Archive for the ‘ Sacramento Kings Blog ’ Category

The Sacramento Kings announced today they have waived guard Marshall Henderson and forward Vince Hunter, according to Kings Vice President and General Manager Vlade Divac. The Kings roster stands at 16. Both players logged two minutes off the bench in the October 13th game against the Lakers in Las Vegas.

Rudy Gay off to hot preseason start

When a player is on fire like Rudy Gay is lately, there’s reason for optimism, even if it is just the warm-up period that is NBA preseason. Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

Rudy Gay off to hot preseason start

Rudy Gay looks comfortable in George Karl’s system.

For the second consecutive preseason game, Gay shot 10 of 13, this time tallying 26 points as the Kings defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-92 Thursday night at Sleep Train Arena.

Gay has hit 8 of 10 three-point attempts in the past two games. He made 2 of 3 beyond the arc on Thursday.

“He wasn’t shooting the ball very well for most of training camp,” said Karl, the Kings’ coach. “He didn’t play very well in Portland (on Monday). I think it was just pride that he said he wanted to come out and start playing better.”

Rudy Gay scores 30 in preseason loss

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings, who like the league’s other 29 teams are just getting their feet wet in preseason:

Darren Collison missed a three-pointer that would have given the Kings the lead with 3.8 seconds to play, and Sacramento fell to 1-1 in the preseason with a 102-98 loss to the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The Kings committed 21 turnovers. Kings coach George Karl said many of them were unforced errors.

“I think we’ve had 40 turnovers in two nights and bet 60 percent, 70 percent are unforced,” Karl said. “Some of that’s not knowing each other; some of that’s trying to do a little bit too much in a crowd, putting yourself in difficult decision-making places. I think we’ll get better at it.”

Rudy Gay scores 30 in preseason loss

Rudy Gay led the Kings with 30 points. He made 10 of 13 shots, including 7 of 8 on three-pointers. DeMarcus Cousins added 15 points on 3-for-12 shooting and eight rebounds. T.J. Warren and Jon Leuer led Phoenix (1-0) with 17 points apiece.

Marco Belinelli scores 32 in preseason win for Kings

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings in NBA preseason, which is a mere tuneup for the regular season but still useful as a gage to see which players are in shape, or may have added something to their game, etc:

Marco Belinelli scores 32 in preseason win for Kings

The plan was not to play anyone in the rotation anywhere near 30 minutes, but Marco Belinelli and Darren Collison forced Kings coach George Karl to re-evaluate.

Belinelli scored a game-high 32 points and Collison had 21 points and 10 assists to lead the Kings to a 109-105 overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night at Moda Center. It was the preseason opener for both teams.

After a slow start by the Kings, the bench, led by Collison and Belinelli, outscored the Blazers’ reserves 29-15 in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings, whose new point guard Rajon Rondo is reportedly trying to step up early as a leader and mentor. Rondo is coming off an extremely disappointing season, so it’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back, especially in a new environment:

Even on a day at training camp when he sat out because of an injury, Rondo couldn’t be still or keep quiet. He walked around the court at UC San Diego’s Rimac Arena, pointing out spots on the floor where David Stockton might be able to better execute a play.

After Saturday’s practice, Rondo asked assistant coaches to help him show teammates how to run a set properly.

The Kings signed the four-time All-Star to a one-year deal to help them solidify the point guard spot and boost an offense short on players adept at passing.

Rondo already has taken the reins as a vocal leader, something the Kings have lacked for years.

“He’s a guy who just talks, talks, talks and tries to make the team better,” said forward Rudy Gay, who has known Rondo since high school. “That’s what you need out of your point guard.”

Kings exercise 2016-17 contract option on Ben McLemore

The Sacramento Kings announced today they have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore’s contract, according to Kings Vice President and General Manager Vlade Divac.

Entering his third NBA campaign, the 6-5 guard averaged 12.1 points (.437 FG%, .358 3pt%, .813 FT%), 2.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 32.6 minutes per contest in starting all 82 games he played in last season.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee providing insight on a key Kings big man:

On how Kosta Koufos will help the Kings

One player whom coach George Karl has raved about during training camp says he can help the Kings’ offense without scoring or making an assist.

