SACRAMENTO -- At some point, the Sacramento Kings might have a roster of 15 healthy bodies. That time will not be the case Friday evening when the Kings host the Milwaukee Bucks, the team with the league’s best record.
Richaun Holmes and Bogdan Bogdanovic have been ruled out, while Cory Joseph and Nemanja Bjelica sat out Thursday’s practice due to bumps, bruises and illness.
Richaun Holmes and Bogdan Bogdanovic have been ruled out for tomorrow. Marvin Bagley upgraded to questionable. No mention of Bjelica and Joseph, who both missed practice today.— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) January 10, 2020
Joseph is under the weather, although he was well enough to make his way to the practice facility to get medication. The veteran guard has played in all 38 games for the Kings this season and he’s working on a streak of 232 consecutive games played.
Bogdanovic is over the flu that wiped him out over the weekend, but he is still dealing with right ankle soreness. The Kings’ super-sub has missed the last three games and eight in total on the season.
Bjelica has yet to miss a game this season. The fifth-year veteran rolled his right ankle during the team’s 114-103 win over the Suns on Tuesday when Mikal Bridges slid underneath him on a 3-point attempt that earned a flagrant foul. Bjelica stayed in the game, but he had ice on his left wrist, both knees and his foot in an ice bucket in the locker room.
Lastly, Holmes missed his first game of the season on Tuesday after straining his right shoulder in the Kings’ win over the Warriors on Monday night. The 26-year-old center has played extremely well after joining Sacramento as a free agent in the offseason, but he might need more than a three-day break before returning to the court. Like Joseph, he is also under the weather according to coach Luke Walton.
“It’s not ideal, but it’s where we’re at,” Walton said following practice on Thursday. “So we’ve got to be ready. Guys have done a nice job throughout the year of continuing to step up when we need them to. So looks like tomorrow might be another game like that, but our guys have proven they can do it.”
Walton has no idea what his roster will look like when the ball tips off on Friday night, but he’s had plenty of opportunity to mix and match his roster after the first 38 games filled with missing players.
“I haven’t ruled any of them out, I hope they all play,” Walton said. “But we’ll see, we’ll see tomorrow.”
Sacramento did get some positive news on Marvin Bagley. The second-year big returned to practice after missing the previous seven games with a left midfoot sprain and was officially upgraded to questionable. The team doesn't know if he'll be ready for a return on Friday, but he is getting closer to 100 percent.
“He had a really nice workout yesterday and [was a] full participant in practice today,” Walton said. “He looked good. A little different injury, so he hasn’t been able to run. His conditioning was down, but we’ll see how he feels later today and we’re excited to get him back, whether that’s tomorrow or the next game, we’re not sure yet, either way, we’re getting close.”
Bagley broke his right thumb during the season opener in Phoenix on Oct. 23. He returned to the court on Dec. 11 after a 22 game absence, but he injured himself the day after Christmas in a matchup against the Timberwolves. Bagley has played in a total of nine games on the season, posting 13.7 points and 6.9 rebounds in 23.6 minutes per game.
For precautionary reasons, the Kings brought both Kyle Guy and DaQuan Jeffries, the team’s two two-way players, up from their G League affiliate in Stockton. Guy is averaging 21.1 points and 4.7 assists per game while shooting 35.9 percent from 3-point range. Jeffries is posting 15.4 points and seven rebounds in 32.7 minutes a night in Stockton.