Kings Blog and Q&A

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

July 25, 2013
Leaving Las Vegas, Kings Cousins

LAS VEGAS - A one-week visit to my adopted hometown is more than enough. Our Kings beat writer, Jason Jones, has solo duties tonight at the U.S. national team scrimmage at the Thomas & Mack Center.

But a few thoughts before packing for the flight home:

July 24, 2013
Rosters for Team USA scrimmage announced

USA Blue Team

NO NAME
46 Harrison Barnes
36 DeMarcus Cousins
42 Anthony Davis
41 DeMar DeRozan
37 Derrick Favors
31 Gordon Hayward
22 Damian Lillard
62 Greg Monroe
34 Klay Thompson
51 Dion Waiters
26 Kemba Walker
50 John Wall

Coach: Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls

USA White Team

NO NAME
24 Ryan Anderson
20 Mike Conley
25 Andre Drummond
33 Kenneth Faried
29 Paul George
27 Jrue Holiday
23 Kyrie Irving
35 DeAndre Jordan
32 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
21 Ty Lawson
39 Chandler Parsons
38 Tyler Zeller

Coach: Monty Williams, New Orleans Pelicans

July 24, 2013
Kings GM D'Alessandro checks out DeMarcus Cousins with Team USA

LAS VEGAS - Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro returned from watching free agent center Greg Oden workout last night in Indianapolis in time to catch the final Team USA minicamp practice and watch center DeMarcus Cousins.

D'Alessandro said the relationship between Cousins and management has been good.

"We've had a great line of communication," D'Alessandro said. "I know he's been working hard and you can see that on the floor as he's out there today. I feel real positive about it, really positive."

D'Alessandro did not comment on the workout but said the work to improve the Kings is not done.

"We're doing everything we can to make this team better, we really are," D'Alessandro said. "We're not going to leave any stone left unturned."

Oden, the first overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft, has played in only 82 games in his career due to numerous injuries. He sat out last season while recovering from knee surgery.

July 23, 2013
Kings bosses come to Las Vegas to check out DeMarcus Cousins

LAS VEGAS - Center DeMarcus Cousins had some visitors at Team USA minicamp practice this afternoon.

Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive chatted with Cousins following practice. Kings assistant general manager Mike Bratz and director of player personnel Shareef Abdur-Rahim were also at practice.

Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro was not at practice but is due into Las Vegas tonight. D'Alessandro was in Indianapolis for a workout featuring free agent center Greg Oden.

Jarinn Asana, senior vice president of agent Dan Fegan's Relativity Sports basketball division, was also on the court after practice and spoke with Cousins.

Cousins' relationship with the Kings has been scrutinized since he changed agents. He fired John Greig last December to go with Fegan, who also represents Cousins' good friend, John Wall, and Dwight Howard.

Cousins is eligible for a contract extension this summer and his representatives are waiting for the Kings to offer one.

That is the next major decision on deck for the Kings, who could opt to wait until next summer and make Cousins a restricted free agent.

July 23, 2013
Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro looking into Greg Oden

LAS VEGAS - Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro had planned to be here to watch Monday's opening day practice at USA Basketball's mini-training camp, and of course, primarily to see how DeMarcus Cousins responded to USAB czar Jerry Colangelo's olive branch. (DMC looked a little sluggish, but nothing that a few more windsprints won't cure).

Instead, D'Alessandro flew to Indianapolis for Greg Oden's early Tuesday workout and planned to arrive here in the evening. Assistant GM Mike Bratz and player personnel director Shareef Abdur-Rahim are filling in, and head coach Michael Malone is expected to attend the noon practice at UNLV.

The Kings are looking at the injury-riddled Oden - as our Kings beat writer has written the past several days - as a backup to Cousins, who is among a very impressive gathering of young NBA stars participating in this four-day mini-camp. The goal, of course, is to earn a spot on next summer's World Cup squad and the 2016 Olympic team, but the real question is: Who isn't here? Monday's scrimmages on the two adjacent courts at UNLV's Mendenhall Center featured Anthony Davis, Paul George, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, John Wall, Ryan Anderson, Kyrie Irving, Kenneth Faried ...

July 22, 2013
More quotes from DeMarcus Cousins

LAS VEGAS - DeMarcus Cousins was asked who his competition is for best big man at the Team USA minicamp.

Confident as ever, Cousins replied "nobody."

Here's more of Cousins from today's Team USA minicamp practice.

On speaking with USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo saying he needed to mature:

"I believe the whole thing was blown out of proportion. What was said between us really wasn't that bad. For him to push that aside, I've very thankful for it."

On what he learned watching last year's Olympic team:

"I really watched them a lot. I watched (New York center) Tyson (Chandler) play a lot and how we active around the board and controlled the paint. So that's really what I'm trying to come in here and do."

On getting to know new coach Michael Malone and relating to coaches:

"At the end of the day honestly it really doesn't matter if we get along as long as we both go and get the job done. That's all that really matters."

On how the Kings will be different this season:

"We're going with an approach where we share the ball more and defense is first and that's been with (Greivis) Vasquez and (Luc) Mbah a Moute. I think we're making some good changes, I'm ready to get to work."

On if he's maturing with experience:

"Absolutely. I believe I mature after every season. And I think people forget I am just 22 years old. So it's going to take me time and I'm still learning but I do believe I improve every year."

On three seasons playing for the Maloofs:

"The Maloofs were great guys. People forget how much good they did with the last couple of years but they were good to me and helped me out a lot. I was glad to play for them but it's a new era and hopefully we can get something done with this one."

On if he learned from some of last season's incidents:

"With it just being me a lot those of situations, they really weren't' as bad as they made them seem, but of course, it's DeMarcus. But I've still got to learn from those situations and handle those situations better."

On watching general manager Pete D'Alessandro go after free agents:

"Pete's doing an incredible job. Players we would have never had a chance to get we're actually in the running for. I'm excited, I'm excited for where this franchise is going."