Kosta Koufos says a good screen can be just as important as finding an open shooter, which he learned by dedication to his craft.

“Patience, experience and just being efficient – those little things (translate) to big things.” Koufos said after Friday’s practice at UC San Diego. “If you’re rolling to the basket and you’re not getting the ball, you’re still getting other guys open on the wings. Little things like that carry over in the long run.”

Koufos wasn’t Sacramento’s flashiest free-agent signing during the offseason. The 7-foot, 265-pound center enters his eighth season averaging 5.4 points and 4.7 rebounds. But Koufos’ patience in refining his game could prove to be exactly what the Kings need. His presence on offense could allow DeMarcus Cousins more freedom to play away from the basket.

Minutes  may be tough to come by, however

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on new Kings guard Seth Curry, brother of Stephen, who now has his best opportunity so far to solidify himself as a true NBA’er:

Seth Curry now has chance to establish himself

Seth Curry can relax a little, right?

Since going undrafted out of Duke in 2013, the 6-foot-2 guard has played in the NBA Development League and had brief stints in Memphis, Cleveland and Phoenix.

He now has a two-year guaranteed contract for $1.96 million with the Kings, assuring he will be on the opening night roster against the Los Angeles Clippers. But that’s not how Curry, the younger brother of Golden State star Stephen Curry, is approaching the season.

“I wouldn’t say more relaxed,” Curry said after Thursday’s practice at UC San Diego. “I think it just gives me a sense of trying to fit in with the team and find my role instead of just trying to make the team. But I still have the same sense of urgency that I’ve had in the past.”

Curry caught the Kings’ attention with a spectacular showing during summer league in Las Vegas, where he averaged 24.3 points for New Orleans. Curry impressed with his savvy and perimeter shooting, two assets coveted by Kings general manager Vlade Divac while revamping the roster.

A prove-it year for Rajon Rondo

A prove-it year for Rajon Rondo

Here’s the Boston Herald discussing former Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who now finds himself on the the Sacramento Kings, and lower on the league-wide point guard hierarchy than in the past:

A prove-it year for Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo fully had expected to be the object of a free agent bidding war and come out of this offseason with a maximum contract from a marquee team of his choosing.

Instead, the former Celtics point guard has a one-year, $9.5 million deal — a paycut of nearly $3.5 million — from Sacramento and the burden of proof squarely on his slender shoulders.

And maybe that’s the best possible outcome for Rondo under the circumstances.

Things didn’t work out in a colossal crash-and-burn manner in Dallas after he was dealt there last December. And while we’ve reported that a number of league sources lay a portion of blame for that with coach Rick Carlisle, it is incumbent upon Rondo to find a way to make this work with the Kings. That there already have been issues between George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins may not make it easy, but those who decide how to spend their team’s money when the salary cap rises next summer will very much want to know how Rondo navigates these waters.

Doug Christie joins Kings broadcast team

Here’s the Sacramento Bee with news on the Kings broadcast team:

Doug Christie joins Kings broadcast team

Former Kings guard Doug Christie, who played 15 NBA seasons, has joined Comcast SportsNet California as an analyst for the team’s pregame and postgame shows.

Christie will team with returning anchor Guy Haberman and analyst Bobby Jackson, another former Kings guard.

Sacramento Kings promote Vlade Divac

Sacramento Kings promote Vlade Divac

The Sacramento Kings today announced that Vlade Divac will serve as the Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager moving forward. Hired in March as the V.P. of Basketball and Franchise Operations, his expanded role in the Kings front office emphasizes a commitment to improving the organization on the court and comes in conjunction with Mike Bratz being named Assistant General Manager, Roland Beech as Vice President of Basketball Strategy and Data Science and Peja Stojakovic as Director of Player Personnel and Development.

