Kings Blog and Q&A

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

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January 12, 2014
Pre-game notes: Kings cancel sending McCallum to D-League

The Kings pulled an about-face this morning ahead of their 3 p.m. game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, announcing they had assigned guard Ray McCallum to the Reno Bighorns of the Development League and then rescinding the assignment an hour later.

Head coach Michael Malone just explained the reasoning behind the move (or non-move), first clarifying that McCallum hadn't actually left the team today before they decided to keep him around for the game.

"He's like Elvis -- he never left the building," Malone said.

"We're playing a team that likes to play a lot of small ball," Malone continued. "They'll play three ball-handling guards out there at times with Jarrett Jack, Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving, so (we) just felt why not have Ray around today in a game that he might be able to play in."

Malone, who added that McCallum is "probably one of our better perimeter defenders," did make it sound like the first-year guard will be headed to the D-League soon. He has one previous stint in Reno this season, averaging 22 points in three games between Nov. 21 and 27.

November 26, 2013
Kings complete deal for Derrick Williams

The Kings have officially acquired forward Derrick Williams from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for forward Luc Mbah a Moute.

Williams, 22, was the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft out of Arizona and had been the subject of trade speculation most of his time in Minnesota.

The Kings hope Williams will add a spark to the front court.

"Athleticism," said Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro. "To me that is is something we need get and that's what Derrick is, he's an athlete and a basketball player."

The Timberwolves did not see Williams (6-8, 240) as their long-term answer at small forward and he was not going to supplant Kevin Love at power forward.

It also didn't help that the general manager that drafted Williams, David Kahn, is gone and replaced by Flip Saunders as the top decision maker.

"We're taking a chance on a kid who was the No. 2 pick in the draft who has a tremendous amount of potential," said Kings coach Michael Malone. "And we're going to give him every opportunity to showcase the potential we believe he has."

D'Alessandro said Williams would see time at small forward but wouldn't rule out coach Michael Malone playing Williams playing power forward, too.

"He's played both and we spent a lot of time studying him," D'Alessandro said. "I think he'll play some three here but we're not going to lock him or our coaching staff in."

Added Malone: "Right now he's going to play the three four us and he'll slide to the four at times."

Mbah a Moute, 27, was acquired in July from Milwaukee for two second-round draft picks. He played in nine games for the Kings.

Mbah a Moute gives the Timberwolves the defensive presence they need.

"Luc was playing well for us," said guard Isaiah Thomas. "He did all the little things. He's one of the best defenders in the NBA and made defense a little bit easier for everybody else."

The Kings need Williams to use the talent that made him a high draft pick to boost what has been an overall disappointing effort from Kings forwards to start the season.

"I think certainly there have been some times where we've been flat offensively," D'Alessandro said. "And (Williams is) a threat and can help us today."

Williams is averaging 4.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 11 games this season. He has played just 14.7 minutes per game.

Williams has averaged 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds for his career.

Williams averaged 12 points last season in 24.6 minutes per game, which D'Alessandro said was solid improvement in his second NBA season.

"I think there's a lot we haven't seen from him so there's a lot of potential in him," D'Alessandro said. "And he's shown some ability right now."


November 25, 2013
Kings close to trading Mbah a Moute for Derrick Williams

The Kings are in talks to trade foward Luc Mbah a Moute to the Minnesota Timberwolves for forward Derrick Williams according to league sources.

The players would have to pass physicals to complete the deal, which could happen as soon as Tuesday.

The Kings acquired Mbah a Moute from Milwaukee in July for two second round draft picks.

Williams was the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft out of Arizona. Williams, however, has not had an impact with the Timberwolves.

There are questions about what position Williams should play. The Kings need a small forward, but Williams is viewed as a tweener by many whose best position might be power forward.

The Kings already have Jason Thompson, Patrick Patterson playing power forward.

John Salmons and Travis Outlaw have played small forward, with Outlaw also spending time at power forward.

Mbah a Moute was brought in to be the defensive stopper the Kings have lacked in recent years.

After sitting out most of the preseason with a sore right knee, Mbah a Moute eventually cracked the starting lineup and had been the Kings' most versatile and best individual defender.

Williams (6-8, 240) is averaging 4.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 11 games this season. Williams is playing just 14.7 minutes per game.