On what he has to do to improve defensively:

"I think it starts with me having a defensive mindset and knowing my spots on the floor... It's also a team thing. One messed up rotation can mess up the whole thing. Just being able to be back there and talk and tell guys where to be in their spots."

On what was going wrong in the previous three seasons:

"I could go into that and put everything on blast. Once they see the change on the floor they'll understand so I'll just leave it at that."

July 22, 2013
Kings taking a look at Greg Oden

LAS VEGAS - The Kings will have representatives in Indianapolis to watch a workout with free agent center Greg Oden on Tuesday.

New Orleans will reportedly also attend the workout.

Oden, the first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft has played in just 82 games in his career due to injuries.

The Kings, however, remain in the market for another center, preferably one with defensive tendencies. Oden, when healthy, would be that type of player and would provide a nice complement to DeMarcus Cousins.

The Kings met with Oden last week during NBA Summer League, too.

The Kings already have 14 players with guaranteed contracts, one below the maximum roster count.

Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro would prefer to keep that roster spot open headed into the regular season but would not be opposed to adding another player if he fills a need.

July 22, 2013
Maloofs keep a low profile

LAS VEGAS - For those who might have been wondering, the Maloofs have maintained an extremely low profile throughout the NBA Summer League and today's opening scrimmage of the USA Basketball mini-camp.

Their longtime spokesman, Troy Hansen, who has remained with the family as a publicist for their other businesses (including ZING vodka), said there are no immediate plans to chat with representatives from the Sacramento media market.

He added that the brothers also don't want to detract from the attention new Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive continues to receive.

July 22, 2013
DeMarcus Cousins: 'I do want to be a King'

LAS VEGAS - Kings center DeMarcus Cousins said Monday afternoon without hesitation that he wants to play in Sacramento.

"I do want to be a King," Cousins said. "I do."

Cousins discussed the Kings for the first time publicly after Team USA minicamp practice at Mendenhall Center on the UNLV campus.

He had been mum on the Kings since the change in ownership and makeover of the front office and coaching staff. Cousins has since spoken with new majority owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D'Alessandro and head coach Michael Malone on more than one occasion.

July 19, 2013
Kings' Rookies Lead To First (final) Victory


LAS VEGAS - After a mildly scalding scolding from head coach Michael Malone, the Kings broke a four-game losing streak with a 93-87 victory over the Atlanta Hawks Friday in their Summer League finale. Rookies Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum produced their best efforts of the week, and were particularly effective in the second half.

McLemore, who was 0-for-8 in his previous outing, scored 27 points on a variety of deep three's, stepback jumpers and dunks. He also grabbed nine rebounds. McCallum contributed 12 points, six rebounds, and 11 assists, including a perfect lead pass to McCallum for a ferocious one-handed dunk that electrified the crowd in the Cox Pavilion - and brought DeMarcus Cousins and the other Kings players to their feet.

Cousins arrived shortly before tipoff and joined his teammates on the bench. He takes part in the Team USA training camp that begins Monday.

McCallum, who combined with McLemore for several of his assists, nominated the Kansas Jayhawk standout's dunk for ESPN's nightly highlights. "I think it's going to be No.1 on SportsCenter," said the rookie point guard. "It has to be. It might look different being on the court, but it was a big-time play. We got a rebound. I leaked out, called for outlet, saw him running the floor, gave him a little shovel pass, and next thing I know, I looked up and he's throwing it down."

More importantly to Malone, the Kings finished their Summer League (1-4) with a victory.

"We won the game today how we want to play," said the first-year head coach. "We defended at a high level. We took care of the basketball. And our two young guys had great games. "

July 19, 2013
Post Kings' Saga, NBA Exec .. looking to chill

LAS VEGAS - Now that things have cooled down in Sacramento ....
Longtime NBA president Joel Litvin, who for years has been intimately involved in the Kings arena/relocation issues, stayed in town after the league's executive board meeting Thursday to watch some of the Summer League games. While this meant Litvin didn't get to accompany David Stern and Adam Silver on their charter flight back to New York late Thursday night, he's not complaining.

"I love this," said Litvin, who plays weekly in a competitive basketball league in Westchester County, N.Y. "I've been in the gym all day."

While remaining indoors makes complete sense given the extreme heat wave battering much of the country, he also revealed a more aggressive escape plan: He is taking his family to Iceland next month. Why Iceland? Need we ask?

"Because it's Iceland," he replied, grinning.


July 19, 2013
Ex-Kings officials job hunting in Vegas

LAS VEGAS - Scotty Stirling, who was among Kings personnel officials who lost a job in the ownership change, is here at the Summer League, looking for work and enjoying one of his favorite events. Stirling, who lived in the Bay Area throughout his tenure under Geoff Petrie, says he has spoken with several teams about doing advance and college scouting and believes he has a verbal agreement with at least one East Coast team. "I love coming here for this," said Stirling. "This is where it (NBA careers) starts."

Another longtime Kings executive who was laid off last October by the Maloorfs - security director Jack Peirson - has been working security for the league throughout the tournament and expects to stay through next week's Team USA training camp. Peirson, who worked for the Lakers at the Forum and Staples Center before coming to Sacramento, is pursuing fulltime opportunities in three cities.

Peirson, in particular, was a familiar figure at Sleep Train Arena.

July 19, 2013
Putting 'Hornets' name back in Charlotte a smart, easy fix

LAS VEGAS - The flurry of personnel moves and coaching changes ongoing within the league - the good and the bad - will reveal themselves within a matter of time. They always do. But this one's a slam dunk: The Charlotte Hornets once again will be known as the Charlotte Hornets, beginning in 2014-15.

Can teal uniforms with the pinstripes be part of the agenda?

For those who might have forgotten, Charlotte's original expansion franchise, formed in 1988 as the "Hornets," played in the 22,000-seat Charlotte Coliseum. Known as "The Hive" because successful plays were accompanied by the unrelenting buzzing of bees, the Hornets sold out for seven consecutive seasons before owner George Shinn self-destructed, gutted his roster and totally alienated the powers-that-be while attempting to partner with the city on a new arena. Frustrated by his inability to secure a new facility, Shinn pushed for relocation to New Olreans, and despite persistent push-back from NBA Commissioner David Stern and other high-ranking league officials, was reluctantly granted approval by the Board of Governors.

