SACRAMENTO, CA. — The 20-year old 1st rounder (28th overall) out of Kentucky was the leading scorer for the Kings in the Summer League. It’s uncertain whether or not Skal will start in the upcoming season but he made a pretty strong case as he averaged 11 points per-game, 5.8 total rebounds per-game, 0.6 assists per-game, 0.6 steals per-game, and 1.0 blocks per-game. He struggled in turnovers with 2.4 per-game so that may be a factor moving forward. He may need more time to develop before he would be considered as a starter.
In his one season with the Kentucky Wildcats, Labissiere only averaged 6.6 points per-game in just over 15 minutes. He saw more time in the NBA Summer League averaging over 24 minutes per-game and nearly doubled his offensive production. Granted this was not against star powered NBA rosters. It came against other guys who are trying to make a case for spots on the bench in the NBA; most of them anyway.
If Labissiere can round out his game with his raw rebounding skills in the NBA and can carry over some of this scoring, there is a good chance that he could wind up starting. That being said, he might start the season as a role player off the bench. He’s not a bulky 6’11” and will need to add some muscle moving forward if he wants to be a premier rebounder in the league.
Ben Simmons is considered to be the best rookie entering the NBA as a rookie this season. Below are some highlights of Skal facing off against Simmons and the LSU Tigers last season:
As you can see in the video here, Skal was holding his own. While Simmons is still a better rounded player, we can easily see the potential here with Labissiere.
Kings fans should be excited about this rookies potential. It was a high value potentially high reward pick in where they got him at 28th overall. Time will tell on how he transitions to the NBA, but as things stand now, He might compliment DeMarcus Cousins and Darren Collison very well in 2016-2017 and surprise some people.