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News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

September 18, 2012
Kings remain pleased with offseason progress

The Kings reputation for being a group of young players who do not work hard might be slowly changing.

The organization is genuinely pleased with the work many of the players have done this offseason.

Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof first mentioned the new structure of the offseason program at the Kings' Draft Lottery party. Maloof said the team had never gone into an offseason with players being so prepared to work on the weaknesses in their games.

The program, crafted by coach Keith Smart, included Smart visiting players as they worked out in various cities across the country.

Smart also encouraged players to workout together and many have come back to Sacramento throughout the summer to workout as a group.

The developments have also pleased basketball president Geoff Petrie, who said eight-to-10 players have been in town working out.

"It's good to see the guys coming back already," Petrie said. "I think it's been one of the most consistent offseason for a lot of our players."

It's not just that players are showing up. It's that they are getting in good work with drills that translate to games and improving their conditioning.

Smart isn't interested in spending a lot of time in camp working on conditioning. That's a problem Paul Westphal had to deal with as coach.

Beginning Oct. 3 in Colorado Springs, we'll start to see if Smart's summer plan paid off.

*Petrie said the Kings should have their training camp roster finalized soon. The team will likely begin training camp with 18 players.

The Kings have 14 players under contract, leaving one spot open should a player impress and the team decide to keep him around.

One of those players could be Tony Mitchell, the rookie small forward from Alabama who impressed during training camp.

Petrie said the Kings want and expect to have Mitchell in camp.

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