Archive for the ‘ Sacramento Kings Blog ’ Category

DeMarcus Cousins knee injury is very minor

DeMarcus Cousins had a big bag of ice on his right knee while he watched the end of practice Thursday. He briefly covered his face with a towel as trainers milled around his table next to the folded gym bleachers.

Just making it to the World Cup of Basketball is proving to be quite a chore for the U.S. national team.

Cousins was injured when he got tangled with Anthony Davis after both big men hit the floor going after a loose ball during a scrimmage. An MRI on Cousins’ knee showed no structural damage, and USA Basketball said the Sacramento Kings star was day to day.

– AP

Kings sign center Sim Bhullar

kings

The Sacramento Kings have signed center Sim Bhullar to a contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

It’s unclear how long Bhullar will remain with the Kings or if he’ll be able to stick around in the NBA, but at least he has a shot to prove himself.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Bhullar becomes the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA team. The 7-foot-5, 360-pound center was a member of the Kings squad that captured the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League title in Las Vegas.

In his two seasons at New Mexico State, the Aggies standout averaged 10.2 points (.633 FG%, .496 FT%), 7.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 2.9 blocks and 25.3 minutes per game in 65 career games. Bhullar was a two-time Western Athletic Conference Tournament MVP, helping the school reach the NCAA Tournament in 2013 and 2014. As a freshman, he was named WAC Freshman of the Year after accruing averages of 10.1 points (.621 FG%, .465 FT%), 6.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 2.4 blocks and 24.4 minutes per game for the Aggies. He set a single-season school record for most blocked shots with 85 and his .621 field goal percentage ranked fourth on the NMSU single-season list and first in the WAC in 2012-13.

“I’ve long believed that India is the next great frontier for the NBA, and adding a talented player like Sim only underscores the exponential growth basketball has experienced in that nation,” said Kings Owner Vivek Ranadivé. “While Sim is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA franchise, he represents one of many that will emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention and generate ever-increasing passion among a new generation of Indian fans.”

During the past NBA 2013-14 season, the Kings televised over 20 live games in India, launched a website in Hindi to connect with a rapidly growing Hindi-speaking fan base from around the world, sent the Sacramento Kings players and dancers to Mumbai, and signed the team’s first India-based sponsor.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the future new home of the Kings:

kiings

After months of quiet prep work, the Sacramento Kings downtown arena construction project goes public this week.

Crews will be restriping J, L and Fifth streets, pushing traffic away from the site to give the project elbow room. Workers will erect 9-foot noise-dampening walls at key spots in the streets around the project in the next few days, allowing space for the first of up to 16,500 dump truck trips hauling demolition debris and dirt over the next few months. Tractors were being delivered to the site. Some demolition begins Friday.

Both J and L streets will maintain three lanes throughout the two-plus-year project. Crews, however, plan to take one northbound lane of Fifth Street where it dips under the mall to allow for truck access to the site. Several bus stops on L Street will be relocated to Capitol Mall in the next few days, and some portions of the J and L street sidewalks will be closed for the duration.

“That makes sure we have space outside the demolition zone for safety for the public,” said Matt Hiser, project supervisor with Turner Construction. “This is tight for Sacramento.”

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on former NBA shooting guard Mitch Richmond, who will soon be immortalized in the Basketball Hall of Fame:

mitch richmond

Mitch Richmond and his Run TMC teammates, Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway, made plenty of highlights during their two seasons together with the Warriors.

But it was Richmond’s seven seasons with the Kings – after the Warriors broke up Run TMC by trading the shooting guard out of Kansas State for the draft rights to Billy Owens – that made him a Hall of Famer.

That deal, on Nov. 1, 1991, sent Richmond from a two-time playoff team to the lowly Kings, who were coming off a 25-57 season, but it also gave Sacramento its first bona fide star player.

“I would drive back to Oakland (where he still lived), knowing we weren’t that good. … So when I was on the court, that was kind of my peace, playing,” Richmond said. “But when I was off the court, all those thoughts (of winning) came back, especially driving back to Golden State every time. At that time … Golden State was the headline.”

