- Kings tab Rocket’s McNair as new GM
The Sacramento Kings announced on Thursday that Monte McNair will be the team’s new general manager and head all aspects of basketball operations. He replaces Vlade Divac, who resigned back in August. “Monte is one of the NBA’s top basketball minds who has played an instrumental role in building several winning teams in Houston,” Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said. “I am excited to bring his extensive experience and vision onboard to lead our basketball operations department, and it is my pleasure to welcome Monte and his family to Sacramento.” McNair served under Houston Rocket’s GM Daryl Morey as an Assistant GM since 2018 but has held various roles with the organization since 2007. He is known as an analytics-driven basketball mind and is expected to bring that philosophy to Sacramento. He joins a franchise desperate for a return to respectability in the NBA. The Kings have not been to the playoffs in 14 seasons, and McNair’s #1 job will be to build a team that will break that streak. “I am thrilled to join the Kings organization and honored to shape the franchise’s bright future for the team’s loyal fans,” McNair said. “I would like to thank Vivek for this opportunity and look forward to becoming a part of the Sacramento community.” Several major decisions will loom during his first couple months on the job. The De’Aaron Fox extension, the Bogdan Bogdanovic restricted free-agency, and what to do with Buddy Hield. He also has an NBA Draft to prepare for, where Sacramento currently has the 12th, 35th, 43rd, and 52nd picks. He also needs to build out his front office staff quickly. Assistant GM Peja Stojaković resigned shortly after Divac’s departure, leaving just assistant GM Ken Catanella as the lone hold out from the previous administration. However, reports have surfaced that McNair will ask the team’s cap guru to join his new staff in the same role. In another move, it was announced that Interim Vice-President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars has been named Chief Strategy Officer. Basically, he’ll fade off into the distance and not really be an active member of the basketball ops moving forward but provide his input from afar here and there. All in all, a positive move for the Sacramento Kings. Monte McNair brings instant credibility to the front office from his time with the Rockets and should help the Kings start the long climb out of NBA purgatory.
- Kings furlough Basketball Ops
The economic crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic has finally started to hit the basketball side of the Sacramento Kings. On Wednesday, Interim Executive Vice-President Joe Dumars announced that furloughs were issued to a number of full-time employees in the Kings’ basketball operations department. The furloughs are expected to be in effect for at least the next 8-10 weeks. During their absence those employees will continue to receive medical benefits and are expected to return to their duties with the team once the NBA future is clearer. “Given uncertainty about the start of next season due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to furlough a handful of full-time positions across our basketball operations departments primarily around support roles,” Dumars said. It was not immediately known who was affected by this move, but senior members of the front office, scouting, and analytics were spared as they need to prepare for the upcoming NBA Draft and free-agency season.
- Kings will pick at 12 in 2020 NBA Draft
The lottery gods did not come through this year. The Sacramento Kings will have the 12th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and they really have nothing to complain about, as that is where they were supposed to pick according to the odds. Starting point guard De’Aaron Fox represented the team via the virtual draft lottery and seemed rather chill by the results. Two years earlier, he was present for the Kings’ surprising move up to the second position, where they later selected Duke standout Marvin Bagley. New Interim Executive Vice-President Joe Dumars has a lot of options at 12, and the prognosticators will spend the next two months making all sorts of wild guesses on what the Kings will do on the night of the NBA Draft. The team could trade the pick with another player for some quality talent in return. Trade up for a better pick. Trade down for multiple picks. Or even keep it and try to find a nice role player in the late lottery range. No one can say they truly know what Sacramento will do this year. At least you are not a fan of the New York Knicks. They were slotted to pick sixth, but hoped to sneak into the top spot, and ended up at eighth when both Charlotte and Chicago jumped them in the lottery. Now, that is a cursed team. The Minnesota Timberwolves ultimately snagged the top spot with the Golden State Warriors coming in at number two. The NBA Draft is currently slated to take place on October 16, but recent reports have indicated that the date might slip by a few weeks to give the league more time to determine the revenue implications on the forthcoming salary cap. Either way, Sacramento will have picks 12, 35, 43, and 52 to work with. It should be another fun night.
