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

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

By Jason Jones

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."

June 28, 2013
Kings, McLemore, NBA Draft and a great night

So, after an unusually active NBA Draft night (and day), and finally having an opportunity post-deadline to digest the events that took place at draft headquarters in Brooklyn and at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, here are a few late thoughts:

• It's never prudent to overreact to the selections, either favorably or otherwise. Particularly in the era of one-and-done players, where the most talented prospects usually leave college after their freshman seasons and leave little time for scouts/coaches/executives to make their evaluations, this is a dicey business. Just look back at the Lottery picks over the past five NBA seasons. That said, the fact that Ben McLemore dropped to the Kings at No. 7 is very surprising. Everyone knows he can shoot, finish, that he has size (just under 6-5) and athleticism, so this might be one of those situations where GM's think too hard and miss the obvious? Or maybe questions about his maturity and motor are legitimate?

• Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro had long targeted McLemore and, as owner Vivek Ranadive revealed late in the evening, was determined to acquire him. Love the decisiveness. Even the best talent evaluators (see Jerry West) misfire occasionally, but D'Alessandro made it clear he believes McLemore will be a star. It's rare for a lawyer to allow for so little wiggle room ....

• Mike Bibby looks terrific. Now that he's retired, the one-time Kings star also looks like he has too much time on his hands: he was more chiseled than ever. He flew in for the event from his home in Phoenix, and as usual, was applauded enthusiastically when he addressed the crowd. Fans still love that jump shot, especially the buzzer-beater against the Lakers in 2002. Asked about the current Kings, Bibby said, "I think they're young, and they're rebuilding. They just need a few veterans ... like me." He laughed, so I think he was kidding about that last line.

• So who does David Stern think he is? George Clooney? Presiding over the NBA Draft for the final time - retirement looms Feb. 1 - the Commish just let it rip. The hand gestures, the smirks, the grins, the insistence on bringing Shabazz Muhammad to the podium belatedly, the warm embrace of Hakeem Olajuwon at the end. (Olajuwon was the No.1 pick when Stern became Commissioner and began announcing the draft in 1984). This was David Stern uncensored, or, as most of have known him for 30-plus years, as the off-stage David Stern. He deserved to own the stage. Among other things - the global growth of the league, his influence on racial relations, his creation of the WNBA, etc., - Stern had numerous opportunities to let the Kings skip town during the previous two ownership regimes. Instead, here they stay.

• Ranadive is hilarious. At the start of the post-draft press conference, the Kings new majority owner actually opened by saying, "Hi, I'm Vivek." He then interjected the session with D'Alessandro and coach Michael Malone with his increasingly familiar, witty asides. Le's hope he doesn't change. It's easy to be funny when it's all good. Remember when Joe Lacob was booed? The Warriors owner didn't flinch, and, yes, that was his Golden State team in the playoffs.

• Tyreke Evans' absence at the festivities was more than a little intriguing. He was scheduled to make an appearance, and surprisingly, was a late cancellation. Something about having to meet with his agent, Arn Tellem, while the festivites were ongoing? Very curious, to say the least. Tyreke, who is one of the most amiable, accommodating players in the league, shows up for everything - fan festivals, rallies in the park, autograph signings. Assuming he stays with the Kings (he is a restricted free agent), I would rather see him replace John Salmons at small forward than be thrust back into his point guard role.

• Finally, after catching up on replays of ESPN's draft telecast and my longtime colleagues on the NBA.TV post-draft show, I have one question: What happened to Jay Bilas, one of the most knowledgeable, insightful analysts in the business? He was on the ESPN set, but with four people offering opinions and observations, he wasn't able to be nearly enough of a presence. Please, bring him back.

June 27, 2013
Kings' ticket sales are on a roll, leading NBA

Shortly after I walked into Sleep Train Arena for the upcoming NBA Draft proceedings, Kings ticket sales vice-president Phil Horn pulled me aside to provide an update: According to the NBA office, as of Thursday morning, the Kings led all 30 franchises in the sales of new (and full) season ticket packages.

Horn wouldn't reveal the numbers, but he pulled out his cell phone and shared the video he shot while informing his staff about 10 p.m. last night.

The 60 or so salesmen/saleswomen can be seen near their desks, yelling, jumping up and down, and then breaking into the familiar chants of "Sac-ra-men-to."

