Kings

The adjustment is going to take some time for Bogdan Bogdanovic

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USATI

The adjustment is going to take some time for Bogdan Bogdanovic

Media Day 2017 went off without a hitch in Sacramento. The energy in the building was different and rightfully so.  DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Darren Collison and Omri Casspi, all mainstays over the past few seasons, were nowhere to be found.

Ten new faces wondered the practice facility floor as the Kings begin anew with a youthful core and a handful of veterans.

Plenty of players drew crowds. A 40-year-old Vince Carter fielded questions like a man ready to steal a national television job in a year or two. Fifth overall pick De’Aaron Fox is already a media darling and he isn’t the only young player heading in that direction.

Almost an afterthought to the day, Bogdan Bogdanovic was one of the last players to run the media circuit. The 25-year-old landed in Sacramento on Saturday evening and he had the look of the weary world traveler that he is.

He took pictures and played video games, like everyone else. He even stood in for his first scrum as an NBA player after spending the last few seasons suiting up for Fenerbahce of the Turkish professional league.

Bogdanovic played for the Serbian national team last week, finishing second in the Eurobasket 2017 tournament. He’s played on and off all summer and has had very little time to recover before starting training camp.

“I had four days, for me, that’s enough,” Bogdanovic said with a smile.

Serbia lost to Goran Dragic and his Slovenian country mates in the finals. It was not the European sendoff Bogdanovic was hoping for.

“I’m sad we didn’t make it to the end, but to play in the final is a great thing,” Bogdanovic said. “Still, I’m not satisfied with that. I want to be a champion one day.”

Bogdanovic walks into a quagmire at the shooting guard position in Sacramento. He’ll battle Garrett Temple, Buddy Hield and Malachi Richardson for minutes, but don’t be shocked if he plays sparingly in the preseason.

The Kings are well aware of the mileage Bogdanovic has logged both on and off the court over the last few months. They’ll give him plenty of time to catch his breath as the team prepares for the 82 game schedule.

He comes to the United States with a built in support system in Sacramento. Serbian legends, Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic are members of the Kings front office and ready to support their young countryman.

“They are like good background for me here, everything that I need, in the beginning especially ” Bogdanovic said of Divac and Stojakovic.

The NBA game is very different from what Bogdanovic is used to in Europe. The adjustment will take time, especially learning speed and the length of the players. Possibly even a bigger change is that Bogdanovic will go from a star to a player looking to find a niche.

“Different roles, different roles,” Stojakovic said about the transition to the NBA game on the Kings Insider Podcast. “He’s going to come to a point where he realizes that not a lot of people in the U.S. care about all those accomplishments until you step on a court here and start proving yourself.”

Sacramento invested heavily in Bogdanovic, signing him to a three-year, $27 million deal over the summer. He can play the one, two or three for coach Joerger, although his natural position is at the shooting guard spot.

Patience is needed as Bogdanovic adjusts to the NBA and his new surroundings. The Kings will find some down time for the young wing before the season begins, but plan on him playing solid minutes once the season opens in mid-October.

Fox bangs knees with Towns, ruled out with quad contusion

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USATSI

Fox bangs knees with Towns, ruled out with quad contusion

Rookie down. De’Aaron Fox banged knees with Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns in the first quarter Thursday evening at the Target Center. The Kings’ 19-year-old point guard was diagnosed with a right quadricep contusion and was ruled out.

Fox has played in all 28 games for Sacramento this season, posting 10 points and 3.9 assists in 26.3 minutes per game coming into Thursday evening. He left the game after just seven minutes of action, finishing with two points, two assists and two turnovers.

The fifth overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft will likely be listed as day-to-day moving forward.

Gameday: Kings start four-game road trip against T'Wolves

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USATSI

Gameday: Kings start four-game road trip against T'Wolves

The Sacramento Kings hit the road for another trip across the country beginning Thursday in Minnesota. They’ll face a Timberwolves team that is finally living up to their talent level after a couple of disappointing seasons. 

Sacramento is coming off a home win against the Suns on Tuesday, but the road has been unkind this season. Veteran George Hill stepped up big against Phoenix after missing the previous game due to personal reasons. The Kings need more from their big free agent signing. 

Minnesota is coming off an overtime loss to the 76ers on Tuesday, but they have a formidable starting lineup and a chance to snap their 13-season playoff drought this year. The offseason additions of Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague have made a huge impact for the T-Wolves, who currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

LINE 

Timberwolves by 10

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 9-18 fourth in the Pacific

T-Wolves: 16-12 first in the Northwest

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Karl-Anthony Towns -- These two know each other well from their season together at Kentucky. Towns has developed into a perennial 20 and 10 guy for Minnesota. Cauley-Stein is finding another gear with the Kings. They’ll see plenty of time against one another Thursday at the Target Center.

INJURY REPORT 

Kings:  PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) is out until January at the earliest.

T-Wolves:  PF Nemanja Bjelica (foot) out, C Justin Patton (toe) out. 

SERIES HISTORY 

Sacramento won the season-series 3-1 last season, including an April 1 victory over the Timberwolves at the Target Center. Minnesota holds a slight lead in the all-time series 54-53.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

More George -- George Hill has struggled both on and off the court early in the 2017-18 campaign, but he came alive against the Suns. Sacramento needs the 31-year-old point guard to find some consistency and start leading the starting unit. 

Bench Dominance -- Sacramento leads the NBA in bench scoring at 49.7 points per game and they’ll need the second unit to come up big if they hope to knock off the Wolves. Minnesota’s reserves score just 25.7 points per game which ranks 28th in the league. If the Kings starters can keep it close, the bench might be enough to put them over the top.

Make the T-Wolves Work -- Minnesota has improved on the defensive end, but they still allow 106.7 points per game. If the Kings can push the tempo and make the Wolves work on the defensive end, they can make life difficult.