Jimmer Fredette returns to NBA just in time to face his former Kings


Jimmer Fredette returns to NBA just in time to face his former Kings

SACRAMENTO -- Luka-Mania rolled through Sacramento Thursday evening. The 20-year-old rookie has been the talk of the NBA this season, but he has no concept of what it’s like to be basketball’s Elvis Presley.

Jimmer Fredette does, and on Saturday evening, it’s Jimmer-time back in the Capital City when the guard drops by as a newly-signed member of the Phoenix Suns.

Luka has appeal, but what Jimmer faced was on a different level. When Fredette showed up for his pre-draft workout for the Kings, there was a woman hiding in the bushes with a sign ready to jump out to greet him.

During the 2011 NBA lockout, Fredette played in the American Century Golf Tournament in Lake Tahoe. Where the course meets the lake, a group of female fans carried signs that read, “Jimmer can we be your sister wives?”

Acquired by the Kings on a draft day deal with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2011, Fredette spent two and a half seasons in Sacramento trying to make things work. The Kings waived the former lottery pick in February of 2014, but that didn’t spell the end of his basketball career.

Following his stint in Sacramento, Fredette spent parts of the next two years fighting to stay in the league. He made stops in Chicago, New Orleans and with the New York Knicks before heading overseas following the 2015-16 season.

The NBA chewed up Fredette and spit him out. He walked into the league as an incredible college scorer. He walked out five years later a completely different person and player.

After three seasons playing in China, Jimmer is back in the NBA. He inked a two-year deal with the Phoenix Suns on Friday and will potentially suit up against the Kings Saturday at Golden 1 Center.

Fredette has taken the CBA by storm, averaging 36.8 points per game over the last three seasons. The 30-year-old guard posted 36 points, 5.3 assists, and 5.6 rebounds in 40.4 minutes per game this season in China. He shot an impressive 41.9 percent from long range, knocking down an incredible 223 3-pointers in just 45 games.

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There is no word on what the second year of Fredette’s contract might look like, but if he can play the way he did overseas, there might be a place in the league for him. He can shoot the lights out and has the ability to space the floor with his range from all over the court.

It hadn’t worked in the past, but there’s always a chance he finds a niche in the league. Whether he makes it or not, Fredette has always been a class act. He’ll likely receive an ovation from the Kings’ faithful if he gets a call from Suns coach Igor Kokoskov on Saturday evening.

Kings interview two point guard prospects in final pre-draft workout


Kings interview two point guard prospects in final pre-draft workout

SACRAMENTO -- The barrage is over. 101 NBA Draft prospects have rolled through Sacramento over the last few weeks, each with an eye on one of the Kings’ three second-round selections.

It was a thorough search by general manager Vlade Divac and his group of executives and scouts. One that will likely be repeated next summer when the Kings have four second-round selections and again in 2021 when they have another three.

Can the Kings find a diamond in the rough? That has yet to be seen, but at least the team has turned over almost every stone imaginable.

Of the 17 groups of six to walk through the Kings’ practice facility, Virginia’s Kyle Guy is the lone prospect to drop by twice. The sharpshooter looked extremely comfortable in the Kings’ gym, launching and hitting countless 3-pointers as the talent evaluators looked on.

“I definitely had an advantage,” Guy said following the workout. “But if you can shoot, you can shoot anywhere. I’m just happy that I got a call back.”

Sacramento already knows Guy can shoot. The junior guard knocked down 42.6 percent last season from long range on 7.4 attempts per game for the Cavaliers. He has a lightning quick release, which might help make up for his lack of elite size.

The draft process is brutal for these players. Guy was on the west coast over the weekend working out for the Lakers and had just flown home when he got the call.

“Yesterday I flew home to [Indianapolis] and I get a call at noon to come back on a flight at 3:30,” Guy said. “So, definitely a grind, but again, it’s a good problem to have. I’m very grateful for the opportunities.”

Guy’s pre-draft workout on Monday was his 12th and he has another scheduled for Tuesday.

After taking home an NCAA championship and winning the Final Four Most Outstanding Player award, there are no promises that Guy will hear his name called Thursday evening during the draft.

This is the life of a college player trying to make the transition to the NBA. Nothing is certain.

Guy matched up against UCLA’s Jaylen Hands. While not the same level of shooter, Hands is bigger and is more of a true point guard.

“I like to play uptempo, I like to get up and down a lot, I like to use my speed, get down hill, so I really like that” Hands said of head coach Luke Walton’s play style.

Hands averaged 14.2 points and 6.1 assists last season for the Bruins. At 6-foot-3 with nearly a 6-foot-6 wingspan, Hands has good size for a point guard projects as a solid two-way player at the NBA level.

[RELATED: Kings work out Mouning's son]

Sacramento could be looking for a point guard to develop, be it at the G League or NBA level. Both of these players should be on the board when the Kings draft at pick No. 40 and possibly even No. 47.

With the draft on Thursday evening, the Kings are officially done with workouts. They’ve pulled all of their scouts and executives back to Sacramento and the evaluation process is well underway.

Kings fan makes good on pledge, gets married in Harry Giles jersey


Kings fan makes good on pledge, gets married in Harry Giles jersey

Whenever Richard and Kate Ivanowski look at their wedding photos, they will think of Kings forward Harry Giles.

That's because Richard got married to Kate this weekend while wearing a Giles jersey under his suit jacket.

Why did Richard wear a Giles jersey during his wedding? This all came about in early June when he asked his then-fiancé if he could wear a Kings jersey during their wedding. She said yes, but only if he got 10,000 retweets on Twitter.

It took about one day for Richard to hit the 10,000 retweet mark.

So, this weekend, Richard and Kate got hitched with a Giles jersey visible in their photos.

Giles himself was pretty pumped about it.

[RELATED: How Giles helped Ivanowski's plan wedding]

A few decades from now, when Richard and Kate are showing their wedding photos to their grandkids, they'll have to explain who Giles is and why his jersey was a part of their wedding.

That will be a unique story to tell.