Sacramento Kings – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2020-08-03T20:31:59Z WordPress Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Pacific Notes: Payne, Lecque, Kokoskov, Len]]> 2020-08-02T22:23:20Z 2020-08-02T17:01:10Z Cameron Payne recalls a brief conversation during his rookie year with Thunder assistant Monty Williams that led to his latest NBA opportunity, writes Gina Mizell in her Valley Tales Newsletter. Williams, now the head coach of the Suns, decided to take a chance on Payne when the team had a roster spot to fill prior to the restart.

“That (discussion) played into … my talks with (general manager James Jones about signing him),” Williams said. “I saw a young man who’s really talented, comes from a really good family and he takes coaching well.”

Payne’s career has featured a lot of disappointment after Oklahoma City made him a lottery pick in 2015. He battled through injuries and ineffective performance with the Thunder and Bulls, and had been out of the league since signing a pair of 10-day contracts with the Cavaliers last January. He had a brief stay in China this season, then joined the G League to help get his game back on track.

“I don’t want to see myself outside of this league again,” Payne said. “And the biggest way for me to do that is to be consistent, be on time and outwork the next guy. My whole thing is I want to leave on the court that I played my hardest. I gave my all. I never want to take no shortcuts anymore, because it’s not worth it. It’s not worth being on the outside looking in when you feel like you should be in there.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jalen Lecque participated in practice Saturday, giving the Suns a full roster for the first time since arriving in Orlando, Mizell tweets.
  • Assistant Igor Kokoskov left the Kings Saturday to begin his duties as head coach of Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague, the team announced in a press release. The former Suns head coach joined Luke Walton’s staff last summer. “I’d like to congratulate Igor on his promotion to head coach of Fenerbahce and thank him for his dedicated time with the Kings,” Walton said. “He has been a valuable member of my coaching staff and his natural ability to guide our players will continue to inspire the team as we move forward in Orlando. We wish him all the best.” 
  • Kings center Alex Len won’t play in Sunday’s game against the Magic because of conditioning issues, tweets Sean Cunningham of KXTV. Len was late reporting to the Walt Disney World campus after contracting COVID-19.
Luke Adams <![CDATA[Inconclusive COVID-19 Test Results Continue To Concern Teams]]> 2020-07-31T18:45:03Z 2020-07-31T18:45:03Z A Kings player received an inconclusive coronavirus test result on Wednesday and was required to re-quarantine for the last two days, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of ESPN.

When a player receives an inconclusive result – or a false positive – he is required to go back into quarantine and must receive two consecutive negative tests in the next 48 hours in order to be cleared. As Wojnarowski and Spears report, the affected Kings player met that criteria, receiving negative results on Thursday and Friday, and should be good to go for the team’s first seeding game on Friday night vs. San Antonio.

Although the Sacramento player who got the inconclusive coronavirus test result won’t miss any games as a result, there’s “significant concern” among teams at the Orlando campus that a similar situation could cost a club a key player for an important seeding game or even a playoff contest.

According to Wojnarowski and Spears, the NBA has been working with doctors and scientists to try to find a way to shorten that 48-hour quarantine period following an inconclusive test without compromising the safety of the player or the rest of the campus. However, science and technology limitations make it difficult to accelerate that process, sources tell ESPN.

The fact that no NBA players at the Orlando campus have tested positive for COVID-19 since initially clearing quarantine three weeks ago is a great sign, and the league’s top priority will be to continue that trend. At the same time, the NBA has to be hoping that an inconclusive test and a subsequent 48-hour quarantine won’t result in a star player missing a crucial game in the coming weeks.

Luke Adams <![CDATA[Pacific Notes: Kings, Len, LeBron, Williams, Warriors]]> 2020-07-30T16:37:43Z 2020-07-30T16:37:43Z The Kings, who previously furloughed some employees starting on June 1, have now laid off some staffers as well, according to Sean Cunningham of ABC10 Sacramento (Twitter links). According to Cunningham, no members of the Kings’ basketball operations department were part of this week’s layoffs.

