Lowly Kings full of surprises

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Lowly Kings full of surprises

You cant make this stuff up. No really, you cant. Eight games into the season for the Sacramento Kings, the fans have been treated to a comedy of errors, something straight out of Hollywood. Consider:Opening night, amidst all the off-season chatter about a new arena that has plagued this city for years now, and four (FOUR) banners come tumbling down from the scoreboard during the game. The fact that the banners not only werent championship banners, but were covering up a former sponsor (Thunder Valley Casino) was poetic in a tragic fashion. Blue-chip pick Thomas Robinson picks up the NBAs first two game suspension for elbowing Jonas Jerebko of the Detroit Pistons in the throat. The THROAT.
RELATED: Kings Robinson suspended two games for elbow
You know Jonas Jerebko, the intimidating, gets-in-your-head agitator famous the world round? The second coming of Bill Laimbeer? Oh, maybe hes none of those things, but that didnt stop Robinson from dropping a Jon Bones Jones bow to his adams apple. Other than his stellar play at Kansas, Robinson was known for his incredible story coming into the draft. Suffering a litany of tragedies, and raising his young sister with the help of a community, starting his first NBA month with a suspension for a violent cheap shot was near the bottom of the Vegas odds sheet. But remember, were talking about the Sacramento Kings. Remember, you cant talk about crazy Kings happenings without DeMarcus Cousins getting involved. Cousins had spent the offseason staying in shape, and honing his skills vs the US Olympic squad. His demeanor seemed a little lighter (to match his body) coming into training camp, and he seemed to be finding his regular double-double groove after a tough start. Well, um. Yeah.Former Spur and current San Antonio TV announcer Sean Elliott took exception to Cousins talking a little trash to Tim Duncan during their matchup at Sleep Train Arena last Friday. So Elliott said what he thought was appropriate, that Cousins needed to grow up and shut his mouth.
RELATED: Kings' Cousins suspended two games for altercation with Elliott
Cousins apparently checked his cellphone before he hopped in the shower and read something like this, perhaps:Yo. Elliott is dogging you on TV. You gonna take that?Of course hes not gonna take that. So Cousins, doing what any smart mature NBA player would do, went back onto the court. He passed a group of children taking pictures with the Kings PA announcer, and confronted Elliott. What exactly was said will more than likely remain a mystery. According to those who were within earshot, Cousins informed Elliott that he was not at all happy with his comments, and the rest gets a bit blurry. Kings fans were in an uproar that Cousins got the same punishment that his teammate Robinson got for damn near killing a guy, but conventional wisdom says DMC crossed a few lines. My money is on the conversation NOT going anything like this:Excuse me, Mr. Elliott? DeMarcus Cousins, good to meet you. I know you are a former All-Star and have a championship ring, but would you pretty please mind not calling me out on TV? It hurts my feelings.Yeah. Nope. Obviously there were things said that the NBA considers a no-no. And not the Crash Davis mustve called him a blankety-blank type of no-nos either. Bad stuff. In an NBA uniform. On an NBA floor. Would it have been hard for Cousins to talk with Elliott in the tunnel? Visiting players at Sleep Train Arena MUST walk past the Kings locker room entrance to get to the team bus, and Cousins conversation wouldve been seen only by team personnel and a smattering of media members. Even better, he could have taken him into any of several private rooms nearby. Nope, lets do this in front of everyone, because thats what a mature player does. No Thomas Robinson, and the Kings lost to the Spurs on Friday. No Robinson or Cousins, and the Kings lost to the Lakers in LA on Sunday. No DeMarcus Cousins, and the Kings got blown away by the Blazers at home Tuesday evening. One could make an argument that they wouldve lost all three regardless, but you could also bet smartly they may have picked one out of the three up. For a team projected to win 20-30 games this season, any win is a big win. Unfortunately, the suspensions all came after a two-game mini-win streak earlier in the week. Coach Keith Smart is doing the best he can, but his rotations are questionable at times. Quick to take a timeout in certain situations, he also will let opposing runs get way out of hand before he draws on his bench. 2-6 on the young season, and it actually seems worse. The Kings sales and marketing staff worked tirelessly in the offseason trying to secure both ticket sales and new sponsorships in a market that is tough to impossible at the kindest. Blue-chippers like Nokia and Wal-Mart came on board, not to mention selling naming rights (once again) to their arena. Attendance Tuesday night was reported at just over 10 thousand, which is about seven thousand short of capacity. And, as the old saying goes, it looked like about half of that 10 were dressed as empty seats. The city of Sacramento and its fans were hoping for a surprising start to the season. They got it, but as an even more popular saying goes- Be careful what you wish for.This wasnt the surprise anyone wanted to see. Images supplied by US Presswire and the Associated Press
Carmichael Dave hosts two radio shows on his podcasting channel, thecdnetworks.com.You can tweet him questions or comments @carmichaeldave.

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 ninth 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.

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.