Williams averages 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds for his career.

Mbah a Moute is averaging 4.4 points and three rebounds in nine games with the Kings.

November 24, 2013
Travis Outlaw fined for flagrant foul

LOS ANGELES - The NBA has fined Kings forward Travis Outlaw $15,000 for "making excessive and unnecessary contact" on his Flagrant Foul 2 in Saturday's 103-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Outlaw was ejected with 8:06 left in the game after the call, when he fouled Clippers guard J.J. Redick when trying to prevent him from making a layup.

Outlaw will be available for Sunday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

November 21, 2013
McCallum assigned to Reno Bighorns


The Kings assigned rookie guard to the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League on Thursday.

The Bighorns begin their season Friday at Sioux Falls.

McCallum, who traveled with the Kings to Phoenix for Wednesday night's win, has not appeared in a game during the regular season.

The move had long been expected, as the Kings want their second-round pick to develop with playing time.

Brandon Heath, DeQuan Jones and Trent Lockett were with the Kings in training camp and play for the Bighorns.

The Kings operate the Bighorns, so McCallum will be in schemes and running drills similar to what the Kings are doing.

November 7, 2013
Atlanta's Schroder suspended for hitting DeMarcus Cousins in the groin

20131105_ha_KINGS1198.JPGThe NBA suspended Atlanta guard Dennis Schroder one game for hitting Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in the groin during the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game at Sleep Train Arena.

Schroeder will miss Atlanta's game at Denver tonight.

Cousins was irate after the play that occurred with 9:54 to play in the game because the officials missed it and did not call a foul of any kind.

The penalty for that kind of play is consistent with punishment Cousins received last season for hitting then-Dallas guard O.J. Mayo in the groin.

You can see the Schroder play here.

PHOTO CREDIT: DeMarcus Cousins reacts after getting hit below the belt by the Hawks' Dennis Schroder on Tuesday night. No foul was called on Schroder. Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee.

October 31, 2013
Kings decline contract option on Jimmer Fredette

The Kings have declined to pick up the fourth-year option on Jimmer Fredette's contract for the 2014-15 season worth $3.3 million.

Fredette will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. The Kings could re-sign Fredette at a reduced salary, but the decision more than likely means this is the Fredette's final season with the Kings.

It also means Fredette is more likely to be valued in a trade, as he'd be an expiring deal that would create salary-cap space for next summer's free agency class.

The Kings drafted two guards in June (Ben McLemore, Ray McCallum) and traded for Greivis Vasquez. The front office likes Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton has two more years left on his contract.

Fredette is due $2.6 million this season. He was the 10th overall pick in the 2011 Draft after a standout career at Brigham Young University capped with being the consensus National Player of the Year as a senior.

There might not have been a more well-known college player than Fredette that season.

Fredette remains extremely popular, even as his playing time as a pro has been inconsistent.

There have been questions about Fredette's defense, and whether he has the ballhandling skills to be a point or shooting guard in the NBA.

Fredette did not play in Wednesday night's season opening win over the Denver Nuggets.

Fredette averages 7.2 points on 40.2 percent shooting in 130 career games.

October 23, 2013
Kings assistant coach Brendan Malone resigns

The Kings announced assistant coach Brendan Malone has resigned, effective immediately.

Malone, is the father of head coach Michael Malone.

"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 said in a statement. "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."

Chris Jent is Michael Malone's lead assistant. Corliss Williamson and Micah Nori are the other coaches.

Dee Brown and Ryan Bowen serve assistant coach/player development roles.

"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."

October 15, 2013
Patrick Patterson sees progress rebounding

Patrick Patterson grabbed seven rebounds in Monday night's preseason win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

It's an area of focus for Patterson, who averaged a career-high 4.7 rebounds last season, but not nearly the rate he'd like as an NBA power forward.

"Last night was a good step in the right direction and that's what I want to do," Patterson said after. If I come off the bench I want to grab six or seven rebounds. If I start my goal is eight or nine. I think I'm making headway, making moves in the right direction."

Patterson came off the bench against the Clippers, but is still trying to push Jason Thompson for the starting job.

Patterson offers a different look for the Kings because he is a good jump shooter.

Patterson is a career 49.5 percent shooter from the field, including 37.2 percent from three-point range.

