Kings

Vince Carter reacts to Patrick McCaw injury: 'I just hope he's okay'

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USATSI

Vince Carter reacts to Patrick McCaw injury: 'I just hope he's okay'

SACRAMENTO -- A dark cloud hung over Golden 1 Center Saturday evening as both the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors awaited news on 22-year-old shooting guard Patrick McCaw.

The high-flying wing left the floor on a stretcher in the late third quarter after being knocked off balance by veteran Vince Carter. McCaw was taken directly to UC Davis Medical center for further observations as both teams held their breath.

“I just hope he’s okay,” an emotional Carter said following the game. “I play this game because I love it and enjoy it and not for that, not to see young guys get hurt. He has a bright future and I hate to see it.”

McCaw cut baseline and attacked the rim with 40.8 seconds remaining in the third quarter. A replay shows Carter sliding over to cut off McCaw’s path. The 41-year-old veteran caught McCaw in the leg with a shoulder. The contact knocked McCaw off balance and sent him flying through the air awkwardly.

“I remember his foot hitting the side of my leg, that’s it,” Carter said.

The second-year pro landed on his lower back area and instantly began rolling on the floor in pain. Both team’s medical staffs quickly came out on the floor and McCaw was eventually removed from the floor immobilized on a gurney.

“He’s a young guy, he has a bright future, I don’t play the game that way,” Carter said. “To see a young guy laying down there, it’s an unfortunate situation.”

Carter kneeled next to McCaw as he was attended to, clearly overwhelmed by the situation. He still looked overwhelmed by the situation later in the evening as he fielded questions from his locker stall.

“Vince felt horrible, he was out there next to him,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Vince felt awful and Pat was in extreme pain. Everybody felt bad. All we can do is just hope we get a positive response from the hospital and we’ll see. At this point, we don’t know anything.”

As McCaw was wheeled off the court, both teams huddled together under the Warriors basket to say a prayer. It was an emotional moment for everyone in the building.

“It’s never good to see that, but you just see the respect and the professionalism out of these players to just come together and pray,” rookie De’Aaron Fox said. “It’s tough to finish a game like that, but that’s what we’re paid to do.”

Following the loss, Carter made his way to the Warriors locker room to once again apologize to McCaw’s teammates. On a night when he became just the ninth player in NBA history to play 1,400 regular season games, he left the building with a heavy heart.

“I know Vince’s spirit and his heart and I don’t believe it was intentional at all,” Kevin Durant said following the game. “It looked like he was just caught in the middle of wanting to get in the play and wanting to move out of the way. Pat was just coming so fast and it was just an unfortunate play.”

“Nobody in our locker room thinks Vince did that on purpose,” Durant added.

McCaw has played a valuable role for the Warriors this season, playing 56 games, including 10 starts for a 55-win Golden State team. Thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family as they await news on the extent of his injury.

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.