- Kings win coin flip tiebreaker with Pelicans
The Sacramento Kings received a little good news this morning. The coin flip to determine where the team would rank in Thursday’s NBA Draft Lottery came up tails, or heads, or who really cares. The Kings won the tiebreaker with the New Orleans Pelicans. Sacramento will have the 12th best odds to land one of the top four spots in the 2020 NBA Draft at 6.1%. The Pelicans’ chances will be just 5.7%. Both teams finished with identical 28-36 records when the 2019-20 season was initially called due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Even though the Kings ultimately finished with a better overall record following the 8-game restart in Orlando, the team’s original records were the determining mark. Sacramento last had a coin flip situation in 2018, when they lost the toss to the Chicago Bulls and ended up with the seventh pick. Of course, that turned out to be the lucky position as they then moved up to the second spot when they jumped up to the top three in the lottery. The Marvin Bagley draft. The NBA Draft will be held on October 16 and it will be very interesting to see wha new Interim VP of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars does with the pick. And, the free agency frenzy starts just two days after that on October 18. Buckle up, the current NBA season may be over for the Kings, but this Fall is sure to be a wild ride.
- Peja Stojakovic out as Kings assistant GM
The house cleaning of the old Sacramento Kings glory days continued Saturday when it was reported that assistant GM and Kings’ legend Peja Stojakovic would be departing the organization along with GM Vlade Divac. Stojakovic joined the team back in 2015 when Divac first landed the GM role. He initially spent time as the general manager of the team’s D-League franchise in Reno and as the Kings Player Personnel Director, before stepping into the assistant GM role in 2018. Vlade needed someone he could trust completely in a league of backroom deals and backstabbing agents. The fellow Serbian was his most trusted advisor. Peja was originally drafted by the Kings in 1996, but played for two more seasons for team PAOK of the Greek League before coming to Sacramento in 1998 to start what would ultimately become Sacramento’s most dominant period in the NBA. It was never entirely clear if Peja was fully invested in his role with the Kings, as he was involved in many business ventures overseas at the time he was summoned to Sacramento. But his loyalty to Vlade was unquestionable and he would do anything for his good friend and NBA mentor. “It has been a great joy and honor to work in the Kings front office for the past five years. I want to thank the organization and especially the incredible fans around the world for the support over the years", said Stojakovic via a statement released by the Kings. "Sacramento will always be home to me and I wish the franchise nothing but the very best.” Ken Catanella, the lone remaining assistant GM holdout is expected to stay with the organization through the draft and free-agency process as he has a history with the new Interim VP of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars during their time together with the Detroit Pistons. However, his future role with the Kings is unclear beyond that.
- The Vlade Divac era is over in Sacramento
After five years at the helm, Vlade Divac’s crusade to revitalize the Sacramento Kings has officially ended. It was announced today that the Kings legend would be stepping down as General Manager effective immediately. Joe Dumars, who was named Special Advisor to the GM back in June 2019 will assume the title of Interim Kings Executive VP of Basketball Operations moving forward. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the General Manager for the Kings. I want to thank Vivek for the opportunity & recognize all of the incredible colleagues who I had the great pleasure of working with during my tenure", said Divac in a released statement by the team. "Sacramento and the Kings will always hold a special place in my heart, and I wish them all the best moving forward.” Divac, a member of the basketball Hall of Fame, an NBA All-Star, and Euro basketball legend endured a challenging tenure as the leader of the Kings’ front office right from the start. While he was politely applauded as a world basketball leader, he was never accepted by the NBA GM fraternity. Mocked for his front office inexperience, thick accent, and often misunderstood dry sense of humor, the NBA insiders considered him an outsider and the team was just further seen as a third-rate franchise. Despite his total and complete loyalty to the team, city, and its fans, he was ultimately destined to fail in Sacramento. Vlade was initially hired by Kings governor Vivek Ranadive back on April 8, 2015 to replace the then disgraced general manager Pete D’Alessandro, who over a series of bad trades, poor coaching hires, and awkward fan interactions was run out of town less than two years after he replaced long-time GM Geoff Petrie. Divac’s first duty was to find a way to get the team’s highly talented, but volatile