Kings blown out of Memphis, 128-95

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Kings blown out of Memphis, 128-95

BOX SCORE
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Rudy Gay had 23 points, Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo added 22 apiece and the Memphis Grizzlies won their sixth straight, 128-95 over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.Marc Gasol had 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Marreese Speights contributed 12 points and 15 rebounds for Memphis, which scored a season high.Jimmer Fredette led the Kings with a season-high 20 points and six assists, while Donte Greene and DeMarcus Cousins scored 19 apiece. Cousins also had 11 rebounds and Tyreke Evans had 13 points.The Grizzlies led by only eight at halftime, but opened the second half with a 12-0 run to push the lead to 20. The Kings, who snapped a two-game winning streak, trailed by as many as 39 in the fourth quarter.The victory moved the Grizzlies atop the Southwest Division, percentage points ahead of San Antonio and Dallas.Conley's shooting gave Memphis an early 16-point lead, as the Grizzlies point guard hit all seven of his shots for 15 first-quarter points. He eventually would hit eight straight and 10 of 11 in the half for 22 points.The Memphis lead expanded to 19 early in the second quarter, but the Kings battled back behind Fredette, who scored all 15 of his first-half points in the second quarter.That helped the Kings outscore Memphis 39-34 in the quarter by hitting 17 of 26 shots and cut the halftime lead to 68-60.Gay and Mayo had 12 points apiece for Memphis. Cousins had 12 for the Kings.Memphis again took over the game at the start of the second half, scoring the first 12 points for an 80-60 lead. The Grizzlies eventually would lead by 28 points in the third period by outscoring the Kings 34-16.Gasol had 11 in the quarter for Memphis, and, by the early stages of the fourth period, the Kings' reserves were on the floor with Memphis owning a 30-point advantage.Notes: Grizzlies C Hamed Haddadi, who has not played this season because of visa problems, dressed for the game. Asked before the game if Haddadi was on limited minutes, Memphis coach Lionel Hollins replied: "Unlimited minutes. He'll play as long as my desire for him to play." Haddadi played just over 5 minutes with two points and five rebounds. ... Memphis has won seven of the last eight in the series. .The Kings are now 4-6 under coach Keith Smart. ... Gasol hit a 3-pointer midway through the third, only his second long-range attempt this season. ... Kings G Marcus Thornton left the game in the first half with a stiff left thigh. ... Kings F John Salmons missed his first game of the season. Kings officials said he stayed at the team's hotel with an illness. Francisco Garcia started in his place.

Kings head into free agency with money to burn, but limited roster spots

Kings head into free agency with money to burn, but limited roster spots

Draft night is over and done with and the Sacramento Kings filled plenty of holes in their roster for the 2017-18 season. They added a pair of young point guards and a small forward to help fill their two biggest roster needs. They also took a gamble on Duke’s Harry Giles with the 20th overall selection which adds depth in the post long term.

Step one of the summer calendar is done and now the focus shifts to free agency which begins July 1. The Kings have limited roster space, but truckloads of cap space to work with. The NBA has reduced their projected cap for the 2017-18 season to $99 million and the Kings are way below that figure. While the cap is more complicated than just a raw spreadsheet, here is a look at where the Kings currently stand.

2017-18 Salaries - $28.9 million
Projected Rookie Salaries - $9.7 million
Dead Money - $6.1 million
Total - $44.7

Sacramento opted out of both Anthony Tolliver’s $8 million contract ($2 million buyout) and Arron Afflalo’s $12.5 million ($1.5 buyout). They also waived Matt Barnes mid-season, stretching his salary for the 2017-18 season over the next three years ($2.1 million per season).

In addition to Tolliver, Afflalo and Barnes, Rudy Gay informed the team earlier this month that he opted out of his $14.3 million contract for this season and Langston Galloway walked away from a guaranteed $5.4 million to become an unrestricted free agent.

The Kings begin free agency roughly $54.3 million under the cap and after adding four rookies, they have just four standard NBA roster spots and two two-way contracts with the NBA’s G-League. They are also required to spend 90 percent of the $99 million, but they have the entire season to do so and they are allowed to redistribute any shortage back to their own players.

There is hope that European sharpshooter Bogdan Bogdanovic will join this team this summer as well. Although he hasn’t played in the league, his contract is not restricted by the rookie scale. Early projections have him making anywhere from $5-10 million per season with Sacramento.

If Bogdanovic signs for the upper end of his projection - $10 million - the Kings would still have upwards of $44 million to spend, but just three roster spots to work with.

The team still has deficiencies to fill with the roster. Sacramento has two rookie point guards, but no veteran to show them the ropes. Garrett Temple can play in a pinch, but he is better at both wing positions.

Sacramento added Justin Jackson at the small forward spot, but they have little depth behind him and he could use time to develop. Temple can eat some minutes at the position and both Malachi Richardson and Bogdanovic can likely steal time at the three as well. A starting level player is needed, but the market is thin at the position.

There is hope that Skal Labissiere is the answer at the power forward spot, but with Tolliver waived, the team needs more at the position. Willie Cauley-Stein can play in spot duty, but a veteran stretch four is needed.

In addition to position of need, the Kings need more talent and veteran leadership on the roster. Temple is the only player over 30. Big man Kosta Koufos is 28 and everyone else on the roster is 24 and under when the season opens in October.

Expect the Kings to be active on the open market. They also make an attractive trade partner with their ability to absorb contracts. It should be a wild couple of weeks in Sacramento as the Kings look to improve their roster.

Kings' Buddy Hield named to 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie First Team

Kings' Buddy Hield named to 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie First Team

A rollercoaster rookie season for Buddy Hield has ended on a high note.

A very high note.

The Kings shooting guard was named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie First Team on Monday.

Hield is joined by Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon, New York's Willy Hernangomez and Philadelphia's duo of Dario Saric and Joel Embiid.

The Kings acquired Hield in February as part of a trade that sent All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans.

Before the trade, Hield averaged just 8.6 points in 57 games with the Pelicans. But he stepped up his game once he got to Sacramento as he averaged 15.1 points in just 25 games with the Kings. In total, the No. 6 overall pick out of Oklahoma averaged 10.6 points and 3.3 rebounds during his rookie campaign.

Fellow Kings rookie Skal Labissiere received one First Team vote and five Second Team votes, finishing with seven total points.

The NBA All-Rookie First and Second Teams are shown below.