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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.

isaiah thomas

The Sacramento Kings today extended a qualifying offer to Isaiah Thomas, making him a restricted free agent, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Thomas, a three-year NBA veteran, has accrued averages of 15.3 points (.447 FGs, .360 3FGs, .857 FTs), 2.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.03 steals per game through 216 outings (started 153) with Sacramento after being selected No. 60 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its right of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent, the team must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30. A restricted free agent may sign an offer sheet with any team, but is subject to a right of first refusal with the team for which the player last played.

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

Rudy Gay staying with Kings for 2014-15 season

The Kings’ courtship of Rudy Gay did not begin with a meeting in Sacramento earlier this month.

It began in December, when the Kings traded for Gay in a seven-player deal with Toronto and knew he could become a free agent after the 2013-14 season.

The Kings’ effort paid off Sunday, when Gay informed the team he would opt in for the final year of his contract, worth $19.3 million, for next season, league sources confirmed. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized.

Gay had until June 30 to decide whether to return to the Kings or become a free agent. With Gay on board for next season, the team will look to negotiate a contract extension this summer.

Kings open to trading No.8 draft pick

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Kings:

The Sacramento Kings are fielding offers from three teams for the No. 8 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, sources with direct knowledge told ESPN on Monday.

Sources said the Kings have two deals that could be done prior to Thursday’s 2 p.m. ET trade deadline to change the draft order and one would be a draft night deal, depending on which players are available when the Kings select.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee with a report on the ongoing quest for a new Sacramento NBA arena:

New Sacramento arena agreement not finalized just yet

The Sacramento City Council’s historic vote on the new downtown arena for the Kings won’t take place May 13, after all.

Unable to complete the fine points of the development agreement in time, Sacramento officials Saturday postponed indefinitely the vote on the Downtown Plaza project and the city’s proposed $255 million subsidy.

Nonetheless, officials said they remained confident the deal is moving forward, the delay will be brief and the project’s October 2016 scheduled opening isn’t in peril.

“The definitive agreements are in the last stages of completion and will be finalized soon,” the city said in its announcement.

Kings recall Willie Reed from D-League

Kings recall Willie Reed from D-League

The Sacramento Kings today recalled forward Willie Reed from the Kings D-League affiliate Reno Bighorns, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

The Bighorns’ season came to a close Sunday night with a 115-93 playoff loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Reed averaged 9.5 points (.643 FG%, 1-2 FT), 8.5 rebounds, 2.00 blocks and 25.0 minutes per game in two postseason contests for Reno.

Reed, a 6-10, 220-pound forward, 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 games off the bench for the Bighorns this season. He scored in double-figures in all five appearances and recorded two double-doubles.

Earlier this season, Reed played for the NBA D-League Springfield Armor and averaged 14.8 points (.590 FG%, .612 FT%), 10.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.6 blocks per game in 31.8 minutes per game in 44 games, of which he started 33.

Reed previously played with Sacramento during the 2012 preseason when he averaged 0.8 points (1-3 FG, 1-2 FT), 1.0 rebounds, and 2.8 minutes per game in four preseason contests before being waived. He went on to play in his first stint for the Springfield Armor, earning Honorable Mention All-Development League Team honors after averaging 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game before joining the Memphis Grizzlies for the remainder of the season.

DeMarcus Cousins suspended one game for receiving 16th technical foul of season

The Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins has received a one-game suspension without pay for receiving his 16th technical foul of the 2013-14 season, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Under NBA rules, a player or coach is automatically suspended without pay for one game once he receives his 16th technical foul during a regular season. For every two additional technical fouls received during that regular season, the player or coach will be automatically suspended for an additional game.

Cousins received his most recent technical foul with 1:13 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 106-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 13, at Sleep Train Arena. Cousins will serve his suspension in the Kings’ season finale on Wednesday, April 16, when Sacramento hosts the Phoenix Suns.

To view the play, click on this link.

Watch video highlights of former NBA guard Mitch Richmond, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and an early April 1 joke:

DeMarcus Cousins created a stir on the Internet on Sunday night.

And he had fun doing so.

