Kings look to bounce back in Toronto

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Kings look to bounce back in Toronto

KINGS (3-7) vs.
TORONTO (4-6)

The Sacramento Kings are still seeking their first road win of the season.Toronto may not be the easiest place for them to get it.The Kings attempt to bounce back from one of their worst performances of the season and beat the Raptors on the road for the first time in nearly eight years Wednesday night.Sacramento (3-7) has lost all four of its road games, averaging 85.8 points while surrendering 109.0 per game. It was more of the same for the Kings in the opener of their five-game trip Tuesday at Philadelphia, as they shot 39.5 percent from the floor en route to a 112-85 rout.
REWIND: Kings routed by 76ers 112-85
A visit to Toronto (4-6) wouldn't appear to be the ideal way to end the road skid since Sacramento hasn't won there since Feb. 22, 2004. The Kings have dropped seven straight at Air Canada Centre since, giving up a whopping average of 111.9 points.They lost 118-112 in their last visit to Canada on Jan. 9, 2011.Making the task tougher for Sacramento, leading scorer Marcus Thornton (18.7 ppg) may miss a second consecutive game due to a thigh injury. Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette got his first career start Tuesday in Thornton's place, finishing with seven points, three assists and three turnovers."We didn't have our regular rotation so the other guys had to make adjustments," coach Keith Smart said.Sacramento may have at least some reason for optimism after the Raptors fell 93-78 at Washington on Tuesday, losing to what had been the last remaining winless team in the NBA.They missed 16 of 20 3-point attempts against the Wizards and committed a season-high 23 turnovers - nine more than their previous average."Our disposition wasn't good coming out of the locker room to begin the game," said Toronto coach Dwane Casey, whose team must now play its third game in as many days. "You start turning the ball over and you can't recover from that and you can't get set up in your defense."
Andrea Bargnani led the Raptors with 22 points and continues to be one of the few bright spots for Toronto, averaging a team-high 23.5 points - nearly nine more than DeMar DeRozan - the team's second-highest scorer.
Bargnani has come up big in the Raptors; two home victories, scoring 31 points each time while totaling 16 boards.He's averaging 25.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in Toronto's last three home meetings with the Kings, including 30 points while shooting 12 of 19 in last season's victory.DeRozan had 28 points in that contest. He's totaled just 31 in his last four games after scoring 11 and missing 12 of 16 shots Tuesday.

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.