star DeMarcus Cousins, an equally ego-driven head coach George Karl, and a handful of moderately talented, but disinterested players to form some semblance of an NBA team. Not an easy task for any GM. By the end of the 2015-16 season, Vlade had fired Karl, and less than a year later, he traded Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans for Buddy Hield and draft picks. It was obvious that the Kings could not improve with what they had and needed to blow it all up and start over. This was when Divac was finally able to put his fingerprints on his franchise and started to implement his vision of what makes a successful team. Quality players with quality character. Disruptive or selfish egos had no place in Sacramento. If you did not want to come to Sac for a pre-Draft workout, the Kings would not waste their pick on you (Emmanuel Mudiay). Over the years Sacramento continued their youth movement, acquiring more picks and young talent through trades and erasing any semblance of the team Divac was handed back in 2015. He was able to collect a promising war chest that ultimately produced De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes, Harry Giles, and Hield. There were definitely some unfortunate draft selections and trades over those five years, but it was one pick in particular that ultimately sealed his fate. In 2018, through the urges of then assistant GM Brandon Williams, the Sacramento Kings selected the super-athletic Marvin Bagley over the highly touted Luka Doncic in the NBA draft with the second overall pick. From the moment the selection was announced, the national media mocked Divac's apparent ignorance, and Kings fans and local media bemoaned the pick. Two years later as Doncic has continued to rise to the top of NBA stardom while Bagley has been grounded by injuries, fans continued to call for Vlade’s head for that one fateful decision. To this day, Divac stands behind his choice, even if it ultimately buried him. As the 2019-20 season wrapped up for the Kings and a 14th-straight playoff absence staring the team in the face, Ranadive and the myriad of impatient minority owners felt that five years was long enough. Divac was asked to step back from his position of ultimate authority and relinquish the decision-making reins to Dumars moving forward. He would still be part of the front office, but nothing more than in name. Vlade Divac, a proud man, would never accept such a demotion and decided it was better to completely step away from the Kings organization rather than be cast into the abyss of the Golden One Center where he would have no role. He will be paid the remaining three years on his contract, so do not cry for him Sacramento. But I am sure he would gladly trade all that money for three more years to try and make his ultimate vision work. “This was a difficult decision, but we believe it is the best path ahead as we work to build a winning team that our loyal fans deserve. We are thankful for Vlade’s leadership, commitment & hard work both on and off the court", said Vivek Ranadive. "He will always be a part of our Kings family.” Ranadive went on to praise Joe Dumars efforts with the Kings so far and what he hopes is a smooth transition of power and a positive step forward for the team. "Joe has become a trusted & valued advisor since joining the team last year, & I am grateful to have him take on this role at an important time for the franchise.” Initial reports indicate that the permanent GM job is Dumars’ if he wants it, but it is uncertain if that will happen as he was very clear with the team last year that he was only interested in an advisory role based out of his Southern California home. If he chooses to look outside the organization for the next general manager, it likely will not happen until next season. Head coach Luke Walton has been assured by the team that his job is safe for the 2020-21 season. He is signed through 2022-23 and it would make no sense for the team to start a coaching search before a permanent GM can be put in place first. He is also a highly touted coaching talent and could still be the right man for the job moving forward. Assistant GMs Peja Stoijakovic and Ken Catanella’s futures are not yet known, but Catanella did work under Dumars during their time together with the Detroit Pistons and is a respected salary cap guru around the league. However, it is expected that no further major front office shake ups will occur until the conclusion of the 2020 draft and free-agency season with Dumars having the final say on all fronts. The Kings have a lot of major decisions to make and it is unclear at this point which way the franchise will go now. So, there you have it. Vlade Divac came back to Sacramento in 2015 to try and save his beloved Kings. He was probably the only man who loved the team enough to step into that firestorm and believe he could tame the flames. But ultimately, he too got burned. Running the Sacramento Kings is probably the hardest job in the NBA, aside from the New York Knicks, and whoever takes the reins next needs to accept that position with their eyes wide open. It is different in Sacramento.