Pictures surfaced of Cousins’ first “album” under the name Boogie Smooth titled “Misunderstood,” with the first single being a rhythm and blues groove titled “Emotional” featuring Chance The Rapper.

Cousins even asked via Twitter on Monday if he could be any worse than Shaquille O’Neal or Chris Webber, who also dabbled in music during their careers.

But Boogie Smooth’s career is all in fun. Cousins, who is friends with rap stars Drake and Rick Ross, is not about to become a part-time R&B crooner.

Cousins laughed when asked about the musical project, as did his teammates. Coach Michael Malone even found the musical venture comical.

Here’s NBA.com reporting on the Sacramento Kings and Rudy Gay:

He says he has not made a decision on the $19.3 million on the table or whether he wants to remain with the Kings at any price. He has so not made a decision, Rudy Gay insists, that he is asked to list a couple factors that will go into the final call and responds, “I don’t know.”

It is long after another loss at Sleep Train Arena, this time to the Knicks, in a near-empty locker room after most teammates have left. Gay is sitting in front of his stall, showered and changed and contemplating the unexpected search for career stability.

Memphis for 6 ½ seasons, and then suddenly Toronto and Sacramento in a little more than 10 months, and the career intersection over whether to stay in the current contract with $19.3 million on the books for 2014-15 or declare himself a free agent is approaching. In that setting, feeling so undefined about the future is actually understandable.

“What does my gut tell me?” Gay says of the looming decision and possibly decisions, plural. “I don’t know. My gut tells me different things every day.”

Sacramento Kings sign Jared Cunningham to 10-day contract

The Sacramento Kings today signed guard Jared Cunningham to a 10-day contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

In his second NBA season, Cunningham totaled two points (1-2 FG, 0-1 3pt, 0-2 FT), one rebound, three assists and 22 minutes in five games off the bench for the Atlanta Hawks before being waived on February 22.

Cunningham was selected out of Oregon State in the first round (24th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded along with Jae Crowder and Bernard James to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Tyler Zeller and Kelenna Azubike.

In his rookie campaign with the Mavericks, he recorded a total of 16 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 26 minutes in eight contests off the bench.

The 6-4, 194-pound guard has also spent time in the D-League, playing for the Texas Legends (2012-13) and Bakersfield Jam (2013-14). With the Legends, Cunningham averaged 15.3 points (.335 FG%, .257 3pt%, .721 FT%), 2.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 34.5 minutes per game in 15 games, of which he started 13. Cunningham posted averages of 16.5 points (.394 FG%, .330 3pt%, .803 FT%), 3.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 31.1 minutes per game in 22 contests, starting 19 of those.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings, who likely face difficult economic decisions in the near future:

Rudy Gay

It was a bold move that signified the Kings would no longer see “cash considerations” as a primary asset gained through trades.

In December, new Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro, with the blessing of principal owner Vivek Ranadive, acquired three players from Toronto, with the headliner being forward Rudy Gay and the approximately $37 million he could earn over two seasons.

The deal made Isaiah Thomas a starter, and he’s flourished as a scoring point guard. With center DeMarcus Cousins, Thomas and Gay, the Kings have the only trio of players averaging 20 or more points on the same team.

This summer, the Kings will see how much it costs to keep a trio like that together.

Cousins will be entering the first year of a four-year, $62 million contract. Gay has a $19.3 million player option for next season. He could opt out and become a free agent, forcing the Kings to pay a bigger salary to retain him.

Kings sign Willie Reed for rest of season

The Sacramento Kings today signed forward-center Willie Reed for the remainder of the season, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. Reed will report immediately to the Reno Bighorns, the team’s D-League affiliate.

Reed, a 6-10, 220-pound forward-center, was averaging 14.8 points (.590 FG%, .612 FT%), 10.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.6 blocks per game in 31.8 minutes per game in 44 games of which he started 33 this season for the NBA D-League Springfield Armor.

Reed previously played with Sacramento during the 2012 preseason when he averaged 0.8 points (1-3 FG, 1-2 FT), 1.0 rebounds, and 2.8 minutes per game in four preseason contests before being waived. He went on to play in his first stint for the Springfield Armor, earning Honorable Mention All-Development League Team honors after averaging 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game before joining the Memphis Grizzlies for the remainder of the season.

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