Gameday: Kings looking for redemption after rough night in New York


Gameday: Kings looking for redemption after rough night in New York

The Sacramento Kings hit Washington Monday evening looking to wash the sour taste of the Big Apple out of their mouths. Waiting for them are the high-powered Wizards who come in riding a two-game win streak.

Sacramento watched star big man Kristaps Porzingis catch fire in New York on Saturday night. The Latvian-born center posted 34 points in just 27 minutes of action while sitting out the entire fouth quarter of the Knicks blowout win.

Skal Labissiere scored 19 points for Sacramento against New York, but most of those came long after the game was decided. They’ll need a stronger effort from all 13 active players on the roster if they hope to slow John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter.


Wizards by 11.5


Garrett Temple vs. Bradley Beal -- Beal is one of the better pure shooters in the league and he’ll square off against a familiar face. Temple spent four seasons in Washington before joining the KIngs last summer. It’s an offensive juggernaut versus a 3-and-D wing.


Kings: 3-9, fifth place in Pacific

Wizards: 7-5, second place in Southeast


Kings: F Vince Carter (kidney stones) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out.

Wizards: G Sheldon Mac (leg) out.


HOW LONG WILL DAVE JOERGER STICK WITH GEORGE HILL -- Sacramento paid big money for Hill in the offseason and the veteran point guard is off to an extremely slow start. De’Aaron Fox is showing improvement on a nightly basis and he’s outplayed Hill on most nights. At some point, Hill is either going to have to step up or step aside.

NO OFFENSE -- The Kings are struggling to find consistent performances from almost everyone on the roster so far this season. Their leading scorer averages just 12.8 points per game and he’s 36-year-old. Only three players average in double-figures for Sacramento and their 94.8 points per game ranks 29 in the league.

PUSH THE TEMPO -- Despite a roster full of young guys, the Sacramento Kings are 28th in the league in pace at 96.1. They need to get out and stretch their legs a bit, even if that means Zach Randolph gets a piggyback ride up and down the court from Bogdan Bogdanovic.


Washington swept the season series between the two teams last year and hammered Sacramento 110-83 at Golden 1 Center in late October. The Kings still hold a 104-91 advantage all-time over the Wizards, but Washington leads the series 32-31 during the Sacramento-era.

What does Nemanja Bjelica bring to the Kings?

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

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.