June 27, 2013
Live chat: NBA Draft marks start of new era as Kings pick seventh

Join Bee sports editor Tom Couzens and deputy sports editor Vic Contreras in a live chat focusing on today's NBA Draft and the Kings' fortunes as they try to get the most value from their seventh-round pick. The chat begins at 4 p.m.

June 29, 2012
Live chat: The Sacramento Kings' NBA draft picks

June 28, 2012
Kings up the intensity with Robinson

The Kings might have the most intense duo of young frontcourt players in the NBA.

The first thing I noticed about Thomas Robinson when I met him at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago was his confidence. It reminded me a lot of DeMarcus Cousins.

Like Cousins, Robinson believed he should be the first pick in the draft. And like Cousins, Robinson plays with an attitude.

Robinson is looking forward to playing with Cousins.

"It's definitely going to help me keep my intensity up with no problem because I know he's going to be going hard," said Robinson of playing with Cousins And if you're out there you can't help but to go hard out there with him."

It doesn't seem like too long ago the Kings were labeled one of the softest teams in the NBA. They're slowly changing that with Cousins, Robinson, Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton joining the team.

Kings coach Keith Smart is going to love Robinson.

"He obviously knows he has to work,," Smart said. "He's from a program (Kansas) that lends itself to working hard before you can be productive. So I don't think you're going to have a problem with him wanting to work to become very good basketball player. IN his mind he probably thought he was the best player and I'm sure he's going to prove that. But he's a very humble individual."

June 28, 2012
Kings trade second-round pick

The Kings traded their second-round pick, 36th overall, to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for cash.

Barring another trade, the Kings have no more draft choices. The Kings selected power forward Thomas Robinson in the first round.

June 28, 2012
Kings select Thomas Robinson with fifth pick

The Kings used the fifth pick on Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson.

Robinson averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds in leading the Jayhawks to the National Championship game, where Kansas lost to Kentucky.

Some would argue Robinson is best prepared to help a team immediately after spending three seasons at Kansas.

Robinson was projected to go as high second to Charlotte, but the Bobcats opted for small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, which led to Robinson sliding to five.

"The teams that skipped past me didn't need me at their position and the Kings took a chance on me and took me at five," Robinson said. "And I'm going to make the best of that."

The All-American forward is known for his toughness and has been compared to David West.

The Kings entered the draft looking for help at power forward and small forward and Robinson (6-9, 240) was generally rated the second best power forward available behind first overall pick Anthony Davis.

June 28, 2012
Live chat replay: NBA draft day

June 27, 2012
Plenty of talk, no action from Kings for now

The Kings and their fifth pick in Thursday's NBA Draft continue to be the subject of rumors.

So I'll try to separate fact from fiction (as I know it at this hour).

*There doesn't appear to be anything substantial or imminent involving the Houston Rockets.'s David Aldridge reported the Kings turned down an offer from Houston of the 16th overall pick and point guard Kyle Lowry for the fifth pick and Chuck Hayes.

There have also been the rumored offer of two first-round picks for Tyreke Evans and the fifth pick (which has been refuted by numerous sources).

The Rockets will likely come calling again. But at this hour there isn't a deal the Kings are close to doing with Houston.

*As impressive as Damian Lillard might have been, it doesn't appear likely the Kings would use the fifth pick on him.

*The Kings are still fielding calls about trading out of the fifth spot. Nothing imminent, but it wouldn't be a shock to see the Kings move back. At this stage, everything is still in play.

By time this is posted I'm sure something will have changed. Such is life in the world of rumors leading up to the NBA Draft.

June 25, 2012
Kings finishing up pre-draft workouts

The NBA Draft is Thursday and the Kings wrapped up their pre-draft workouts today with six players, none who are projected to go in the top-5.

The Kings wouldn't mind hosting more players but as it stands now, that's unlikely to happen.

Miss. State power forward Arnett Moultrie injured his ankle early in the workout. Moultrie and St. John's small forward Moe Harkless were the two players expected to be selected in the first round that worked out for the Kings Monday.

Both players would be possibilities if the Kings traded down, which brings us to reports from ESPN the Houston Rockets could be looking to deal for the Kings' first-round pick (No. 5).

The Kings trading down isn't unrealistic, especially if they believe Harkless could be as good as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes.