And with Carl Landry out after hip surgery, Patterson is a more important part of what the Kings do this season.

If Patterson can rebound better, that will increase his chances to contribute.

* The Kings waived guard Brandon Heath and forward DeQuan Jones. The Kings now have 16 players on their roster, one above the league maximum for the regular season.

September 30, 2013
Ranadive banks on DeMarcus Cousins to build Kings' future

By Jason Jones
jejones@sacbee.com

The Kings held a press conference to announce the team signed center DeMarcus Cousins to a four-year contract extension worth $62 million, the maximum allowed by NBA rules.

The contract takes effect after this season.

"I usually have a lot to say, but I'm short on words today," Cousins said.

September 29, 2013
Kings release training camp roster

Num Player Pos Ht Wt DOB Prior to NBA/Country Yrs
15 DeMarcus Cousins C 6-11 270 08/13/1990 Kentucky/USA 3
7 Jimmer Fredette G 6-2 195 02/25/1989 Brigham Young/USA 2
42 Chuck Hayes F 6-6 250 06/11/1983 Kentucky/USA 8
0 DeQuan Jones F 6-8 230 06/20/1990 Miami (Fla.)/USA 1
24 Carl Landry F 6-9 248 09/19/1983 Purdue/USA 6
20 Trent Lockett G 6-5 210 12/10/1990 Marquette/USA R
33 Luc Mbah a Moute F 6-8 230 09/09/1986 UCLA/Cameroon 5
3 Ray McCallum G 6-3 190 06/12/1991 Detroit/USA R
16 Ben McLemore G 6-5 195 02/11/1993 Kansas/USA R
55 Hamady Ndiaye C 7-0 235 01/12/1987 Rutgers/Senegal 2
25 Travis Outlaw F 6-9 207 09/18/1984 Starkville HS (MS)/USA 10
9 Patrick Patterson F 6-9 235 03/14/1989 Kentucky/USA 3
5 John Salmons F-G 6-6 207 12/12/1979 Miami (Fla.)/USA 11
22 Isaiah Thomas G 5-9 185 02/07/1989 Washington/USA 2
34 Jason Thompson F-C 6-11 250 07/21/1986 Rider/USA 5
23 Marcus Thornton G 6-4 205 06/05/1987 Louisiana State/USA 4
10 Greivis Vasquez G 6-6 211 01/16/1987 Maryland/Venezuela 3

September 26, 2013
Kings, Cousins reach agreement on contract extension

By Jason Jones and Ailene Voisin

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.

Cousins joins Washington guard John Wall and Indiana swingman Paul George as members of the Class of 2010 to sign maximum extensions.

Cousins was the fifth overall pick in 2010 after one season at the University of Kentucky. He led the Kings in scoring and rebounding last season, but also had run-ins with coaches, teammates and even television commentators that led to questions about his maturity and worthiness of max deal.

But new Kings ownership said immediately Cousins was the cornerstone of the franchise. Chairman Vivek Ranadive's first call after closing the deal for the Kings was to Cousins.

Cousins averaged 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds last season.

September 13, 2013
Kings sign DeQuan Jones for training camp

The Kings have signed forward DeQuan Jones to a contract for training camp.

Training camp begins Oct. 1 in Santa Barbara.

Jones (6-8, 221) spent his rookie season with the Orlando Magic, appearing in 63 games last season. He averaged 3.7 points in 12.7 minutes per game after playing at the University of Miami.

The Kings already have 14 guaranteed contracts for the 2013-14 season. Ideally the 15th spot would remain unfilled to provide flexibility for possible transactions during the season.


March 1, 2013
Kings working on buyout with point guard Aaron Brooks

20121219_HA_kings_Warriors2nd0383.JPGBy Jason Jones
jejones@sacbee.com

SAN ANTONIO - The Kings are negotiating a buyout with guard Aaron Brooks.

Once a starter, Brooks' playing time has dwindled in recent weeks in favor of Jimmer Fredette.

In his first 35 games of the season, Brooks averaged 23.6 minutes per game averaging 9.1 points and 2.7 assists. In his past 11 appearances, he's averaged 12.1 minutes, 4.3 points and 1.1 assists.

