Kings

Harrison Barnes has coronavirus, fourth Kings player to test positive

Harrison Barnes has coronavirus, fourth Kings player to test positive

Kings forward Harrison Barnes revealed Tuesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Prior to the team leaving last week, I tested positive for Covid-19,” Barnes wrote in a tweet. “I’ve been primarily asymptomatic and am doing well. I’m quarantined and am abiding by the safety protocol until I’m cleared for action. I hope to join my team in Orlando when it is safe to do so! Stay safe out there. -HB”

This solves the mystery, as it was known that a fourth member of the Kings’ traveling party tested positive for the coronavirus right before the team was set to travel to Orlando. The positive test shut the team’s practice facility down, and now we know that that person is Barnes.

Barnes joins Buddy Hield, Alex Len and Jabari Parker as the fourth player to test positive. Hield and Parker already have cleared NBA protocol and met the Kings in Orlando. There is no update yet on Len’s prognosis.

There is no official word on the exact date of Barnes’ positive test, but the practice facility went into lockdown on July 4th or 5th, when an unnamed member of the team’s traveling party tested positive.

If that is indeed the date of the positive test, Barnes will be out until at least July 18-19, and then he has to clear NBA protocol to be allowed in the NBA’s bubble. That is an extremely tight window to prepare for the scrimmage portion of the schedule beginning July 22, and also could put the July 31 opener against the San Antonio Spurs in jeopardy.

The Kings currently have 15 players in the Orlando bubble and have been practicing since Friday evening. Richaun Holmes violated bubble rules and has been placed on quarantine as well in his Orlando hotel room.

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If Barnes isn’t capable of playing, expect Kent Bazemore to get a long look as the starter. The veteran wing joined the Kings at the trade deadline and has made a huge impact as a super-sub.

In addition to Bazemore, the Kings signed Corey Brewer for depth at the wing before they left for Orlando, and they have rookie Justin James who can play minutes at the "three" as well.

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Barnes addressed the media in Sacramento on July 3 and was excited and focused on the task at hand. He is an integral part of the Kings’ rotation.

If the Kings have any hope of upsetting the oddsmakers and snapping their 13-year playoff drought, getting Barnes back in the fold as soon as possible if crucial.

Harrison Barnes places Kings' flameout in Orlando on himself, veterans

Harrison Barnes places Kings' flameout in Orlando on himself, veterans

The team that began the Orlando bubble saying “we want all of that smoke” just learned that smoke usually is accompanied by fire.

At 1-4 in the NBA restart, the Kings have shown they aren’t ready for the fire and they might not be ready for prime time.

“I think it starts with individual accountability, just in terms of the effort we are putting out there on a consistent basis,” veteran Harrison Barnes said following the Kings’ 119-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. “It’s hard to win in this league and to be consistent, you have to do that every single night.”

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The Kings have talent. But rarely is that enough at the NBA level.

You have to play together. You have to play for one another. In the end, you have to bring energy and effort every night or a team of no-names, like the squad the Nets threw on the court Friday, will embarrass you.

It’s a common theme with the Kings. They played a tremendous game in a 140-125 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, scoring 49 points in the first quarter

Just over 24 hours later, they looked like a collection of players that had never played together. There was no chemistry. No passing. No rotations on defense.

Just forced and ineffective basketball.

“Frustration is high,” Barnes admitted. “I don’t know if it’s disappointing, but it’s frustrating. Coming into this game, we knew it was more mental than physical. It was meeting force with force. It was being disciplined. It didn’t matter what scheme we had or what game plan we had if we didn’t have any effort.”

Who's to blame for the Kings’ flame out in Orlando? Coach Luke Walton has already drawn plenty of criticism, but at some point the players themselves have to take ownership for the things they can control on the court.

Following the loss to the Nets, Barnes fell on his sword as one of the leaders of the team. He placed the blame on himself and the rest of the veterans.

“I’ll be the first to say it’s definitely on us as veteran players -- guys like myself," Barnes said. "I’ll take responsibility for that because I’ve been to the playoffs, I’ve been to the Finals. I know the energy and effort it takes to win games and if you don’t bring that, you lose.”

“As a group, we have to learn that you can’t just turn it on,” he added.

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The Kings have a choice. They can pout and get their lunch handed to them for the next three games. They can also play spoiler and leave the bubble on as high of a note as possible.

Either way, this isn’t the outcome the Kings were hoping for. They have had a few bright spots, like the play of De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic, so the experience isn’t a total wash. But after five games, any talk of playoffs is over and changes likely are coming during the abbreviated offseason.

Kings takeaways: What you might've missed in 119-106 loss vs. Nets

Kings takeaways: What you might've missed in 119-106 loss vs. Nets

BOX SCORE

Consistently inconsistent.

After coming away with a huge win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, the Kings failed to show up Friday on the second night of a back-to-back against the completely depleted Brooklyn Nets.

Sacramento looked stagnant on offense and a step slow in its rotations on the defensive end. The result was an embarrassing 119-106 loss that all but extinguished the Kings' remaining playoff hopes.

Here are three takeaways from the Kings getting out-hustled and fell to 1-4 in the Orlando bubble.

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Loud Thud

The Kings came into the restarted NBA season talking a big game. They played well enough to win against the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks, but couldn’t close out games. Their win over the Pelicans gave folks a glimmer of hope, but blowout losses to the Orlando Magic and Nets were completely unacceptable.

With Friday's loss, Sacramento has completely fallen out of the race for the No. 8 seed and would need a miracle to finish ninth and force a play-in series.

The Kings still have three games remaining in the restart, but general manager Vlade Divac has to take a long look at his roster this summer and make some difficult decisions. Everything outside of trading De’Aaron Fox should be on the table.

Bogi puts up a fight

Bogdan Bogdanovic posted a career-high 35 points in the Kings’ win over the Pelicans, and he was back at it again against the Nets.

One of the few Kings players to stand out, Bogdanovic finished with a team-high 27 points on 11-for-19 shooting, including 4-of-8 on 3-pointers.

A restricted free agent at the end of the season, Bogdanovic has been really solid in four of the Kings’ five games. Unfortunately for Sacramento, it just wasn't enough Friday.

[RELATED: NBA puts money where its mouth is for racial, social justice]

Star still shining

Since the beginning of the restart, De'Aaron Fox has come out aggressive and put on a show. He didn’t match his 27.5 points per game average from the first four games on Friday, but he was effective in his time on the court.

The Kings' starting point guard finished with 21 points and seven assists. There is the outline of a star, but he needs another really strong offseason to take that next step.