Kings

NBA suspends Kings' Collison for first eight games of season

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NBA suspends Kings' Collison for first eight games of season

UPDATE (3:25 pm PDT on Sunday): The NBA officially announced that Kings point guard Darren Collison has been suspended without pay for the first eight games of the 2016-17 season.

Following the announcement, the Kings issued the following statement:

"Domestic violence is a serious issue and directly contradicts the values of the Sacramento Kings. Darren has taken responsibility for his actions and will work to raise awareness of this critical issue in the community, We support the NBA's decision on this matter."

In their statement, the NBA explained their decision:

"The NBA conducted its own investigation into this matter, including a review of all available materials and interviews of the parties involved. The NBA also consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence, upon whom the league relies in connection with such matters.

Based on this investigation, consultation, and a careful weighing of all the facts and circumstances, the NBA determined that an eight-game suspension was appropriate. Among other factors, the NBA took into account the conduct and its result, the player’s acceptance of responsibility, his cooperation with both law enforcement and the NBA, and his voluntary participation in counseling in addition to the court-mandated program."

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SACRAMENTO - The biggest question mark coming into Sacramento Kings training camp has been answered. A source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed to CSN California that veteran point guard Darren Collison has been suspended by the NBA for the first eight games of the 2016-17 season after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in September.

“It’s been an unfortunate summer, difficult offseason, you know what I mean, but as a man, you’ve got to take responsibility,” Collison told reporters during media day on Monday. “Right now, what’s best for my family is to kind of move forward and focus on basketball. This has kind of been my safe haven thus far.”

Collison was arrested over Memorial Day weekend and originally charged with two misdemeanor counts after a late night altercation with his wife.

After countless delays, the 29-year-old point guard accepted a plea deal with the Placer County district attorneys office on September 2, pleading guilty to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence. The conviction came with a 20-day jail sentence, which he will serve in an Alternative Sentencing Program, where he will work on community service projects overseen by Placer County.

In addition to community service, Collison was also sentenced to three years of informal probation and he is required to attend a 52-week “Batterer Treatment” class, which is mandatory by the state of California in all domestic violence convictions.

Collison is in his third season with the Kings after signing a 3-year, $15 million deal in 2014. He averaged 14 points and 4.3 assists per game as both a starter and reserve for Sacramento and before running into legal trouble he was expected to begin the season as the starter.

The Kings have since added veterans Ty Lawson and Jordan Farmar to support the position with the expectation that Collison would miss time due to suspension.

Collison is allowed to play during the preseason but he will miss the first two weeks of the regular season due to the suspension. He is eligible to return to action on Nov. 8 when the Kings take on the New Orleans Pelicans at the Golden 1 Center. 

ESPN’s Marc Stein was first with the information. According to Stein, the suspension will cost Collison an estimated $380,324 in lost game checks.

Bogdan Bogdanovic to undergo left knee surgery

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AP

Bogdan Bogdanovic to undergo left knee surgery

After jumping straight from European competition to the NBA last summer, Bogdan Bogdanovic is scheduled to undergo a minor procedure on Tuesday.

A postseason MRI picked up on a slight tear in the meniscus of Bogdanovic’s left knee.

Playing for a year and a half straight without a break takes a toll on a player’s body.

According to the Kings, he will undergo a minimally invasive meniscus debridement procedure at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

The arthroscopic procedure is being performed by Dr. Riley Williams. With the cleanout, he is expected to make a full recovery in time for the team’s training camp schedule.

Bogdanovic, 25, joined the Kings on a three-year, $27 million contract last summer after playing the year before for Fenerbahce of the Turkish Super League.

The Serbian-born guard averaged 11.8 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebound in 27.9 minutes per game for Sacramento in his rookie NBA season.

Kawhi Leonard is not the answer for the Kings

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USATSI

Kawhi Leonard is not the answer for the Kings

The murmurs have already started. Teams are lining up for a potential run at one of the game’s best players. We aren’t talking about LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Paul George, who all have early termination clauses in their contracts this summer. That trio will dominate the news July 1 when the NBA’s free agency period begins. 

There is another player who has an ability to change the course of a franchise and the way things are heading, who might become one of the biggest trade targets in recent league history. 

No one really knows the entire story about what is going on with Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs have their side and Leonard’s team likely has a different version. What is known is that the 26-year-old small forward was cleared by San Antonio’s medical staff to resume game action a few months back. 

