Chicago Bulls

Kings lose coin flip to Bulls, hold No. 7 overall pick heading into NBA Draft Lottery


Kings lose coin flip to Bulls, hold No. 7 overall pick heading into NBA Draft Lottery

The Sacramento Kings’ win over the Houston Rockets in the season finale has officially cost the team a spot in the NBA’s Draft Lottery. After posting identical 27-55 records, Sacramento and the Chicago Bulls were part of the NBA’s coin flip rule Friday afternoon at the Board of Governors meetings. 

Unfortunately for the Kings, the Bulls picked up a victory in the game of chance and now sit in the sixth spot in the pre-lottery standings. Sacramento holds the seventh position, but both teams have an equal opportunity to move up into the top three positions when the lottery is officially held on May 15. 

Once the top three selections are drawn, the draft goes in order of worst remaining record, taking coin flip results into consideration. If the Kings do not move into the top three and no one slated behind them in the draft move up, they will draft No. 7 overall. 

There is also a small chance that Sacramento doesn’t move up and one or more lottery teams behind them in the standings jump up. In this scenario, the Kings could draft as low as 10, but the statistical probability of them falling that far is astronomical. 

Here are the odds for the potential draft positions for the Kings this season. Both the Kings and Bulls have an 18.3% chance of moving into the top three picks.

No. 1 overall selection: 5.3%
No. 2 overall selection: 6.0%
No. 3 overall selection: 7.0%
No. 7 overall selection: 57.3%
No. 8 overall selection: 22.6%
No. 9 overall selection: 1.8%
No. 10 overall selection: less than 0.0%

Sampson comes up huge in win over Bulls: 'He's just disruptive'


Sampson comes up huge in win over Bulls: 'He's just disruptive'

SACRAMENTO -- JaKarr Sampson isn’t used to the media storming his locker following a win. The 24-year-old has driven back and forth between Sacramento and Reno all season long as a two-way player. It’s not glamorous, but he’s always a phone call away from the show.

Monday night at Golden 1 Center, he was a difference maker in the Kings 104-98 win over the Chicago Bulls. It’s not the first time he’s come up big for Sacramento and it probably won’t be the last. 

“That’s what he does,” De’Aaron Fox said. “Every time he’s come up - I wanna say that first road trip when we played in Cleveland, he guarded LeBron (James) - he’s just disruptive. He grabs rebounds, he plays defense, he’s active on the offensive glass - it’s what he does and that’s the reason that he plays.”

With his team completely dead in the water against the Bulls, Dave Joerger turned to Sampson in hopes of finding a spark. The St. John’s University product instantly changed the energy level on the court, helping Sacramento climb out of a 21-point first half deficit.

“He’s awesome as far as what he brings to the part,” Joerger said. “6’-8” lively body, diving as far as from the perimeter, slashing and trying to get to the glass.”

The numbers don’t jump off the page - nine-points, six-rebounds and a block in 18 minutes of action. But he completely changed the momentum of a game with his hustle. 

“It just feels good just being out there and playing in front of these fans,” Sampson said with a huge smile. “They bring the juice and get me juiced up and do what I do best and pass it along to my teammates.”

Sampson loves to energize the crowd with a dunk. He hit the Bulls with a baseline hammer in the second quarter to help draw the Kings within 10. Two minutes later, Chicago’s Zach LaVine got him back on the other. 

“You’ve got to - that’s the ballgame, especially for someone who plays defense the way I play it and is gonna challenge any shot,” Sampson said following the game. “I don’t care about getting dunked on, I just care about making a right play and sacrificing my body for the team.”

LaVine put Sampson on a poster, but that’s the way the fourth-year forward plays. You don’t get any free passes around him. He’s always ready to challenge, even when there is little hope of stopping someone. 

With the Kings off for the next three days, the plan is for Sampson to head back to the Reno Bighorns on Tuesday. Joerger joked that he might have to change his travel plans, but with only 45 days to use Sampson with the parent club, the Kings have to be judicious with when they call him to Sacramento. 

If nothing else, Sampson has earned a long look with an NBA team next season, be it in Sacramento or elsewhere. He has the body to compete and the versatility to play either forward positions. He also brings his lunch pail and a huge smile to work every day. 

Gameday: Chance to hit reset button will come after Kings host Bulls


Gameday: Chance to hit reset button will come after Kings host Bulls

SACRAMENTO -- The NBA schedule keeps rolling on. For the third time in four nights, the Sacramento Kings will host a team at Golden 1 Center. A struggling Chicago Bulls team comes in beat up and  short-handed Monday evening, trying to snap a six-game losing streak.

Sacramento looked great through three quarters Saturday night against the Mavericks, shooting over 63 percent from the floor over the game’s first 36 minutes. Then they seemed to run out of gas. A long road trip followed by a back-to-back at home has the Kings “mentally fatigued.” They’ll have three days off after playing Chicago to try and hit the reset button.

The Bulls have lost six in a row coming into Monday’s matchup. They will play without rookie phenom, Lauri Markkanen and they traded leading scorer, Nikola Mirotic, to the Pelicans last Thursday.


Kings by 2.5


Bogdan Bogdanovic vs. Zach LaVine -- Bogdanovic looks like a keeper in his first season in the NBA. After putting up big numbers in January, the 25-year-old Serbian has struggled to score over the last week, scoring in double-figures in just two of his last six games. He’ll be tested Monday night when the high-flying LaVine rolls into Golden 1 Center. Since returning from a devastating knee injury, LaVine has started 10 games for the Bulls. He’s posting 14.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game as Chicago attempts to bring him back slowly after nearly a year off.


Kings: 16-36, fifth place in Pacific

Bulls: 18-34, fifth place in Central


Kings: PF Skal Labissiere (shoulder strain) out 1-2 weeks, PG Frank Mason (plantar fascia tear right heel) out, Malachi Richardson (ankle) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season.

Bulls: PG Kris Dunn (concussion) out, Lauri Markkanen (personal) out, PG Cameron Payne (foot) out, PG Jameer Nelson (newly acquired) questionable, C Omer Asik (newly acquired) questionable SG Tony Allen (newly acquired) questionable.


Home Cooking -- The Kings have dropped the first two games of the four game homestand and their fans could use a little love. They played well through three quarters against Dallas, but the fourth was abysmal and fans headed for the doors early.

Take Advantage of a Wounded Opponent -- For one reason or another, the Bulls are without three of their top four scorers. They’ve lost six straight and they are finishing a three game road trip on the west coast. This is a winnable game on their home floor for the Kings.

Toughen Up -- In a reoccuring theme for the season, head coach Dave Joerger said the Mavs out physicaled his team Saturday night. The Kings have to learn how to push back as they develop in the second half of the season.


The Kings snapped their five game losing streak to the Bull on the first of December, coming away with a 107-106 win to take a 1-0 advantage in the season series. Chicago holds an 82-76 lead in the all-time series and a 35-29 advantage during the Sacramento-era.