In 46 games played with the Kings this season, Brooks averaged 24.4 points per game with 8.0 points and 2.3 assists. He did not play in five of the Kings' past six games.

The recently acquired Toney Douglas added to the glut at point guard behind Isaiah Thomas.

The Kings coveted Brooks for some time and signed him to a two-year, $6.6 million free-agent contract last summer.

Brooks, 28, played in China last season.

PHOTO: Sacramento Kings point guard Aaron Brooks (3) celebrates a 3-point basket in the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors on Wed., Dec. 19, 2012 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

July 27, 2012
Cohesion key to Kings improvement

This remains the 30 (maybe 40-win) question for the Kings.

Can they all just get along and play like a team?

The question was fair game again this afternoon at Jason Thompson's press conference. Thompson re-signed with the Kings a couple of weeks ago, but it took time to schedule the press conference due to schedule conflicts.

Thompson's five-year deal is worth $30.2 million.

Thompson isn't being brought back to score. The sooner more Kings mature and realize how to find their offense within the team - something the Kings like about Thompson -the sooner the Kings can start realistically start talking about winning more than 30 percent of their games in a season.

"The big opportunity for our team, Jason along with the rest of his teammates is how much more cohesive they can become as a group and making each other better when they play," said Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie.

Part of that process is maturity from the team's young stars - DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton -who figure to get the bulk of the shots this season.

That also carries over on defense. For one of the worst defenses in the NBA to improve, the Kings need to function as a unit on defense.

Thompson believes the addition of Aaron Brooks will help in that process, too. Coach Keith Smart began the process of organizing the offense and looking to shore up the Kings' defense at the point of attack by starting Isaiah Thomas at point guard.

"(Brooks) can only help Isaiah with him maturing and being that floor general that we need," Thompson said.

If the entire team doesn't mature and learn to work together on both ends, the Kings are in for another season in the 20-win range.

July 16, 2012
Kings to add Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is on his way to Sacramento.

The point guard tweeted "Sacramento Kings" in the last hour. The deal is agreed upon and expected to be worth around $3 million this season and a two-year deal.

The Kings would have 15 players under contract with Brooks. Of those players, Hassan Whiteside does not have a guaranteed deal.

If the Kings look to keep an open roster spot, Whiteside could be in trouble and a candidate to be released.

Brooks (6-0, 161) was the NBA's Most Improved Player for the 2009-10 season for the Houston Rockets when he posted career highs of 19.6 points and 5.3 assists.

Brooks was dealt to Phoenix the following season. Brooks played in China last season instead of waiting for the NBA lockout to end.

Brooks has been thought highly of by the Kings for some time. He was a first-round pick of the Rockets in 2007 and often linked to the Kings in trade talks.

Brooks can score and is also a career 36.3 percent shooter from the three-point line. Brooks, 27, averages 12.5 points for his career.

July 16, 2012
Kings payroll increases this offseason; Whiteside waived

LAS VEGAS - Fans might have wanted a splashy addition via free agency that hasn't happened. But the Kings are spending more money than they have in recent seasons.

The addition of James Johnson ($2.8 million) brings the Kings' payroll to $55.5 million. That is the Kings' highest payroll since the 2008-09 season. The salary cap for this season is $58.044 million while the minimum team salary is $49.337 million.

The Kings have 14 players under contract. Center Hassan Whiteside was waived. His salary of $847,307 becomes available.

July 9, 2012
Kings sign top draft pick Robinson

The Kings announced Monday they have signed first-round draft pick Thomas Robinson to a contract.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Robinson, a 6-foot-9, 244-pound power forward, was the fifth overall pick in the draft out of Kansas. He was a first-team All-American last season, when he led Kansas to the NCAA championship game.

The announcement comes a day after the Kings reached an agreement with restricted free agent power forward Jason Thompson, who can sign his contract Wednesday.

June 27, 2012
Donte' Greene says goodbye to Sacramento

As I noted a couple of days ago, the lack of an announcement about a qualifying offer for Donte' Greene with the announcement of Jason Thompson's qualifying offer meant Greene had more than likely played his last game with the Kings.

Greene confirmed that today on his Twitter account.

June 25, 2012
Kings extend qualifying offer to Jason Thompson

In news that is no surprise, the Kings have officially extended a qualifying offer to forward Jason Thompson, making him a restricted free agent.