Entering his third season in the Kings front office, Bratz brings nearly 40 years of basketball experience as a player, coach, scout and front office executive to bear in his position, which includes scouting collegiate, professional and international talent and maintaining player databases, in addition to helping Divac oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operation of the Kings basketball operations department. His Kings lineage connects him to Sacramento as both a player and coach, suiting up for the team during its inaugural 1985-86 campaign in the River City and also as an assistant for seven seasons from 1991-1998.

Beech joins the Kings as Vice President of Basketball Strategy and Data Science after spending the previous decade in a variety of positions with Dallas, most recently serving as the Mavericks Vice President of Basketball Operations. His experience includes time on the bench as an assistant coach during Dallas’ championship season in 2011. A vanguard of the analytics movement since founding—a well-respected resource providing innovative, data-driven basketball analysis, Beech has accrued distinctive experiences working on the cutting edge of statistical evaluation as a consultant, coach and front office executive.

Stojakovic rejoins the organization after one of the most successful playing careers in Sacramento Kings annals. In his new role as Director of Player Personnel and Development, he will be responsible for keeping abreast of domestic and international talent pools available to the Kings as well as assisting Divac and Bratz with the team’s scouting efforts. Additionally, Stojakovic will serve as general manager for the Reno Bighorns, Sacramento’s D-League affiliate. Selected 14th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft, the Serbian-born sharpshooter helped form a nucleus that would go on to participate in the postseason in each of his seven seasons in a Kings uniform.

“We’re fortunate as an organization to enter this season with three professionals of this caliber,” said Divac. “Having such individuals as integral members of our basketball operations team offers more than a unique set of basketball philosophies, experiences and instincts, but also a depth of character commonly associated with winning cultures. With Mike, Roland and Peja on board, I’m more confident than ever in the future success of the Sacramento Kings.”

Here’s reporting on the Sacramento Kings, who have found themselves a new analytics guy:

The Sacramento Kings have come to terms with Roland Beech to hire the longtime NBA sabermetrician to head up their analytics department, according to league sources.

Sources told that Beech is poised to join the Kings as their vice president of analytics under Vlade Divac, Sacramento’s new head of basketball operations.

Beech will thus fill a void created after another of the league’s foremost analytics experts — Dean Oliver — recently left the organization.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who stepped up in Thursday’s Team USA exhibition game in Las Vegas. The squad isn’t involved in international competition this summer and is just focused on narrowing the roster down for the 2016 Olympics.

DeMarcus Cousins steps up in USA Basketball scrimmage

In a USA Basketball scrimmage that featured a couple of Kings, a number of players with little or no chance to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, and six “ringers” who filled in for their more high-profiled peers who sat out the voluntary event because of injury, fatigue or cautionary measures, DeMarcus Cousins produced the most prodigious stat line of the night.

Sacramento’s sixth-year center celebrated his 25th birthday Thursday with 24 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and three assists, including a nifty shovel pass to Blake Griffin for a jam.

Cousins also missed all six of his three-point attempts – yes, he hoisted six shots from beyond the arc – but who was counting? His White squad also defeated the Blue team 134-128, but again, who was counting?

Rudy Gay, playing for the Blues, scored nine points and collected three rebounds, but, well … no one was counting.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee with commentary on the recent news that Nancy Lieberman is now an assistant coach in the NBA:

The NBA is a game of angles and connections, which is why the hiring of Nancy Lieberman as a Kings assistant is such a head-scratcher.

What took so long? Lieberman’s robust Rolodex is probably trumped only by her life experiences. She has competed in the Olympics, starred at Old Dominion, played and coached in several professional leagues, worked as a television commentator. Years before joining George Karl’s staff, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native coached the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA Development League team into the playoffs, then moved into the front office as assistant general manager.

And somewhere along the way – well before the WNBA was conceived and the notion of women coaching men ever found the womb – Lieberman, 57, transformed Martina Navratilova into a superbly conditioned athlete and revolutionized the way female tennis players approach training.

So, again, what took so long?

“I think sometimes you can get taken for granted,” Lieberman said. “I’m like the loyal dog. My only frustration was wondering if this was ever going to happen – if somebody was ever going to take a look at me and say, ‘She can do this.’”

