Kings

Kings trounced by Nuggets 122-93

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Kings trounced by Nuggets 122-93

BOX SCORE
SACRAMENTO -- Danilo Gallinari celebrated a contract extension by scoring 21 of his 23 points in the first half and the Denver Nuggets routed the Sacramento Kings 122-93 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory and fifth in a row on the road.
It was the Kings' third consecutive loss of 12 points or more.
Denver led by 23 points at the half and scored the first eight points of the third quarter. They have won five consecutive road wins for the first time since joining the NBA in 1976-77.The Nuggets, who have the second-best record in the Western Conference at 13-5, signed Gallinari to a four-year, 42 million contract extension earlier in the day.Nene had 16 points for Denver, 7-3 on the road. Andre Miller added 15 points and 10 assists, Corey Brewer also had 15 points, Ty Lawson 11, and Al Harrington 10.Rookie Jimmer Fredette scored 19 points for the Kings, who never got the lead under 20 points in the second half. DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points and 15 rebounds, Isaiah Thomas scored 16 points, and Tyreke Evans had 12 and seven assists.They had an NBA-high 92 points in the paint and only three of their first 41 baskets were outside that area. The Kings also allowed the previous points-in-the-paint high this season, giving up 72 in a Jan. 3 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.With Carmelo Anthony now playing with the New York Knicks, the Nuggets envision the 23-year-old Gallinari becoming the face of the franchise. And Gallinari responded by playing like an All-Star in the opening half.He made 7 of 10 shots, hit all seven free throws, and blocked two shots in 21 minutes.Denver shot nearly 60 percent and had its running game on display in assuming a 66-43 halftime lead. The Nuggets scored off the break and got numerous easy opportunities inside, their 46 points in the paint more than the Kings had overall.Ahead by six points after one quarter, the Nuggets outscored Sacramento 34-17 in the second. Denver bothered the youthful Kings at the defensive end and capitalized at the other end. Gallinari scored 14 points and Harrington had eight in the quarter.Despite the big halftime lead, the Nuggets experienced no letdown in the third quarter. The lead reached in the third when Denver continued its torrid shooting and outscored sluggish Sacramento 28-22.Earlier in the day, the Kings announced that leading scorer Marcus Thornton is expected to miss one or two weeks with a deep bruise in his left thigh. Thornton, who is averaging 16.4 points, was replaced in the starting lineup by Fredette.The struggling Kings, who are the NBA's youngest team, were coming off a pair of road losses, including a humbling 128-95 loss on Saturday to Memphis. The Kings are 4-8 under Keith Smart, who replaced fired Paul Westphal seven games into the season.NOTES: The Nuggets also signed backup center Kosta Koufos to a three-year, 9 million contract extension. Kings forward Chuck Hayes, who has missed 11 straight games with a dislocated left shoulder, might return to the active roster Saturday against Utah. Denver played its second straight game without starting guard Arron Afflalo, who is out with a right groin injury. ... Mild-mannered and sitting on the bench for much of the first half, Nuggets coach George Karl still managed to pick up a technical foul late in the second quarter with his team ahead by 21 points.
The Associated Press contributed to this report

Kings hire VP of professional development

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AP

Kings hire VP of professional development

It’s been a summer of change for the Sacramento Kings. A roster upheaval has 10 new players vying for minutes once training camp opens on Tuesday. The coaching staff has been bolstered and fresh blood was added to the front office in the form of analytics guru Luke Bornn and assistant general manager Brandon Williams. On Thursday, one more piece to the puzzle was brought in to help develop the team’s young core.

With the hiring of Galen Duncan as the franchise’s new Vice President of the Kings Academy and Professional Development, Sacramento is making a major investment in the future of their team.

According to the team’s official press release, “Duncan is responsible for implementation of the Kings Academy program, a developmental, player-centric curriculum aligning multi-faceted organizational philosophies and ideals to help athletes mature into well-rounded professionals. Under Duncan’s oversight, Kings Academy will augment on-court progress with access to practical material and experiences that help balance on-court priorities and personal responsibilities with opportunities to become impactful contributors in the community.”

After 10 years with the Detroit Lions, Duncan is making the jump to the NBA game. He’s already had a taste of the league, working with the league office as part of the NBA Rookie Transition Program.

With five rookies and another four sophomores on the roster, the Kings are investing in a seasoned mentor and life coach. Armed with a Ph.D. in health psychology from Walden University, Duncan will aid the players in everything from finding an apartment to dealing with the stress of life as a 19-year-old millionaire with no experience paying a bill.