Cunningham estimates that about 100 employees within the organization were impacted by the earlier furloughs. And based on a statement from John Rinehart, the Kings’ president of business operations, it sounds like a portion of those workers have now been laid off.

“As part of the organization’s ongoing evolution of efforts to align with the changes in our business, we have made the difficult decision to transition a portion of previously furloughed full-time roles to a reduction in workforce effective July 31 and extend the furlough period for the remaining segment of previously furloughed employees to tentatively November 1 due to continued uncertainty surrounding the resumption of live events at Golden 1 Center resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rinehart said, per Cunningham.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Kings center Alex Len, who reported to the NBA campus late after a bout with COVID-19, will likely miss the team’s first summer game on Friday, head coach Luke Walton said today (Twitter link via James Ham of NBC Sports California). However, it shouldn’t be too much longer before Len is ready to go.
  • Within an piece about the Lakers‘ unusual 2019/20 season, Dave McMenamin suggests that LeBron James wasn’t thrilled about Lakers players being asked last fall to address the NBA/China controversy before commissioner Adam Silver or Rockets GM Daryl Morey did. Morey’s tweet supporting Hong Kong protestors instigated that dispute between the league and its Chinese partners.
  • Lou Williams‘ violation of the NBA’s protocols means he’s serving a 10-day quarantine and missing at least two seeding games, but his Clippers teammates and head coach Doc Rivers have Williams’ back, as Mark Medina of USA Today writes. “Lou’s one of the most-liked guys in the whole organization and is always trying to get everyone together on the road,” center Ivica Zubac said. “Lou is a true leader. The fact that everyone is coming to the defense of him speaks everything about him.”
  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic takes a deep dive into James Wiseman‘s potential fit with the Warriors, pointing out that if Golden State does end up using its top-five pick this fall, it will represent an opportunity to secure a long-term building block — not just a role player who can fit in with the current core.
Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Barnes, Holmes Return To Action]]> 2020-07-28T02:13:59Z 2020-07-28T01:41:14Z
  • Kings center Alex Len‘s status for the team’s opening game at the Orlando campus remains uncertain, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. Len rejoined the club approximately 10 days ago after he recovered from his own bout with COVID-19. He has yet to go through a full contact session, Ham adds.
  • Big man Richaun Holmes and forward Harrison Barnes participated in the Kings’ final scrimmage on Monday, Ham notes. Holmes, who had to serve a 10-day quarantine after violating league protocols, had six points and five rebounds in 18 minutes. Barnes, who overcame a battle with the coronavirus, finished with 12 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes.
  • ]]>
    JD Shaw <![CDATA[Harrison Barnes Didn't Experience Symptoms With COVID-19]]> 2020-07-27T03:08:48Z 2020-07-26T21:51:58Z
  • Kings forward Harrison Barnes never experienced any symptoms while dealing with COVID-19, head coach Luke Walton said, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). Barnes could play in the team’s scrimmage against the Clippers on Monday, Walton added. He’s averaging 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 34.9 minutes this season for Sacramento.
  • ]]>
    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[De'Aaron Fox 100% After Ankle Injury]]> 2020-07-26T21:55:51Z 2020-07-25T21:32:02Z
  • Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox declared himself to be completely recovered from an ankle sprain he suffered last week (video link).
  • ]]>
    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Fox Fully Participates In Practice]]> 2020-07-25T12:37:06Z 2020-07-24T23:47:56Z
  • Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox had no restrictions during Friday’s practice, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. Fox sprained his ankle after the team arrived from Sacramento. He took part in non-contact drills earlier this week.
  • Kings forward Harrison Barnes passed his COVID-19 tests in Sacramento and headed to Orlando on Friday, Ham reports. “He’ll have to start his two-day quarantine once he gets here and pass that protocol before he can join us on the court,” coach Luke Walton told Ham and other media members. Barnes tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month but Sacramento held his roster spot in anticipation he would recover in time.
  • ]]>
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Holmes Explains Extended Quarantine; Kings' Support For Bagley Unwavering]]> 2020-07-23T22:00:30Z 2020-07-23T22:00:30Z
  • Kings center Richaun Holmes, who was subjected to a 10-day quarantine period at Walt Disney World after inadvertently crossing the campus line, explained his mistake to reporters on Wednesday. “Ordered some wings and went to grab the wings, but I really wasn’t too aware of the borders,” Holmes said, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “I kind of knew what was going on, but the specific area I was in, I wasn’t aware. So, yeah, I stepped out and grabbed the food and came back, and they just let me know they wanted to be as safe as possible. They had to enforce the rules and I completely understand that, so I won’t make that mistake again.”
  • Despite an injury-plagued sophomore season for Marvin Bagley III, the Kings‘ support for the former No. 2 overall pick hasn’t wavered, Anderson writes in a separate Sacramento Bee story. “We know what kind of player he’s going to be,” head coach Luke Walton said of Bagley, who is out for the season with a foot injury. “He’s going to have a great career. And we’ve got to keep him healthy and he’s got to continue to work, which he’s proven to do since I’ve been here as far as every time that he’s gotten injured. So it’s going to be a big offseason, but I’m confident that he’ll attack that with everything he has.”
  • ]]>
    Jovan Alford <![CDATA[Western Notes: Fox, Schröder, Suns, Cauley-Stein]]> 2020-07-23T01:01:06Z 2020-07-23T01:01:06Z On Wednesday, the Kings gave us an update on De’Aaron Fox, who suffered a left ankle sprain last week. The Kings said that the former first-round pick has returned to the court and is doing non-contact basketball activities.