July 18, 2013
Stern, Silver discuss variety of topics in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - NBA commissioner David Stern and his successor, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, addressed the media following today's NBA Board of Governors meetings.

Without the Seattle-Sacramento situation, the group of reporters was considerably smaller than recent BOG gatherings.

Stern and Silver touched on a variety of topics, including the Charlotte Bobcats receiving approval to become the Hornets again, the new collective bargaining agreement's impact on big-market teams, HGH testing and the possibility of expansion. Below is a transcript from some of the Q&A session.


July 18, 2013
Stern, Silver praise new Kings ownership

LAS VEGAS - NBA commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver were complimentary of the job the Vivek Ranadive-led ownership group has done since taking over the Kings.

The Kings lead the NBA in new season ticket sales and are on course to secure more corporate sponsorships.

Stern also said progress is being made toward building the new downtown arena.

"Plans are straight ahead with respect to the building and acquiring the final pieces of property," Stern said after Thursday's Board of Governors meeting. "And particularly very strong season ticket sales that place them in the upper echelon and leading the league in some categories in terms of season tickets, and some aggressive projection for sponsorship sales. So that was a good story."

Said Silver: "I'd just add I'd give them an 'A.' They lead the league in new season ticket sales and they've put in place an excellent management group and they're doing all the right things with an enormous amount of enthusiasm. So we're thrilled from a league standpoint at the early developments of new ownership group."

July 18, 2013
NBA Announces rule changes for 2013-14 season

From the NBA's official press release:

Instant replay may now be used:

When reviewing a block/charge play to determine whether the defender was inside or outside the restricted area, officials will now be permitted to reverse a charge call, or uphold a blocking call, when the defender was outside the restricted area but was not set when the offensive player began his upward shooting motion.

To determine whether an off-ball foul occurred before or after a player has started his shooting motion on a successful shot attempt, or before or after the ball was released on a throw-in.

During the review of any instant replay situation to permit the officials to assess the appropriate penalties of any unsportsmanlike and unnecessary acts (e.g. flagrant fouls) that are observed during the instant replay reviews.

Additional rules modifications:

On clear path to the basket fouls, it will no longer be considered a clear path foul if at any point before the foul is committed, the defender who commits the foul is positioned ahead of the offensive player in the frontcourt.

A team on offense will lose possession if its player leaves the floor and does not immediately return to the floor, unless he is injured, attempting to save the ball or in other extenuating circumstances.

July 18, 2013
Kings sign Ray McCallum

LAS VEGAS - The Kings announced they have signed second-round draft pick Ray McCallum.

Terms were not disclosed, but a league source said McCallum's deal had three years guaranteed.

McCallum was the 36th overall player selected.

McCallum will have to compete with Greivis Vasquez, Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette for playing time at point guard.

July 17, 2013
Kings routed by Timberwolves in summer league

LAS VEGAS - The Kings put forth an effort that left their coaches collectively shaking their heads in a 92-54 summer league loss to Minnesota.

kings.jpeg

See a photo gallery

Tonight's game was the first in the tournament portion. The Kings play again Friday in the loser's bracket of the tournament against a to-be-determined opponent.

The Kings are 0-4 in summer league.

"It was hard to sit in my seat for that one - it was hard," said head coach Michael Malone. "Things aren't going your way in a 40-point blowout loss and thinks kept piling on top of each other."

First-round draft pick Ben McLemore missed all eight of his field goals and finished with one point. Second-round draft pick Ray McCallum shot 3-for-11 for eight points.

Malone said this being the third game in three nights does not excuse the effort he saw be trailing by as many as 43 points.

"The effort we put forward was embarrassing," Malone said. "That's not who we want to be and that's not the kind of show we want to put on the floor. When you miss shots, turn the ball over, I can live with that. But I cannot live with the lack of effort and the lack of competitive fire that we did not show tonight."

Will Clyburn led the Kings with 15 points. Shabazz Muhammad led Minnesota with 17 points.

July 16, 2013
Kings will not use amnesty provision

LAS VEGAS - The Kings will not use the amnesty provision to waive a player and have him not count against their salary cap this coming season.

The deadline to do so is 9 p.m. PST, tonight.

For the first five years of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement that was agreed upon after the 2010-11 season, teams can waive one of its player contracts that were in effect prior to the 2011-12 season.

July 16, 2013
Ben McLemore shines in summer league loss

LAS VEGAS - Ben McLemore put on the kind of shooting performance the Kings expect from him in an 81-70 summer league loss to Toronto.

McLemore missed three of his first four shots but scored 22 second-half points to finish with 26.

McLemore made 7-of-10 shots in the second half to finish 8-for-14 for the game. McLemore attempted six three pointers, making three.

July 15, 2013
Ray McCallum has solid showing in summer league loss

LAS VEGAS - Ray McCallum drove to the rim and landed hard in the first half.

Fortunately (perhaps unfortunately) McCallum said he's experienced at taking hard falls.

"It hurt for a little while but I bounced back," McCallum said.

July 15, 2013
Ben McLemore has to stay aggressive and improve dribbling during shooting slump

LAS VEGAS - Ben McLemore is struggling with his shot through two summer league games.

He was 4-of-12 in tonight's 80-66 loss to Golden State and is 8-of-35 (22.9 percent) in two games.

The Kings don't want him to stop shooting, but they want him to be more aggressive.

July 15, 2013
Jimmer Fredette still hopes to be a part of the Kings' future

LAS VEGAS - Jimmer Fredette is at the Kings summer league game against the Golden State Warriors.

Entering his third season Fredette is hoping for a chance to show what he can do after playing 14 minutes per game last season.

"Hopefully I'll be a big part of this organization next season," Fredette said. "You never know what their vision is exactly but that's why I'm here. I'm able to talk with them, meet with them and see what their vision is. Hopefully I'm a part of it next year."