Should Thompson sign an offer sheet with another team, the Kings have the right to match it.

The Kings made it clear they planned to retain Thompson, who spent parts of the last two seasons watching as players were brought in to upgrade the frontcourt.

Besides drafting DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings traded for center Samuel Dalembert, signed power forward Chuck Hayes and traded for J.J. Hickson.

But Thompson emerged as the consistent complement to Cousins last season, averaging 9.1 points and 6.9 rebounds.

Thompson was the Kings' first-round draft pick in 2008, 12th overall.

The Kings did not announce a similar move with forward Donte' Greene. That means barring a change of thinking, Greene will become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

With the Kings likely to draft another small forward and with John Salmons, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt and Travis Outlaw already on the roster, the chances of Greene re-signing were slim to start.

April 27, 2012
Kings win tiebreaker, slotted fifth for draft lottery

The Kings won a tiebreaker with the New Jersey Nets and will be slotted fifth for next month's NBA Draft Lottery to be held May 30.

Both teams finished with 22-44 records. The Nets beat the Kings in Sacramento, 111-99, March 31.

The Kings have a 7.6 percent chance of winning the first pick in the draft. The Nets have a 7.5 percent chance of landing the top pick.

The lowest the Kings would end selecting after the lottery is eighth.

The Charlotte Bobcats (7-59) have a 25 percent chance of picking first.

The Kings will have the fifth or sixth pick in the second round, based on lottery results. If New Jersey picks ahead of the Kings in the first round, the Kings would pick fifth in the second round.

TEAM RECORD LOTTERY CHANCES (out of 1,000)

Charlotte 7-59 250
Washington 20-46 199
Cleveland 21-45 138
New Orleans 21-45 137
Sacramento 22-44 76
New Jersey* 22-44 75
Golden State# 23-43 36
Toronto 23-43 35
Detroit 25-41 17
Minnesota (To New Orleans via LA Clippers) 26-40 11
Portland 28-38 8
Milwaukee 31-35 7
Phoenix 33-33 6
Houston 34-32 5

* This pick may be conveyed to Portland.
# This pick may be conveyed to Utah via New Jersey.


March 21, 2012
Kings sign Terrence Williams to 10-day contract

As expected, the Kings announced today they have signed swingman Terrence Williams to a 10-day contract.

Williams, 24, was released by the Houston Rockets last week and was at the Kings' game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. He averaged 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12 games for the Rockets this season.

Williams was the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of Louisville. He played one full season for the New Jersey Nets, who traded him to the Rockets last season.

March 20, 2012
Kings intend to keep Jason Thompson around

Early into the 2010-11 season it was questionable if Jason Thompson would finish the season with the Kings.

Thompson was behind DeMarcus Cousins, Samuel Dalembert and Carl Landry for playing time. Coach Paul Westphal even experimented with Thompson as a small forward.

Now Thompson has played himself into a role with the Kings for the immediate future. Thompson wasn't given a contract extension this season, but Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie has been impressed with how Thompson has performed this season.

March 5, 2012
Kings exercise option on Smart's contract for 2012-13

The Kings announced today they have picked up Keith Smart's contract option for 2012-13, ensuring Smart will return next year as the team's head coach.

"Keith has done a terrific job of taking control of the direction of the team," said Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations, in a written statement. "He is active, engaged and working hard to develop our young players along with a complementary style of play."

Smart began the season as an assistant coach and was promoted after Paul Westphal was fired following a 2-5 start and a public feud with second-year center DeMarcus Cousins.

The Kings are 10-20 since Smart took over as head coach on Jan. 5.

March 1, 2012
Kings' Thomas named rookie of the month

Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas was named today by the NBA as the Western Conference rookie of the month for February

In February, Thomas led all Western Conference rookies in scoring at 12.2 points per game and was second in assists with 4.4. In the first five starts of his career, the point guard scored 96 points, matching Otis Birdsong's 1970-71 franchise record for most points in a player's first five games.

Thomas will be back on the court tonight when the Kings take on the Los Angeles Clippers at 7 p.m. at Power Balance Pavilion.

The Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving was named rookie of the month in the Eastern Conference after leading all rookies in scoring (19.3) and minutes (35.3). He scored 20 or more six times in February.