The Sacramento Kings have hired Chad Iske as associate head coach and John Welch, Anthony Carter, and Nancy Lieberman as assistant coaches, according to Kings Vice President of Basketball and Franchise Operations Vlade Divac. Iske, Welch, Carter and Lieberman join Corliss Williamson and Vance Walberg on George Karl’s staff.

Iske joins the Kings after the past two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. He spent the previous 14 seasons with the Denver Nuggets, including the last six as an assistant coach under Karl. While with the Nuggets, Iske oversaw the scouting of upcoming opponents and assisted Karl with game plan preparation.

Welch brings years of knowledge to the Kings after two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets. Welch came to Brooklyn in 2013 in the same capacity, following eight seasons as an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets under Karl. Before joining the Nuggets, Welch spent two seasons as an assistant coach/workout coach for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Prior to his arrival in Memphis, he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Fresno State, serving under Head Coach Jerry Tarkanian. Welch joined Fresno State in 1995 and helped the Bulldogs to two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, six consecutive 20-win seasons and seven straight postseason appearances.

Carter joins the Kings after spending the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons as an assistant coach with the Austin Toros, the NBA D-League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs.

In 14 NBA seasons, Carter suited up for the Miami Heat (1999-00 - 2000-03), San Antonio Spurs (2003-04), Minnesota Timberwolves (2004-05 - 2005-06), Denver Nuggets (2006-07 - 2010-11), New York Knicks (2010-11) and the Toronto Raptors (2011-12). In 623 career games, the Hawaii alum averaged 4.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 19.6 minutes per game. Carter suited up in 39 playoff games, averaging 4.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 18.0 minutes per contest.

A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1996), Lieberman most recently coached the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League, an affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks, in 2009 and coached the team to a playoff appearance during the 2010-11 season. Lieberman was then named the team’s assistant general manager in 2011-12.

Prior to coaching, Lieberman won an Olympic Silver Medal (1976), won back-to-back AIAW National Championships in college with Old Dominion (1979, 1980) and was named an All-American at Old Dominion (1978, 1979, 1980).

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting cool news on the women’s basketball front:

The Kings are expected to hire Nancy Lieberman, the 1996 Hall of Fame inductee and assistant general manager of the Dallas Mavericks’ D-League team, as an assistant coach.

“Definitely I’m going to offer her a job,” Kings vice president Vlade Divac said Thursday. “George (Karl) and I talked about bringing her back after she helped us at Summer League (in Las Vegas). She was terrific. She brings a different dimension. I think is a nice opportunity for her.”

Lieberman said Thursday she will accept the offer. Divac said he expects to make an announcement next week.

Kings waive Eric Moreland

The Sacramento Kings today waived forward Eric Moreland, according to Kings Vice President of Basketball and Franchise Operations Vlade Divac.

In 2014-15, his first season with the Kings, Moreland totaled two points (1-1 FG) and one rebound in three minutes off the bench in three games with the Kings. His season ended when he suffered a left shoulder labral tear, forcing him to miss the final 52 games of the regular season. Assigned to the Kings’ D-League affiliate Reno Bighorns during the season, Moreland averaged 13.7 points (.592 FG%), 12.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.29 steals, 1.57 blocks and 28.7 minutes per game in seven contests, including six starts.

Kings offer Peja Stojakovic a job

Here’s reporting that the Sacramento Kings want Peja Stojakovic on board:

Kings offer Peja Stojakovic a job

The Sacramento Kings have offered a full-time ‎position in their front office to former All-Star sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic, according to league sources.

Sources said new Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac has asked his former NBA and international teammate Stojakovic to leave Europe and move back to the United States to assist him in a player personnel role.

Stojakovic’s No. 16 jersey was retired by the Kings in December.

Kings sign Caron Butler

Kings sign Caron Butler

The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent forward Caron Butler, according to Kings Vice President of Basketball and Franchise Operations Vlade Divac.