“My passion has always been sports,” Duncan told NBC Sports California. “Sports has done wonderful things for me. I don’t care what level they’re at or how much money they make, I think there is something to learn and I have something to teach.”

With the Lions, he brought incoming rookie classes through everything from etiquette courses to teaching them how to tie ties. His goal is to transform a group of young men into professionals, who just happen to be professional athletes.

It’s not just about making a polished product for the media and general public. Duncan will work with players on a variety of personal issues, including money management, dealing with family and professional on-court performance.

“Unfortunately, sometimes family can be your worst enemy,” Duncan said. “But if structured correctly and if nurtured, I think the education goes beyond just the player. I think you have to educate the family as well about what they’re doing.”

The transition to the NBA game will be interesting for Duncan. He comes from a game where the incoming rookie class can be anywhere from 10-15 players. He hasn’t dealt with 19-year-olds at the NFL level and guaranteed contracts are new as well, but the job is very similar.

Sacramento has always had a support staff to help with the transition to the NBA game, but the addition of Duncan is a new level of commitment by the team. They have a huge group of young players and they are making an investment into their futures and the future of the franchise. It’s a clear step in the right direction.

Kings finally get to unleash highly skilled weapon Bogdan Bogdanovic on NBA stage

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AP

Kings finally get to unleash highly skilled weapon Bogdan Bogdanovic on NBA stage

The legend of Bogdan Bogdanovic grows. After another deep run against European competition, the 25-year-old shooting guard is headed for the NBA with plenty of fanfare.

Bogdanovic and his Serbian teammates fell short of the ultimate goal of winning EuroBasket 2017. Goran Dragic and Team Slovenia took home the gold, pulling away from Serbia for the 93-85 victory in the finals on Sunday.

Dragic scored a game-high 35 points in 28 minutes of action, giving Bogdanovic a taste of what the competition will look like on a nightly basis in the NBA. Bogdanovic led Serbia with 22 points on 9-of-21 shooting, but he struggled from long range, knocking down 2-of-11 from behind the international 3-point line.

The Kings acquired Bogdanovic from the Phoenix Suns, along with the rights to Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere for Marquese Chriss on Draft night 2016. Phoenix had failed multiple times in their attempts to bring the sharpshooter over from his Turkish league team after taking him with the 27th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Vlade Divac couldn’t get Bogdanovic to come over for last season, but he found traction early this summer and added the talented wing as part of his July shopping spree.

After dominating league action overseas, Bogdanovic became the highest paid rookie in NBA history, signing a three-year, $27 million deal with Sacramento. He’ll make close to $9.5 million in his first season in the league, more than double what fifth overall pick, De’Aaron Fox, is scheduled to make.   

Bogdanovic walks into a crowded situation in Sacramento. He’ll compete for minutes with Buddy Hield, Garrett Temple and Malachi Richardson at the shooting guard position. Both Hield and Temple worked under coach Dave Joerger for parts of last season, but the Kings front office is very high on their European import.

Listed at 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, Bogdanovic has great size for the two and he might even be able to shift to the small forward spot for short stints. He is not the defender that Temple is and Hield might have an edge on him as a volume scorer, but Bogdanovic has an advantage over both players in versatility.

He’s a highly skilled offensive weapon that should make an immediate impact on the floor. He spent plenty of time manning the point guard position for Serbia and can even act as the primary ball handler. Bogdanovic is blessed with an extremely high basketball IQ and he’s shown advanced playmaking skills, both with Fenerbahce and the Serbian national team.

Bogdanovic can light it up from distance, having knocked down 43 percent of 3-pointers this season for Fenerbahce, but he’s not just a catch and shoot player. He hit 50 percent from the field overall using a variety of moves to create space. He has a killer crossover and step back jumper, a nice floater in the lane and he is fearless going to the rack.

Where he has the biggest advantage over his competition is in the pick-and-roll. Bogdanovic uses hesitation dribbles and crafty maneuvering to create looks for both himself and his bigs moving to the hoop. He also has nice court vision and is an unselfish distributor.

If Bogdanovic’s European game translates to the NBA, Sacramento has a rotational player and possibly much more. He’ll likely struggle on the defensive end initially, like most rookies coming into the league, but he plays with effort and has solid instincts.

Joerger has a lot to work out during training camp and the early season. He has multiple bodies at every position and the competition for minutes is going to be intense. While it’s early to make predictions, it appears that Bogdanovic will have a substantial role as the Kings enter year one of their rebuild.