- Hield frustrated with the Bubble, role with Kings
Buddy Hield is never shy about expressing his opinions, and Thursday afternoon was no exception. Following the Sacramento Kings 136-122 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers to wrap up the 8-game Bubble league and the 2019-20 season, Hield was very brief with the media during his post-game Zoom session. He looked like a man ready to get the hell out of Disney. While the fourth-year sharp-shooter did not come right out and explicitly say it, he responded to questions about his feelings regarding being content with his role with the team as a sixth man very clearly. “Ya’ll know me. Ya’ll know how I talk. Ya’ll know how I feel…I will let Ya’ll answer that for yourselves”, snapped Hield. The truth is, Buddy is about to enter a four-year extension with the Kings that will pay him a reported $86 million, with individual and team performance incentives worth an additional $20 million. He does not have much leverage at this point. He can mope and whine, but in the end, he will have to play for a chance to get those$5 million in first-year incentives. Vlade Divac and the front office will likely need to consider Hield’s attitudes this summer when they make their decision on whether to bring back starting shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic. They have several options. Let Bogi go and start Buddy. Sign Bogi and trade Buddy. Or sign Bogi and keep Buddy, and one of them will need to come off the bench next year. Whatever they choose, someone will be unhappy. But this is the NBA, it is a business, and no one is ever truly happy when the game they love is turned into a business. I honestly believe this is just another case of Buddy being Buddy. Sure, his ego tells him that he is a starter in the NBA, but his defense says otherwise. Once Hield can stop being the weak link on defense in the opponent’s scouting report, he can earn that starting role back. He should look at this as a challenge to be better, not as a right that was taken away from him. But do not get me wrong. I love Buddy, and look forward to him bombing three-pointers for the Kings next season. Whenever that is.
- Kings ground Pelicans again in the Bubble 112-106
In a game that was originally touted as the probable showdown for a chance at the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Sacramento Kings defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 112-106 Tuesday night in Orlando. Despite the victory, the contest was anything but the pinnacle of the 8-game bubble restart. Two days earlier both squads were officially eliminated from playoff contention after rather lackluster showings during the first half of the NBA restart. New Orleans was labeled the media darlings with rookie sensation Zion Williamson posed to take the Bubble by storm and rise the Pelicans to an anticipated first-round series with the Los Angeles Lakers. Well, that did not even come close to happening and Williamson had already been shut down for the season prior to Tuesday’s game. The Kings had much lower expectations from the national brass, but locally, fans had hoped that the team that went 13-7 to close out the end of the regular season before it was cut short by the Covid-19 outbreak, could maintain their hot play and keep rolling in the Bubble. That did not happen either. So, there you have it, two teams more interested in going home to their families than playing a meaningless game on TNT in front of an empty arena. The excitement was palpable. Sort of. Harrison Barnes led Sacramento with 25 points, eight rebounds, and two steals, while Bogdan Bogdanovic continued his hot play of late with 16 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. De’Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes, and Kent Bazemore did not suit up due to various ailments and are not expected to see any more action this year. Check out the game highlights and interviews with coach Luke Walton and swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic for all the action and postgame insights.
- Kings Orlando training camp interviews – July 26, 2020
Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton talks about his team’s health, including updates on Richaun Holmes, Harrison Barnes, and De’Aaron Fox during a Sunday morning Zoom call with the media. Also hear from rookie Kyle Guy and Harry Giles as they discuss the opportunities the NBA restart is providing them.