Richmond, who averaged 23.3 points for the Kings, will inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday in Springfield, Mass., the first Kings player of the Sacramento era so honored.

knicks trade wayne ellington

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has acquired forwards Quincy Acy and Travis Outlaw from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for guard Wayne Ellington and forward Jeremy Tyler. In addition, the Knicks have reduced the protection on the 2016 second-round draft selection acquired by Sacramento, via Portland.

According to the New York Daily News, “Ellington, slated to make $2.77 million this season, was acquired in the June deal from Dallas − along with Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Samuel Dalembert and two second-round picks − in exchange for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. The 6-10 Tyler, whose $948,000 option had yet to be exercised, averaged 9.7 minutes over 41 appearances for the Knicks last season.”

Acy, 6-7, 225-pounds, holds career averages of 3.1 points, on 50.0-percent shooting, 3.2 rebounds and 12.9 minutes over 92 games in two seasons with Toronto and Sacramento. This past season, he averaged 2.7 points and 3.4 rebounds over 13.4 minutes in 63 games for the Raptors and Kings. The Tyler, TX native played collegiately for four seasons at Baylor University, and was originally selected by the Raptors in the second round (37th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft.

Outlaw, 6-9, 210-pounds, holds career averages of 8.5 points, on 42.3-percent shooting, and 3.2 rebounds in 622 games (98 starts) over 11 seasons with Portland, L.A. Clippers, New Jersey and Sacramento. This past season for the Kings, he averaged 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds over 16.9 minutes in 63 games. The Starksville, MS native was originally selected in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft directly out of Starkville HS.

Ellington, 6-4, 200-pounds, holds career averages of 6.4 points and 17.9 minutes in 312 games over five NBA seasons with Minnesota, Memphis, Cleveland and Dallas. He was originally acquired by the Knicks in a multiple-player deal with the Mavericks on Jun. 25, 2014.

Tyler, 6-10, 250-pounds, has averaged 3.6 points and 2.6 rebounds over 9.9 minutes in 104 career games with Golden State, Atlanta and New York. The San Diego, CA-native, posted averages 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds over 9.7 minutes in 41 games for the Knicks this past season after signing as a free agent on Dec. 31, 2013.

Enjoy these video highlights from the NBA career of guard Mitch Richmond, who will soon be inducted in the Hall of Fame:

Kings sign Eric Moreland

The Sacramento Kings have signed Eric Moreland to a contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

The 6-10, 218-pound forward-center averaged 3.5 points (.444 FG%, .500 FT%), 8.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists, a team-high 2.7 blocks and 19.2 minutes per game in six games off the bench for the Kings Samsung NBA Summer League 2014 Championship squad. Moreland led all players in Las Vegas with 16 blocks and his blocks per game average was the highest among all players seeing action in at least four games.

According to the Sacramento Bee, “the Kings have been fans of Moreland’s game for a while. He was a part of the first pre-draft workout in June and a player the Kings wanted to monitor after the draft process. The Kings are looking for more athleticism along the frontline to help improve their defense and rim protection. If Moreland sticks and makes the regular-season roster, he could eventually help in that area.”

A two-time Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention, Moreland finished his career at Oregon State in 2013-14 as the Beavers’ all-time leader in blocked shots (184) and blocks per game (2.07 bpg).

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings’ young, super-talented big dude DeMarcus Cousins:

DeMarcus Cousins has opportunity to reach worldwide stage

On this warm, wet afternoon in the desert, DeMarcus Cousins sprinted toward the most significant few weeks of his professional career and, perhaps, of his young life.

The choice is his. The global stage awaits. The question hovers.

Is he ready to take his show on the road – to accompany the 2014 U.S. men’s national team to the FIBA World Cup next month in Spain – or will he let this gold medal opportunity slip through his undeniably capable fingers?

Cousins, who turns 24 on Aug. 13, has been here before. Sort of. This is his third appearance at the Team USA training camp, but his first as a contender for a roster spot. In previous summers, he was invited to scrimmage his NBA elders and prep the big boys for the upcoming world tournament and Olympics. Now, he has a chance to prove he’s all grown up, that his 6-foot-11, 270-pound frame can anchor a squad depleted the previous 48 hours by the withdrawals of power forwards Kevin Love and Blake Griffin.

