec. 11 at the San Antonio Spurs where he grabbed a rebound in six minutes of action.

It was a promising rookie season for King, who has the all-around skill and intangibles to make some noise at the next level.

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