Kings

We Were Wrong About Edwards

on

Should I eat crow now or later?

OK, I will fess up to writing these lines in a recent story about the Sacramento Kings staying the course at the trade deadline:

While others in the West made moves to improve their teams, the third-place Kings stood pat.

The Kings?  Oh, they acquired Kessler Edwards and his average of 1.1 points in 14 games for Brooklyn this year.

That should move the needle.  Not.

So that was not a brilliant take.

COMING-OUT PARTY

Edwards had his coming-out party on Mar. 11 in another statement win for the Kings over the Suns.  It was the team’s 40th win of the season, marking the first time the Kings have won 40 games since 2006.  The Kings are now 11-3 since the All-Star break.

After playing in just four of 12 games since joining the Kings, a total of 27 minutes, Edwards entered this game in the first quarter.  He finished with 12 points (4/6 FG, 2/2 FT, 2/4 3PT) and seven rebounds.

Here are two highlight plays from Edwards. On one he grabs a rebound and puts it back for a basket, then he hits the dagger bucket with less than a minute to play.

OH BOY, SOMEBODY IS PLAYING DEFENSE

The offense was nice, but Edwards made his biggest impact on the defensive end.

Devin Booker had 10 of the Suns’ first 15 points.  At the midway point of the opening quarter, Edwards and Davion Mitchell entered the game.  Booker didn’t score again in the first quarter as Mitchell and Edwards hounded him.

Booker finished with 28 points in the game, but he really had to work for them.

A VALENTINE SURPRISE – KING COACHES WERE WATCHING

It was a surprise that the Kings went to Edwards so early.  He said on the Kings postgame show that he was anticipating an early call in this game, however.  Edwards played 10 minutes when the Kings played the Suns on Feb. 14 and had success guarding Booker, so the coaches told him to be ready to play.

Here’s one example of him on defense.  Edwards is number 17 in white.  Watch him defend multiple players in this offensive set for the Suns. He starts out at the free-throw line, guarding Booker.

THE DPOG CHAIN

After every win, the Kings hand out a Defensive Player Of The Game award and that player gets to put on the DPOG chain.  It’s a fun moment in the locker room and afterwards in postgame sessions.

https://twitter.com/SacramentoKings/status/1634799394523430914?s=20

WHO IS KESSLER EDWARDS?

Edwards is just 23 years old, a second-round draft choice (No. 44) by Brooklyn in the 2021 draft.  He is from Pepperdine, which happens to be the same school Kings legend and current assistant coach Doug Christie came from.

In his rookie season for the Nets, Edwards appeared in 48 games, logging 20.6 minutes per contest.  He averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while shooting 41.2% from the field and 35.3% from three.

This year, Edwards had trouble getting off the bench for the Nets, averaging only 5.6 minutes in 14 games. With the Kings, he has seen 20.5 minutes per contest (6.8 points per, 52% FG, 39% 3PT) over his last six, including starting Sacramento’s last two contests.

IS HE A FUTURE STAR?

It’s far too early to say what Edwards’ future is in Sacramento.  The Kings are happy to have Edwards on their roster, though.  The 6-foot-8, 215-pound Edwards is a long, lengthy wing with a seven-foot wingspan— a type of player the Kings have coveted, but had trouble finding.

Kings General Manager Monte McNair and his staff have had a “good eye” in finding talent.  Maybe he has found another diamond.

Welcome to Sacramento, Kessler Edwards.

Light. That. Beam. Get this exclusive De’Aaron Fox Sacramento Kings 2023 City Jersey Bobblehead here today.

About Dave Andrade

Sports Director, KRCR-TV Redding 1968-81; Shasta College football & basketball play-by-play; marketing rep; retired, but still doing a daily sports report & commentary for KKXS 96.1 FM, Redding; contributor at Kings Lead

Recommended for you

Powered by themekiller.com