Kings

Dewayne Dedmon, Kings could be headed for early breakup after role change

Dewayne Dedmon, Kings could be headed for early breakup after role change

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings walked into the summer of 2019 with a list of wants and needs. Vlade Divac and his team attacked their roster deficiencies from the opening moments of free agency and came away with players they believed would fit the style of play the Kings are trying to build.

A little over two months into the season, the Kings are reeling. They’ve lost five in a row, and at 12-19, they might need something to shake things up.

It now appears that won't be as difficult as it sounds.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Dewayne Dedmon wants out of Sacramento and “multiple teams are making offers to the franchise in anticipation of a deal prior to the February trade deadline.”

NBC Sports California has confirmed through a league source that there indeed is a market for the 30-year-old center, but the deal has to make sense for the Kings if they are going to move the 7-footer. The team isn’t going to hamstring its future to move an unhappy player, but it also isn’t set on waiting around for the Feb. 6 trade deadline.

Dedmon was brought in to play alongside Marvin Bagley in the Kings' starting lineup. A floor-spacer who shot 38.2 percent from 3-point range last season, Dedmon looked like a perfect fit on paper, which is why the Kings extended a three-year, $40 million contract offer. The final year is partially guaranteed at $1 million.

Bagley broke his thumb in the opener and missed 22 games. While he was away from the team, Richaun Holmes -- another offseason free-agent addition -- took Dedmon’s starting job four games into the season, and has cemented himself in the first unit with his strong play.

Dedmon hasn’t played a minute in eight of the previous 10 games for coach Luke Walton. According to Charania, Walton has “soured on the 30-year-old, and the sides believe their union can’t be salvaged.”

After playing 25 minutes per night over 64 games for the Hawks last season, Dedmon is averaging just 13.6 minutes for the Kings this season. He’s struggled mightily with his shot, knocking down just 41.9 percent from the field and 22.9 percent from long range. The Kings expected more than 4.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game the seven-year veteran is averaging.

Bagley injured his left foot in the team’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night, and it’s unknown if he will miss time.

[RELATED: Trouble brewing within Kings after loss to Timberwolves]

Either way, Walton has been comfortable using Holmes, along with Nemanja Bjelica and Harrison Barnes in his rotation at power forward and center this season, and the team has third-year big Harry Giles on the bench as well.

If the deal is right, there is a good chance the Kings could move on quickly from Dedmon. Sacramento needs a jolt in the arm, and mixing up the roster just might provide the lift the team needs.

Five moments to remember from Kings' buzzer-beating win over Rockets

Five moments to remember from Kings' buzzer-beating win over Rockets

Programming note: Watch the re-air of the Kings’ victory over the Houston Rockets from Dec. 9, 2019 today at 3 p.m. PT on NBC Sports California.

The NBA has closed its doors indefinitely, but we have been able to dig into the archives and come away with some of the best games from the last few seasons for your viewing pleasure.

In our sixth installment, we go back to earlier this season, when the Kings went toe-to-toe with the Houston Rockets and came away with a huge game-winner from Nemanja Bjelica.

While we know the final outcome of the game, sometimes the details become murky over time. Here are five things to watch from the Kings’ 119-118 buzzer-beating win over the Rockets at the Toyota Center.

“F--k it, we deserved this win.”

Bjelica usually is quiet and stays away from the media when he’s given the choice. After drilling a 32-footer as time expired to give his team a huge win, Bjelica stopped by to speak with the Kings’ broadcasting team of Grant Napear and Doug Christie and he let loose with an F-bomb that has since been made into t-shirts.

The veteran stretch four has been very good for the Kings since signing as a free agent in the summer of 2018. He has hit plenty of long range 3-pointers, but none was bigger than the dagger against Houston.

“Game over. Game over.”

Star point guard Russell Westbrook put up 34 points and eight assists against the Kings in this game, including nine of the Rockets' final 12 points in regulation. With one second remaining on the clock, he put in a layup to give the Rockets a 118-116 lead and wouldn’t stop talking.

Westbrook's shot was huge, but Bjelica outdid him with the buzzer-beater. Sometimes it’s best to wait until the clock strikes zero before proclaiming victory.

Buddy Buckets

Where would the Kings be without Buddy Hield and his ability to knockdown the triple?

While Bjelica gets the fanfare in this one, Hield’s 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds remaining tied the game and gave the Kings a shot. 

Hield scored a team-high 26 points in this game, including 6-of-13 shooting from long range. In a hostile environment, he came up huge for Sacramento.

It’s raining 3s

Hield tied the game late with a 3-pointer and Bjelica hit the game-winner while wading in the Gulf of Mexico, but these shots were part of a larger trend in this game.

Sacramento went a stunning 20-for-45 from behind the arch, outscoring the high-powered Rockets 60-51 from deep. Only eight players stepped on the court for coach Luke Walton in this game and seven of them knocked down a 3-ball.

Back-to-back

The Kings got off to a rough start to the 2019-20 season, dropping their first five games. They bounced back, but came into this stretch in dire need of some wins.

[RELATED: Sleep Train Arena could be converted into COVID-19 hospital]

They dropped the first two games of the road trip in Portland and San Antonio, and then had to finish the trip with a back-to-back against the Dallas Mavericks and Rockets on Sunday and Monday.

Sacramento almost blew an eight-point lead in the final three minutes in Dallas, but held on for a 110-106 victory. With the win in Houston, the Kings returned home with a .500 trip and then beat the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center for their third win in four days against high-level teams.

Why Hawks trading for Dewayne Dedmon made no sense to Kings' Alex Len

Why Hawks trading for Dewayne Dedmon made no sense to Kings' Alex Len

The Atlanta Hawks had a chance to re-sign center Dewayne Dedmon last summer.

Atlanta passed on the opportunity and let Dedmon leave in free agency, where he eventually signed a three-year, $40 million contract with the Kings.

But in an odd twist, the Hawks brought Dedmon back in a Feb. 5 trade with the Kings.

One of the two players the Kings acquired, Alex Len, recently spoke to The Athletic about his time in Atlanta and the trade that landed him in Sacramento.

“They didn’t want to pay him in the first place, so it didn’t make sense to me,” Len told Chris Kirschner. “If they wanted him, they could have just paid him. So they get him as a backup now and end up paying him anyway."

Len was taken No. 5 overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2013 NBA Draft and signed with the Hawks as a free agent in 2017. He was hoping to be part of the group that returned Atlanta to prominence, and told The Athletic he didn't want to be traded.

“One-hundred percent -- I wanted to stay,” Len said. “I like the coaching staff. I liked my teammates. Everyone was cool. It really had a family feel to it. Last year, you could see the trajectory was going up. Everyone was getting better towards the end of the season. The way we started this season -- I think the mistake we had was we had too many young guys. I didn’t think we had enough veterans and leadership on the team. This season didn’t work out as planned, so they had to make changes. It’s a business, so I understood they had to do it.”

The Hawks appeared to be making progress last season. With Lloyd Pierce in his first season as coach and Trae Young bursting onto the season, Atlanta finished with a 29-53 record. Expectations were high entering the 2019-20 campaign.

[RELATED: Len pleasantly surprised by Kings trade]

But when the NBA suspended the season due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Hawks were in possession of a 20-47 record, the second-worst in the Eastern Conference.

Len wanted to stay in Atlanta, but he entered an NBA playoff race when he joined the Kings.

In nine appearances with the Kings, all off the bench, Len is averaging 6.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 16.7 minutes.