- Kings try to paint SacTown red with new City Edition uniforms
The Sacramento kings recently revealed their 2019 Nike City Edition Uniforms, and they are red. Very red. In holding to their City Edition tradition, the team has decided to forgo any sense of creativity or connection with the Sacramento region and just copy last season’s version with a different color scheme. This year the theme is red, as they have played out the baby blues for long enough. They swapped out the primary color and wove the usual grey, white, and baby blue throughout the uni and slapped on the traditional “SacTown” name on the front to link them with the city. They look like rather colorful summer league jerseys. “The City Edition uniforms were made to represent the Proud Past and Proud Future of our Kings here in Sacramento,” said team President of Business Operations John Rinehart. “With red as the primary color, they represent that passion and energy that has echoed through our arena and helps celebrate the team’s 35th year in Sactown.” The team will dawn their new threads during seven home games in the 2019-20 season along with their red, white, and blue classic court. November 30 vs. Denver Nuggets December 2 vs. Chicago Bulls December 11 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder December 13 vs. New York Knicks December 23 vs. Houston Rockets February 7 vs. Miami Heat February 8 vs. San Antonio Spurs Fan response has been mixed so far. Some are excited by the retro color scheme, while others are bored with it already and confused why the team went red. The Kings and Nike really need to step up their uni game next season and come up with a theme that truly captures the essence of the city and region of Sacramento. Otherwise, we will just end up with the same uniforms as previous years, but next time grey will be the primary color. Be sure to check out the other team City Editions that have been released so far in Pete Blackburn’s column Grading the 2019-20 NBA ‘City’ uniforms. The best and worst jerseys from across the league. Sacramento wasn't the only team that missed the point.
- More jersey messages revealed
The jersey messages for a couple more Sacramento Kings have been revealed. Harry Giles chose “Say Her Name” in honor of all the strong black women who have helped shape him as a person. Cory Joseph will wear “Black Lives matter” as that message resonates with his belief that “black lives matter too and we want to be treated the same”.
- Game, set, season? Kings fall to Nets
Tired, short-handed, and a little too nonchalant on defense, the Sacramento Kings were roughed up by the Brooklyn Nets 119-106 Friday afternoon at The Arena in Orlando. The loss put the Kings on the brink of official elimination from playoff contention in the 8-game Bubble League. This was not much of a game to watch. Sacramento was clearly outmatched by Brooklyn in nearly every aspect of the game, but most importantly effort and the desire to win. I will admit, during multiple stretches of the game, I found myself focusing on my day job rather than the early afternoon broadcast on NBA League Pass. Bogdan Bogdanovic had another solid offensive outing with 27 points and six rebounds, but he was a team-worse -20 on the +/-. De’Aaron Fox added 21 points and seven assists, while Harrison Barnes contributed 16 points and six rebounds. Richaun Holmes left the game after just 11 minutes of action with hip soreness that had been bothering him prior to the game. Kent Bazemore missed the contest with right calf soreness. The game was Sacramento's third in the last four days.