“We have to have active bigs,” Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the opening practice. “Our main guy is Anthony Davis. Then we have to see who else fits in, but also how they fit in with the other guys. (Cousins) has continued to get into better shape. We love the fact he’s committed. He’s trying like crazy. He’s come (to the training session) multiple times. That level of commitment is not just to be admired, it needs to be talked about.”

Here’s the Sacramento Bee with an update on the Kings:

The Kings reached an agreement with third-year forward Quincy Acy and his agent to extend the deadline to guarantee his salary for next season until Aug. 15.

The deadline had been Saturday and without the extension the Kings were considering declining the option. The agreement allows the Kings to explore ways to shed salary and still retain Acy, who would be due $915,243 next season. His salary would put the Kings about $2 million from the luxury-tax line of $76.829 million.

Kings hope to change style of play

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings:

Kings hope to change style of play

Even before the end of last season, Kings coach Michael Malone spoke often about changing the team’s style of play.

Malone wanted the Kings to play smarter and faster, move the ball and commit more to defense. That’s how the San Antonio Spurs won the 2014 NBA championship.

Through free agency (point guard Darren Collison) and the draft (shooting guard Nik Stauskas), the Kings believe they have taken steps toward those changes while counting on growth and maturity from returning players.

Some of the returnees are being drilled in the new strategy during the NBA Summer League. Saturday, the Kings won their fourth in a row, beating the Chicago Bulls 80-61 at the Thomas & Mack Center to reach the semifinals.

Kings happy to land Darren Collison

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on teh Kings, who recently signed guard Darren Collison:

Kings happy to land Darren Collison

The Kings officially signed Collison to a three-year, $16 million contract Saturday to take over as the team’s starting point guard on the same day their trade of Isaiah Thomas to Phoenix became official.

Thomas is a more accomplished offensive player, but the Kings believe Collison’s speed and athleticism will allow the team to defend fullcourt more and get out in transition more on offense.

“Darren had a real appeal in terms of pace of play, his speed and his ability to increase our pace of play,” said Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro. “It’s what we talked about as a staff as a goal in the offseason, just to try to be a team that gets up and down the floor a little more quickly.”

The Kings ranked 14th in the NBA in pace at 96.75 possessions per 48 minutes last season. They were tied for 20th in offensive rating at 102.9. Offensive rating is the number of points scored per 100 possessions.

Kings hire Tyrone Corbin as assistant coach

The Sacramento Kings today hired Tyrone Corbin as an assistant coach on Head Coach Michael Malone’s staff, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Corbin enjoyed two successful stints with the Kings in 1995-96 and 1999-00, teaming with current assistant coach Corliss Williamson during both seasons and played under Kings Assistant General Manager Mike Bratz, who served as an assistant coach during the 1995-96 season.

Before joining the Kings, Corbin served as head coach of the Utah Jazz for four seasons, compiling a 112-146 (.434) record. Named head coach on February 10, 2011 following Jerry Sloan’s resignation, Corbin guided the Jazz to a winning record in two of his three full seasons at the helm and a playoff appearance in 2011. Prior to his promotion to head coach, Corbin was an assistant coach for the Jazz under Sloan from 2004-2011. Corbin joined the Jazz after spending the 2003-04 season as manager of player development for the New York Knicks and two seasons as a player mentor for the North Charleston Lowgators of the NBA D-League.

A native of Columbia, S.C., Corbin played for nine NBA teams during a 16-year NBA career (1985-2001), averaging 9.2 points (.456 FG%, .299 3pt%, .791 FT%), 4.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 26.0 minutes per game in 1,065 career games, 458 of which he started. Originally drafted by San Antonio in the second round (35th pick overall) of the 1985 NBA Draft out of DePaul University, his career included stops with the Spurs, Cleveland, Phoenix, Minnesota, Utah, Atlanta, Sacramento, Miami and Toronto.