February 16, 2012
DeMarcus Cousins will play for Charles Barkley

AUBURN HILL, Mich. - Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was drafted by Charles Barkley and will play for "Team Chuck" in the Rising Stars Challenge next Friday during All-Star weekend in Orlando.

Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal served as general managers and had 10 rookies and 10 second-year players to select from after Miami rookie Norris Cole and New York's Jeremy Lin were added to the pool.

February 3, 2012
Kings recall Whiteside from D-League

The Kings announced today they have recalled center Hassan Whiteside from the Reno Bighorns of the Development League.

Whiteside will be with the Kings in Sacramento for Saturday's 7 p.m. game against the Golden State Warriors.

Since being assigned to the Bighorns on Jan. 1, Whiteside has played in 11 games and averaged 7.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and three blocks in 18.9 minutes. Whiteside has yet to appear in a game for the Kings this season.

January 31, 2012
Report on Kings' Petrie 'not true,' Joe Maloof says

As reported several times in The Bee and on sacbee.com -- most recently in Ailene Voisin's column on Jan. 18 -- Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie's future with the team appears increasingly uncertain.

But a report that surfaced Monday night in a fan blog, Sactown Royalty, attributed only to sources - that Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof have considered relieving Petrie of his position and have contacted a management agent - has been denied forcefully by Joe Maloof.

"No, this is not true," Maloof texted The Bee. "I had heard about (the rumor). We will be fine. We have had the toughest schedule in the league by far."

January 13, 2012
Kings make Alex English hiring official

Below is the statement form the Kings on Alex English joining Keith Smart's coaching staff:

Sacramento Kings' President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie announced today the hiring of Alex English as an assistant coach, joining current assistants Jim Eyen, Jim Todd and Bobby Jackson on Head Coach Keith Smart's staff.

January 5, 2012
Video: Keith Smart press conference

Keith Smart addresses the media after being named the new head coach of the Kings.

* Smart said he will treat the coming days as a training camp. "I'm going to go into it with the idea of, 'Who would be my starters?' and work from there. Unfortunately we're in the middle of a season, and don't have the kind of time we need, but I'm going to focus on the team that I put out there on the floor tonight and see where they go."

* Smart said communication with players is one of his strong suits.

* Smart said the Kings have a skill set conducive to a running team, but that fostering that kind of offensive identity will be a process.

January 5, 2012
Video: Geoff Petrie press conference

Geoff Petrie addresses the media regarding the Kings' coaching change.

Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations, announced at a news conference this afternoon that Keith Smart has been named the new head coach of the Sacramento Kings.

The team announced earlier today that former head coach Paul Westphal had been fired following the Kings' 2-5 start to the 2011-12 season.

* Petrie said he talked with Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof "at length" on Wednesday and recommended that the coaching change "was probably necessary."

* Petrie downplayed the idea that a rift between Westphal and DeMarcus Cousins was a deciding factor in the decision to fire Westphal. "A lot of this goes to the greater areas of the way the team is playing and the performance levels of a lot of the players on the team beyond DeMarcus," Petrie said.

* Petrie said of Smart: "We think he's the best guy for the job right now."

January 5, 2012
Kings schedule news conference at 5:15 pm with Keith Smart

Want to find out what assistant coach Keith Smart thinks about being promoted to head coach for tonight's game against the Bucks?

The Kings will have two news conferences this afternoon - 5 p.m. with basketball president Geoff Petrie and 5:15 p.m. with Smart - at Power Balance Pavilion in the aftermath of todays' firing of Paul Westphal as head coach.

We'll be there with reporters, photographers and video, so please check back for updates.

Plus, columnist Marcos Breton will be on a live chat 6 p.m.-7 p.m. and Matt Kawahara will host tonight's in-game live chat beginning just before tipoff. Check out both here on the Kings Blog beginning at 6 p.m.

January 2, 2012
Cousins traveling with Kings to Memphis

By Bee Staff

DeMarcus Cousins is traveling with the Kings to Memphis today, Cousins' agent, John Greig, told The Bee's Jason Jones.

Cousins was sent home before the Kings' game against the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday. The Kings released a statement from coach Paul Westphal saying Cousins demanded a trade following the Kings' loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday -- a claim Cousins' agent has denied.

