NBA Gameday: Skal faces completely different beast against Rockets

NBA Gameday: Skal faces completely different beast against Rockets

SACRAMENTO -- With just three games remaining in the 2016-17 season, the Sacramento Kings host the high-scoring Houston Rockets Sunday afternoon at Golden 1 Center.

The Kings are coming off a tough loss on the road Friday night against the Lakers. Skal Labissiere scored 19 points and Buddy Hield added 17, but mistakes in crunch time cost Sacramento the victory.

With the three seed in the Western Conference playoffs locked up, Houston has been coasting through their schedule. James Harden is in a dogfight with OKC’s Russell Westbrook for the league’s MVP award and he wouldn’t mind padding his stats against a young Kings team.

OPENING LINE:
Rockets by 9

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Skal Labissiere vs. Ryan Anderson -- Labissiere is coming off a tough matchup against a brute in Julius Randle. He’ll face a completely different beast in the Rockets Ryan Anderson. The Sacramento native might play limited minutes against the Kings as Houston prepares for a long playoff run, but he’ll test the rookie in his time on the floor. Anderson is one of the game’s best stretch four’s and if Labissiere gives him an inch on the outside, he’ll burn him with the long ball.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 31-48, third place in Pacific

Rockets: 53-26, second place in Southwest

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: SG Arron Afflalo (rest) out, PG Darren Collison (rest) out, SG Tyreke Evans (rest) out, C Kosta Koufos (rest) out, F Anthony Tolliver (right hip strain) probable, SG Malachi Richardson (hamstring) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.

Rockets: SF Sam Dekker (hand) out.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Kings shocked the Rockets the last time these two teams met in December, but Houston holds a 2-1 advantage in the season series. The Rockets are up 126-89 all-time lead over the Kings and the have an 85-43 advantage during the Sacramento-era.

QUOTE:
“We fought, when they made their run, we responded back. It shows how much potential we have. It kinda sucks and it kinda of hurts, not executing on that play.” -Buddy Hield on his turnover in the closing seconds in the loss to Los Angeles on Friday

 

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.