Much of what the Kings can/will do depends on the Charlotte Bobcats.

A move by the Bobcats down could mean Kidd-Gilchrist and Barnes would be gone. If the Kings aren't ecstatic over the idea of drafting Thomas Robinson, a productive power forward that lacks the size the Kings are looking for, a trade could be imminent.

The Kings would like a shot-blocking complement to DeMarcus Cousins, but taking a player like John Henson at five would be high, so a deal would be a possibility.

But we have a couple of days to sort all that out.

*Darryl Bryant (West Virginia), Zack Rosen (Pennsylvania), Augustus Gilchrist (South Florida), James Nunnally (UCSB) also worked out for the Kings Monday.

June 12, 2012
Tyler Zeller works out; Lillard, Drummond up next

The Kings hosted six players for a pre-draft workout Tuesday, headlined by North Carolina center Tyler Zeller.

The Kings also announced their first two individual workouts.

Weber State point guard Damian Lillard will workout for the Kings Wednesday. Lillard is considered the best point guard in this draft.

Connecticut center Andre Drummond will workout for the Kings Thursday. He's the top center prospect this year.

*Also of note was as media time wrapped up Kings center Hassan Whiteside was on the court working with strength and conditioning coach Daniel Shapiro.

This is Whiteside's second offseason recovering from an injury. Whiteside's season ended with a badly sprained ankle.

*Tyreke Evans also made an appearance following Tuesday's workout and was greeted by coach Keith Smart. And nope, I didn't catch Evans working out.

JaMychal Green of Alabama was also a part of Tuesday's workout.

June 11, 2012
Henson, Gordon speak; Zeller in town Tuesday

North Carolina forward John Henson continues to say all the right things if he wants to entice the Kings to use the fifth overall pick on him in this month's NBA Draft.

*He's going to work hard to add strength after weighing 216 pounds at last week's NBA Draft Combine.

*He's willing to do all the dirty work (meaning he's not going to join the list of Kings that feel they need 15-plus shots a night).

*He knows DeMarcus Cousins the "the man" on the block and he's willing to play off him.

It still might be a reach to select Henson at five, but if Thomas Robinson is gone and so are small forwards Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes, Henson becomes a legitimate option if the Kings are intent on adding a power forward.

Below is video of Henson and New Mexico forward Drew Gordon from their media time following the six-player workout.

Also here are the six players who will be at Tuesday's workout:

Tyler Zeller, Center, North Carolina
JaMychal Green, Forward, Alabama
Lazeric Jones, Guard, UCLA
Charlie Westbrook, Guard, South Dakota
Wendell McKines, Forward, New Mexico
William Buford, Guard, Ohio State.

Zeller is the player in the group who could be worthy of a first-round pick by the Kings. Five would be considered more a reach for Zeller than Henson.

June 10, 2012
Henson headlines Monday's workout

Here are the six players that will workout for the Kings Monday:

North Carolina forward John Henson
New Mexico forward Drew Gordon
South Dakota guard Charlie Westbrook
Missouri forward Ricardo Ratliffe
Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates
UNLV guard Oscar Bellfield.

Henson is the only player in this group who is a candidate to be drafted in the lottery by the Kings. Some would consider Henson a reach if the Kings used the fifth pick on him.

June 8, 2012
Kings finish combine interviews

CHICAGO - The Kings wrapped their interviews at the NBA Combine by meeting with four players:

William Buford, 6-5, Guard, Ohio State
Darius Miller, 6-8, Guard, Kentucky
Andrew Nicholson, 6-10, Forward, St. Bonaventure
Kevin Jones, 6-8, Forward, West Virginia

Group workouts for prospects begin Monday. North Carolina forward John Henson and New Mexico forward Drew Gordon have said they will be at that workout.

North Carolina center Tyler Zeller will also be in Sacramento for a workout next week.

June 8, 2012
NBA Combine Interviews

CHICAGO - Here are a few videos from media day with some of the prospects the Kings have already met with.

June 8, 2012
Official measurements from Draft Combine

CHICAGO -- The attachment below lists the official measurements from the NBA Draft Combine.

Draft Combine Anthropometric Results.xls

June 7, 2012
John Henson video

CHICAGO -- North Carolina forward John Henson will be in Sacramento Monday for a predraft workout.

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