The Kings play at Memphis on Tuesday. Check back for more on this story as it develops.

December 24, 2011
Video: Chuck Hayes press conference

Unedited video from the Chuck Hayes press conference this morning. Hayes will practice today and has been named team captain.

December 23, 2011
Geoff Petrie statement on Chuck Hayes re-signing

The following is a statement from Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie on the announcement of Chuck Hayes re-signing with the Kings tonight. The Kings will have a press conference tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.:

"It is a profound pleasure to announce the signing of Chuck Hayes to a new multi-year contract. Chuck's abilities and potential contribution have been previously described in great detail and remain unchanged. There is a much larger human story contained in the ongoing series of events which have encompassed the last eight days that go beyond basketball. It should be embraced. Some undoubtedly will seek to find some element of failure in this. There is no failure here. Chuck's story and return has been so much more about caring, support, hope, faith, prayer, and a livable redemption. These values represent a larger part of the oxygen of life. The travails and then the triumph of the human spirit is what transpired here. There should be inspiration in this for everyone, especially at this time of the year. In closing, I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday with their families, friends, and loved ones, and to all a good night."

December 22, 2011
Kings announce agreement in principle with Chuck Hayes

The Sacramento Kings issued the following statement:

"The Sacramento Kings tonight have reached an agreement in principle with free agent center/forward Chuck Hayes to a multi-year contract, according to Kings' President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed."

The deal is for four years and worth $22.4 million. Hayes' original deal with the Kings was worth $21.3 million over four years.

December 21, 2011
Kings waive Hill, Oliver

The Kings announced today the team has waived forward Lawrence Hill and guard Adrian Oliver, trimming the roster to 13 players.

Hill (6-8, 220), a Stanford product, and Oliver (6-4, 210), who played at Modesto Christian High School, were both signed on Dec. 10. Neither played in Tuesday night's final preseason game against the Golden State Warriors, and they were not at practice today.

* Guard Marcus Thornton did not practice after he had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night with a kidney stone, head coach Paul Westphal said. Thornton passed the kidney stone and Westphal said he is day-to-day.

* Forward John Salmons also did not practice. Westphal said Salmons (right quadriceps contusion) still has "a lot of pain in that bruised thigh" and is day-to-day. Salmons worked out individually during part of the practice session on a side court.

-- Matt Kawahara

December 21, 2011
Samuel Dalembert will not be a King

The Kings issued a statement that the team had withdrawn its contract offer to free agent center Samuel Dalembert.

Within minutes of the announcement ESPN's Marc Stein reported Dalembert had agreed on a two-year deal with the Houston Rockets.

And I have the darndest timing. I was on the phone with Dalembert for less than 30 seconds when he told me he had to call me back.

I guess he must have had a call from Houston.

December 19, 2011
Peja Stojakovic retires after 13 years

In what probably shouldn't come as a big surprise, former Kings small forward Peja Stojakovic told ESPN.com earlier today that he is retiring.

Though only 33, the three-time All-Star has been bothered by serious back and neck issues for the past several years. The problems began during his final months with the Kings - he was traded to for Ron Artest in 2006 - and persisted throughout his subsequent tenure with the Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets and Dallas Mavericks. He joined the defending champion Mavericks late last season and was a major contributor throughout most of the playoffs.

Peja's best years, of course, were with the Kings, the team that drafted him with the 14th overall pick in 1996. It took Geoff Petrie two years to finally pry him away from PAOK, where he was the Greek League MVP.

December 15, 2011
Crawford chooses to sign with Portland over Kings

Free-agent guard Jamal Crawford, who the Kings and Portland Trail Blazers had courted in the past few days sent out a Twitter post Thursday morning announcing his decision.

"Rip city!!!"

And just like that, the Kings lost out on one of the best scoring guards, and another veteran who could have helped shape Sacramento's young roster, available on the market.

-- Victor Contreras

December 11, 2011
Video: Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie

More of my amateur video skills:

December 10, 2011
Kings open training camp this afternoon

With training camp with their first practice this afternoon I'm back to having video capability. Consider these practice runs and in a couple of days I should be close to 100 percent.

Media availability begins at 1 p.m., about an hour into practice. Be sure to check the blog later today and follow me on Twitter @mr_jasonjones for more frequent updates.



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