July 15, 2013
Carl Landry officially rejoins the Kings

LAS VEGAS - The Kings officially signed free agent forward Carl Landry this morning.

The Kings allowed the media to be present as Landry reviewed the deal before signing.

(That has to be part of Kings 3.0, right?)

Landry signed a four-year deal worth $26 million.

July 15, 2013
Jimmer Fredette visits Kings in Las Vegas

20130116_HA_kings_was2nd 0359.JPGLAS VEGAS - Perhaps the most popular King is in Las Vegas.

Jimmer Fredette will spend a couple of days here at summer league where he can meet the new Kings management and coaches and work out with the new coaches.

Marcus Thornton, Isaiah Thomas and Jason Thompson are working out this morning with coaches. Thomas and Thornton practiced with the summer league team Sunday night.

July 15, 2013
Kings to meet with Greg Oden tonight

LAS VEGAS - The Kings will meet with center Greg Oden tonight, The Bee has confirmed.

Oden was the first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, but has played in just 82 games in his career to due various injuries.

Oden did not play in the NBA last season.

July 14, 2013
Isaiah Thomas welcomes competition at point guard

LAS VEGAS - Isaiah Thomas has never had a problem speaking his mind. It's one of the reasons he emerged as a leader quickly in 2011, even though he was the last player drafted that year.

Now he's ready to prove he's not just an NBA player, but a starter, again.

The Kings traded for Greivis Vasquez and drafted Ray McCallum, two more point guards to put pressure on Thomas, the incumbent.

Thomas spoke on that and other topics after joining the summer league team for practice Sunday.

Thomas on the new point guards:

"It's just another battle. And may the best man win the position. If they want to have it like that then we're going to go to battle each and every day. Those are my teammates but I'm fighting for a position just like they are. Every time you're losing, when you're not making the playoffs everybody's position is up for grabs. They're going to try to bring in new guys at each position. I'm 5-9 - I know what they're doing - 5-9 guys aren't supposed to be in this league. I'm just going to keep working, keep battling. Like I told Coach Malone, you can bring whoever you want in here it's going to be a battle each and every day. I'm ready for it. Vaquez, McCallum are some great guards, we're going to have fun and make each other better."

On all the new players, including Luc Mbah a Moute, Carl Landry and first-round draft pick Ben McLemore:

"Mbah a Moute is a great defender, an all-around player that just does all the little things you need to do on a team. Vasquez is a great passer, overall good point guard, a tall point guard who can run the team. Ray is a solid point guard who is sneaky athletic. Ben is just an all around good basketball player. You know once he really puts the work in and gets use to the (NBA) game of basketball he's going to be a superstar in this league. Carl Landry, he's a guy that's going to bump and bruise down there and get buckets. He's a glue guy that's going to really help us out."


On losing Tyreke Evans:

"It takes a lot away from the team. He's one of the most talented guards in the NBA. I'm happy for him, congrats on his new contract and he's got a new start in New Orleans. I'm not too worried about him though. I'm worried about the Sacramento Kings and what we've got to do to win."

July 14, 2013
Thomas, Thornton join summer league practice

LAS VEGAS - There were two players that practiced Sunday night with the Kings summer league team that are not on the roster.

Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton are in town and practice, much to the delight of coach Michael Malone.

"(Practicing Sunday shows) their commitment and their willingness to buy in," Malone said. "Not many guys come to Vegas and if they do come they'll watch practice. I asked them, 'If you want to practice we'd love to have you.' They both got their gear on and worked hard and they definitely raised the level of intensity in practice tonight. It means a lot to me because it shows they want to change."

Thomas noted the vibe from the new coaching staff. And it's one he likes. Like Thornton, who said Saturday, Thomas is looking forward to playing for Malone.

"It's a 100-percent change," Thomas said. "It just reminded me of college practice. Even though they don't have the whole team here, it's just the summer league team, everyone's dialed in. There's no talking on the side, just focus. Just focus on getting better and attention to detail, just doing the right things. So I can't wait for this season to start."

July 14, 2013
Popeye Jones helps out at Sunday's practice

LAS VEGAS - There was a new coach at this evening's summer league practice, but he's not officially on the Kings' coaching staff.

Popeye Jones, the former NBA player who had been on staff with Brooklyn since 2010 was helping coach the post players. Jones, however, was doing so on a volunteer basis and has not been added to the staff.

It would not be shocking to see Jones added in the future. Kings coach Michael Malone said last week he was not done filling out his staff. And the coach the Kings looked at initially as a big man coach, Roy Rogers, joined Jason Kidd's staff in Brooklyn.

Jones played 11 seasons in the NBA, but might be best known these days as the father of Seth, who was the fourth overall pick of the Nashville Predators in the NHL Draft.

July 13, 2013
Marcus Thornton drops in to watch the Kings in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - Kings guard Marcus Thornton attended Saturday's Summer League game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Thornton is coming off a season where he was a full-time reserve for the first time as a King and struggled to find consistent playing time in the role until later into the season.

But he's familiar with new coach Michael Malone, who was an assistant while Thornton was in New Orleans.

Thornton said there had not been any detailed discussions about his role next season.

"I haven't talked (Malone) yet," Thornton said. "I'm just here to support, that's it."

Thornton spoke on a few subjects after the game.

On new additions Greivis Vasquez and Coach Michael Malone:

"A guy that's willing to share the ball and get his teammates off is a great addition. Coach Malone, I was with him in New Orleans. Xs and Os wise, I think he's the best out there. It will be great to get to work with him."

On new ownership going forward:

"To have the stability we have now, knowing we're not going anywhere for a while, we can just focus on basketball now and not worry about the outside stuff. That's going to be great for us."

On what else Vasquez adds:

"Leadership and thing you might not know about him - he's very vocal out there. To be vocal out there as a point guard is a thing every team needs."

New King

Luc Mbah a Moute attended the game, too. He said he was "excited, very excited" about the trade to Sacramento.

"When I found out I was a part of it I was really excited," Mbah a Moute said. "I feel like I fit right in. What I bring to the team is something the team needs and values and I'm looking forward to it."

