Kings' Cauley-Stein thriving in increased role: 'I can feel the change'

Kings' Cauley-Stein thriving in increased role: 'I can feel the change'

SACRAMENTO -- If there is one major knock on Willie Cauley-Stein, it is his rebounding. The 7-footer out of the University of Kentucky is gifted with incredible athleticism and length. He can jump out of the building, but through his first two seasons in the league, the rebounding numbers have been less than stellar.

Coming into Friday night’s game against Washington, Cauley-Stein was averaging just 3.1 rebounds in a little over 15 minutes a night. He is seeing a major increase in minutes since the trade and his rebounding numbers have begun to slowly improve.

“It’s important for him as part of his growth,” head coach Dave Joerger said of his starting big. “Especially in the first half, he was really focused on rebounding outside his area, going to get balls that are up in the air.”

The aggressive approach by Cauley-Stein led to a season-high 13 rebounds on the night, to go with 20 points in 42 minutes of action. He was active and made a huge impact in the game as the Kings attempted to upset the Wizards.

“Today I played like it was going to be my last game and that’s it, that’s how it’s got to be every game,” Cauley-Stein told CSN California. “I’ve just got to play like it’s my last and be aggressive and be willing to make mistakes and learn from them.”

Cauley-Stein is building momentum. Since the All-Star break he’s averaging 13.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and nearly a block in 32.3 minutes a night.

“Each game, I’m telling you, I get a little more comfortable, it slows down a little more, I get a little more aggressive,” Cauley-Stein added. “I’m excited for what’s happening. I can feel the change. I can feel all the work paying off.”

Like the rest of the team, Cauley-Stein is trying to adjust to life without Cousins. The early returns are solid for the sixth overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft, but there is still plenty of room for growth with the 23-year-old big.

 

Source: Kings decline to extend qualifying offer to Ben McLemore

Source: Kings decline to extend qualifying offer to Ben McLemore

After four years in the Capitol City, Ben McLemore's time is up.

The Kings have declined to extend a qualifying offer to McLemore, making him an unrestricted free agent, a league source confirmed to NBCSportsCalifornia.com's James Ham

The former No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft out of Kansas, McLemore played in 61 games this past season. He averaged 8.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 19.3 minutes.

McLemore's best season with the Kings came in 2014-15 when he averaged 12.1 points in 82 games.

But the 24-year-old saw his role cut back in 2015-16 under former head coach George Karl. His minutes dropped from 32.6 to 21.2 in 2015-16.

All-Rookie First Team shooting guard Buddy Hield projects as the Kings' starter heading into the 2017-18 season. Sacramento has several other options at shooting guard including Malachi Richardson and Garrett Temple.

The news was first reported by ESPN.

Report: Kings agree to three-year deal with Bogdanovic

Report: Kings agree to three-year deal with Bogdanovic

The Sacramento Kings continue to add young talent to their growing roster.

Serbian star Bogdan Bogdanovic is primed to join the Kings this summer on a three-year deal, league sources confirmed to NBC Sports California.

The deal will reportedly be worth between $30 and $36 million.

Bogdanovic, 24, is fresh of a European championship with Fenerbahçe of the Turkish super league and a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The team is restricted from confirming the reports until July 6, when the NBA’s free agent moratorium ends, but there has been a growing optimism over Bogdanovic joining the Kings for some time.

Sacramento acquired the rights to Bogdanovic as part of a 2016 draft night trade that sent the eighth overall selection (Marquese Chriss) to the Phoenix Suns for picks No. 13 (Georgios Papagiannis) and No. 28 (Skal Labissiere). The Suns selected Bogdanovic with the 27th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, but had failed in their attempts to lure the young shooting guard to the US.

Bogdanovic is expected to compete with Buddy Hield, Garrett Temple and Malachi Richardson for minutes at the shooting guard position this season. The 6-foot-6, 194-pound guard averaged 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 27.9 minutes per game while shooting 43 percent from behind the arc this season for Fenerbahçe.