Harry Giles

Patience needed for young and inexperienced Kings

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AP

Patience needed for young and inexperienced Kings

The Sacramento Kings are attempting to do something rarely seen in the NBA. They’ve paired four first round selections from the 2016 NBA Draft with another five rookies for the 2017-18 season. They’ll open the season with nine players with one year of NBA experience or less and three others with two years in the league or fewer if you include two-way contracts.

Veterans Vince Carter (40), Zach Randolph (36), George Hill (31), Garrett Temple (31) and Kosta Koufos (28) push the average age of the Kings to 26.1. According to RealGM, they’ll enter the 2017-18 season tied for the 15th youngest roster in the league.

If you remove the veterans, the Kings youthful core averages less than 22 years of age. But age doesn’t tell the entire story.

Entering his third NBA season, Willie Cauley-Stein has seen action in 141 of a possible 164 games. On the current roster, he might as well get lumped in with the veterans.

Buddy Hield donned a Kings uniform for 25 games last season after coming over in a midseason trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. He played 82 games in total between the two clubs, which is five more combined contests than his fellow 2016 draft mates Skal Labissiere (33 games), Georgios Papagiannis (22 games) and Malachi Richardson (22 games) played in.

Sacramento selected three first rounders in the 2017 NBA Draft, including De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles. They also landed point guard Frank Mason III with an early second round pick and convinced 25-year-old former first rounder Bogdan Bogdanovic to leave the European game behind and join the club.

Without bringing two-way players Jack Cooley (16 games) and JaKarr Sampson (147 games) into the discussion, the Kings have a major experience issue. They’ll walk into the season with 10 players having a combined 300 games of NBA experience and 223 of those games were played by Cauley-Stein and Hield.  

Sacramento’s veteran group has appeared in 3718 regular season contests. Dave Joerger will have no choice but to turn to the group for plenty of minutes as the Kings’ young players learn on the fly.

Patience is necessary. Vlade Divac and his team have assembled a lot of talent, but they will need time to develop. Joerger has a strong staff in place, including Elston Turner, Bryan Gates, Duane Ticknor, Bob Thornton, Jason March and Larry Lewis. Phil Ricci was also added to the staff as a player development coach this season with the influx of young players.

Even with an expanded staff, there is no way Joerger can fit all 10 of his youngsters into the rotation. They’ll need playing time to develop and there is a good chance that some of these freshman and sophomore players will spend time with Darrick Martin and the Reno Bighorns.  

Kings officially lock up their guys

Kings officially lock up their guys

UPDATE (Monday at 2:45pm) -- The Kings on Monday afternoon officially announced the signings of free agents Vince Carter, George Hill and Zach Randolph, the team announced.

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The Sacramento Kings took care of some housekeeping Saturday afternoon when they officially announced the signing all three of their first round selections. De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles are locked up and in Las Vegas with the team for Summer League.

Fox and Jackson played well in the team’s opening night loss to the Phoenix Suns. Fox flashed his elite speed that he was known for at Kentucky, finishing the night with 18 points, four assists and five steals in 27 minutes of action. He is slated to start the season sharing time with veteran free agent addition George Hill at the point guard position.

Jackson lit up the Suns for 14 of his 18 points in the first half Friday night. The 22-year-old out of North Carolina has drawn rave reviews during the Kings’ mini-camp building up to Summer League and will play minutes at the small forward position this season for Sacramento.

Giles was noticeably missing from the lineup against Phoenix. The 19-year-old big man played sparingly at Duke last season after undergoing knee surgery. While he is healthy enough to play, the Kings have decided to take it slow with the rookie first rounder, who suffered ACL tears to both knees during his high school years. He is not expected to play in Las Vegas this week.

Fox, Giles headline Kings Summer League roster

Fox, Giles headline Kings Summer League roster

SACRAMENTO, CA ---- The Sacramento Kings today announced the team’s roster for the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas from July 7-17 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Sacramento will play at least five games, beginning with its first contest on Friday, July 7 against the Phoenix Suns at 7:30 p.m. PDT at Thomas & Mack Center.

The Kings next game will take place on Sunday, July 9 versus the Memphis Grizzlies at 7 p.m. at Cox Pavilion, followed by the final preliminary round game for Sacramento on Monday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. against the L.A. Lakers from Thomas & Mack.

This summer’s event will again feature a tournament-style format first debuted in 2013 that will crown an NBA Summer League champion on Monday, July 17.

A record 24 NBA teams will compete in three preliminary round games from July 7-11 before being seeded in a tournament running through the championship game. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five contests.

The Kings social media team will provide comprehensive coverage of Summer League at Kings.com. For all-access Kings Summer League content, also stay current with Twitter.com/SacramentoKings, Facebook.com/SacramentoKings, Instagram.com/SacramentoKings and the team’s Snapchat account: SacramentoKings.

ESPN will present all 67 games from Las Vegas across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the ESPN App, including 35 games on its linear television channels. NBA TV will air 28 contests, commencing with the league’s opener on July 7. In total, 63 games from Las Vegas will air on ESPN and NBA TV’s channels—a Summer League record.

Tickets for the 2017 NBA Summer League are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting NBATickets.com.

KINGS 2017 NBA LAS VEGAS SUMMER LEAGUE SCHEDULE (all times PDT)

Game Day Date Opponent Time Arena
1 Friday July 7 vs Phoenix 7:30 p.m. Thomas & Mack Center
2 Sunday July 9 vs. Memphis 7 p.m. Cox Pavilion
3 Monday July 10 vs L.A. Lakers 7:30 p.m. Thomas & Mack Center

 

 

 

4 and 5 to be determined after seeding

Below is the Sacramento Kings' Summer League Roster:

No. Player Position Ht. Wt. Last college/team Country Yrs.
5 De'Aaron Fox G 6-3 175 Kentucky USA R
15 Frank Mason III G 6-0 190 Kansas USA R
18 Dominique Hawkins G 6-2 188 Kentucky USA R
24 Buddy Hield G 6-4 214 Oklahoma Bahamas 1
19 Naz Mitrou-Long G 6-4 218 Iowa State USA R
26 Scottie Randall G-F 6-6 225 Temple USA R
25 Justin Jackson F 6-8 209 North Carolina USA R
29 JaKarr Sampson F 6-8 223 St. Johns USA 2
23 Malachi Richardson G 6-6 205 Syracuse USA R
37 Reggie Hearn F 6-4 209 Northwestern USA R
35 Luis Montero G 6-7 200 Reno Bighorns Dominican Republic R
13 Georgios Papagiannis C 7-1 240 Panathianaikos Greece 1
3 Skal Labissiere F-C 6-11 225 Kentucky Haiti 1
20 Harry Giles F 6-10 240 Duke USA R
50 Jack Cooley F 6-10 274 Notre Dame USA 1
88 Eric Stuteville F-C 6-11 245 Sacramento State USA R
77 Phil Scrubb G 6-3 185 Carleton Canada R

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kings media services provided this report