Ask the experts and they’ll probably say the same thing.
But Acy has proven to be more than just a filler in last month’s blockbuster deal between the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors. In fact, the 23-year-old forward has found his way into a regular spot in head coach Michael Malone’s rotation.
“We just need guys that have toughness and play with energy and Quincy brings that,” Malone said earlier this month of what’s given him confidence in the relatively inexperienced big man.
The second-year forward out of Baylor has quickly earned Malone’s trust since his arrival in Sacramento. In his first official game as a King, Acy didn’t play in a 116-107 loss to the Phoenix Suns, but he’s played in every contest since.
In 15 appearances with the Kings, Acy has averaged just 3.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 14.5 minutes a night. However, numbers don’t fully measure Acy’s impact off the Kings’ bench.
“He’s one of those guys you love him if he’s on your team and you hate him if he’s not,” teammate and fellow reserve Derrick Williams said recently of Acy. “He’s gonna work hard. He’s gonna do all the dirty work. He’s gonna guard the other team’s best post player. He’s not the tallest guy out there, but he’s gonna keep working.”
Williams and teammate Jimmer Fredette will receive most of the credit when it comes to the bench’s recent surge in production. Over their last four games, Williams has averaged 12.5 points per contest and shot better than 54 percent from the field while Fredette has scored 9.5 points and shot exactly 50 percent from the floor.
But ask them and they’ll tell you that Acy has been a catalyst behind the bench’s recent success. In particular, Acy’s work ethic has been contagious among his teammates.
“I think we all see him working and that’s what makes us want to work even harder, especially with the second unit,” Williams said. “Myself, Jimmer, Ben (McLemore) and all the rest of the guys, we see it. Whenever you have a guy like that, you never want to let him down when he’s the only one working hard out there. I think we all look at each other just to keep it up and get our energy and match it.”
After initially feeling shocked by the trade, Acy has taken his new life with the Kings in stride. The transition has had it’s ups and downs, particularly in terms of wins and losses, but Acy feels team chemistry is coming along nicely. Before the Kings went on their current six-game road trip, he noted that “guys have hit it off well with each other” off the court.
“It’s definitely still something that’s still growing,” Acy said earlier this month of the Kings developing strong team chemistry. “You don’t know guys, so it’s not automatically just going to click. But we’re learning more about each other every day and I think it’s growing.”
Acy has become more than just an afterthought in the Rudy Gay deal. He’s become a key contributor to a Kings team in need of players like him, willing to take on a role. As long as Acy continues to bring the same intensity he’s played with since joining the Kings, chances are that he’ll have a place in the team’s rotation for the foreseeable future.
“Having guys that play with energy and effort, that have toughness, that don’t mind physicality, I think those are things that you’re always looking for as a head coach,” Malone said. “So Quincy’s brought that. And you know, he’s done a good job for us at times and we’ll continue to go to him to provide that spark for us off the bench.”