Sources: Kings getting calls for four key players


Sources: Kings getting calls for four key players

With Thursday's 12pm PT trade deadline creeping up, the Sacramento Kings are once again one of the most active teams on the market. Will they stand pat or will they dive into the action in an attempt to salvage the season? Here is the latest on the rumors surrounding some of the more sought after players on the Kings' roster...

Ben McLemore... The 23-year-old high flyer has struggled to find consistency in George Karl’s system. The former seventh overall selection can shoot, finish at the rim and play defense in spurts. But he needs to improve as a playmaker and rebounder. McLemore is under team control this year and next on his rookie scale deal.

Teams have been calling on McLemore, according to sources, and he might be the most likely to get moved if the Kings decide to jump into the action. The former Kansas star has been linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves in published reports, but there are plenty of other teams with interest. The Kings are selling low if they deal him, but low might be his new value going forward.

Marco Belinelli... Everyone loves a shooter and for most of his career, Belinelli has been a good one. The Kings need a 3-and-player, not just a shooter, so Belinelli might be available. He has made it known that he prefers to play with Rajon Rondo, but over the last six games as a starter, he’s hit just 40 percent from the field and 22.8 percent from long range with the league’s leading assist man setting him up. He’s in the first year of a 3-year, $19 million deal, making him a quality long-term add for a contender.

Word around Sacramento is that Belinelli wouldn’t mind a ticket out of town. Teams have been calling on him for the last few weeks, according to sources, but the offers have been soft. The Kings are looking for an answer at the two. Neither McLemore or Belinelli have run away with the spot. If the right deal comes along, expect Vlade Divac to jump on it.

Rudy Gay... The Kings came into the season hoping to build around Cousins, Rondo and Gay. But Gay has struggled to find his niche in Karl’s system. The Kings have listened to offers on the talented 29-year-old, but many in the organization would prefer to keep him and try to add one more piece this summer. Gay has plenty left in the tank and he’s under contract next season with a player option for 2017-18.

Sacramento has resisted dealing Gay, although they continue to get calls, sources have confirmed. There is legitimate concern within the organization about making wholesale changes when most believe there will be a new coach and system in place next season. If they do look to move him, they want equal value in return.

Kosta Koufos... Teams in need of a defensive big are calling the Kings to see if they can pry Koufos away. Between DeMarcus Cousins’ monster play and the development of rookie Willie Cauley-Stein, "K2" has found minutes scarce. The Kings have a 50-game sample size to work with when it comes to the pairing of Koufos and Cousins. The returns are less than stellar. Koufos, 26, is locked into a 4-year, $33 million deal, which becomes even more attractive next season when the salary cap jumps considerably.

The team had an attractive offer on the table for Tobias Harris before he was dealt to Detroit on Tuesday, according to sources. Adding a stretch-four makes sense for Sacramento, but it also makes Koufos extremely expendable. He’s a great locker room guy, but he may not be a great fit for this club in its current construction.

Vince Carter 'very humbled' to pass Patrick Ewing on all-time scoring list

Vince Carter 'very humbled' to pass Patrick Ewing on all-time scoring list

SACRAMENTO -- Half man, half amazing. Vincanity. Air-Canada. V.C.

Vince Carter has plenty of nicknames on his bio. He also has plenty of achievements over his long NBA career. On Monday night in Sacramento, he added a new one.  

With his seven point performance in the Kings’ 106-90 loss to the Detroit Pistons, the 41-year-old forward surpassed a former teammate on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

“It means a lot, because in my days in Orlando, I played with Pat Ewing and know him very well,” Carter said following the game.

Carter came into the night needing five points to tie Ewing’s 24,815 mark for 22nd place on the all-time scoring list.

In the early second quarter, Carter stole a pass from Andre Drummond at the top of the key  and flew down for a breakaway jam to move within three points of Ewing.

“It’s fun for everyone, just to show I can still do it,” Carter said of the dunk. “I think I’ve proven I can, but it’s still fun. I told James Ennis on the way, I said, ‘stay back, don’t foul me.’”

Ennis likely couldn’t have caught Carter either way, but the slam got the Kings crowd going.

At the 4:12 mark of the second, Carter drilled a 12-footer to move within one point of Ewing and with 29.5 seconds remaining in the third, Carter knocked down a 26-foot 3-pointer that rattled around and tried to spin out.

That was the last bucket of the evening for Carter, giving him 24,817 for his 20-year career. He now sits alone in 22nd place, two points ahead of the former New York Knicks star center.

“That’s crazy,” 20-year-old De’Aaron Fox said. “That’s a lot of buckets. Top-25, that’s huge - a lot of guys won’t get close to that.”

Carter now sits just 375 points behind legendary Laker, Jerry West for 21st place and 462 shy of Reggie Miller for a spot in the top 20.

“When you talk about (being) in the top 25 in scoring all-time, you just look at the list of the greats and elite players and the best of the best that still play, and to be in that group, I’m very humbled and thankful for it,” Carter told the media scrum surrounding his locker.

Carter was away from the team over the weekend dealing with a death in the family. He returned to Sacramento to play on Monday, but did so with a heavy heart.

For most of his life, the basketball court has been his place to escape. After two decades as a pro, it still has that effect.

“I just still love it, it’s been great to me, it gives me an opportunity to be around the younger generation and still be around the game I love and accomplish things like this,” Carter said.

He’s played sparingly for Sacramento this season, but his impact on the bench, in practice and behind the scenes as a leader and mentor to the young Kings has been immeasurable.

Carter hasn’t committed to retiring following the season. He will weigh his options, but there is a possibly he will look for one last run at an NBA championship.

Carter passes Ewing on all-time scoring list


Carter passes Ewing on all-time scoring list

SACRAMENTO -- Moving on up. Vince Carter came into Monday evening’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons needing just five points to surpass Patrick Ewing for 22nd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He got that and a little more.

Carter, 41, picked off a Pistons pass in the second quarter and hammered down a breakaway dunk to score his first two points of the evening. He knocked down a jumper in the lane before halftime to get within one point of Ewing and then moved ahead of the 7-footer with a 3-pointer in the third quarter.

The 20-year NBA veteran now sits at 24,817 points. He is 375 points behind the great Jerry West’s 25,192, who currently sits in 21st place on the all-time list.