Archive for the ‘ Sacramento Kings Blog ’ Category

Jimmer Fredette still has work to do to prove that he’s got a place in the NBA. Here’s the Sacramento Bee, with the first paragraph below focused on Jimmer’s Kings situation:

Jimmer Fredette

For Fredette, the numbers just don’t add up. In the overall scheme, the body parts just don’t fit. He is a 6-foot-2 backup shooting guard whose offense relies on unselfish teammates to set screens and deliver crisp, precise passes, which the Kings have done very little of this past decade.

That doesn’t mean Fredette can’t flourish elsewhere. It doesn’t even mean he can’t flourish here, under the right circumstances. But surrounding him with one-on-one players is the fastest way to cripple a career, which is why the third-year pro is disappointed, but hardly devastated, that the Kings declined Thursday to pick up his fourth year for an estimated $3 million.

“We weren’t sure what they were going to do,” said Fredette, an unrestricted free agent next summer. “They told me it was a very difficult decision, that they were on the fence until the last few days. And I understand that. This is a business. It’s tough to hear sometimes, but you still have an NBA career. It’s not over. I’m just going to move forward and play as hard as I can this year, try to get better, and see what happens.”

Jimmer Fredette got a lot of attention before and during his entrance into the world of NBA basketball, but ever since he actually put on a Kings jersey, we haven’t seen a lot of him. There have been flashes here and there, but for now, Jimmer is still proving his worth. As for his Kings situation, here’s the Sacramento Bee:

Jimmer Fredette

The Kings on Thursday declined to pick up the fourth-year option on guard Jimmer Fredette’s contract for the 2014-15 season, which would have paid the 2011 first-round draft pick a little more than $3 million. The deadline to do so was Thursday at 9 p.m.

Therefore, Fredette will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. The Kings could re-sign him at a reduced salary, but the decision likely means this will be Fredette’s final season with the team.

It also means Fredette probably would bring more value in a trade because his expiring deal would create salary cap space for next summer’s free-agent class. The trade deadline is Feb. 20.

Part-owner Shaq wants playoffs for Kings

Can the Sacramento Kings make the playoffs this season? Sure seems like a tough goal when you look at their roster. But new part-owner Shaquille O’Neal says a postseason spot is within the realm of possibility. Here’ the Sacramento Bee:

Part-owner Shaq wants playoffs for Kings

A postseason berth would be the franchise’s first since the 2005-06 season.

“Looking at the personnel here and the Western Conference, I think we can do it,” O’Neal said. “We can get a playoff spot. Our goal should be the playoffs.”

Bigs together – O’Neal said he will continue to work with DeMarcus Cousins, offering wisdom for the young center’s development on and off the court.

But only to a point.

“I won’t micromanage him,” O’Neal said. “He’s a young guy who is still growing up. I know he wants to be a great big man. I can show him the keys.”

The big victory for the Kings in recent years, as far as Sacramento is considered, is that the team is still in town and did not wind up being relocated to Seattle or elsewhere. Here’s the Sacramento Bee:

Kings

Standing at center court in Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday night amid smoke from exploding fireworks, new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, microphone in hand, uttered a few words.

“Sacramento, I have just one thing to say to you,” he said, pausing, his face a mask of seriousness. “This is your team. And it is here to stay.”

A standing-room-only crowd in Sleep Train Arena exploded in cheers. It was a moment many here thought just six months ago would never happen. And yet, the Kings hosted a noisy, purple-hued celebration Wednesday in Natomas, launching their 29th and most improbable season in Sacramento.

The game, which the Kings won 90-88 over the Denver Nuggets, capped a triumphant night.

Many in the crowd said they had come to bask in the fact that Sacramento had somehow, over the last three years, fended off serious attempts by two cities to take the team – both of which seemed, at points, to be done deals.

The Sacramento Kings have waived guard Trent Lockett, it was announced today by General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Lockett appeared in two exhibition games for the Kings, tallying four points (2-3 FG), two rebounds and one assist in five minutes of action off the bench.

The preseason roster now stands at 15.

The Sacramento Kings announced today the team has accepted the resignation of Assistant Coach Brendan Malone, effective immediately. No replacement will be made at this time and moving forward, Chris Jent will assume responsibilities as the lead assistant on Head Coach Michael Malone’s staff.

“As a veteran of 27 seasons in the NBA coaching ranks, Brendan brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to our organization, and we were all fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with him,” said Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. “His departure is not indicative of a loss of passion for the game or his desire to help our franchise succeed, but rather a decision based on factors associated with the rigors of coaching in the NBA.”

“I’m thankful that I had my father on our staff during the summer and throughout training camp as I transitioned into a head coaching role,” said Michael Malone. “He was my father long before we became colleagues, and while I’ll miss his presence on the bench, he will always be an invaluable source of counsel on all matters basketball and otherwise.”

