Kings

Fox, Kings look to sweep season series with Heat

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AP

Fox, Kings look to sweep season series with Heat

SACRAMENTO -- Icing on the cake? The Miami Heat have had the Sacramento Kings’ number for nearly two decades. After years of failures in South Beach, the Kings snapped 15-game losing streak in Miami in January, winning at AmericanAirlines for the first time since 2001.  

Buddy Hield led the way with 24 points the last time these two teams faced off, but it was rookie De’Aaron Fox that stole the show. The 20-year-old point guard tracked a Bogdan Bogdanovic miss and hammered it back with 3.3 seconds remaining to give the Kings an 89-88 win.

Miami is fighting for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. They currently sit in the eighth spot, but they are tied in the win column with both the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards are only two games ahead for the fifth seed in the East.

OPENING LINE

Heat by 7

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Goran Dragic -- Fox put up his second double-double of the season against OKC and he tied his career-high with 10 assists. He’s looking to set up his teammates and he’s been more aggressive in the second half of the season. Dragic made his first All-Star appearance this season and he’s the motor that drives the Heat. Fox has a major advantage in quickness, but Dragic is as crafty as they come.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 21-47, fourth place in Pacific

Heat: 36-32, second place in Southeast

INJURY REPORT

Kings: PF Skal Labissiere (hip) questionable, SG/SF Iman Shumpert (knee/plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (knee rehab) out for the season.

Heat: SG Dwyane Wade (hamstring) out, C Hassan Whiteside (hip) out, SG Dion Waiters (ankle) out for the season.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Defensive Effort -- The Kings showed up on the second night of a back-to-back on Monday in OKC. They brought toughness and effort, despite falling down the stretch. They need to bring that same effort on their home floor against a quality Eastern Conference opponent.

Shooters off the Bench -- The Heat love to launch from the perimeter, especially with their second unit. Reserve Wayne Ellington shoots 7.5 3-pointers per game off the bench and last time these two teams faced off he knocked down 6-of-13 from deep on his way to 20 points. Sacramento has struggled to defend the 3-ball all season long. If they don’t stay with Miami’s shooters, they’ll get burned.

Play Spoiler -- Miami is firmly planted in the playoffs, but they would love nothing more than to move up in the East. The Kings aren’t playing for anything but pride. Sacramento has a chance to change the look of the playoff picture for more than one team as they head towards the finish line.

SERIES HISTORY

The Kings lead the season-series 1-0 after a stunning win over the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena in January. The Heat hold a 40-18 advantage all-time over the Kings.  

It will be a surprise if Ben McLemore or Deyonta Davis actually wear a Kings uniform

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AP

It will be a surprise if Ben McLemore or Deyonta Davis actually wear a Kings uniform

We have a trade. Garrett Temple is on his way to the Memphis Grizzlies. In return, the Sacramento Kings receive former King Ben McLemore, along with big man Deyonta Davis, cash considerations and a 2021 second round draft pick.

Temple opted in to the final year of his 3-year, $24 million deal in late June and was due $8 million this season. Lost in the shuffle of young players at shooting guard, Sacramento made it clear to the 32-year-old wing that he was not part of the plan for the 2018-19 season before he picked up his option.

Known for his work in the community and presence in the locker room, the eight-year NBA veteran posted 8.4 points on 39.2 percent shooting from long range in 65 games last season in Sacramento. 

After being drafted with the seventh overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft by Sacramento, McLemore spent the first four seasons of his career in a Kings uniform. He signed a two-year deal with the Grizzlies last season and will make $5.4 million this season. 

Davis struggled to find court time with the Grizzlies in his first two seasons out of Michigan State. The 6-foot-11, 237 pound center has potential, but he’ll join a crowded frontcourt in Sacramento. He averaged 5.8 points and four rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game in his sophomore season in Memphis. 

Why Temple?

Sacramento has struggled to find strong veteran leadership over the last decade, but Temple fit the bill. After working his way into the league on 10-day contracts and trips overseas, the LSU grad seemed to find a home with the Kings.

But the emergence of shooting guards Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield made Temple the odd man out in the rotation this season. The Kings were able to break his contract up into smaller pieces in this deal, which opens the door for more transactions. 

In a perfect world, the Kings may have looked to move Iman Shumpert instead of Temple, but his injury history and $11.4 million contract for this season is a tough sell in a cash strapped market.

Why McLemore and Davis?

It’s hard to see either of these players sticking around for very long. McLemore struggled to find playing time in his final two seasons in Sacramento and that’s before they had emerging players at his position. It’s unlikely he’ll get another shot at competing for minutes. He makes $5.4 million this season, which can be bought out and either stretched over three years to open more space or paid out in one lump sum this season.  

Davis is owed $1.5 million this season, making him an affordable reserve option if the Kings choose to keep him around. He’s on the final year of his rookie contract and is a restricted free agent after this season.

What’s next?

The Kings saved roughly $1 million in cap space with the deal, pushing their available total to approximately $20.5 million. 

This deal was more about adding another second round pick and clearing Temple’s $8 million off the books, while finding the veteran a soft landing spot. While the team has yet make their plans known, it would be a surprise to see either McLemore or Davis in a Kings uniform this season.

Kings to trade Garrett Temple to Grizzlies; Ben McLemore back in Sacramento

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AP

Kings to trade Garrett Temple to Grizzlies; Ben McLemore back in Sacramento

The Kings are making a move.

Sacramento is finalizing a trade that will send forward Garrett Temple to the Grizzlies, NBC Sports California's James Ham confirmed.

The Kings will receive guard Ben McLemore, center Deyonta Davis, a 2021 second-round draft pick and cash considerations in the deal.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the deal.

Temple played the last two seasons in Sacramento. Last year, he averaged 8.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 65 games (35 starts).

He is entering the final year of the three-year, $24 million contract that he signed with the Kings in the summer of 2016.

McLemore, who averaged 7.5 points over 56 games for the Grizzlies last season, spent his first four seasons in Sacramento after the Kings selected him seventh overall in 2013. He will earn $5,460,000 next season and then become an unrestricted free agent.

Davis was the 31st overall pick in the 2016 draft out of Michigan State. The 21-year old appeared in 62 games last year, averaging 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds.