Game-by-game look at longest homestand of season for Kings

Game-by-game look at longest homestand of season for Kings

The Sacramento Kings have been strangers for much of the season, playing 20 of their first 34 games away from the newly opened Golden 1 Center. Beginning Tuesday with the Miami Heat, they play a season-high seven straight at home.

Here is a quick look at the teams slated to come through Sacramento over the next 14 days.

1 - Miami Heat (10-26) - The Heat are besieged with injuries and come into Sacramento riding a six-game losing streak. They played in Phoenix on Tuesday night, making this a tough back-to-back start for a group missing at least three starters. If the Kings lose here, there's no telling where this homestand goes.

2 - Los Angeles Clippers (23-14) - Two weeks ago the Clippers were listed amongst the contenders for the Western Conference title. But like Miami, the injuries have begun to pile up and so have the losses. Los Angeles knocked off the Suns last time out to break their six-game losing streak, but without Blake Griffin and potentially Chris Paul, this team isn’t nearly as scary.

3 - Golden State Warriors (30-5) - The Warriors are the best team in basketball and they are rolling. Golden State has won three straight and 10-of-11 and they haven’t even hit their stride. They have no way to stop DeMarcus Cousins, but Sacramento struggles to guard the 3-point line where the Warriors feast. Is this a first round playoff preview?

4 - Detroit Pistons (16-21) - This was supposed to be the year that the Pistons joined the Eastern Conference elite, but Stan Van Gundy and his crew are scuffling. Detroit is 2-8 over its last ten and struggling to integrate leading scorer Reggie Jackson back into the mix after a prolonged layoff. This game looked much tougher on paper when the schedule came out.

5 - Cleveland Cavaliers (26-7) - The Champs roll through Sacramento for game five of their season-long six game road trip. Will they look past the Kings to their game against the Warriors three days later? This is a bruising team, but coach Tyronn Lue has sat his stars in plenty of games this season. It will be interesting to see which Cavs team shows up.

6 - Oklahoma City Thunder (21-14) - Russell Westbrook will likely post a triple-double in this game, but the Kings have played the Thunder tough over the past few seasons. If you want to be a playoff team, you have to go .500 against teams like this. OKC is a tough, but beatable as Sacramento showed earlier in the season when they came away with a 116-101 win at Golden 1 Center.

7 - Indiana Pacers (18-18) - When this team was assembled over the summer, they looked like they might be a team on the rise. The Pacers have a soft schedule leading up to the showdown in Sacramento, so their record will likely look much better than it does today. Again, this is one of those 50/50 games that good teams find a way to win on their home floor.
 

Kings finish 2017 NBA Draft with night that can turn franchise around

Kings finish 2017 NBA Draft with night that can turn franchise around

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings had a big draft night. The kind of night that might turn a franchise around. They entered the evening with three picks, including two in the top 10. With their first selection, they filled the franchise’s biggest need when they drafted De’Aaron Fox and then they went to work.
 
Vlade Divac and his team of front office execs jumped on an early trade, dealing the No. 10 overall selection to the Portland Trail Blazers for No. 15 and No. 20. North Carolina’s Justin Jackson was too appealing to pass on, and like Fox, he fit a major position of need. 
 
Sacramento came back with the 20th selection, taking one of the biggest risk/reward picks in the draft. Duke’s Harry Giles is playing on rebuilt knees, but before that, he was one of the top prospects in all of basketball. If he can stay healthy, the Kings may have drafted the biggest steal of the night. 
 
They topped off the evening with the selection of Wooden and Naismith Award winner Frank Mason III with the 34th overall pick. The Kings entered the night without a single point guard and they ended it with two very exciting options. 
 
“I’m very excited about the talent that we brought here tonight,” Divac said. “They’re going to just be an addition to what we’re trying to build here in the second half of the season.”
 
The Kings turned down overtures to move up to draft Fox. The 19-year-old speedster will step in and immediately compete for the starting point guard spot and he’s very excited to be a King.
 
“It’s just the vibe that I got when I was out there,” Fox told local Sacramento media via phone. “I felt like they really wanted me.” 
 
John Calipari is known for his bevy of All-Star bigs throughout the league, but he’s also produced a long line of big-time guards. Sacramento is hoping that Fox can live up to the billing of other former Calipari guards like Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and John Wall. According to Divac, the Kings were so high on Fox, they would have taken him higher. 
 
“Screaming,” Divac said about the reaction in the room to Fox falling in their lap. “It was a guy that we all loved and in some way, if we had the number 1 pick, he would’ve been our guy.”
 
“De’Aaron is our future,” Divac added.
 
Without a perfect fit at 10, Divac made an adjustment on the fly to add more assets. The decision to trade 10 for 15 and 20 was very similar to the last season when the Kings dealt the eighth overall pick for No. 13, 28 and the draft rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic. By splitting the pick in two, the Kings were able to land two talented pieces that mesh with the current roster build.
 
Jackson and Fox know each other well. The duo played AAU ball together and Fox says he considers Jackson an older brother.  He is friends with Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere from their Kentucky connection.
 
“I feel like we can grow together,” Fox said of the Kings’ young core. “Of course, it’s going to take some time, but every franchise takes time.”
 
Fox is the jewel of the night and Jackson will compete for time at the wing, but Giles is the wildcard. The 19-year-old big can play the four and the five and has elite potential. 
 
“I’m so excited he was there for us at the 20,” Divac said. “That kind of talent you can’t pass.”
 
The Kings have done their homework on Giles. The type of knee injury that he sustained is similar to former NBA players Danny Manning, Amaré Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin. Manning and Martin each played 15 years in the league and Stoudemire lasted 14 seasons before retiring in 2016. After meeting him in person in Sacramento and working him out, they are very confident that he will be able to overcome his injuries and have a successful career in the NBA. 
 
Mason III will remind Kings fans of Isaiah Thomas, another undersized point guard that fell to the second round. The Kansas star posted 20.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds for the Jayhawks last season. He’s a hard-nosed leader that can jump out of the gym and will instantly become a fan favorite in Sacramento. 
 
It’s a huge haul. Sacramento added two points guards, a wing and a big from some of the best basketball schools in the country. More than that, they added high character winners to a changing culture. 
 
For the first time in a while, the Sacramento Kings have accumulated assets. They have hit the ground running in their attempted rebuild and for one night, they are the talk of the NBA.

Kings select PG Frank Mason III No. 34 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft

Kings select PG Frank Mason III No. 34 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft

With the No. 34 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Kings selected the 2016-17 Player of the Year in point gaurd Frank Mason III.

Mason averaged 20.9 points and 5.2 assists per game as a senior at Kansas. 

The Kings wrapped up the 2017 NBA Draft with point guard De'Aaron Fox at No. 5, small forward Justin Jackson at No. 15, power forward Harry Giles at No. 20 and Mason at No. 34.