    That being said, Fox is not available for the team’s first scrimmage against the Heat. However, head coach Luke Walton told reporters that they are optimistic will be available for the team’s opener on Jul. 31 against the Spurs (Twitter link via James Ham of NBC Sports California).

    This season, the former Kentucky Wildcat standout is averaging 20.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 6.8 APG, and 1.4 SPG in 31.7 MPG.

    Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

    • Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Thunder general manager Sam Presti explained why he believes Dennis Schröder is worthy of winning Sixth Man of the Year. “I think he’s playing the best basketball of his career,” Presti said (via Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman). “He’s all about trying to do what’s right for the team right now, and he’s just an elite competitor. I’m happy that he’s playing so well, and I hope he does get recognized for it.” This season, the veteran guard is averaging 19 PPG while shooting 38.1% from three-point range.
    • The Suns announced on Wednesday that point guards Elie Okobo and Jalen Lecque are not in Orlando due to personal reasons, per Gina Mizell (Twitter link). However, both players are expected to arrive at a later date. With Ricky Rubio clearing quarantine, both Okobo and Lecque will not see major minutes for Phoenix.
    • According to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News, Willie Cauley-Stein signed with Young Money APAA Sports, an agency based in Dallas, Texas. The 26-year-old is not with the Mavericks in Orlando due to the birth of his daughter this month. Dallas acquired the young center in February from the Warriors.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Bjelica Ready To Step Up With Bagley Out]]> 2020-07-22T17:21:59Z 2020-07-22T17:21:59Z
  • With Marvin Bagley having been ruled out for the rest of the season, Nemanja Bjelica is once again ready to take on a larger role for the Kings, writes James Ham of NBC Sports California.
  • ]]>
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Kings Notes: Fox, Holmes, Bagley]]> 2020-07-23T21:38:05Z 2020-07-22T01:30:53Z
  • De’Aaron Fox, who is recovering from an ankle sprain, returned to practice for the Kings today and took part in non-contact drills, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Richaun Holmes also participated in his first practice since clearing his extended quarantine.
  • ]]>
    Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Marvin Bagley III Ruled Out For Season Restart]]> 2020-07-22T02:42:25Z 2020-07-22T01:04:08Z Kings big man Marvin Bagley III has officially been ruled out for the NBA’s season restart due to a lateral sprain in his right foot following an MRI on Sunday evening, according to Sam Amick and Shams Charania of the Athletic (Twitter link). He is expected to be in a walking boot for the next two weeks, Charania tweets.

