Kings

De'Aaron Fox responds to remarks on NBA Most Improved Player candidacy

De'Aaron Fox responds to remarks on NBA Most Improved Player candidacy

De'Aaron Fox doesn't have time for your snippy comments.

On Thursday, the Kings posted an image on Instagram stating Fox's case to win the Most Improved Player award.

Among the hundreds of comments were fans stating Fox was supposed to improve from Year 1 to Year 2.

He wasn't having it.

As NBC Sports California's James Ham wrote, Fox took a massive leap this past season. The point guard went from 11.6 points per game as a rookie to 17.3 as a sophomore. His assist numbers spiked from 4.4 to 7.3. And he improved vastly as a shooter, boosting his field-goal percentage from 41 percent to 45 percent. From 3-point range, Fox went from 30 percent to 37 percent.

[RELATED: How Kings chose Fox over Luka with draft choices]

But the competition for the award will be fierce. Along with teammate Buddy Hield, Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, Nets guard D'Angelo Russell, Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell and Hawks forward Jon Collins also will garner lots of support.

One thing is for sure. Fox definitely is Most Likely To Snap Back At Your Comments.

Source: Former Kings big man Kosta Koufos agrees with European club

Source: Former Kings big man Kosta Koufos agrees with European club

Kosta Koufos is heading to Europe.

The former Kings big man has reached an agreement with European power CSKA Moscow on a two-year, $6 million contract, NBC Sports California's James Ham confirmed Friday. The deal will include options to return to the NBA.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes was first to report news of the agreement.

Koufos has played 11 years in the NBA, averaging 5.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in his career. He spent the last four seasons in Sacramento, where the Ohio State product was a consistent role player. But he saw a reduced role last season, as the Kings gave minutes to young big men Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles, forcing Koufos to the fringes of the rotation.

In a recent interview with James Ham, the 30-year-old veteran believes he still can contribute.

“I’ve been in the league for 11 years," Koufos said. "I’ve started a numerous amount of games, and when given time, I can put up numbers.”

He'll get that opportunity in Russia, where he'll join a CSKA Moscow team that just won its eighth EuroLeague championship.

[RELATED: Walton already has earned respect of Kings' veteran players]

In four seasons with the Kings, Koufos averaged 6.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in 18.3 minutes.

Harrison Barnes praises Luke Walton's ability to connect with players

Harrison Barnes praises Luke Walton's ability to connect with players

The Sacramento Kings worked quickly to make Luke Walton their new head coach. At the end of a season filled with turmoil, the Lakers' front office left Walton hanging for several days, as management disagreed over whether he should return as the Lakers' coach.

Eventually, the Lakers and Walton parted ways, and the Kings snapped up the former Warriors assistant.

Jason Jones of The Athletic spoke with several members of Walton's new team who have previous ties to the 39-year-old, including Harrison Barnes, who played under Walton from 2014-16 with the Warriors. Barnes spoke very highly of his new head coach, in particular praising how he can relate to players in a unique way.

"One of the greatest attributes as a coach is the ability to relate and connect with his players,” Barnes said. “If you can’t reach a locker room, no matter who you’ve got out there, this league has shown you that will not work. So I think his ability to have guys’ respect, to be able to coach in a way, like I said, gives everyone the opportunity to thrive, but also promotes a winning style of basketball."

Barnes also appreciates Walton's strategic mind when it comes to basketball. 

“It’s just not a free-for-all, a ‘Hey, let’s just go out there and gun for yourself,'" said Barnes. "I think that can really help us.”

Trevor Ariza was the other subject of the story. The veteran forward was a teammate of Walton with the Lakers between 2007-09, including winning the 2009 NBA Finals over the Orlando Magic.

[RELATEDKings agree to contract with forward Tyler Lydon, agency confirms]

The swingman also is a big fan of Walton's ability to communicate, something that was a problem for the Kings with former head coach Dave Joerger.

“Straightforward, very honest,” the 16-year veteran explained. “It’s easy to get his word across because you know he’s not coming with ill intention. It’s all positive, for the betterment of the team.”

Walton gets a fresh start after a rocky four years as the head coach in Los Angeles, and with a roster that features former champions like Ariza and Barnes, along with three players who were named to the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend, the future is getting brighter and brighter in the state capital.