Kings sign Darren Collison

Kings sign Darren Collison

The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent point guard Darren Collison to a multi-year contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

“Adding Darren provides veteran leadership in our backcourt,” said D’Alessandro. “His speed and quickness will undoubtedly increase our pace and he plays sound defense every night. We’re excited to have him join the team.”

Collison is entering his sixth NBA campaign after playing last season for the Los Angeles Clippers, where he averaged 11.4 points (.467 FG%, .376 3pt%, .857 FT%), 2.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 25.9 minutes per game in 80 games (started 35). He posted 13.3 points and 6.5 assists per contest during an 18-game stretch spelling an injured Chris Paul, helping the Clippers to a 12-6 mark during that span.

Originally selected by New Orleans with the 21st pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Collison has played five seasons with New Orleans (2009-10), Indiana (2010-11 – 2011-12), Dallas (2012-13) and Los Angeles. For his career, he is averaging 11.9 points (.464 FG%, .365 3pt%, .861 FT%), 2.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 28.7 minutes per game in 376 career contests.

isaiah thomas

The Phoenix Suns completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings that will send guard Isaiah Thomas to Phoenix in exchange for the rights to forward Alex Oriakhi, the club announced today.

“We welcome Isaiah Thomas,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “His addition to our backcourt makes it one of the deepest and most dynamic in the league. We have enjoyed getting to know him during his visit to Phoenix this week. He will quickly become a fan-favorite.”

“Isaiah is one of the most dynamic scorers and playmakers in the NBA,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “I have always admired his competitive spirit and his love for the game. He will be a great fit for our up-tempo attack and he will help solidify what we believe is the best backcourt in the league.”

The 5-9, 185-pound Thomas is a three-year NBA veteran who averaged career-highs of 20.3 points on 45.3 percent shooting, 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 72 games with the Kings last season. One of just six players in the NBA to average at least 20 points and six assists in 2013-14, Thomas registered a career-high of 38 points on two occasions this past season. Thomas also recorded his first career triple-double with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Washington on March 18.

A career 44.7 percent shooter from the floor, including 36.0 percent from three-point range, Thomas is an efficient scorer whose 15.3-point career average has come on 11.6 field goal attempts per game. In Thomas’ two games at US Airways Center last season, the guard from Tacoma, Wash., averaged 26.0 points on 57.6 percent shooting, including a 29-point performance in Phoenix on Dec. 13.

The final selection (60th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft out of the University of Washington, Thomas has posted the fourth highest scoring average of his draft class through three seasons. In 216 career games, all with Sacramento, he has scored in double figures 162 times, including 72 games with 20-plus points and eight games scoring 30-plus points. Thomas has also posted 12 career games with double-digit assists, with each performance also representing a double-double.

A second round pick (57th overall) by the Suns out of the University of Missouri in the 2013 NBA Draft, Oriakhi played internationally and in the NBA D-League this past season. Oriakhi, who had been included on the Suns’ summer league roster, will no longer play with the Suns at NBA Summer League 2014 in Las Vegas.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting that a pretty talented guard is finding a new home:

Isaiah Thomas headed to Suns in sign-and-trade deal

The Sacramento Kings will send restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas to the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade deal after reaching a new four-year, $28 million contract, sources confirmed to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst.

In return, the Kings will acquire a $7 million trade exception and the rights to forward Alex Oriakhi, the 57th overall pick in 2013.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the deal.

Thomas averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game last season, both career-highs.

Kings sign first round draft pick Nik Stauskas

The Sacramento Kings on Tuesday signed first-round draft pick Nik Stauskas (STOUS-kiss) to a contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. Sacramento selected Stauskas out of the University of Michigan with the eighth-overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

As a first round draft pick, Stauskas was guaranteed to receive a contract. This signing is standard and was expected.