Game notes

After a hard fall in the first half, Ben McLemore said his left knee was fine. He shot 4-for-23, including 1-for-11 on three pointers and finished with 11 points.

A lot of McLemore's misses were short, but he said fatigue or shooting from the deeper three-point line in the NBA weren't issues.

Ray McCallum shot 3-for-11 with 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists. McCallum looked poised and like a natural leader on the court.

In the 76-73 loss to Dallas, Drew Gordon had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings off the bench. C.J. Aiken had 13 points.

Josh Akognon, who played on the Kings summer team last year, led Dallas with 22 points.

Jason Thompson also watched the game. He's also watching his brother Ryan, who plays for Washington this summer.

July 12, 2013
Kings' Mbah a Moute deal officially announced

By Jason Jones

LAS VEGAS -- The Kings announced they had officially acquired forward Luc Mbah a Moute from Milwaukee in exchange for two future second round draft choices.

The deal was agreed upon Tuesday.

"Luc is one of the premier defenders in the game today, with a proven ability to guard a variety of different scoring threats on a nightly basis," said Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro in a statement. "His versatility in this respect will go a long way in helping us improve dramatically on the defensive end of the floor. We're excited to welcome Luc to the Kings family."

Mbah a Moute is expected to help at small forward where the Kings have been looking for another wing defender to shore up the defense.

The Kings allowed a league-high 105.1 points per game last season.

Mbah a Moute (6-8, 230) gives the Kings size they lacked on the perimeter last season.

James Johnson was supposed to be the answer for that last season, but the coaching staff found he was better suited to play power forward in most cases. John Salmons ended up being the starting small forward last season.

Mbah a Moute can also play power forward, too. But that won't be his primary role with the Kings.

Mbah a Moute averaged 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 58 games (45 starts) last season for Milwaukee.

July 12, 2013
Catching up with Greivis Vasquez

LAS VEGAS - Here are some leftover quotes from my phone interview with new Kings point guard Grevis Vasquez earlier today.

On having an opportunity to play after the Hornets agreed to acquire Jrue Holiday:

"That's the only thing I was hoping for. God came through and put me in the best situation possible."

On why Sacramento is a good situation:

"The team is going to stay in Sacramento which is extremely important for fans. The new owners are unbelievably smart. We're going to have a new arena in a few years. I just feel it's a perfect situation for everybody."

On his new teammates:

"I know most of them. I know DeMarcus (Cousins) pretty good. We've worked out and played against each other for a long time. I know Marcus (Thornton), Isaiah (Thomas). I think we have a good group of guys. Now we've got to change the culture. It's not about us (as individuals), it's about winning."

What he adds:

"I'm just bringing my energy and the love I have for the game, a leader off the court and in the locker room."

On how he saw leadership in his rookie season with Memphis and reaching the playoffs:

"I remember how Tony Allen was important for that locker room, Zach (Randolph), Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol."

"I want to get that feeling back. It's been two years since I've been to the playoffs."

July 12, 2013
Malone gladly takes a step back in Summer League

LAS VEGAS - Leading up to tomorrow's Summer League opener, Kings coach Michael Malone has no plans to work the sidelines.

Chris Jent is the coach and Malone will watch from the stands

In the last few practices, Malone has taken a step back, allowing the assistants to handle more of the hands-on work in practice.

"I wanted Chris and Dee (Brown) and all the other coaches to step in," Malone said. "I did a lot of the stuff early, implemented a lot of stuff, introduced our philosophy on both sides of the ball. But this is a great opportunity for my assistant coaches to coach and get experience being a head coach on a summer league team. You may see me down there in a timeout but I'm going to sit in the stands with my father (assistant coach Brendan) and take my notes."

More defense

Malone said the focus will largely remain on defense during Summer League games, much as it was in practice.

"All the drills that we did all week long were based on our defense," Malone said. "You won the drills by getting defensive stops. You never won the drill by winning the game on offense. Everything was predicated on our defense."

Transactions

Guard Shane Gibson and forwards Chris Evans and Ashley Hamilton were all released from the Summer League roster.

The Kings have 12 players remaining on the roster.

July 11, 2013
Kings add 2 more players to summer league practice

LAS VEGAS -- The Kings have their entire summer league roster in Las Vegas.

After Drew Gordon arrived last night from the Orlando summer league, guard David Lighty was at practice Thursday morning.

Gordon played for Utah in Orlando. Lighty played for Brooklyn.

The Kings practice again tonight. They will have only one practice Friday to prepare for Saturday's game against Dallas.

July 10, 2013
Malone on Vasquez and other practice notes

LAS VEGAS - Here's what Kings coach Michael Malone had to say about new Kings point guard Greivis Vasquez:

"I've always been a big fan of Greivis. The first time I saw him play was when he was with the Venezuelan team and I was helping coach the Canadian National team. And they played against Team USA and he had the unenviable task of bringing the ball up the court against Kobe Bryant and Kobe was making him work and I felt bad for the kid. The neat thing about it was watching him develop and grow. I've gotten a chance to know Greivis just being in the NBA and competing against him from a coaching standpoint. He's got great size, 6-foot-6 for a point guard coming off a career year for him.

"Some people say the knock on him is his shooting but Greivis has size, a big heart, plays with a tremendous amount of passion and I think when we talk about changing the culture and bringing guys in that are willing to defend, this is a prime example of that."

Vasquez will be expected to improve a Kings' offense that relied on one-on-one play to the detriment of the team:

"Last year the team offensively could score but they were selfish at times, 25th in the league in assists per game. Grevis, nine assists per game last year, one of the better assist/turnover ratios in the NBA. He's a facilitator, he's a floor leader, he's going to make plays for his teammates."

Air Ray-d

Before I was able to start watching Wednesday night's scrimmage Ray McCallum did this.

"People don't' realize Ray is sneaky athletic," Malone said. "He's got a 40-plus (inch) vertical and he had a couple dunks tonight where he turned the corner, saw open space and finished. Anybody in the gym that didn't know he had those hops, I think he answered all the doubts in the gym."

