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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 p