Kings

Gameday: Battle of rookie point guards as Kings face Knicks

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AP

Gameday: Battle of rookie point guards as Kings face Knicks

De’Aaron Fox hit a big-time game winner in the Kings’ 109-108 victory over the 76ers on Thursday night, but he wasn’t the only rookie to make an impact. Justin Jackson set a new career-high in points for the second straight game, finishing the evening with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. The young Kings are getting opportunities and showing early season development.

New York is coming off a loss in Orlando, but they’ve won six of their last eight games overall for head coach jeff Hornacek. Third-year big Kristaps Porzingis is having a breakout start to the season, posting 30 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. But he’s nursing an ankle and elbow injury that kept him out of the Knicks previous game against Orlando.

OPENING LINE 

Knicks by 5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Frank Ntilikina -- Drafted just three spots apart in the 2017 NBA Draft, the rookie point guards will both likely come off the bench for their respective clubs. Fox is earning starters minutes with his early play and coach Dave Joerger comfort level appears to be increasing with the 19-year-old. Ntilikina has struggled with his shot, but he’s playing nearly 20 minutes a game for Hornacek in a reserve role. 

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 3-8, fifth place in Pacific

Knicks: 6-5, third place in Atlantic

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: F Vince Carter (kidney stones) availability unknown at this time, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January at the earliest.

Knicks: PF/C Kristaps Porzingis (ankle/elbow) probable, SG Ron Baker (ankle) out, Joakim Noah (suspension) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

KEEP IT ROLLING -- After a rough start to the season, the Kings have found success in the previous two games. New York is a off to a nice start, but they are young and still trying to find their way in the league. If Sacramento can play as a team, they have an opportunity to make some strides in the win/loss column during the road trip.

ACTION JACKSON -- Like Fox, Justin Jackson is earning a bigger role with his solid early season play. The former North Carolina Tar Heel will be called upon to guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and Doug McDermott on Saturday. Both are off to nice offensive starts on the season. 

THE UNICORN -- Porzingis is quickly becoming a star in the league. The 7-foot-3 Latvian sensation can hit the 3-ball, take you off the dribble and score in the post. Willie Cauley-Stein played well defensively against Joel Embiid in the win over Philly. Sacramento will need Cauley-Stein to step up again if they have any chance of slowing Porzingis.

SERIES HISTORY 

New York swept the season series last year against Sacramento, including a 103-100 victory at Golden 1 Center on December 9. The Kings hold a 153-142 advantage over the Knicks all-time, but New York leads 33-29 during the Sacramento-era.

Rumors revolving George Hill trade to Cavs are hot, heavy

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USATSI

Rumors revolving George Hill trade to Cavs are hot, heavy

Is George Hill on the move? The rumors are hot and heavy Tuesday with both Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski chiming in.

On this morning’s edition of The Jump, Windhorst gave Kings fans a familiar line.

“The are way down the road on a deal with Sacramento for George Hill... it's at the one-yard line," Windhorst said.

“At this point, I think they just have to have change,” Windhorst added of the Cavs.

Following the Windhorst update, Woj jumped in the fray with a tweet.

Hill has struggled to find a role with the Kings all season long after signing a three-year, $57 million deal with Sacramento over the summer. The Kings are paying the 31-year-old point guard $20 million this season, $19 million next and they have an $18 million team option in 2019-20 with a $1 million buyout.

Frye is in the final year of his contract with the Cavs. The 34-year-old center makes $7.4 million this season and has played just 11.4 minutes over 34 games for Cleveland this season.

Shumpert has played just 13 games this season for Cleveland due to a torn meniscus in his left knee. He makes $10.3 million this season with a player option for the 2018-19 season at $11 million. At 27-year-old, there is a chance he would opt out of his deal next season, which would save the Kings a lot of money.

Sacramento would have to either throw in an additional player or waive a someone to make the deal work.

This proposed deal is very similar to the options outlined here.

Gameday: Kings in Orlando looking to snap eight-game skid

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USATSI

Gameday: Kings in Orlando looking to snap eight-game skid

Looking for a little luck. The Sacramento Kings have dropped eight straight and there appears to be no end to their season-long road trip. Next up on the docket is the Orlando Magic.

Sacramento made a game of it Monday night in Charlotte before falling late to the Hornets. They Kings’ youth movement is in full swing, but it’s been a bumpy ride. Skal Labissiere had a breakout 23 point game and De’Aaron Fox added 16 points and seven assists, but it wasn’t enough to snap the losing streak.

The Magic are coming off their biggest win of the season Sunday against the Celtics. They started the year 8-4, but Orlando is just 6-28 since. They are young and have plenty of pieces to build around, but they just can’t seem to put it all together.

BETTING LINE

Magic by 6.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Aaron Gordon -- In his fourth season in the league, Gordon is blowing up. The high flier is finally living up to his billing coming out of college, even showing newfound range from the outside. Cauley-Stein is finding his game as well. He’s a year behind Gordon in NBA experience, but this should be a fun matchup against two extremely long athletes.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 13-33, last place in Pacific

Magic: 14-32, last place in Southeast

INJURY REPORT

Kings: PF Skal Labissiere (left shoulder strain) probable, PF/C Zach Randolph (sore left knee) out for season, PG Frank Mason III (right heel) out, Harry Giles (knee rehab) out for the season.

Magic: SF Jonathan Isaac (ankle) out, SG Terrence Ross (knee) out, C Nikola Vucevic (hand) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Youth on Display -- Both of these teams are loaded with young talent. They are both struggling through the dog days of the NBA schedule, but they can beat anyone on any given night. It’s frustrating, but it’s the mark of a young team.

Build on Success -- The Kings haven’t had a lot of success as a team, but individually, we are seeing signs of growth. In the first 10 games of 2018, the minutes have increased and so have the numbers for the young core. It’s about team in the end, but the Kings need to see what they have.

Go for the Win -- Eight straight is brutal. Young players need to see that their hard work is paying off. Numbers are one way to judge improvement, but a win would do a lot to help the growth of this team.

SERIES HISTORY

The Kings and Magic split the season series 1-1 last season. Sacramento holds a 29-27 lead all-time over Orlando.