Kings

Gameday: Battle of rookie point guards as Kings face Knicks

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AP

Gameday: Battle of rookie point guards as Kings face Knicks

De’Aaron Fox hit a big-time game winner in the Kings’ 109-108 victory over the 76ers on Thursday night, but he wasn’t the only rookie to make an impact. Justin Jackson set a new career-high in points for the second straight game, finishing the evening with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. The young Kings are getting opportunities and showing early season development.

New York is coming off a loss in Orlando, but they’ve won six of their last eight games overall for head coach jeff Hornacek. Third-year big Kristaps Porzingis is having a breakout start to the season, posting 30 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. But he’s nursing an ankle and elbow injury that kept him out of the Knicks previous game against Orlando.

OPENING LINE 

Knicks by 5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Frank Ntilikina -- Drafted just three spots apart in the 2017 NBA Draft, the rookie point guards will both likely come off the bench for their respective clubs. Fox is earning starters minutes with his early play and coach Dave Joerger comfort level appears to be increasing with the 19-year-old. Ntilikina has struggled with his shot, but he’s playing nearly 20 minutes a game for Hornacek in a reserve role. 

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 3-8, fifth place in Pacific

Knicks: 6-5, third place in Atlantic

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: F Vince Carter (kidney stones) availability unknown at this time, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January at the earliest.

Knicks: PF/C Kristaps Porzingis (ankle/elbow) probable, SG Ron Baker (ankle) out, Joakim Noah (suspension) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

KEEP IT ROLLING -- After a rough start to the season, the Kings have found success in the previous two games. New York is a off to a nice start, but they are young and still trying to find their way in the league. If Sacramento can play as a team, they have an opportunity to make some strides in the win/loss column during the road trip.

ACTION JACKSON -- Like Fox, Justin Jackson is earning a bigger role with his solid early season play. The former North Carolina Tar Heel will be called upon to guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and Doug McDermott on Saturday. Both are off to nice offensive starts on the season. 

THE UNICORN -- Porzingis is quickly becoming a star in the league. The 7-foot-3 Latvian sensation can hit the 3-ball, take you off the dribble and score in the post. Willie Cauley-Stein played well defensively against Joel Embiid in the win over Philly. Sacramento will need Cauley-Stein to step up again if they have any chance of slowing Porzingis.

SERIES HISTORY 

New York swept the season series last year against Sacramento, including a 103-100 victory at Golden 1 Center on December 9. The Kings hold a 153-142 advantage over the Knicks all-time, but New York leads 33-29 during the Sacramento-era.

Yogi Ferrell signing is great value for the Kings

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USATSI

Yogi Ferrell signing is great value for the Kings

Money well spent. The Sacramento Kings jumped into the free agent market Friday afternoon, inking point guard Yogi Ferrell to a two-year, $6.2 million contract NBC Sports California has confirmed.

Ferrell had a deal in place to remain with the Dallas Mavericks, but pulled out after learning the specifics of the contract. The Kings jumped at the opportunity to add the talented 25-year-old, who went undrafted out of Indiana in 2016.

Why Ferrell?

Sacramento came into the summer of 2018 with a mountain of cap space and quickly found out that the market wasn’t ideal. Adding a player like Ferrell this late wasn’t expected, but it’s a very solid addition.

The 6-footer posted solid numbers for the Mavs last season, averaging 10.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 27.8 minutes per contest. More of a scoring guard than a pure point, Ferrell knocked down 37.3 percent from long range and 42.6 percent from the field overall.

Ferrell instantly gives Sacramento another ball handling option and a quality scorer off the bench. He loves to push the tempo and should fit in well with the current crop of young Kings players.

What does it mean for Frank Mason?

De’Aaron Fox is the face the of the franchise, so you can expect him to play the bulk of the minutes at the point guard spot. The remaining minutes will be fought over by Ferrell and 2017 second-round pick Frank Mason.

Mason struggled to separate himself from the crowd during both Sacramento and Las Vegas summer leagues. He led Vegas in assists per game, but he never really found a way to jump start the Kings’ offense.

Ferrell is more accomplished as an NBA player. Mason is the more accomplished NCAA player. Ferrell likely earns the first look as the reserve point guard behind Fox, which means Mason will pick up scraps and wait for his chance.

What is the financial impact of the deal?

After backing out of his deal in Dallas, Ferrell found a soft landing in Sacramento. He’s a budget addition for the Kings and will barely dent their salary structure in year one or two. Ferrell played in 82 games for the Mavericks during the 2017-18 season, including 21 starts. The Kings found an experienced, rotational player on the cheap.

With Ferrell signed, Sacramento still has roughly $17.5 million in cap space remaining, although they’ve maxed their roster at 15 players. The Kings have the ability to clear roster spots by waiving players like Deyonta Davis or Ben McLemore, both of whom were acquired in a trade this week. 

Source: Kings, Yogi Ferrell come to terms on multi-year contract

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USATSI

Source: Kings, Yogi Ferrell come to terms on multi-year contract

The Kings added a guard on Friday.

Yogi Ferrell agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth $6.2 million, NBC Sports California's James Ham confirmed.

Shams Charania was the first to report the news.

Ferrell -- who averaged 10.2 points and 2.5 assists over 27.8 minutes per game with Dallas last season -- orginally was set to return to the Mavs on a two-year deal worth $5.3 million.

But on Friday morning: