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- Kings waive Merrill, others; 2022-23 roster now set
The Sacramento Kings made their final cuts on Saturday to bring their roster down to the NBA requisite of 15, plus two two-way players. Guard Sam Merrill was the final cut that needed to be decided. The former #60 pick of the 2020 NBA Draft appeared in six games last season for the Memphis Grizzlies where he averaged 4.2 points. He impressed the coaching staff in Sacramento and cutting him was a difficult decision, but with the glut of productive guards that the Kings have, its jus was not in the cards to keep him. The former Utah State guard was a college teamate of current Kings two-way player Neemias Queta. Sacramento had guaranteed $150k to Merrill and will need to eat that money unless he is picked up by another NBA team during the season. He is not eligible to be simply assigned to their G-League squad in Stockton as he would need to go through the G-League Draft later this month and would assuredly be selected before the Kings could pick him. The other two cuts were expected as guard Alex O'Connell and forward Jeriah Horne were signed on Friday merely as a pathway to the Stockton Kings. And here is your 2022-23 Sacramento Kings roster. The most talented squad overall going into an NBA campaign since 2005-06.
- Can't catch a break: Murray out for Health & Safety Protocols
Rookie Keegan Murray, who was held out of the Sacramento Kings final two preseason games due to what was described as a non-Covid illness has now entered the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols as of Friday according to Sean Cunningham of Fox 40. It is unclear if Murray will be available for the team’s season opener on October 19 against the Portland Trail Blazers, but it was confirmed that he is currently away from the team and at home resting. He will not attend Fan Fest 2022 this Sunday. With new relaxed restrictions on the timeline a player must quarantine following a Covid-19 positive result, the Kings’ first-round draft selection could return quicker than usual if he tests out of the protocol. Following the contest against Portland, Sacramento does not play again until the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Golden 1 Center on Saturday, October 22.
- A royal drubbing: Kings dismantle hapless Lakers 133-86
The Sacramento Kings continued their preseason dominance over the Los Angeles Lakers with another ho-hum 133-86 drubbing of LeBron James and his cast of merry G-Leaguers Friday night at a sold out Golden 1 Center. The victory gave Sacramento a 4-0 record to close out the preseason and provided some hope that head coach Mike Brown’s attention to defense might be starting to show some promise as the Kings were the top team in defensive rating during the preseason, holding their opponents to an average of just 89.8 points. Given, the opposition was not much to crow about being the hapless Lakers, disinterested Portland Trail Blazers, and a group of third stringers from Phoenix. Domantas Sabonis had a solid outing, just missing a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists. He also had zero turnovers. With the Kings’ approach to sharing the basketball, it is likely the center will not be averaging 20+ points this season, but his value is undeniable as a distributor and rebounder. De’Aaron Fox led all scorers with 21 points and his starting backcourt mate, Malik Monk chipped in 13. This was the first time the former Kentucky teammates started together since the NCAA tournament in 2017. For the second straight game, James was kept in check for the Lakers and scored just 13 points. A tag team of forwards KZ Okpala and Chima Moneke made every shot difficult for the superstar. The only time he looked effective was when Harrison Barnes got switched out on him. Notes Kevin Huerter (ankle) and rookie Keegan Murray (illness) were both held out of the game. They are expected to play in the season opener against the Blazers on Wednesday, October 19 at the Golden 1 Center. Post Game Interviews Mike Brown De'Aaron Fox Chima Moneke KZ Okpala Trey Lyles
- More moves: Kings waive Ford, Iwundu and sign O'Connell, Horne
As expected, the last-minute transactions continue for the Sacramento Kings as they work to build up their G-League roster through a recent flurry of Exhibit 10 contracts. On Friday, Sacramento waived guard Jordan Ford and forward Wes Iwundu, who they previously signed to Exhibit 10 contracts just 24 hours earlier. They then followed that up by signing guard Alex O'Connell and forward Jeriah Horne to new Exhibit 10 contracts. Like the previous signings, these two will be waived prior to the October 17 roster deadline and then be signed by the Stockton Kings as a pathway has now been cleared for the Kings to own their G-League rights moving forward. Both players also get a nice $50k salary bump for their troubles. O'Connell, a high-flying wing out of Creighton went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft and was a member of the Kings’ summer league squad in Las Vegas where he averaged 4.3 points and four rebounds in three games. He is your classic super-athletic dunker and should be a walking highlight reel in Stockton this season. Horne, a 6-7 wing out of Tulsa also went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft and was instantly signed to a summer league deal by the Kings where he averaged 7.8 points and 3.5 rebounds. Known as a dead-eye shooter, he also shot 52 percent from the field, including 44 percent from deep during his four appearances in Las Vegas. Both O'Connell and Horne will dress for Friday night’s preseason finale against the Los Angeles Lakers, but may not see any action if the game is close. Notes To clear a route to add Iwundu to the squad in Stockton, the Kings traded the G-League rights of Matt Coleman and Emanual Terry to the Cleveland Charge for the G-league rights to Iwundu. Coleman is currently playing in the Turkish league for Besiktas, and Terry recently signed with the Seoul Samsung Thunders of the Korean league. Neither is expected to be available for the upcoming G-League season, so this was more of a paper trade that landed the Stockton Kings a quality forward for the year.
- Kings sign Ford, Iwundu to Exhibit 10 contracts
Following the waivers of Kent Bazemore and Quinn Cook, the Sacramento Kings wasted no time in signing two new players to Exhibit 10 contracts, bringing their roster count back up to a maximum of 20. Former St. Mary’s guard Jordan Ford and Kansas State forward Wes Iwundu were inked Thursday morning. Both are ultimately expected to be on the Kings NBA G-League squad this season. Ford, a 6-1 point guard out of St. Mary’s was a standout prep star at Folsom High in Sacramento. He went undrafted in 2020 and played for the Agua Caliente Clippers of the G-League last season averaging 9.7 points and 3.8 assists. He shot 40.3-percent from deep. Iwundu, a 5-year NBA veteran who was originally selected by the Orlando Magic in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft has career averages of 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds. He was waived by the Portland Trail Blazers on October 7. Both players were present at the Kings’ practice facility on Thursday and are expected to suit up for the team’s final preseason contest when the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Golden 1 Center this Friday. The Exhibit 10 loophole allows for Sacramento to pay each up to a $50k salary in addition to a standard G-League salary if they stay with the Stockton kings for a minimum of 60 days following the start of the G-League season. Expect both to be waived by the parent club following Friday’s preseason finale as part of the deal, and then signed by Stockton in the near future.
- Kings waive veterans Bazemore, Cook
The Sacramento Kings announced Thursday morning that they have waived forward Kent Bazemore and point guard Quinn Cook. The move trims down the team’s roster to 18 with one more cut expected before the October 17 deadline when rosters must be no more than 17, including two two-way players. Bazemore, a 10-year NBA veteran appeared in two preseason games for Sacramento averaging four points in limited action. He was brought in for his leadership and defensive skills, but head coach Mike Brown must have felt others on the roster could supply those tangibles and Baze was caught up in a numbers game. This was his second stint with the Kings. He played briefly with Sacramento after being acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers late in the 2019-20 season and averaged 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 25 games that year. He turned down an offer to return to the capital City fir the 2020-21 season and signed with the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers over the past two seasons. Cook averaged 6.5 points in two preseason appearances for the Kings and was instrumental in securing the victory over the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night as he scored 10 points in the fourth quarter. The 5-year NBA veteran has played for five different teams and collected two NBA Championship rings (2018 and 2020). He is well liked by players across the Association and was hoping to have another chance to get back into the league with Sacramento, but the strong play of veteran guard Mathew Dellavedova left no room on the squad for a fourth point guard. The Kings are expected to make several more moves in the coming days to bolster their G-League squad by using the Exhibit 10 loophole to enhance the salaries of prospects who will play for head coach Bobby Jackson in Stockton this season.
- Kings stumble their way to a 105-104 victory over short-handed Suns
After two relatively easy preseason victories by an average of 31 points, the Sacramento Kings finally found themselves in a dog fight, but were able to scratch and claw their way to a 105-104 victory over the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night at Footprint Arena. The Suns decided to rest all of their starters and the shakeup totally shook-up the Kings. Third-string point guard Duane Washington Jr. carved up the Sacramento defense for a career-high 31 points, four assists, and three steals. Okay, he did have 11 turnovers though. De’Aaron Fox led five Kings in double-figures with 15 points, but the offense was just not clicking most of the night for the squad. The high-energy and lack of discipline from the Phoenix reserves just made the game sloppy all around. As with the earlier two games, Sacramento continued to commit a high number of fouls when trying to be aggressive on the defensive side. After the dust had settled, the Kings had committed 29 fouls leading to 35 free-throws by the Suns. They hit 31 of them. And that’s your game. Kind of hard to watch, but we need to remember that there will be ugly games amongst the 82. The difference tonight was that Sacramento was still able to pull off the victory despite all the flaws. Notes Rookie Keegan Murray and center Richaun Holmes both stayed in Sacramento due to illnesses, and starter KZ Okpala was held out for rest in order to give others a chance to grab minutes during the game. All three are expected to play in the season finale against the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night at the Golden 1 Center.
- Murray sidelined with illness, will sit out Phoenix game
Sacramento Kings rookie forward Keegan Murray has been shining bright early in the team’s first two preseason contests, but the glow was dimmed a bit on Tuesday when it was revealed that he will miss Wednesday’s game in Phoenix due to a non-Covid illness. The fourth-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft is averaging sixteen points on 12-of-17 (70.6%) shooting overall and a ridiculous 7-for-10 from deep to go along with 4.5 rebounds and two steals off the bench in the team’s first two preseason contests. Picking up from his Summer League MVP campaign, Murray has not missed a beat as he prepares for his NBA regular-season debut on October 19 when the Portland Trail Blazers visit the Golden 1 Center. The 22-year-old rookie has shown the maturity of a vet and has an uncanny ability to fill up the stat sheet without anyone ever noticing.
- VIDEO: Monk surprised by how fast the squad is gelling in training camp
During his media session following Tuesday’s practice, Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk is surprised at how quickly the team is coming together and gives all the credit to head coach Mike Brown. He also discusses Brown’s quick timeouts, how every player is being held accountable, and why he expects the team to break the franchise record for 3-pointers in a game (22) early in the season. And rookie Chima Moneke may need to be taught a lesson about talking too much. Video courtesy of Fox 40.
- VIDEO: Coach Brown previews the Phoenix game and shares the story behind The Bell
Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown speaks with the media following the team’s practice Tuesday afternoon. He discusses his approach to the 3-point shot, the pace of the game, preview of Wednesday’s contest in Phoenix, team chemistry, an update on Keegan Murray, and the story behind “The Bell” at the practice facility. Video courtesy of Fox 40.
- VIDEO: Sabonis talks dunks, assists, and chemistry
Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis speaks with the media following practice Tuesday afternoon. He discusses team chemistry and his surprising dunk against the Portland Trail Blazers last Sunday. Video courtesy of Fox 40.
- VIDEO: Barnes holds court at Kings training camp
Sacramento Kings veteran forward Harrison Barnes speaks with the media on Saturday following practice. He discusses a range of topics and looks forward to the squad’s preseason game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. Video courtesy of Fox 40.
- Kings move up and snag the #4 pick in the NBA Draft
The Sacramento Kings and General Manager Monte McNair received some welcome news Tuesday afternoon when it was revealed that they had moved up to the fourth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Based on their lottery odds, it was expected that Sacramento would land somewhere around the seventh pick, but now things are about to get rather interesting. While most feel that the top three picks will be some order of center Chet Holmgren, forward Paolo Banchero, and forward Jabari Smith Jr, the Kings sit with an opportunity to go in any number of directions at fourth. Experts have tabbed Perdue’s Jaden Ivey as the next best prospect in the draft. An extremely athletic 6-4 shooting guard with crazy speed and loose handles, but a guaranteed crowd exciter. Is Ivey the right fit next to De’Aaron Fox? Or could the Kings package the pick with Richaun Holmes and/or Harrison Barnes and get their hands on a proven young star in the league? There have been whispers that the team is seriously considering moving the pick, but that was when they thought they would be at #7. At #4, it might be worth waiting to see how the top three play out before dealing the pick as this is seen as an extremely wide-open draft order and one of the big men could slide down and hand Sacramento the starting power forward of the future they desire so much. We have 37 days until the June 23 NBA Draft and Monte now sits in the catbird seat waiting for his phone to ring. This time, it is good to be a King.
- Cooler heads prevail; Mike Brown tapped as new Kings head coach
Truthfully, was it ever really in doubt? Sources have confirmed that the Sacramento Kings are hiring Warriors assistant Mike Brown to be their new head coach heading into the 2022-23 season. Brown will be the team’s 12th head coach since Rick Adelman was let go back in 2006. Brown, 52, spent eight seasons as head coach for both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers before spending the past seven seasons working under Steve Kerr in Golden State. He has amassed an impressive 347-216 (.616) record in his head coaching career in the NBA. Leading up to the team’s decision, there was a lot of chatter about the other candidate, Mark Jackson, and his position as the front-runner. However, it was obvious that most of that chatter was being sourced from the Jackson camp and his co-workers at ESPN where he is currently a TV analyst. Let’s be honest, Jackson really wanted the head job with the Lakers and all the Sacramento talk was just an attempt to leverage his position. Not as if the Kings have not been used for leverage before, but Sacramento fans had to endure a week of speculation and worry before the candidate they preferred was finally revealed on Sunday. The Brown decision was obvious in so many ways. It showed that GM Monte McNair is truly in charge of basketball decisions in Sacramento and not owner Vivek Ranadive, who was repeatedly reported as preferring Jackson. The Brown hire silences any further question about who is making the final call now. Brown has been a successful coach throughout his career, his only blemish was his short tenure with the Lakers where he was handed a team with an aging super-star (Kobe Bryant) and unrealistic expectations following the departure of the much beloved head coach Phil Jackson. He deserved another chance following such an impossible situation. Brown is known as a defense-first coach and this Sacramento squad desperately needs to refocus on defense if it hopes to get anywhere near the playoffs next season. Brown will start his new head coaching duties in Sacramentoonce the Warriors current playoff run has ended. A couple of current Kings players have worked with Brown in the past. Center Damian Jones was a member of the Warriors from 2016-19, and Chimezie Metu was a member of the Nigeria national team in 2020 where Brown was the head coach. The attention now turns to the May 17 Draft Lottery, the June NBA Draft, as well as summer free-agency and trades. Much more needs to be decided by the Kings before next season, but step #1 is now complete.
- Bye-bye Ty; Kings acquire Sabonis from Pacers
If there was ever a time for Sacramento Kings fans to realize that the NBA is a business first, it was Tuesday at 10:28am PT when they were hit with the news. The Sacramento Kings have traded Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson to the Indiana Pacers for Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lam, Justin Holiday, and a 2023 second-round pick. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to break the news and was so eager to be first that he butchered the names and details of the trade. Nevertheless, a bold move indeed and a necessary one for SacTown. While Ty was beloved in Sacramento for his charisma and star potential on and off the court, the fact is that the Kings are a total mess right now and general manager Monte McNair had to change it up. In just 1.5 seasons in the league, Haliburton quickly ascended as the Kings’ most prized asset, and his value likely would never be higher. So, they snagged a 25-year-old two-time All-Star for the kid from Kenosha, WI. Not to be overlooked, but the Buddy Love era is now officially over. The Bahamian bomber was both loved and despised by fans, but his absence will be clearly evident. Regardless of which side of the fence you are on. The Kings are likely not done yet. Marvin Bagley remains on the roster, as well as Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes. Not saying that the latter two need to go, but the move for Sabonis clearly signaled a shift towards building a team around De’Aaron Fox’s strengths and more moves will be needed to accomplish that.
- Davis undergoes wrist surgery, out for season
The hits just keep on coming for the Sacramento Kings this season. On Tuesday, the team announced that guard Terence Davis underwent successful surgery in New York City on his right wrist to repair the ECU tendon. He will be re-evaluated in approximately three months, but essentially his season is over. After struggling early on this year, the third-year swingman had really started to catch fire and was making a strong case to replace sharp-shooter Buddy Hield as the team’s lead scorer off the bench. On January 19, he dropped a career-high 35 points against the Detroit Pistons. But six days later, while driving to the hoop in Boston, he was fouled hard and crashed onto the floor injuring his head and wrist. He returned to the court to try and complete the three-point play but missed the free-throw and never returned. It will be interesting to see what Sacramento decides to do with the remainder of the season. With Davis out, Hield presents the only real scoring threat off the bench and all the rumors have the Kings trading Buddy Love by the February 10 deadline. Terence is under contract with Sacramento for the 2022-23 season, so he’ll be back ready to light it up next year.