Leonard returned to the court for a nine-game stretch during December and early January. And then he shut it down again. 

The two-time All-Star and former NBA Defensive Players of the Year has been diagnosed with tendinopathy in his right quadricep. He’s bounced back and forth between San Antonio and New York City all season, having his injury evaluated and re-evaluated by both the Spurs and his own medical team.

Where the Spurs go from here is anyone’s guess. They have the best two-way player in the game and he has made the decision on his own not to play. 

A season ago, San Antonio rattled off a 61-win season before falling to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. They made additions in the summer to make another run, but without Leonard, they didn’t stand a chance.

To make matters worse, the Spurs roster is aging quickly. Manu Ginobili turns 41 in July. Pau Gasol is almost 38 and Tony Parker will be 36 soon and in the last year of his contract. Six players in their rotation are 30 or older and the clock is ticking.

Leonard’s decision wiped out any chance of winning a ring for the Spurs. It also threw away one of the few seasons left for a couple of his teammates.

For the last four decades, San Antonio has been the model NBA franchise. They don’t get into situations like this. And now they have to make one of the most difficult decisions a team has to make. 

To complicate matters, Leonard has two years left on his five-year, $94 million deal he signed in 2015. The final year is a player option worth $21.3 million and it’s very unlikely that Leonard will exercise that option.

Why is this of interest to the Sacramento Kings? It might not be, but that won’t stop fans from turning to the trade machine to find a way to land Leonard in purple and black.

Anytime a player of this ilk comes available, it’s within every team’s best interest to at least make a call. It’s possible the Spurs would turn the Kings down three seconds into the conversation. Then again, they might listen.

While San Antonio is going to want a star in return for Leonard, that isn’t the way these things usually work out. The question then becomes, do the Kings have the assets to acquire Leonard?

It’s very possible that the Spurs can get more than what the Kings would be willing to offer. Sacramento has a group of young players, two or three of which might draw interest. They also have a top seven pick in the upcoming draft.

Due to the Stepien Rule, the Kings can’t trade their draft pick prior to the 2018 NBA Draft. League rules prohibit teams from trading draft picks in back-to-back seasons and Sacramento has already given up their 2019 pick in a salary dump in the summer of 2015. 

The Kings can make a selection for another team and consummate a deal once the new season begins in July, so there is still an opportunity to include the pick in player form. 

San Antonio would likely ask for multiple young players, as well as the Kings’ 2018 selection. Sacramento also has cap space and a few veterans on expiring contracts to make the dollars and cents work. 

Whether the Kings could come up with the pieces to make a deal work is debatable. The real question is, should they try and chase Leonard if he becomes available? 

The simple answer is no. 

No, the Kings shouldn’t offer up a top 10 pick and two or three of their young core to acquire one of the game’s best players. 

Take all of the issues that Leonard has had this season and throw them out the window. At 100 percent health, the risk is still too much for a team like the Kings to take.

It’s about the contract and it’s about the talent that you would have to give up. The Los Angeles Lakers might be able to absorb the risk of trading for Leonard. They would likely have to give up Kyle Kuzma and plenty more to make something happen. But they would also have a fighting chance of retaining Leonard once he opts out of his current deal and becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Kings fans will reach deep on this, bringing up that Chris Webber made the decision to stick around in Sacramento back in 2001, inking a seven-year, $122 million deal. 

Not only were those different times, but the Kings’ franchise was on a roll. Webber was the best player on one of the best teams in the league. He was also surrounded by quality teammates, many of who remain extremely close more than a decade later.

Leonard would come to a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006. It is also a franchise that would have to give up plenty of assets to acquire him. He wouldn’t make the Kings an instant success and although the team would have plenty of money in the summer of 2019 to not only pay Leonard, but add a few more pieces, the risk would never be worth the reward.

If the team truly believes that Leonard is an option, they might as well draft a high quality player in 2018, develop the current talent base, make a move or two to improve the roster and then chase the All-Star wing a summer later when they have upwards of $70 million to throw around.

It’s a fun conversation, but one that can only lead to ruin for a team like the Kings. The best chance to turn things around for Sacramento is to stay the current course and continue to develop the players on the roster. 

If the team can begin to build something, landing the right player and then keeping them around will happen for the Kings.