NBA Gameday: Kings look to play spoiler vs playoff-hungry Nuggets

NBA Gameday: Kings look to play spoiler vs playoff-hungry Nuggets

SACRAMENTO -- The slide has reached epic proportions. After giving up a 15-point fourth quarter lead to the Washington Wizards and falling short in overtime Friday, the Sacramento Kings have lost seven in a row.

They’ll face a Denver Nuggets team they trailed by just a game in the playoff standings a little over a week ago. Sacramento is now five games out of the hunt for the eighth seed and the postseason chattered has subsided.

Denver continues to lead the chase for eight in the Western Conference standings, but the Portland Trail Blazers are on their tail, sitting  just a game behind in the standings. The Nuggets are coming off a stunning 119-99 win over the Celtics on Friday night that included a 21-point, 10-rebound, seven-assist performance by big man Nikola Jokic.

OPENING LINE:
Nuggets by 5.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Kings forwards vs. Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler -- The last time these two teams met, Wilson Chandler set a new career-high in points with 36 and chipped in 12 rebounds, while Gallinari added 18 points on just 5-of-7 shooting. Sacramento has an issue with size at the small forward position and both Chandler and Gallinari will present a huge challenge.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 25-40, third place in Pacific

Nuggets: 30-35, third place in Northwest

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: SG Malachi Richardson (right hamstring partial tear) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.

Nuggets: PF Kenneth Faried (back) out.

SERIES HISTORY:
Sacramento holds a 2-1 advantage over the Nuggets this year, but they lost the last meeting 108-96 less than a week ago at the Pepsi Center. The all-time series between these two teams is close, but the Kings hold an 88-87 lead after winning five straight and they are up on the Nuggets 65-62 lead during the Sacramento-era.

QUOTE:
“It doesn’t feel good when you miss shots down the stretch, it doesn’t feel good when you’re up 25 or 15 or whatever, but we’re maturing. We’ve got a lot of young guys and we’re still trying to learn how to win.” -Arron Afflalo following the Kings loss to the Wizards

 

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.