- Metu latest King to fall into Health & Safety Protocols
Sacramento Kings forward Chimezie Metu has entered the league’s Health and Safety Protocols as of Tuesday and will likely miss the next three to four games for the Kings. Metu joins starting center Richaun Holmes who was sidelined over the weekend. There are still several key Sacramento players who have not yet been swept up in the latest Covid-19 outbreak including Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield, and Tyrese Haliburton. But it is likely inevitable that they will fall at some point. Hopefully, absences can be spread over a longer period rather than in clusters so the team can more easily absorb the roster depletion. Jahmi’us Ramsey has been recalled from the team’s G-League affiliate to fill in for Metu in the meantime.
- Now its Richaun's turn to enter Health & Safety Protocols
Just one game after the Sacramento Kings were able to get back to a full roster following a covid-19 outbreak earlier this month, it was announced on Saturday that starting center Richaun Holmes has been placed in the league’s Health and Safety Protocols. He will now likely miss the next three games with a hope that he can return in time for the team’s January 7 contest in Denver, but that is a best-case-scenario. Holmes was just five games into his return to the court following a 7-game absence after he suffered an eye laceration during the Orlando Magic game back on December 8. As a result of that injury, he made the decision that he would wear protective goggles for the rest of his career due to several eye injuries he suffered of late. The 6-10 high-energy bigman has averaged 12.8 points and 8.7 rebounds over 27 games this season. His effective play with guard Tyrese Haliburton has developed into a lethal offensive weapon for the Kings this season. With Richaun out, the Kings have several other centers on the roster to turn to. Alex Len is recovering from his own bout with Covid-19 and has yet to see any action since being activated. Reserve Damien Jones has emerged as a very competent presence in the paint and will likely see extended time on the floor as head coach Alvin Gentry has clearly started trusting the 6-year veteran more of late. Tristen Thompson has also showed similar activity and will surely see some time if Len is not ready to return. As of Saturday, no other Sacramento players have been announced as entering in Health and Safety protocols, but there are several key guys that missed the first wave. Including Harrison Barnes, Haliburton, and Buddy Hield. These announcements tend to come in clusters, so stay tuned. We could be in for another rough couple of weeks.
- Metu for the win: Kings stun Mavs at the buzzer 95-94
Chimezie Metu nailed a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sacramento Kings a thrilling 95-94 win over the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night at the Golden 1 Center. The victory was the Kings’ second in just 24-hours and brings them back to within six games of the .500 mark. Baby steps... The two teams will square off again on Friday at 3pm to wrap up 2021.
- Alvin Gentry discusses his disappointment in the team and next steps
Sacramento Kings interim head coach Alvin Gentry speaks with the media following the team’s practice Monday afternoon.
- Tyrese Haliburton talks about the team's struggles of late
Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton speaks with the media following the team’s Monday afternoon practice.
- 24 minutes of basketball, then 24 minutes of WTF
“It’s the most disappointed I have been in my 34 years in the NBA. I can honestly say that. That performance was absolutely ridiculous.” Returning to the bench following a 5-game absence while in the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, Sacramento Kings head coach Alvin Gentry opened his post-game press conference with brutal honesty and absolute disgust in his team’s performance following a 127-102 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday afternoon at the Golden 1 Center. The truth is, Gentry has not seen anything if this was indeed his most disappointing loss of his career. Long-suffering Kings fans have experienced much worse over the past 36 years, and this kind of defeat is nothing new in Sacramento. Apathetic Kings fans have likely already brushed this one off as the normal. But there is never a need for anyone to ever accept such a long string of inconsistency from a professional franchise, and Gentry is beginning to see his coaching legacy suffer the same fate as so many past coaches in the capital city. Sacramento has a way of breaking even the NBA’s most decorated coaches. It’s the one thing this franchise is consistently good at. On to the game, if we must… The Kings did welcome back some much-needed reinforcements with the return of De’Aaron Fox (12 points, 5 assists), Terence Davis (15 points), and Marvin Bagley (3 points, 3 rebounds). But, aside from a couple brief moments, none of them were particularly effective against an aggressive Memphis defense. Sacramento did find a way to hang tough during the first half and held a narrow 50-49 lead at the break. However, in the third quarter, the Kings became