An early entry candidate, the 6-6, 205-pound Stauskas earned numerous All-American honors and was named the 2013-14 Big 10 Player of the Year after averaging 17.5 points (.470 FG%, .442 3pt%, .824 FT%), 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 35.6 minutes per game in 36 appearances for the Wolverines during his sophomore campaign. In two seasons with Michigan, Stauskas helped the Wolverines to the NCAA Tournament title game in 2013 and a Big Ten Championship and an Elite Eight appearance in 2014, finishing with career averages of 14.1 points (.467 FG%, .441 3pt%, .832 FT%), 2.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 32.9 minutes per game in 75 contests. In the Michigan record books, he is ranked second all-time in career free throw percentage, fifth in three-point field goal percentage, eighth in three-point field goals made (172) and 10th in three-point field goals attempted (390).

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings:

The Sacramento Kings are abandoning the arena that has the fewest seats in the NBA. They’re building a new arena … with the fewest seats in the NBA.

The $477 million arena at Downtown Plaza, set to begin construction later this month, will seat just 17,500 fans. That’s fewer than 200 additional seats compared to Sleep Train Arena, which is widely considered outmoded and inadequate for NBA use.

The Kings’ owners say their new building will be more lucrative than Sleep Train through the magic of modern arena design. There will be far more seats in the lower bowl, translating into higher ticket prices. There will be twice as many “premium” seats, including luxury suites and lofts, which will come with VIP perks and be among the most expensive tickets in the house. Those features will more than offset the relatively small total seating capacity, team officials say.

“There will be a massive change in comfort, in amenities, in concessions,” said Kings President Chris Granger, who is overseeing design and construction. “That’s why we’re doing it.”

At 745,000 square feet, including the practice facility, the new arena will be almost 70 percent bigger than Sleep Train.

But why so few seats? The designers are following a less-is-more revolution taking place in sports economics. Spacious arenas with 20,000-plus seats are giving way to cozier buildings that, paradoxically, can generate as much, if not more, profit than the big-box facilities. It’s no coincidence that the newest NBA arena, the 2-year-old Barclays Center in Brooklyn, is currently the league’s smallest with a capacity of 17,732.

Kings waive forward Willie Reed

Kings waive forward Willie Reed

The Sacramento Kings waived forward Willie Reed, according to Kings General manager Pete D’Alessandro.

The 6-10, 200-pound forward was signed as a free agent by the Kings on March 26, 2014. He did not see action in any regular season games with the Kings. Reed was assigned to the Kings’ D-League affiliate Reno Bighorns and averaged 13.6 points (.649 FG%, .800 FT%), 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 2.4 blocks and 25.0 minutes per game in five contests off the bench.

Kings land sharpshooter Nik Stauskas

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings and the 2014 NBA Draft, which took place last night:

michael redd

After all the speculation the Kings would trade their pick, Sacramento kept it and selected Michigan guard Nik Stauskas at No. 8 in the 2014 NBA draft.

The front office believes the Canadian-born shooter will help fill multiple holes, but most importantly he can shoot from deep.

The Kings made improving their outside shooting a priority, and Stauskas was one of the best available.

When asked if he was the best shooter in the draft, Stauskas said: “Definitely. Without a doubt.”

Stauskas doesn’t want to be known simply as a shooter, but he realizes why the Kings coveted him.

Rudy Gay exercises option to stay with Kings for 2014-15 season

Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay has exercised his contract option for the 2014-15 season, General Manager Pete D’Alessandro announced today.

“We’re thrilled that Rudy will return to Sacramento next season,” said Kings Chairman and Majority Owner Vivek Ranadivé. “He quickly demonstrated consistency both on the court and in the community, and we regard him as a valuable member of our organization moving forward.”

In his eighth NBA season, Gay was acquired by the Kings along with Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez on December 9, 2013. With the Kings, Gay averaged 20.1 points (.482 FG%, .312 3pt%, .836 FT%), 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.22 steals and 34.4 minutes per game in starting all 55 games he played in. Gay finished the 2013-14 season with averages of 20.0 points (.455 FG%, .330 3pt%, a career-high .822 FT%), 6.0 rebounds, a career-high 2.9 assists, 1.30 steals and 34.7 minutes per game in starting all 73 games he played with Sacramento and Toronto.

Gay is averaging 18.2 points (.451 FG%, .342 3pt%, .784 FT%), 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.35 steals and 35.9 minutes per game in 585 career contests.

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