Kings

Gameday: After career night vs Warriors, can Kings slow down Lou Williams?

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Gameday: After career night vs Warriors, can Kings slow down Lou Williams?

SACRAMENTO -- It’s all LA, all week long. After falling to the Lakers on Tuesday at Staples Center, the Kings return home to face the other team from Los Angeles on Thursday evening. Sacramento will host the first of two straight against the injury riddled Clippers with a 7 p.m. tip from Golden 1 Center.

The Kings recovered from a big deficit early against the Lakers, but struggled to find the bottom of the net. Sacramento forced the Lakers into 26 turnovers, but shot just 34.5 percent from the field in the loss.

Fresh off a stunning win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, the Clippers are rolling. Despite a long list of injuries, Los Angeles has won two straight and eight of their last 11 to jump up in the standings. 

BETTING LINE 

Kings by 1.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Everyone vs. Lou WIlliams -- Williams is on fire. The 13-year NBA veteran is fresh off a 50-point game against the Warriors and he’s having a breakout season at age 31. Over his last 10 games, Williams is posting 31.8 points per game. If he gets hot, it’s lights out for Sacramento.

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 13-27, fourth place in Pacific

Clippers: 19-21, second place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: PG Frank Mason III (plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out. Malachi Richardson and Georgios Papagiannis were allocated to the Reno Bighorns. 

Clippers: PG Milos Teodosic (plantar fasciitis) questionable, SG Austin Rivers (Achilles) out, PF Blake Griffin (concussion) out, PG Patrick Beverley (knee) out, SF Danilo Gallinari (hip) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Stopping the Supporting Cast -- The last time these two teams played, it was no-namers Jahmil Wilson and Montrezl Harrell who stole the show. Wilson is out of the NBA less than a month later. Harrell is a hustle player off the bench. Williams is going to get his, but the Kings can’t let role players go crazy. 

More Fox -- De’Aaron Fox is finding a rhythm since returning from injury. He’s posted 15.3 points and six assists over his last four games and he’s starting to find his range from behind the arc. The Kings’ prized rookie has played aggressive on both sides of the ball and is beginning to show what kind of player he can be at the NBA level.

More Bogi -- Fox isn’t the only Kings rookie figuring out the transition to the NBA game. Bogdan Bogdanovic has taken on a much bigger role in George Hill’s absence. He’s scored in double figures in 11 of his last 15 games and he’s posted five assists or more five times over the last seven games. He’s a smart player that has shown a knack for making his teammates better.

SERIES HISTORY 

The Clippers lead the season series 2-0 after taking down the Kings at Golden 1 Center on Dec. 26. The Clippers have won three straight over Sacramento and 10 in a row in the Capital City. The Kings hold a 69-64 lead during the Sacramento-era and a 113-87 advantage all-time.

What does Nemanja Bjelica bring to the Kings?

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What does Nemanja Bjelica bring to the Kings?

The Sacramento Kings had cash burning holes in their pockets. After nearly three weeks of inactivity in free agency, the team signed a second player in less than eight hours Friday afternoon.

Yogi Ferrell inked a two-year, $6.2 million deal to start the spending spree and, according to a source, Sacramento added Nemanja Bjelica to a three-year, $20.5 million deal just as most people were settling in for dinner. The final year of his deal is non-guaranteed.

The Bjelica transaction has been rumored for the last few days, although the exact dollars figures were unknown. The 30-year-old combo forward posted 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He initially agreed to a one-year, $4.4 million contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, but backed out of the deal earlier this week with the thought that he would return to Europe to play. According to reports, Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic reached out to the Serbian-born forward in an attempt to keep him in the NBA and talk him into joining the Kings.

How does he fit with the Kings?

Bjelica split his time between the small forward and power forward positions last season with the T-Wolves, and will likely do the same in Sacramento. Listed at 6-foot-10, 230 pounds, Bjelica is known for his long range shooting touch, knocking down a career-best 41.5 percent from behind the arc last season.

The Kings have an overload at the power forward and center position, so it’s likely that Bjelica will play plenty of minutes at the small forward spot. He's a potential defensive liability against smaller wings, but he'll help to open running and passing lanes for De’Aaron Fox and the rest of Sacramento’s guards.

Who loses time?

There is a lot that can happen between now and the start of training camp. If the roster looks the same in mid-September as it does now, expect Bjelica to steal time from Justin Jackson at the small forward position and Skal Labissiere and Zach Randolph at the four.

His ability to stretch the floor will keep him on the court for plenty of minutes in Dave Joerger’s rotation.

Financial Impact

While we don’t have exact year-by-year numbers, Bjelica should eat up roughly $7 million a year in each of his guaranteed seasons. When combined with Ferrell’s $3 million salary for this season, the Kings still have more than $9 million of cap room and they will have to waive one player before making the signing official.

Source: Kings agree to three-year deal with Nemanja Bjelica

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Source: Kings agree to three-year deal with Nemanja Bjelica

Europe can wait for free-agent forward Nemanja Bjelica.

The 30-year-old agreed to a three-year, $20.5 million deal with the Sacramento Kings on Friday, a source confirmed to NBC Sports California's James Ham. The third year is not guaranteed. 

Yahoo! Sports' Shams Charania first reported the news. 

The 6-foot-10 Serbian averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game last season. A source told NBC Sports California's James Ham on Wednesday that the Kings like the Serbian forward's versatility, and believe he can play minutes at the small forward and power forward postions. 

Bjelica previously agreed to a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers this summer. He told the team on Monday that he planned on staying in Europe this season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.