Kings end up with Fredette after draft-day trade

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Kings end up with Fredette after draft-day trade

June 23, 2011KINGS PAGE KINGS VIDEONBA DRAFT TRACKER

SECOND-ROUND UPDATE: The Kings selected forward Tyler Honeycutt from UCLA with the 35th pick overall. With the 60th pick, Sacramento chose Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas.

SACRAMENTO (AP) -- The Kings found a shooter they hope they can eventually pair in the backcourt with Tyreke Evans and a high-profile player to help in marketing when they ended up with high-scoring guard Jimmer Fredette after making a draft-day trade Thursday with Charlotte and Milwaukee.

The Kings moved from seventh to 10th in the draft, while also acquiring swingman John Salmons from the Bucks and sending guard Beno Udrih to Charlotte. That created a need in Sacramento for a shooter in the backcourt who could also play some point guard, making Fredette an attractive option.

Fredette won nearly every player of the year award at BYU last season after leading the nation in scoring with 28.9 points per game, including the Naismith, Wooden, AP and the USBWA awards. With his seemingly unlimited shooting range and a long list of highlights, Fredette was one of the most popular players in college basketball.

That popularity could benefit the Kings, who nearly moved to Anaheim after this past season and are hoping to generate enough interest to build a new arena in Sacramento. The city must have a new arena plan by March 1 or the franchise will likely relocate.

Fredette topped 30 points in 16 of his 37 games at BYU last season, including three 40-point games and a career-high 52 in one game against New Mexico. He also averaged 4.3 assists per game and made 124 3-pointers in helping BYU reach the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament before falling to Florida.

There were questions heading into the draft about Fredette's ability to defend quicker and bigger NBA guards, but the Kings believed the 6-foot-2 Fredette would work well in a backcourt with Evans, who won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 2009-10. The 6-6 Evans has the ability to match up with bigger guards defensively, easing the load on Fredette.

The Kings also have Marcus Thornton in what figures to be a three-guard rotation in the backcourt. Thornton averaged 21.3 points in 23 games for Sacramento after being acquired in a midseason trade with New Orleans.

While Evans' strengths offensively are as a slasher who is able to score in the paint, Fredette gives the Kings one of the best outside shooters who should have room to operate on an offense that also includes last year's first-round pick, center DeMarcus Cousins.

Fredette also gives the Kings another ballhandler and distributor to take pressure off Evans, who is not a natural point guard. Evans was hindered this past season by plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Evans played just 57 games, averaging 17.8 points, 5.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. Those numbers were all down from his spectacular rookie season.

But the Kings are hoping a healthy Evans, a more seasoned Cousins and now Fredette will help improve a franchise that has had five straight losing seasons. Sacramento went 24-58 last season, their third straight year with fewer than 30 wins. Washington and Minnesota are the only other teams that have not reached 30 wins in any of the past three seasons.

The Kings drafted forward Bismack Biyombo of Congo with the seventh pick that they sent to Charlotte. Guards Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker went with the next two picks, creating a natural comparison with Fredette over the next few seasons.

Salmons spent two-plus years with the Kings. His best year was in 2008-09 when he averaged 18.3 points per game before being dealt to Chicago during the season. In nine years in the NBA, Salmons has averaged 10.1 points and 3.1 rebounds.

Udrih spent the past four years with the Kings, averaging a career-high 13.7 points per game last season.

The Kings also got UCLA small forward Tyler Honeycutt with their first second-round pick, 35th overall. Honeycutt averaged 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game as a sophomore last season for the Bruins.

Melvin ponders where Semien fits best in A's batting order

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Melvin ponders where Semien fits best in A's batting order

MESA, Ariz. — Marcus Semien provides the A’s a luxury as a shortstop with great home run power.

With that, an annual question surfaces:

Where is the best spot to hit him in the batting order?

Semien led American League shortstops, and finished second on the A’s, with 27 homers last season, yet he spent the majority of his time hitting seventh or ninth. Given Oakland finished last in the American League in runs last season, would it make sense to move him up higher?

The early indications are that manager Bob Melvin will keep Semien hitting in the bottom third of the order, even though Semien has bounced around in exhibitions so far.

“He and I were talking about that yesterday,” Melvin said Wednesday morning. “I hit him third yesterday. I’ll have him hit second, I think, tomorrow. But boy, it’s a nice little security blanket (hitting him down in the order). And it seems to be that the ‘7’ spot is where (he hits with) some guys on base. It’s nice to have a guy down in the lineup that is that productive.”

Expect Melvin to continue experimenting with different batting-order combos throughout spring training before honing in on a more steady look as late March rolls around. And where he bats Semien will be based, partly, on how Semien’s teammates are performing offensively.

The A’s signed Rajai Davis to be a speedy table-setter from the leadoff spot. They added Matt Joyce and Trevor Plouffe to add some punch through the middle of the lineup. If those three, plus cleanup man Khris Davis, Stephen Vogt, Jed Lowrie and Ryon Healy are producing, it makes more sense to save Semien as a lower-lineup headache for opposing pitchers to deal with. The shortstop’s nine home runs from the No. 9 spot tied for the major league lead in 2016.

And keep in mind, Semien is likely to bat higher against left-handers. He’s a .288 career hitter with a .493 slugging percentage against lefties, compared to .229 and .380 against right-handers. Last season, he made 24 starts in the No. 2 spot.

But where he hits has no bearing on his approach, Semien said.

“I don’t want to try and change what I do based on where I am in the lineup necessarily. I want to become a better hitter no matter what spot I’m in. There was power production from the ‘9’ hole (last season). I hit second a lot against lefties. Either way, whatever is the best chance to win with that lineup that day is what we’ve gotta do.”

Falcons coach Quinn: 49ers' offense, defense in good hands

Falcons coach Quinn: 49ers' offense, defense in good hands

INDIANAPOLIS – Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn believes the 49ers’ offense and defense have capable people charge.

Quinn, speaking Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, has worked on the same staffs with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, who will run the team’s offense, and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

Saleh, who served as Jacksonville’s linebackers coach the past three season, spent one season on the Seattle staff when Quinn was defensive coordinator.

“He has a really good and rock-solid understanding of the principles of playing three-deep and man-to-man,” Quinn said of Saleh. “He’s an excellent teacher. And, I think, as a coordinator that’s a really important thing, especially when you’re first putting the whole thing together so everyone has a real clear understanding and they’re all on the same page. So I think he’ll do a fantastic job.”

Shanahan did not hire an assistant to serve under the title of offensive coordinator. Instead, he will assume those duties with the 49ers while also overseeing the entire operation as head coach. Shanahan has been an NFL offensive coordinator for eight seasons, including the past two under Quinn with the Falcons.

“He is one of the few coaches who has a full understanding – run game, offensive line, quarterback play, receiver play,” Quinn said of Shanahan. “You could put him into any spot on the offense, and he’ll be able to coach that position. That’s a rare trait. There are some guys who are sto strong in one area. It might be in the run game or so strong in the pass game. But he has a really clear understanding how to do the whole thing.

“I never like to see anybody leave the staff, but what I can appreciate is a guy taking a risk to say, ‘Hey, I want to give this a shot and go battle for it.’ So I’m excited for him and the opportunity he has there.”