Kings

Bogdan Bogdanovic expected to make Kings season debut vs. Raptors

Bogdan Bogdanovic expected to make Kings season debut vs. Raptors

SACRAMENTO -- Cleared. That is the word from the Kings regarding their second-year wing, Bogdan Bogdanovic.

The 26-year-old is expected to make his season debut Wednesday night when the Kings host the Toronto Raptors.

Bogdanovic missed the team’s first 10 games of the season because of a meniscus tear in his left knee. It was the second procedure on Bogdanovic’s knee since the end of the 2017-18 season.

It's unknown at this time whether Bogdanovic will face minute restrictions early in his return or if he will be available for both of Sacramento’s back-to-back games Friday and Saturday.

In his rookie season last year, the Serbian-born shooting guard posted 11.8 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game. Prior to the injury, he was expected to begin the season as a starter at either the shooting guard or small forward position for the Kings.

Following practice Tuesday, Bogdanovic said he has been ready to play for the last 10 days, but he still needs to work on his cardio and get back into basketball shape.

NBA rookie survey: Kings' Kyle Guy voted second-best shooter in draft class

NBA rookie survey: Kings' Kyle Guy voted second-best shooter in draft class

Kings coach Luke Walton will want to run the floor and shoot from deep in his first season at the helm in Sacramento. And he might have the perfect rookie to launch shots from beyond the arc.

Kyle Guy can let it fly from long distance. His fellow rookies took notice, too. 

In the annual rookie survey, Guy received the second-most votes for best shooter in the 2019 NBA Draft class. Guy took home 29 percent of votes, placing him just behind Heat rookie Tyler Herro, who received 33 percent. 

Guy also received a vote for Rookie of the Year.

The 22-year-old Guy made 42.5 percent of his 3-pointers in his college career for the University of Virginia and had a 43.3 overall shooting percentage. 

[RELATED: Why Kings' Fox likely walked away from Team USA chance]

"I wanted to be like Kobe in the sense that it didn't matter if my feet were set or just jumping as far as I could to either side," Guy said after the Kings drafted him. "I just wanted to be able to make shots no matter what." 

The Kings signed Guy to a two-way contract in July. Soon, he'll be able to show off his Mamba Mentality. 

Kings' Wenyen Gabriel making family proud in road from war-torn Sudan to NBA

Kings' Wenyen Gabriel making family proud in road from war-torn Sudan to NBA

Kings forward Wenyen Gabriel is one of 25 active NBA players who attended the University of Kentucky, but his journey to the league is far from common.

“I’m 100 percent pure-bred, South Sudanese and I take pride in that.”

Gabriel emigrated to Egypt when he was just a year old to escape a brutal civil war, before eventually getting to the U.S. as a refugee through the United Nations. His first name, Wenyen, means “wipe your tears” in Sudanese, and Gabriel takes that message to heart. 

“I’ve kind of taken it on going forward, that I’m going to wipe the tears from my family, wipe the tears from my country.”

Gabriel was also a college teammate of Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, who has been more than impressed by Gabriel throughout his career.

“He’s great, I mean he’s been through a lot, but that’s why he works so hard,” Fox said.

“I met him like our senior year, before we were both committed to Kentucky, and he reached out to me.”

Gabriel went undrafted in 2018 and was signed to a two-way contract by Sacramento, playing in 42 games for the Stockton Kings in the G League. The big man averaged 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

[RELATED: Why Kings' De'Aaron Fox likely walked away from Team USA opportunity]

His game really made waves this summer, as he averaged just over 15 points and seven rebounds in six summer league games, while also shooting 42 percent from three.

Despite the small sample size, an ability to stretch the floor at his size and athleticism will make Gabriel a valuable commodity for a young Kings team looking to make some noise in the Western Conference.