- Kings lose to Bucks 123-131, but that wasn’t the story
The Sacramento Kings made a game of it late, but still fell to the Milwaukee Bucks 131-123 Saturday afternoon in Orlando. But if you caught the game, you would have said it was never close. Milwaukee’s size, strength, athleticism, and outside shooting dominated Sacramento’s patchwork lineup throughout the first half of the contest as they dropped 80 on the Kings to lead by 20 at the break. With Harry Giles being their only one true center on the active roster, the Kings looked like boys against men out there. The Bucks would attack the paint, the Kings would collapse to help the not-so-big bigs, and the ball would be kicked outside for a wide open three. By the end, Milwaukee splashed 20 three-pointers, including six by the Lopez brothers. When 7-footers are doing that to your team, its game over. But this was a scrimmage, and the outcome was not really the priority for Sacramento. De’Aaron Fox made his Orlando debut and appeared rusty at times, but there were no signs of his ankle slowing him down. In 19 minutes of action, he finished with seven points and six assists, and most importantly showed the speed this team needs to be successful. Afterwards, he told the media that he felt good and expected to play in the team’s final scrimmage on Monday. Buddy Hield had another solid game with 19 points off the bench, while Corey Brewer added 12 on an efficient 5-6 shooting, including 2-2 from deep. Probably the most noticeable improvement over their last game was how they took care of the ball. After committing 16 turnovers in a 40-minute game three days earlier, the Kings had just ten in today’s regulation contest. The only better news that could trump that is no one got hurt, and Richaun Holmes is expected to participate in Monday’s scrimmage finale against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kings are slowly getting back to full strength. Will it be enough? Post-game Interviews Pre-game Interview
- Go figure, the Kings just keep beating the Clippers
The Sacramento Kings wrapped up their brief 3-game scrimmage season in the Orlando Bubble with a come-from-behind 106—102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers Monday afternoon at The Arena. The game marked the return of Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes, who had been away from the team for various chicken wing and Coronavirus reasons. Both looked good, finishing with six points and five rebounds, and 12 points and six rebounds, respectively. Both should be ready to go with no limitations on Friday when the Kings kickoff their 8-game restart against the San Antonio Spurs. De’Aaron Fox played in his second scrimmage and is looking more comfortable on the floor, as he contributed 12 points, six assists, and four rebounds in 27 minutes of action. He too will be fully ready for Friday’s game As for the contest itself, Sacramento was again outplayed by the opponent’s starters and fell behind early. But the Kings are one of the league’s deepest teams and the reserves stabilized things and eventually pulled ahead of the Clippers’ reserves in the final minutes with a little help from Mr. Big Shots Nemanja Bjelica who delivered the long-distance dagger once again to seal the win. But, enough talk, check out the highlights and see it all for yourself.
- Kings basketball is back, I think
After a 133-day delay, we finally got some Sacramento kings basketball. Well, sort of. The Kings faced the Miami Heat Wednesday night at the HP Fieldhouse just outside Orlando and played a meaningless scrimmage that ultimately ended in a 104-98 defeat to the squad from South Florida. Buddy Hield came off the bench and after a slow start, heated up to finish with 19 points and five rebounds in the shortened 40-minute game. Kent Bazemore got the start at small forward and contributed 11 points and two steals, while DaQuan Jeffries had an impressive showing with 12 points on 5-6 from the field, including 2-2 from deep. Playing without De’Aaron Fox, Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes, Alex Len, and Marvin Bagley, the team struggled against the Miami starting 5. An amazing barrage of 3-pointers from the Heat buried the Kings early, but once the reserves took the court, Sacramento was able to close the gap. They were never able to quite get over the hump and take a lead but held tough throughout the game with their limited roster. The Kings played with more pace than expected with Fox not in the lineup, but defensive rotation lapses left Miami wide open way too often on the perimeter and they nailed 14 threes as a result. Notes: With no fans in the stands, the game had an eerie feeling about it. Large digital boards tried to make the scene feel more alive, but it was more of a distraction than an enhancement. The court wasn’t very well mic’d up and the announcers sounded like they were on the other side of the country. Oh yeah, Gary Gerould and Doug Christie were actually on the other side of the country in Sacramento calling the game. All in all, it is nice to see Kings basketball again, but this bubble season is going to be hard to get excited about if the real games are as dull as this one was. The NBA is all about the hype, and there was not much hype tonight. Postgame: Buddy Hield Postgame: DaQuan Jeffries Postgame: Luke Walton
- Kings Orlando Training Camp Interviews - Day 1
Day 1 of the Orlando Training Camp for the Sacramento Kings featured interviews from head coach Luke Walton, center Richaun Holmes, and swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic via a Zoom call with the media. Why does it look like they are being held hostage in an undisclosed black site in these videos? 😀 Luke Walton Richaun Holmes Bogdan Bogdanovic
- Three Kings out with Coronavirus
The Sacramento Kings have not even held a team practice in preparation for the NBA’s 2019-20 season restart in Orlando, FL and they have already lost 20% of their players to the coronavirus. Not a very encouraging start. Forward Jabari Parker, center Alex Len, and guard Buddy Hield are all reportedly in self- quarantine until health officials can cleared them to join the rest of the squad at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. The team is scheduled to fly out to their Disney bubble on July 8 to prepare for their first game on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs. Parker was the first to report his positive test by releasing a statement through the team. “Several days ago, I tested positive for COVID-19 and immediately self-isolated in Chicago which is where I remain. I am progressing in my recovery and feeling well. I look forward to joining my teammates in Orlando as we return to the court for the resumption of the NBA season.” Shortly afterwards, Len posted a statement on his Instagram account confirming his test result as well. “I underwent testing yesterday in Sacramento and was found to be positive for COVID-19. I want to thank the Sacramento Kings for their great care and the NBA for putting the protocols in place to allow me to catch this early. I have immediately entered isolation and look forward to being cleared and rejoining my teammates for our playoff push.” While Hield has not released any formal statements, it was reported that he has confirmed reports of his positive test results and fully intends to rejoin his teammates very soon and expects to be ready to go on July 31. All three players who tested positive were residing outside of Sacramento when they contracted the virus.