Scrimmage time

Wednesday night was the first time the Kings had all-out scrimmages. Malone said the session provided plenty of teachable moments for Thursday's film session.

"It was a bit sloppy," Malone said. "Like I told the players, there were some good things we saw but there were a lot of bad things, a lot of things that need to be cleaned up."

Forward Drew Gordon arrived at practice tonight. He had been playing for Utah's summer league team in Orlando.

July 10, 2013
Kings officially add Greivis Vasquez

The Kings acquisition of point guard Greivis Vasquez became official this afternoon as part of a three-team trade involving New Orleans and Portland.

Vasquez comes to the Kings from New Orleans, who received Tyreke Evans from Sacramento in a sign-and-trade. Portland sent the draft rights to center Jeff Withey to New Orleans and two second-round draft choices to Sacramento. Center Robin Lopez and guard Terrel Harris were dealt to Portland from New Orleans as part of the trade, too.

Vasquez averaged career highs of 13.9 points and nine assists last season.

"We're excited to welcome Greivis to the team," said Kings General Manager Pete D'Alessandro in a statement. "He established himself as one of the league's most talented young point guards last season and we're confident he'll continue this trajectory in Sacramento."

Vazquez was a first round pick of Memphis (28th overall) in 2010 before being traded to New Orleans before his second season.

July 10, 2013
Still waiting on announcements on deals from Kings

LAS VEGAS - Coach Michael Malone wasn't able to speak about any of the Kings new acquisitions because the team still has not announced them to make them official.

"The only news I can share with you is that we just had a great practice," Malone said. "That's my main concern."

Greivis Vasquez is set to join the Kings as part of a sign-and-trade with New Orleans and Portland. Luc Mbah a Moute will become a King after a trade with Milwaukee and Carl Landry will sign as a free agent.

It's already being reported out of New Orleans that the Pelicans will hold a press conference Thursday for Tyreke Evans, who is part of the sign-and-trade to acquire Vazquez.

July 9, 2013
Kings, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Dee Brown, Slamdunk, WNBA

Tuesday was an unusual day for the Kings, even by their recent standards. We will have more to say about the acquisition of small forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - like this move very much - as well as the earlier moves for Greivis Vasquez and Carl Landry - like these moves as well. But the addition of Dee Brown as the Kings player development coach will serve as a constant reminder of how much this community misses the WNBA: Brown, who was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1990 and was fortunate enough to experience the final seasons of the Bird-McHale-Parish-DJ combination, is the former head coach of the (defunct) Orlando Miracle and the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars.

Besides all of the above, we sports writers always appreciated the fact that, even though surrounded with the dynamic personalities within that fabled Cetlics locker room, he chimed right in.

July 9, 2013
NBA announces salary cap for 2013-14 season

LAS VEGAS - The NBA announced the salary cap for the 2013-14 season will be $58.679 million. The luxury tax level will be $71.748 million.

The salary cap and tax level take effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday, July 10, when the NBA moratorium period ends and teams can begin signing free agents and making trades.

Instead of paying $1 for every dollar over the tax, the penalties are harsher under the new collective bargaining agreement:

July 9, 2013
Defense and more defense focus for the summer

LAS VEGAS - The portion of the Kings evening practice open to the media featured a lot of drills focused on defense.

The Kings allowed a league-worst 105.1 points last season and were near the bottom of the league in several defensive categories.

"It's just what we're going to do," said Kings assistant coach Chris Jent. "It's just a great way to build a foundation. Especially the younger guys, they're going to have learn quicker, things are going to move faster, so it builds great foundations for those young guys because they're going to see it again."'

July 9, 2013
"New" Kings begin summer league with Tuesday morning practice

LAS VEGAS - Summer League is always more important for teams like the Kings than say ... the Miami Heat.

The Kings do not have any of their veterans on the roster. That will leave a lot of room for rookies Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum to get experience prior to training camp in the fall.

Head coach Michael Malone summed up the goals for the next two weeks after this morning's practice:

"Winning, if that happens great. Obviously we all want to win. We're all competitive by nature. They wouldn't be here if that was the case. But more importantly for me, and I told them last night in our meeting, this is our first opportunity to show the NBA who the new Sacramento Kings are going to be. So it's not just a summer league game, it's not just summer league practices, it's a great opportunity for us to establish our identity and show everybody else things have changed in Sacramento. We will defend, we will play unselfish basketball. We will talk on the floor. We will give great multiple efforts. That starts right now, especially for Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum, our two young guys, and let them know what training camp is going to be like when the real season comes along."

Rookie chatter

McCallum said summer league is an opportunity to establish a new way of thinking for the Kings and he wants to be a big part of that:

"It's kind of a new era for the Kings. Bring a winning mindset. That's something I've always been, a winner, a true leader. A point guard, just try to come out here and compete and try to win every day."

Ben McLemore on his first practice:

"Today was a learning experience as far as getting into the mode on the defensive end and offensive end and different sets. I definitely learned a lot today and I'll come in tonight and try to learn more."

The Kings practice again tonight at 5 p.m.

New coaches at work

Some short video of new assistant coach Dee Brown leading drills

July 9, 2013
Kings fill void at small forward; agree to trade for Mbah a Moute

The Kings have agreed to acquire small forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute from the Milwaukee Bucks for two future second-round picks, The Bee has confirmed.

The deal will become official Wednesday when the league moratorium on transactions is lifted.

Mbah a Moute (6-8, 230), a noted defensive player, will be entering his sixth NBA season. He will be expected to fill the void at small forward the Kings have been looking to fill for some time.

Mbah a Moute has two years left on a four-year, $19 million contract he signed as a restricted free agent in Dec. 2011.

Denver signed him to the offer sheet and Milwaukee matched it.

Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro was a part of the front office that signed Mbah a Moute to the offer sheet.

Mbah a Moute was a second-round pick out of UCLA in 2009. He's appeared in 335 games (232 starts) with averages of 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.



