Get to Know: Sam Merrill

Sam Merrill, a man that doesn’t fold under pressure, is precisely the kind of shooter the Sacramento Kings could use.

Sacramento ranked 24th in 3-point percentage (34.4), and 25th in made Threes (11.4) during the 2021-22 season. Merrill, however, shot at a 44% clip over 30 games during the 2020-21 season before injuries limited him to just six games in 2021, making him a welcome addition to the Kings roster.

Merrill began his career playing basketball for Bountiful High School, which ultimately led to him being recruited by Stanford and Princeton. They eventually committed to Utah State University.

In his sophomore season, Merrill averaged 16.3 points per game. Momentum picked up for Merrill his junior year as he put up 20.9 points, 4.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

In 2019 Merrill tweeted, “I didn’t come to Utah State to win quarterfinal games; I came here to win Conference Championships! #LeaveNoDoubt.”

Merrill led Utah State to a Mountain West Tournament Championship with his confidence and efficient ballhandling. He was later named Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, Mountain West Tournament MVP and was an AP Honorable Mention All-American.

With his dedication to the sport, he started his professional career in November of 2020 with the New Orleans Pelicans as the draft’s final pick.

A week later, he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a four-team trade involving the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets. While with the Bucks, he played on the Memphis Hustle of the NBA G League, averaging 3.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, and shooting 44.7% from three in 7.8 minutes per game. Merrill ended his season with the Milwaukee Bucks winning a championship.

In 2021, Merrill was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 4.2 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in his six games with the Grizzlies.

As a free agent, Merrill signed with the Kings in 2022.

As one of 20 players on the Kings’ preseason roster, Merrill looks to prove he can be the shooting threat Sacramento needs to take the next step.

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