- Kings waive Mika, Pineiro
Shortly after making their NBA preseason debuts in the Sacramento Kings 105-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns at the Golden 1 Center Thursday night, the team has announced that center Eric Mika and forward Isaiah Pineiro have been waived. This move brings the team’s roster down to 18 players with three more cuts remaining before the start of the regular season. Mika, the former BYU Cougar standout went undrafted in the 2017 NBA draft. He spent the past two years playing in Italy and Germany before joining the Kings’ 2019 Summer League squad where he averaged 8.8 points and 8.1 rebounds to earn an Exhibit 10 training camp invite on August 20. His hustle and rebounding prowess were a welcomed sight to a Sacramento team that has, of late, been a little lacking in that area. Pineiro, the 6’7” Sacramento area native attended Sierra College before transferring to the University of San Diego where he lit up the WCC during his junior and senior seasons. He went undrafted in the 2019 NBA draft before joining the Kings Summer League squad. He signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the team back on July 31. Pineiro also participated in the 2019 FIBA World Cup tournament in China as a member of the Puerto Rican national team. It is likely that both Mika and Pineiro will be joining the Kings G-League team in Stockton for the 2019-20 season.
- Kings Orlando Training Camp Interviews – Day 3
Harry Giles, Cory Joseph, and coach Luke Walton speak to the media via a Zoom call. More jersey messages revealed and some insights on who is looking good so far. Harry Giles Cory Joseph Luke Walton
- Kings Mini Camp Interviews - Day 3
Harrison Barnes and Kent Bazemore speak with the media via a Zoom call on Friday. Beards, Bowling balls, and life in the bubble are all covered. Harrison Barnes Kent Bazemore ore
- Alex Len makes his Bubble debut
Center Alex Len made his long-awaited Bubble appearance Tuesday afternoon in the Sacramento Kings’ 110-114 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The 7-foot big man saw three minutes of action and scored a quick three points in his return. His size and defensive presence will be a much-needed factor if the Kings expect to make any noise during their five remaining games in Orlando. Len missed nearly all the team’s training camp sessions after it was announced on June 24 that he had tested positive for the Coronavirus. Unlike teammates Buddy Hield, Jabari Parker, and Harrison Barnes, Alex was hit hard and could not maintain a consistent level of activity while he awaited to rejoin the team in Orlando. As a result, the Kings have chosen to bring him back slowly to ensure he is ready for action. Assuming he experienced no setbacks following his activity today, he should be ready for Thursday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
- Fox discusses the good, the bad, and the ugly about Kings Bubble season
Sacramento Kings starting point guard De’Aaron Fox spoke with the media Sunday morning prior to the team’s game against the Houston Rockets. He discussed life in the bubble, Buddy Hield’s struggles, and what he felt the team had done well so far and what they needed to improve on. A very candid discussion by a player knowing his season is likely over in just a few days.