July 9, 2013
Kings coach Malone adds assistant coaches, scout to staff

Bee sports staff

The Kings' first Summer League game in Las Vegas isn't until Saturday afternoon against the Dallas Mavericks, but it was a busy Tuesday morning for first-year Kings coach Michael Malone.

After putting his rookies and free-agents through their second day of mini-camp in Las Vegas, Malone announced the team has added two assistant coaches and a team scout to his staff.

Dee Brown, a 12-year NBA veteran, was named assistant coach and is also Director of Player Development. Micah Nori, a former Indiana University four-year star, is an assistant coach, and Bill Pope as advance scout.

Brown and Nori will join lead assistant coach Chris Jent and assistant coach Brendan Malone on the Kings' bench.

Brown, a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics, is best remembered for his "no-look" dunk to win the 1991 All-Star Slam Dunk Contest.

Nori was most recently an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors. Pope recently held the same position of advance scout for the Detroit Pistons.

July 6, 2013
New coach, ownership lead Carl Landry back to Sacramento

Carl Landry returns to the Kings on a four-year deal worth $26 million.

Landry is already familiar with the new Kings leadership. Landry played for coach Michael Malone when he was an assistant in New Orleans and last season in Golden State.

That's also how Landry is familiar with new majority owner Vivek Ranadive. There is no talk of relocation or uncertainty in leadership this time around.

"I'm excited to be the first player in this new era to sign," Landry said. "It's already different. You can tell."

Landry averaged 10.8 points and six rebounds in 81 games (two starts) last season with the Warriors.

Landry averaged 18 points in his first 28 games (all starts) in Sacramento after being traded to the Kings from Houston in 2010 as part of the Kevin Martin trade.

Landry played in 53 games (16 starts) the following season before being traded to New Orleans for Marcus Thornton. Landry was averaging 11.9 points at the time of the deal.

The presence of Malone and Ranadive made committing to the Kings easier.

"The talent is here on this team," Landry said. "We just have to find a way to put it together. And Coach Malone is one of the better coaches in the league."

Landry is a power forward, joining Jason Thompson and Patrick Patterson. Chuck Hayes is also in the rotation of big men.

The Kings are still looking for another small forward.

July 6, 2013
Carl Landry agrees to four-year contract with Kings

20121105_HA_Kings0463.JPGBy Jason Jones
jejones@sacbee.com

The Kings have reached an agreement on a four-year contract with free agent forward Carl Landry. The deal is reportedly worth $26 million.

It's Landry's second stint with the Sacramento Kings. He was the key player from Houston in the Kevin Martin trade in 2010. He was traded to New Orleans in 2011 for Marcus Thornton.

Landry played for Golden State last season.

Check back for more on this story.

PHOTO: Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) blocks a shot by Golden State Warriors power forward Carl Landry (7) during the Kings home season opener at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee

July 4, 2013
Teammates wish Tyreke Evans the best in New Orleans

With Tyreke Evans' departure to New Orleans guaranteed after the Kings, Pelicans and Portland agreed on a three-team trade.

Some of Evans' soon-to-be former teammates took to Twitter to wish him luck.






July 4, 2013
Kings agree to send Evans to Pelicans for Vasquez

The Kings agreed Thursday to trade guard Tyreke Evans to the New Orleans Pelicans in a sign-and-trade deal that also involves the Portland Trail Blazers, league sources confirmed.

Evans, a restricted free agent, will go to the Pelicans with a four-year, $44 million deal. The Kings will receive point guard Greivis Vasquez and two second-round picks from Portland, according to ESPN.

Portland will receive center Robin Lopez and guard Terell Harris from the Pelicans.

July 4, 2013
Kings nearing trade of Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans

The Kings will not match the four-year, $44 million offer sheet that Tyreke Evans has agreed to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans. According to sources close to the situation, the new Kings management group instead is hoping to close Thursday on a sign-and-trade agreement involving Pelicans point guard Greivis Vasquez and backup center Robin Lopez.

No deals can be finalized until July 10.

Because Evans, the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year, is a restricted free agent, the Kings have the right to match any offer he receives in the open market. However, team officials reportedly believe the offer is excessive and would damage the team's long-term salary cap flexibility. They pulled their four-year, $52 million offer to free agent Andre Iguodala Tuesday when the Denver Nuggets swingman refused to make a firm commitment.

Evans' future with the Kings became less certain when the club selected Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore last Thursday in the NBA Draft. Evans, who was shifted from point guard to small forward, and most recently, shooting guard, averaged 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season.

July 3, 2013
Kings announce summer league roster and minicamp

The Kings announced their summer league roster today. The Kings will arrive in Las Vegas July 8 for a minicamp July 9-12 before playing their first summer league game July 13 against Dallas.

The Kings roster has no players from last season. Chris Jent will be the summer league coach. The Kings will play three games before the teams are seeded for the summer league championship tournament.


ROSTER

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate College, Last team/Home Country Yrs.
5 C.J. Aiken F 6-9 200 9/27/90 Saint Joseph's/USA R
21 Will Clyburn G 6-7 210 5/17/90 Iowa State/USA R
4 Chris Evans F 6-8 220 1/29/91 Kent State/USA R
25 Shane Gibson G 6-2 180 1/5/90 Sacred Heart/USA R
1 Xavier Gibson F-C 6-11 248 11/3/88 Florida State, Panelefsiniakos (Greece)/USA R
32 Drew Gordon F 6-9 245 7/12/90 New Mexico/USA R
2 Jorge Gutierrez G 6-3 195 10/27/88 California, NBDL (Canton)/Mexico R
23 David Lighty G 6-5 220 5/27/88 Ohio State, JSF Nanterre (France)/USA R
22 Trent Lockett G 6-5 210 12/10/90 Marquette/USA R
3 Ray McCallum G 6-3 190 6/12/91 Detroit Mercy/USA R
16 Ben McLemore G 6-5 195 2/11/93 Kansas/USA R
42 Trevor Mbakwe F 6-8 236 1/24/89 Minnesota/USA R
34 Nick Minnerath F 6-9 215 8/11/89 Detroit Mercy/USA R
12 Kyle Randall G 5-10 169 9/10/91 Central Michigan/USA R
41 Garrett Stutz C 7-0 255 2/10/90 Wichita State, NBDL (Maine)/USA R

