NBA Gameday: Hield vs Ingram a battle of Top 6 picks

NBA Gameday: Hield vs Ingram a battle of Top 6 picks

The Sacramento Kings head into Staples Center to face the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night looking to take the season series. Sacramento has won two straight overall and four of its last six as they finish the season strong.

Ben McLemore went off in the second half of the Kings 98-87 win over Mavericks on Tuesday. The fourth-year guard knocked down 5-of-5 from behind the arc, scoring 21 of his 22 points after the intermission.

Los Angeles is coming off back-to-back wins over the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs. It’s the first taste of winning for the Lakers in a while. After starting the season 10-10, Luke Walton and his young core are 13-45 over the last 58 games and they currently hold the third worst record in the NBA.

OPENING LINE

Lakers by 2

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Buddy Hield vs. Brandon Ingram -- Outside of an occasional defensive switch, these two players are unlikely to see much time against one another, but both rookies are playing well down the stretch. Hield has come on strong since the mid-season trade that sent him to Sacramento. The first-year shooting guard is posting 14.4 points and 4.0 rebounds while knocking down 43.3 percent from long range as a King. After a slow start to the season, Ingram is averaging 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 40.6 percent from the field. It’s a battle of two top six picks from the 2016 NBA Draft.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 31-47, third place in Pacific

Lakers: 23-55, fourth place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT

Kings: Arron Afflalo (lower back strain) and Anthony Tolliver (right hip strain) are probable; Kosta Koufos (rest), Ty Lawson (rest) and Garrett Temple (rest) are out.

Lakers: G Jordan Clarkson (knee) probable, SF Brandon Ingram (knee) probable, G D’Angelo Russell (knee) questionable, C Ivica Zubac (ankle) out, SF Luol Deng (no injury) out, SG Nick Young (no injury) out, C Timofey Mozgov (no injury) out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Kings hold a 2-1 advantage in the season series and currently own a two game win streak over Los Angeles. The Lakers are up on the Kings 90-44 during the Sacramento-era and a 268-153 advantage all-time.

QUOTE

“Everybody is having fun with the way we’re playing right now. We’re playing unselfish basketball. Everybody is passing the ball, we’re really enjoying playing with each other and the environment is great.” -Georgios Papagiannis

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.