Malone Sr. joined the Kings in June after five seasons with the Orlando Magic under Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. During his tenure in Orlando, the Magic notched four straight seasons of 50 or more wins, three consecutive Southeast Division titles (2007-08 – 2009-10), and a 2009 NBA Finals appearance. Malone also worked under Hall of Famer Chuck Daly and was part of two NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons (1989 and 1990), where he orchestrated defensive sets to thwart Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. He spent seven seasons (1988-89 – 1994-95) with the Pistons before becoming the first-ever head coach of the expansion Toronto Raptors.

His coaching career includes three stints with the Knicks as an assistant coach (1986-87 – 1987-88, 1997-98 – 1999-00, and (2003-04). In between his second and third stays in New York, he served as an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers for three seasons (2000-01 – 2002-03). In 1996, Malone worked as a consultant for the Seattle Supersonics during their run to the 1996 NBA Finals.

The Sacramento Kings have waived DeQuan Jones and Brandon Heath, it was announced today by General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Jones and Heath each appeared in one game for the Kings during preseason action.

The training camp roster now stands at 16.

Kings forward Carl Landry out 3-4 months

Kings forward Carl Landry out 3-4 months

The Sacramento Kings need all the help they get. But their situation just got even tougher.

A recent MRI taken at Kaiser Permanente revealed that Kings forward Carl Landry suffered a tear in his left hip flexor muscle (rectus femoris) during a recent training camp practice. Surgery to repair the injury has been scheduled for Tuesday morning and will be performed by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia. Landry is expected to miss approximately three to four months of action.

A six-year NBA veteran in his second stint with the Kings, Landry is averaging 11.9 ppg (.536 FG%, .784 FT%) and 5.3 rpg in 389 career contests.

The Kings are going to struggle this upcoming season. Competing for a spot in the playoffs is not likely. And this just makes things even rougher.

DeMarcus Cousins

Scoring around the rim isn’t as simple as telling DeMarcus Cousins to camp out 5 feet away and bully his way to the basket.

For Cousins to work better in the post, the entire offense has to flow, which it did in the Kings’ 104-86 exhibition win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

Kings coach Michael Malone would like to play inside-out, with Cousins working as a facilitator for teammates in some halfcourt sets, but said it’s not only Cousins’ responsibility to post up and make something happen.

“We have to do a better job of occupying the defense when he does post up,” Malone said before Cousins collected 16 points and 12 rebounds against the Lakers. “We just can’t sit there.”

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

The competition for minutes at point guard is in all likelihood still a two-man race between Isaiah Thomas and Greivis Vasquez.

But Kings coaches and management have remained pleased with the progress of the point guard Sacramento picked in the second round of June’s NBA draft, Ray McCallum.

Coach Michael Malone maintains McCallum is having one of the better showings in training camp, and his teammates have noticed, too.

McCallum had seven points, five assists, two steals and just one turnover in 18 minutes in the Kings’ loss Monday at Golden State in the preseason opener.

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

NBA preseason is a time for experimentation. Like college. Only different.

demarcus cousins

DeMarcus Cousins starting at center was certain. The other four starters for Monday night’s preseason opener against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena were more of a mystery.

Kings coach Michael Malone started Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton at guard with Jason Thompson and John Salmons at forward.

The only difference from the usual starting lineup in the second half of last season was Thornton in place of former King Tyreke Evans.

Malone reiterated that nothing should be read into Monday’s starting lineup.

“The starting lineup is going to change for all of our seven preseason games,” Malone said.”

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Most teams have pretty clear-cut starters at most spots, but not the Kings, so the regular changes throughout preseason aren’t a surprise.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim is a busy man

Shareef Abdur-Rahim is a busy man

The lone front-office holdover from last season is a busy man.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim was an assistant general manager under Geoff Petrie and was retained by new general manager Pete D’Alessandro as director of player personnel.

Abdur-Rahim is also the general manager for the Kings’ D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns. Abdur-Rahim’s primary focus is on the Kings during training camp, but he is always monitoring players that might fit in with Reno.

“With Reno, we’re always in the process of keeping our eyes open in regard to guys who might fit what we’re doing here (with the Kings),” Abdur-Rahim said. “It’s a different process because we have to let what happens in the NBA training camps materialize first before you can really identify all your guys.”

Now that the Kings run the Bighorns, there is more emphasis on finding young players the Kings can develop in the D-League into contributors in Sacramento in the future.

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Chuck Hayes determined to regain leadership role on Kings

Early in the 2011-12 season, as reporters surrounded Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, laughter broke out among the players.

Chuck Hayes took offense, yelling that the behavior was unacceptable. But as losses piled up over the next two seasons, Hayes blended into the background when teammates laughed afterward. Hayes now says he no longer wants to be a part of a culture that accepts losing.

“That’s exactly what happened,” Hayes said. “I tried to come in and be the vocal leader, but when things went bad, I let that bring me down. I let it bring down my spirit. That was wrong on my part. It’s unfair to my teammates; it’s unfair to the coaching staff. So I just want to sustain that veteran role.”

It was uncertain if Hayes would be back this season, if the Kings could find a taker for the two years and $11.7 million still owed to him after two underwhelming seasons with the team.