SUMMER LEAGUE HEAD COACH Chris Jent (College - Ohio State)
ASSISTANT COACH Brendan Malone (College - Iona)
HEAD COACH Michael Malone (College - Loyola (MD))
DIRECTOR OF SPORTS MEDICINE Pete Youngman (College - Ithaca)
HEAD ATHLETIC TRAINER Manny Romero (College - Loyola Marymount)

SCHEDULE

Game Day Date Opponent Time Arena
1 Saturday July 13 vs. Dallas 3:00 p.m. Cox Pavilion
2 Monday July 15 vs. Golden State 5:30 p.m. Thomas & Mack Center
3 Tuesday July 16 vs. Toronto 3:00 p.m. Cox Pavilion
4 & 5 To be determined after seeding

July 2, 2013
Reports: Kings no longer pursuing Andre Iguodala

The Sacramento Kings have reportedly pulled a four-year $56 million offer to free agent Andre Iguodala after he did not give the team a commitment.

Iguodala could not sign with the Kings until July 10.

The decision means the Kings can reconsider matching the offer sheet to Tyreke Evans. If the Kings had landed Iguodala, it was unlikely they would match the four-year, $44 million deal the Pelicans have for Evans.

Iguodala tweeted minutes before news broke in apparent reaction to the Kings' decision to no longer pursue him.







July 2, 2013
Report: Kings make big offer to Andre Iguodala

According to Yahoo! Sports, the Kings are making a big offer to free agent swingman Andre Iguodala.



The Kings are making a hard push for Iguodala. General manager Pete D'Alessandro and assistant general manager Mike Bratz were in Denver last season when the Nuggets acquired the former All-Star from Philadlephia.

Iguodala's scoring was down last season. He averaged 13 points to go with 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Iguodala is also one of the NBA's better perimeter defenders.

The Kings allowed a league-worst 105.1 points per game last season.

The push for Iguodala is a reason Tyreke Evans might have played his last game in Sacramento.

Evans could give a verbal commitment to the New Orleans Pelicans to sign a four-year offer sheet worth at least $44 million.

All deals cannot be signed until July 10 when the league moratorium ends.

The Kings would have three days to match the offer to Evans because he is a restricted free agent. But if they are able to sign Iguodala, the chances of matching the offer are slim.

July 2, 2013
Tyreke Evans nearing a decision on Pelicans offer

Tyreke Evans hasn't committed to signing an offer sheet with the New Orleans Pelicans. That decision could come in the next 24 hours.

Evans has a four-year, $44 million offer from New Orleans. Sources familiar with negotiations said Evans could verbally accept the deal as early as tomorrow if he doesn't receive an offer from the Kings that tops the New Orleans offer.

An annual average salary of $12 million would be needed for Evans to reconsider accepting the Pelicans' offer.

Sources said the Kings expected any offer for Evans would be in the range of $9 million annually.

Because Evans is a restricted free agent, the Kings would have three days to match the offer once signed on July 10 when the moratorium on deals is over for the NBA.

It's still uncertain if the Kings would match the offer.

The Kings might try to negotiate a sign-and-trade with New Orleans in order not to lose Evans without compensation.

Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D'Alessandro and coach Michael Malone met with Evans and his representatives in Los Angeles on Monday.

The Kings have also met with free agents Andre Iguodala and Jose Calderon.

July 2, 2013
Restricted free-agent Evans to meet with Atlanta Hawks today

Tyreke Evans will meet with the Atlanta Hawks today and possibly one more team as the restricted free agent continues to field suitors.

Evans already has an offer on the table from the New Orleans Pelicans for four years worth at least $44 million.

The Kings met with Evans Monday evening to express their desire to keep Evans.

July 2, 2013
Kings set meeting with free agent point guard Jose Calderon

By Jason Jones
jejones@sacbee.com

The Kings will meet with free agent point guard Jose Calderon in Sacramento, according to HoopsHype.

The meeting would include Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D'Alessandro, coach Michael Malone and Chris Mullin, who is acting in an advisory role.

Calderon, 31, averaged 11.3 points and 7.1 assists last season playing for Toronto and Detroit.

July 2, 2013
Kings hit L.A. but eschew billboards

While the Kings aggressive attempts to retain Evans and pursue Iguodala, among others, represents a welcome change from the financially depleted Maloofs regime of regime of recent years, it's good to see that majority owner Vivek Ranadive, GM Pete D'Alessandro and coach Michael Malone have some standards.

Billboards featuring images of the Maloofs promising to mow Chris Webber's lawn if the their All-Star forward re-signed when he became a free agent is one thing. In Sac, the gesture was not without its charm. The Kings have never won a title, and they became contenders only after Webber was obtained for an aging Mitch Richmond in 1998. But those billboards in L.A. begging Dwight Howard to return? The Lakers have only won, geez, a zillion NBA Championships. Dwight Howard? Seriously? Dwight Howard?

Self praises the rookie

Kansas coach Bill Self couldn't heap enough praise on his guard, Ben McLemore, who slid to the Kings at No.7.

July 1, 2013
Pelicans make big offer to Tyreke Evans

The New Orleans Pelicans have offered the restricted free agent Tyreke Evans a four-year contract starting at $44 million according to a source familiar with the situation.

Evans could decide as early as tonight to accept the offer, which cannot be signed until July 10, per league rules.

The Kings would have three days to match the offer sheet. If the Kings do not match it, Evans would leave and the Kings would receive no compensation.

July 1, 2013
Video: Kings introduce draft picks McLemore and McCallum

By Jason Jones
jejones@sacbee.com

The Kings introduced draft picks Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum at a news conference this morning at Sleep Train Arena.

McLemore was the Kings' first round pick (No. 7 overall) and McCallum was selected in the second round (No. 36 overall).

"We're very excited to have these two young men," said Vivek Randive, who leads the Kings' new ownership group. "What you're seeing here is the future of the Sacramento Kings."



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