- Buddy gets some love, signs extension with Kings
Picture this. Its 2am early Monday morning and Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield is sitting in a room with general manager Vlade Divac with just 13 hours left before the deadline for rookie extensions expires. A life-changing decision for one and a critical financial commitment for the other is on the line. Tick tick tick. The weeks leading up to this moment were filled with public drama and serious concerns by both sides that a deal might not get done and the fallout could wreck what could have been a magical season in Sacramento. Yes, it was starting to look like one of those obnoxious sports reality television shows, but cooler heads prevailed, and the result was a contract extension that both parties can live with. And that’s all you can really ask for in negotiations like this. Hield landed a 4-year $86 million contract extension that will keep him in Kings purple through the 2023-24 season. Not bad for a kid from the Bahamas who never could have imagined such a windfall while playing high school ball just 10 years ago. Divac locked up the first member of his young core for the next five years that includes Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Aaron Fox, and Marven Bagley. Those deals loom, ahead for the Kings GM and he really needed to get this one done now. The Deal Beginning in the 2020-21 season, Buddy will earn a contract-high $24.4 million and then his salary will decline by roughly eight percent in each of the remaining three years. By the final year of the contract, his salary would be a rather manageable $18.6 million. Or, just 13 percent of the team’s total cap. Assuming cap projections hold true. 2020-21: $24.4 million 2021-22: $22.4 million 2022-23: $20.5 million 2023-24: $18.6 million So now to the fun stuff… On top of Buddy’s base salary, is approximately $20 million in performance incentives. This amount is broken out over the life of the contract and includes both individual performance and team performance bonuses that could total some $106 million when it is all said and done. While some incentives are quite attainable, others are, well… Let’s just say that as Kings fans we would love for Buddy to get the full $106 million. According to Jason Jones of The Athletic, here are the available incentive bonuses for year one. Years 2-4 are likely similar in nature. Play at least 70 games AND shoot 85 percent from the free-throw line ($500,000) Average fewer than two turnovers per game ($500,000) Lead the league in made 3-pointers ($500,000) Post a defensive rating below 110.5 ($500,000) Be named an All-Star ($500,000) Help the Kings make the playoffs ($500,000) Help the Kings make it to the second round of the playoffs (additional $250,000) Help the Kings make it to the Western Conference Finals (additional $500,000) Help the Kings make the NBA Finals (additional $1 million) This is a nice combination of individual and team goals to motivate Hield to improve in areas of his game that the team feels he needs to work on. If he achieves the individual goals, the team goals should fall into place and everyone wins. It will be fun to track his progress during the season And that’s what came out of that 2am marathon. One can only imagine what kind of crazy incentives were on the table that morning, but the result was the first step to keeping this young “super team” together for many years to come.
- De'Aaron Fox is back
Just 36 days after suffering a Grade 3 sprain of his left ankle during a mishap in practice, De’Aaron Fox is back on the court breaking the ankles of his opponents. The Sacramento Kings’ third-year point guard returned to action Tuesday night in Charlotte to score 19 points and dish out eight assists off the bench as the Kings fell to the Hornets 102-110. The loss dropped the squad to 12-15 on the young season. While some might fret over the defeat, the big picture is far more positive. Fox looked very spry during all 30 minutes he was on the court and did not appear to be hampered in any way by the ankle. He also showed off a nice shooting touch following his 17-game absence, hitting 6-13 shots, and 2-6 from behind the arc. In fact, De’Aaron’s ankle was feeling so good Tuesday night that he decided to hurdle Charlotte’s Devonte Graham late in the 3rd quarter. The shame was that even though he cleared him, the refs called a foul because no one is supposed to be able to hurdle an NBA player.
- Kokoskov leaving Kings to head up Fenerbahce
Sacramento Kings assistant coach Igor Kokoskov has agreed to be the next head coach of Fenerbahce in Istanbul. He will continue his coaching duties with the Kings through the completion of the 2019-20 season restart in Orlando, FL before heading overseas. Fenerbahce was Bogdan Bogdanovic’s old team from 2014 to 2017, and is widely viewed as one of Europe's top clubs..