    A press release from the team indicates that Bagley suffered the injury in a team scrimmage on Sunday (h/t to James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area who first tweeted the announcement).

    Bagley, the No. 2 pick in a loaded 2018 draft that has already yielded two All-Stars, posted 2019/20 season averages of 14.2 PPG and 7.5 RPG across just 13 games in 25.7 MPG. He also missed 20 games during his 2018/19 rookie season.

    Bagley had previously missed most of his second season as a result of a left foot sprain and a thumb injury. This right foot sprain is a new injury. In addition to this being a long-term situation to monitor for the 6’11” Duke alum, this also spells bad short-term news for the Kings. Teams can only replace players afflicted with COVID-19 when on the Disney World campus, not players who get injured on-site.

    Bagley is not the only current absent player for the Kings. Forward Harrison Barnes has yet to report to the NBA’s campus after contracting the coronavirus earlier this month. Starting point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to non-contact drills with the team today as he continues to recover from a less severe ankle injury.

    At  28-36, the team is the eleventh seed in the Western Conference and was thus already a long shot to make the playoffs even before these absences.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Barnes Close To Being Cleared; Parker, Len Talk COVID-19 Experience]]> 2020-07-21T14:32:03Z 2020-07-21T14:32:03Z Meanwhile, Kings forward Harrison Barnes, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, could depart for Orlando as soon as today if he returns one more negative coronavirus test, Spears reports (via Twitter).

    • Kings forward Jabari Parker and center Alex Len spoke to reporters on Monday about their experiences with COVID-19, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee details. Len, who said he temporarily lost his sense of smell and taste while dealing with the virus, tested positive for 24 consecutive days before eventually returning multiple negative tests and being cleared.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Kings Await MRI Results On Bagley Foot Injury]]> 2020-07-20T18:49:03Z 2020-07-20T18:49:03Z Kings forward/center Marvin Bagley III underwent an MRI on Sunday night after suffering a right foot injury during practice, the team announced today in a press release. Sacramento is awaiting the results of that MRI.

    It’s possible the injury won’t be a significant one, but if it forces Bagley to miss some time, it’ll be a tough break for both the team and the former No. 2 overall pick.

    The Kings have already been affected by some bad luck in recent weeks, as four of their players – Buddy Hield, Jabari Parker, Alex Len, and Harrison Barnes – have tested positive for the coronavirus. De’Aaron Fox also suffered a sprained ankle, while Richaun Holmes was subjected to a 10-day quarantine period at Walt Disney World after accidentally crossing the NBA’s campus line.

    Hield and Parker have since returned to practice, Len has cleared his quarantine period (per Jason Jones of The Athletic), and Holmes is close to doing so. Additionally, Fox’s ankle injury doesn’t appear serious. Still, the Kings haven’t had a full roster since reporting to Disney earlier in the month.

    As for Bagley, he missed most of his sophomore NBA season with a foot injury, appearing in just 13 games this season. The hope was that he’d be back to full health and ready to contribute this summer, but that’s now up in the air. For what it’s worth, Bagley was sidelined for much of the season by a left foot ailment, so this is a new injury.

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Kings Hope They Don't Have To Replace Barnes]]> 2020-07-18T16:03:22Z 2020-07-18T01:44:33Z
  • Kings center Alex Len has posted negative tests for the coronavirus and will rejoin the team on Friday evening, head coach Luke Walton told James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area and other media members. Len, among a couple of other prominent team members, tested positive for the virus in late June. Len will go into quarantine upon arrival in Orlando and Walton is unsure about the big man’s conditioning.
  • Walton is in no rush to replace Harrison Barnes on the roster, The Athletic’s Jason Jones tweets. Barnes revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19 just before the team headed to Orlando. The Kings don’t want to replace Barnes on the roster just yet, even if he has to miss a game, Jones adds.
  • ]]>