It’s better to be safe than sorry. The Sacramento Kings have chosen the cautious approach to one of their young players. CSN California has confirmed that the team is shutting down rookie Malachi Richardson for the remainder of the season.
Richardson, 21, suffered a partial tear of the right hamstring on February 15 and was listed as out 4-6 weeks. While the wing has not incurred a setback, he will need the entire six weeks to heal, which places him ready to return to action with just a handful of games remaining in the schedule.
Instead of pushing Richardson back into action, the focus is now on making sure the first round selection is ready for a full slate of summer events, including Las Vegas Summer League in July.
Through 22 games, Richardson posted 3.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 9.0 minutes per game for Sacramento this season.
CSN’s Kayte Christensen was first to break the news.
The Sacramento Kings return to the court Sunday for an early matinee game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. They’ll face a veteran squad jockeying for playoff position and in need of a win.
Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere each set new career highs in assists in Friday night’s loss to the Golden State Warriors. The rookie duo combined to hand out 15 of the team’s 27 dimes as the Kings stayed with the high-powered Warriors until late in the game.
Los Angeles is fresh off a huge win over the Utah Jazz and currently sit just a half game behind Utah for the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings. They’ve dealt with injuries all season long, but the Clippers are getting healthy at the perfect time.
Clippers by 13.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Skal Labissiere vs. Blake Griffin -- Every game is an opportunity for Labissiere to add to his knowledge base. Despite a litany of injuries over the years, Griffin is still a force to be reckoned with in the post. He can score in a variety of ways and he’s averaging a career-high five assists be game this season. Labissiere is coming off a strong performance where he posted 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 27-45, third place in Pacific
Clippers: 44-30, second place in Pacific
Kings: C Kosta Koufos (planned rest) out, Arron Afflalo (planned rest) out, SG Malachi Richardson (torn hamstring) out, SF Rudy Gay (torn Achilles) out.
Clippers: SG JJ Redick (sprained ankle) out, C Diamond Stone (knee) out.
The Clippers lead the season series 2-0 and currently have a three game winning streak against the Kings. During the Sacramento-era, the Kings hold a 69-65 advantage and they lead the Clippers 113-88 all-time.
“It was a good experience, I call all of those experiences growing pains. Those are just things we have to go through. We’re trying to get to that level at some point.” -Skal Labissiere on the loss to Golden State