completely focused on the referees and lost focus on their opponents on the court and the game quickly fell apart. Memphis scored 40 in the 3rd and 38 in the 4th. Game over. The Grizzlies were more physical and just pushed the Kings around throughout the second half. Straight-line drives to the hoop, second and third chances via offensive rebounds, and wide-open 3-pointers. It was like watching a video game and your 6-year-old cousin was playing as the Kings, and he had never played the game before. Some of the numbers that stood out: Sacramento was outrebounded by a 53-38 mark, including a 19 to 9 differential on the offensive glass. Harrison Barnes finished with 12 points and seven rebounds but was a game-worst -36 in +/-. Richaun Holmes played just 13 minutes and finished with four rebounds and no points. He battled foul trouble all night, but he truly was a non-factor when on the court. Buddy Hield decided to take the night off. In 24 minutes, he was 0-3 from the field and scored just two points. Sacramento faces the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night at the G1C. They’ll likely win the game, but that won’t make these greater issues go away. Something more must give before the February trade deadline if Gentry, general manager monte McNair, and any of the other decision-makers expect to be around to see the 2022-23 season. Post-Game
- TD’s big night sinks Clippers, Kings win 104-99
Terence Davis erupted for 28 points in 29 minutes to lead the Sacramento Kings over the Los Angeles Clippers 104-99 Saturday night at the Golden 1 Center. The win was their second against the Clipshow this week and brought them within just one game of the tenth seed in the Western Conference. Sacramento doesn’t play again until Wednesday when the Orlando magic come to town. Three days of practice is just what new head coach Alvin Gentry needs to get his squad back on the right track and in the mix with the rest of a rather mediocre Western Conference. Full Game Highlights Alvin Gentry Terence Davis Tyrese Haliburton Marvin Bagley
- Kings pull plug on another head coach, Walton fired
In a move that was all but inevitable, it was announced Sunday morning that the Sacramento Kings have fired head coach Luke Walton after a disappointing 6-11 start to the 2021-22 season. Current associate head coach Alvin Gentry will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season, and Rico Hines has been promoted to be his lead assistant. “After a thorough evaluation of the season thus far, I decided to make a change to the head coach position,” said Kings General Manager Monte McNair. “I want to thank Luke for his efforts and contributions to our team.” During his 2+ years in Sacramento, Walton compiled a 68-93 (.422) record, which surprisingly enough was the best winning percentage by any head coach since Hall of Famer Rick Adleman was fired back in 2006. For whatever reason, a very vocal Sacramento fan-base did not like Luke from the moment he was hired by then general manager Vlade Divac and are probably crowing quite loudly today. Whether it was due to the sexual assault charges lobbied against him during the summer of 2019 (that were later dropped), or criticism of his inability to manage LeBron James in the 2018-19 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, or just the overall national media’s attitude towards him as not a quality head coach, he was doomed from the day he set foot in Sacramento. As for the players, most had Luke’s back throughout the constant noise from the outside. De’Aaron fox and Tyrese Haliburton repeatedly supported Walton. The rest of the core also publicly backed him when asked. Center Tristan Thompson held an emphatic post-game Q&A where he made it clear that coaching was not the issue, and it was the players (or certain players) that need to step up if they were going to turn the season around. The only player reported as having issues with Walton was disgruntled bigman Marvin Bagley, but he hasn’t liked any of his coaches since arriving in Sacramento and is likely one of the first players to be shipped out before the February NBA trade deadline. "We all know all of us have to be better, especially over the last two weeks,'' McNair said. "We're not meeting expectations. That's not just on Luke. That's on me, the rest of our coaches and players. Everyone acknowledges that.'' Monte now must come up with a winning plan moving forward. The offensive-minded Gentry, 67, is clearly not the long-term solution the team needs. Fans should probably expect to see more of an up-tempo run-and-gun style over the remaining 65 games. That might be enough to slip into the play-in tournament, but without a solid defensive plan and improvements at the 3 and 4 positions, little more. Young, upstart coaches who think outside-the-box are all the rage now for the NBA teams of tomorrow and is likely the direction Sacramento should go next summer. Who that is will probably be the hot topic distracting Kings fans for the next seven months. But for now, Sacramento fans need to deal with the noise of having run through their tenth head coach in their past 15 seasons, with not a single playoff appearance to show for it. The drum beats on…