Iman Shumpert

Kings overwhelmed by last-minute trades, unrelenting Rockets in loss

Kings overwhelmed by last-minute trades, unrelenting Rockets in loss

SACRAMENTO -- Stunned. Shellshocked. Overwhelmed.

The Kings looked broken after their 127-101 blowout loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, and it had nothing to do with the final score. It’s a young squad, and the two transactions that changed the look of their rotation seem to have taken a toll on the group.

Iman Shumpert? Gone. Justin Jackson? Gone. All within two hours of tipoff.

For point guard De’Aaron Fox, losing Jackson as a teammate was especially difficult. The two played high school basketball together, and Jackson served as a big brother of sorts to the Kings star.

“I’ve got to get through it myself,” Fox said. “We’re off tomorrow and we’ve got to just let this roll off our back, especially this game. We’re not going to let this become the norm, but it’s just one of those days.”

Fox went through the deadline last season. He watched guards George Hill and Malachi Richardson walk out the door and not come back. He also saw Garrett Temple, the team’s leader, leave over the summer.

While Harry Giles was with the team last season, he didn’t play or travel with the group full time. This experience was new, and he gave a heartfelt answer when asked about what Jackson and Shumpert meant to the Kings.

“You can’t put a enough appreciation on those two,”  Giles said. “The energy they brought was priceless in a way, very priceless. Something that shakes and you feel it when they leave.”

Fox was emotional. Giles was emotional. The entire room felt different. The vibe was off and the group knows that it’s still not over. The deadline doesn’t hit until Thursday at noon PT. There is time for another move or two.

Maybe it takes being traded to gain the necessary perspective.

Buddy Hield compared the feeling to switching schools and having to get used to a new environment, make new friends and figure out all the rules. After three trade deadlines, Hield knows what to expect.

"This is professional business and you've got to move on,” Hield said. “You can't dwell on it. If you dwell on it, you know, you get lost in the sauce."

Shumpert’s locker was next to Hield’s for the last year. They spent plenty of time together, and the banter between the two was comical at times. Saying goodbye to a friend like this just moments before a game is difficult.

“Today leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” Hield added. “Everybody’s mind is all messed up. It happened so quick. We lost some guys we’ve been to battle with.”

[RELATED: Latest 2019 NBA trade deadline news, rumors, updates]

To add insult to injury, the Rockets came in and thumped the Kings. Houston was the agressor from the opening tip, and Sacramento looked lost.

Thursday should be a day to regroup. The Shumpert trade is not official through the league yet, although it is expected to go through the league office early on Thursday.

There is no early word as to whether Harrison Barnes or Alec Burks will be available to play Friday against the Miami Heat. All players from both trades have 48 hours to report and take physicals before the transaction can be finalized.

Kings praise departing Iman Shumpert's leadership after Rockets trade

Kings praise departing Iman Shumpert's leadership after Rockets trade

SACRAMENTO -- #PurpleTalk just got a lot quieter in Sacramento. Veteran wing Iman Shumpert, was dealt to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night in a three-team, six-player swap, a source confirmed to NBC Sports California.

It’s a jarring move for a young locker room that had relied heavily on the 28-year-old to both lighten the mood, and help build a winning foundation.

"He was great, especially for the culture he helped create,” De’Aaron Fox told NBC Sports California. “It was great chemistry, but in this business, a lot of things happen. Guys get traded, guys get moved around, but you still have to go out and perform."

The timing of the trade couldn’t have been worse for the Kings. News broke around 5 p.m. as players were arriving at Golden 1 Center to take on the Rockets. Against a team like Houston, focus is a must and the team looked distracted early.

While he’d struggled on the offensive end as of late, Shumpert was a big part of Sacramento’s perimeter defense and his mentorship behind the scenes was extremely valuable.

“He was a big part of the team, he brought the energy every night - night in and night out,” rookie big man Marvin Bagley said. “When things weren’t going to well for us, he was always being positive and picking us up. He was a big part of the team. It was sad to see him go. It was like family.”

Head coach Dave Joerger wasn’t allowed to address the trade directly during his pregame comments since it had not yet been announced, but he did speak on what Shumpert has meant to the team this season.

“He’s been a terrific pro for us,” Joerger said. “He’s also given us some personality. We have a lot of nice guys that are young and still developing who they are as a player and who they are personality wise.”

Knowing he was going into the game short handed against James Harden, the best scorer in the league, Joerger said he was well aware of what was happening and what his team was up against.

“Obviously, Vlade and I are lock in step so I’ve been informed the whole way in this process,” Joerger said. “The next guy has to step up.”

[RELATED: Latest NBA trade deadline news, rumors, updates]

Following the Shumpert news, the Kings front office was at it again just hours later. Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson were sent to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for forward Harrison Barnes.

This is the reality of the NBA. It’s a business. In case the young Kings didn’t know that before, they do now.

Kings trade Iman Shumpert to Rockets in three-team deal also involving Cavs

Kings trade Iman Shumpert to Rockets in three-team deal also involving Cavs

SACRAMENTO -- The Scores have left the building ... or at least the Kings’ locker room.

NBC Sports California confirmed Wednesday that the Kings traded veteran Iman Shumpert to the Houston Rockets as part of a three-way deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The teams later confirmed the transaction.

In return for Sacramento’s starting small forward, the Kings received shooting guard Alec Burks from the Cavs, along with a second-round draft pick.

Cleveland took on the remaining year of Brandon Knight’s contract, as well as Marquese Chriss, from the Rockets. For their troubles, the Cavs received a lottery-protected 2019 first-round selection from Houston.

In addition to Shumpert, the Rockets took on the contracts of guards Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin, both of whom were acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the week.

[RELATED: Latest 2019 NBA trade deadline rumors, news, updates]

Shumpert, who came over from the Cavs last season in the trade for George Hill, missed all but 14 games of last season due to injury. He started 40 games for the Kings this season, averaging 8.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game for the team. In an interesting twist, Shumpert only will have to walk to the visiting locker room of Golden 1 Center to join his new team.

Burks has struggled with injuries over the past few seasons, but has played well since joining the Cavs. The 27-year-old guard is averaging 11.6 points on 37.8 percent shooting from long range to go with 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists for Cleveland.

Shams Charania of The Athletic was first with the news.