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Marcus Thornton hopes to bounce back from off year

After a season of career highs, Kings guard Marcus Thornton had plenty of lows last season.

In 2011-12, Thornton averaged a team-high 18.7 points. Last season, as a reserve with inconsistent playing time, he had career lows in minutes (24.0 per game) and scoring average (12.7).

Now he’s looking forward to a fresh start under new coach Michael Malone, who was on New Orleans’ staff when Thornton played there before being traded to the Kings.

“I’m so ready to get out there and prove myself again,” Thornton said. “I’ve been doing that for five years now, and I’m ready to do it again.”

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

John Salmons surprised to be back with Kings

Veteran swingman John Salmons figured he was expendable.

The Kings hadn’t used their amnesty waiver provision on him, so it seemed logical that his $7.6 million salary might be used to free salary cap space for this season.

“A little bit,” said Salmons, when asked if he was surprised to still be with the Kings. “A little bit. I can’t lie about that. But I’m good with being here, but I am a little surprised.”

The Kings had been trying to upgrade the small forward position where Salmons, 33, finished last season as the starter.

The Kings traded for Luc Mbah a Moute but decided to keep Salmons, too.

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

DeMarcus Cousins and Kings make long-term commitment

It’s not easy earning DeMarcus Cousins’ trust. By nature, he’s skeptical of new people and situations.

So over the summer, new Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive and his front office and coaching staff began connecting with Cousins, their talented but sometimes ornery center who they expected to be the centerpiece of the team’s rebuilding project.

During that process, Cousins found Ranadive to be a man of his word, and Cousins convinced the Kings’ management team he was committed to the franchise and wanted to become a leader.

The sides liked each other enough to agree on a four-year contract extension worth $62 million that will be finalized in time for today’s 10 a.m. news conference.

“What I’ve learned about (Ranadive) so far is he has a strong passion, and when he puts his mind to something he wants to get it done,” Cousins said. “That alone makes me very confident with him being our leader. I’m excited about this group, I’m extremely confident with them, and I think we’re going to do a lot of things.”

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Kings, DeMarcus Cousins agree to contract extension

The Kings have reached an agreement on a contract extension with center DeMarcus Cousins for four years worth approximately $62 million, league sources confirmed Thursday night.

The most Cousins was eligible for under the collective bargaining agreement was five years and $80 million. The contract takes effect for the 2014-15 season.

The deadline for first-round draft picks from 2010 to agree to contract extensions is Oct. 31. If the Kings had not reached an agreement, they could not have signed Cousins until after this season.

Reported by Jason Jones and Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee

DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings agrees to contract extension

The Kings have reached an agreement on a contract extension with center DeMarcus Cousins for four years worth approximately $62 million.

The most Cousins was eligible for under the collective bargaining agreement was five years and $80 million.

The contract takes effect for the 2014-15 season.

The deadline for first-round draft picks from 2010 to agree to contract extensions is Oct. 31. If the Kings had not reached an agreement, they could not sign Cousins until an agreement until after this season.

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Cousins deal will include no early termination option, which could’ve been possible after the third year of the deal, a source said.

After resisting the idea of giving Cousins a max deal without conditions in the contract, the Kings finally relented and gave the talented, but tempermental young center the offer he and his agent, Dan Fegan, had sought in negotiations.

Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

Shaq happy to mentor DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins
Shaq happy to mentor DeMarcus Cousins
Still developing, in multiple ways

O’Neal, formally introduced Tuesday as a new minority owner of the Kings, said he’ll be available to help Cousins reach his potential on the court and transform the Kings back to the franchise that challenged his Lakers teams for championships.

It’s monitoring Cousins’ development as a player that O’Neal will concentrate on most.

“I understand everything that (Cousins is) going through,” O’Neal said Tuesday. “We have similar backgrounds. I understand everything he’s going through, and I speak his language. That’s why my conversation with him is going to be easy.”

Critics chided O’Neal for making movies and rap albums while his teams weren’t winning titles. O’Neal said it was a conversation with Lakers and Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson that changed his direction and led him to championships.

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

New Sacramento NBA arena may have interesting twist

The Sacramento Kings introduced their new celebrity part-owner Tuesday and pulled back the curtain on an “indoor-outdoor” concept they’re planning for the team’s new downtown arena.

At a news conference dominated by new partner Shaquille O’Neal, majority owner Vivek Ranadive dropped tantalizing hints about the design of the $448 million arena that’s supposed to open at Sacramento’s Downtown Plaza in 2016. While declining to release details, he said fans would be able to see certain events from outside the building.

Ranadive and O’Neal’s sometimes comical news conference kicked off a day’s worth of developments surrounding the Kings. Hours later, the City Council agreed to let the Kings accelerate repayment of their $62 million debt to the city by imposing a 5 percent surcharge on tickets at Sleep Train Arena, where the Kings now play. The council also OK’d a deal that would let the team reimburse the city for certain pre-development costs at the new building.

Reported by Dale Kasler, Ryan Lillis and Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee

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