Butler is way past his prime as a player, but is a smart veteran who can help add leadership and direction to younger players on the team. He’ll likely play limited minutes off the bench.

Butler, a two-time NBA All-Star, is averaging 14.3 points (.434 FG%, .349 3pt%, .847 FT%), 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 32.6 minutes per game in 864 career contests in 13 seasons with eight teams: Miami (2002-03 – 2003-04), L.A. Lakers (2004-05), Washington (2005-06 – 2009-10), Dallas (2009-10 -2010-11), L.A. Clippers (2011-12 – 2012-13), Milwaukee (2013-14), Oklahoma City (2013-14) and Detroit (2014-15). The 6-7, 228-pound forward has averaged double-figures in scoring in 12 of his 13 NBA seasons, including back-to-back 20-point scoring averages in 2007-08 and 2008-09 with Washington. He averaged a career-high 20.8 points (.453 FG%, .310 3pt%, .858 FT%), 6.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.6 steals and 38.6 minutes per game in starting all 67 games he played in for the Wizards during the 2008-09 season.

Selected by the Miami Heat in the first round (10th overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, Butler has ranked among the Top-10 in steals per game three times in his career.

The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent guard Seth Curry and forwards Quincy Acy and Duje Dukan (DOO-yay DOOK-in) to contracts, according to Kings Vice President of Basketball and Franchise Operations Vlade Divac.

Selected by Toronto in the second round (37th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, Acy is averaging 4.3 points (.475 FG%, .299 3pt%, .755 FT%), 3.7 rebounds and 15.5 minutes per game in 160 career contests in three seasons with three teams: Toronto (2012-13, 2013-14), Sacramento (2013-14) and New York (2014-15). This is Acy’s second stint with the Kings after averaging 2.7 points (.472 FG%, .200 3pt%, .667 FT) and 3.6 rebounds in 14.0 minutes per game in 56 games off the bench in 2013-14. Last season with the Knicks, the 6-7, 240-pound forward averaged career-highs in points (5.9 ppg), rebounds (4.4 rpg), assists (1.0 apg), minutes (18.9 mpg) and games played (68) and starts (22).

Playing for the New Orleans 2015 Summer League squad, Curry averaged a league-leading 24.3 points (.459 FG%, .222 3pt%, .878 FT%), 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 3.2 steals and 33.2 minutes per game in starting all six contests. He scored 20 or more points in each of the six contests, beginning with a 30-point performance (9-17 FG, 2-7 3pt, 10-11 FT) in a 101-89 win over Milwaukee.

The 6-2, 185-pound guard has played in four NBA games in two seasons with three teams: Memphis (2013-14), Cleveland (2013-14) and Phoenix (2014-15). In the D-League, Curry has career averages of 21.9 points (.462 FG%, .425 3pt%, .896 FT%), 3.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 35.9 minutes per game in 81 career contests with the Santa Cruz Warriors (2013-14) and Erie BayHawks (2014-15). Curry was named to the 2014-15 NBA D-League First Team after averaging 23.2 points (.484 FG%, .467 3pt%, a league-leading .926 FT%), 3.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 37.0 minutes per game in 43 games for Erie. The former Duke guard led the D-League in three-point field goals (156) and ranked second in three-point field goal percentage and points scored (1,024) in 2014-15.

Dukan averaged 9.2 points (.438 FG%, a team-high .417 3pt%, .800 FT%) and 2.4 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game in five contests for the Kings’ 2015 NBA Summer League team. Dukan scored in double-figures in four games. His best performance came in a 90-71 win over Golden State on July 13 when he recorded 13 points (5-8 FG, 2-4 3pt, 1-2 FT) and six rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.

The 6-10, 218-pound forward completed his senior season in 2014-15 with an NCAA championship, averaging 4.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 15.9 minutes per game in 38 games for the Wisconsin Badgers. In four seasons at Wisconsin (2010-11 – 2014-15), he averaged 3.1 points (.427 FG%, .328 3pt%, .656 FT%), 1.8 rebounds and 10.2 minutes per game in 97 career games.

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