The pre-season hype for G League Ignite ahead of the 2022-23 season was through the roof, as the team had not only the best NBA prospect playing in America in Scoot Henderson, but also a number of players in Efe Abogidi, Leonard Miller and Sidy Cissoko who were expected to solidify their cases as NBA prospects.
Mojave King didn’t come to Ignite with the same level of hype, but as the G League Ignite season has progressed, he has seen his draft stock rise as he has become one of the top contributors for the team. When diving into his background and his pre-Ignite career, it’s easy to see why King has found his rhythm quickly for his new team.
After consistently standing out at youth competitions in Australia during his teenage years, Mojave King joined the NBA Global Academy in January of 2019. The then 16-year-old King, found himself in the spotlight as a part of one of the most stacked youth teams international basketball has seen during the past decade, on a roster that included three future NBA Players in Dyson Daniels, Josh Giddey and Bennedict Mathurin, plus college standouts Taran Armstrong, Olivier-Maxence Prosper and Aly Khalifa.
Despite the amount of talent on the roster, King was able to stand out by providing a steady presence as a perimeter defender and much needed off–ball scoring for a roster stacked with players who needed the ball in their hands.
King left NBA Academy and signed with the Cairns Taipans ahead of the 2020-21 Australian NBL season as part of the NBL Next Stars program. Things didn’t go smoothly for King in his rookie season. Projected as a potential draft prospect ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft, King saw less than 12 minutes per contest during the first two months of the season and had trouble getting into a rhythm as a shooter.
King did see his playing time increase to 21 minutes per contest during the final 14 games of the season, where he shot 36.8% from 3 point range on 4 attempts per game; a late-season surge in minutes and production that left the door open for potential improvement ahead of his sophomore season in the NBL.
Despite changing teams before the 2021-22 season, when King signed with the Adelaide 36ers, his sophomore output was even more limited due to a lack of playing time, as he saw just 10 minutes per game for his new team. At the end of the season, King moved to the Southland Sharks of the New Zealand NBL where he was able to receive big minutes and make an impact, scoring 18 points per game on 57% True Shooting, albeit on a lower level of competition.
In September of 2022, G League Ignite announced the signing of King. So far, the 2022-23 season has been a sort of a “coming full circle” moment for King, who, once again, finds himself contributing as an off-ball scoring option for a team with multiple players who thrive with the ball in their hands as Scoot Henderson, Leonard Miller and Sidy Cissoko.
Playing over 30 minutes per game has helped King to get into a rhythm, as he’s shooting 37% from beyond the arc on over five attempts per game. King is a versatile shooter who moves well off the ball and shoots an extremely repeatable jumper. His high release point and ability to prepare quickly makes it hard for opponents to contest his jumper. King has also shown moments of shooting off the dribble, being able to take one or two quick dribbles to readjust and quickly pull-up for a jumper after creating space.
The key factor on his impact as a shooter might just be the level of confidence that King is playing with: he shows zero hesitancy and lets his shot fly as soon as he gets space. The type of confidence that is nearly a requirement for any NBA prospect who is expected to make an impact as a shooter.
King utilizes his shooting gravity to draw closeouts, which he attacks with a solid combination of speed and power. King doesn’t have the most fluid handle in terms of changing directions or creating space out of dribble moves alone, but he compensates with his quick first step and a number of pre-dribble moves (such as stutters, fakes and jab steps) which allow him to get defenders off position.
King also makes a strong impact defensively. Measured at 6-foot-5 tall with a near 6-foot-8 wingspan back in 2019, King uses his long arms, his strong frame and his ability to elevate from a standstill to contest and block shots at the rim, as well as to collaborate as a defensive rebounder.
In the perimeter is where King makes most of his impact, having the optimal size and length to defend both guard positions. King plays with a lot of energy defensively and moves laterally extremely well, being able to keep opponents in front of him and contain dribble penetration.
King has played an important role for Ignite so far, being an efficient off-ball contributor while providing a defensive presence in multiple levels of the floor. After a couple of rough seasons in the Australian NBL, King has found himself back in the NBA spotlight, and his profile as a three-and-D wing can be enticing for a number of NBA teams looking for value in the second round.
Want to join the discussion? Like Draft Digest on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest NBA Draft news. You can also meet the team behind the coverage.
A new report revealed that the Denver Nuggets mascot, Rocky the Mountain Lion, is the NBA’s highest-paid mascot, taking home $625,000 a year, almost 10 times
The Phoenix Suns are off the NBA coaching carousel after finding their man.The team reportedly will hire Frank Vogel as its next head coach.Vogel's last gig was
Being an NBA mascot is not a bad gig whatsoever. Not only are they practically beloved by every fan inside the arena, but they also get paid incredibly
Super-max extensions weren’t intended to cause as much stress as they have since they were introduced in the NBA six years ago.The right to offer 35 percent o