Kings

Kansas Jayhawk stars stop by Sacramento before NBA Draft

Kansas Jayhawk stars stop by Sacramento before NBA Draft

SACRAMENTO -- The Kansas Jayhawks showed up in force Wednesday in Sacramento. Point guard Frank Mason III dropped in for his second workout with the Kings. Later in the afternoon, NBC Sports California confirmed that forward Josh Jackson made an appearance at Golden 1 Center for a meeting with the team, but did not workout.
 
Jackson, 19, is considered a top five pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. The 6-foot-8, 203-pound wing posted 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last season while helping Kansas reach the Elite 8. 
 
He and Mason made a devastating tandem, leading the Jayhawks to a 31-5 record and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. 
 
Mason is listed as a second-round pick in most mock drafts, but he’s turned heads with his leadership and athleticism. The 5-foot-11 point guard put on a dunking display following the workout, showing that his max vertical of 41 inches from the NBA’s combine last month was no fluke. 
 
The senior guard averaged 20.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds in 36.1 minutes a night for coach Bill Self. He is the first player to come through Sacramento for a second workout this draft season. According to Mason, he has already worked out for 10 teams, including two separate stops in Orlando. He has four more workouts scheduled between now and next Thursday’s Draft. 
 
“I think it’s a good sign,” Mason said of his second visit with the Kings. “Maybe they’re really interested in me.”
 
Mason is getting comfortable in Sacramento, even taking time to reach out to Kansas fans living in the Capital City via social media. The 23-year-old even invited a young Jayhawks fan and his father down to his hotel in downtown Sacramento where he took pictures and hung out in the lobby.
 
“It’s really cool to know that I’m a role model for kids,” Mason said. “Just for him to meet me and where I’m heading in my career, it’s a pretty big deal for him.”
 
The Kings are looking to add at least one point guard in the upcoming draft, most likely with one of their two top 10 selections. But if Mason makes it to the early second round where the Kings hold the 34th overall selection, he might be an option as a spark plug off the bench. 
 
Jackson is the second potential top five player to visit the Kings during pre-draft build up. Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox made an appearance two weeks ago, spending the night in Sacramento and working out for the team.

The Sacramento Bee was first with the news of Jackson’s visit. 

Kings Under Review: Backcourt shines, forwards struggle vs. Pacers

Kings Under Review: Backcourt shines, forwards struggle vs. Pacers

After a hot start in the first quarter, the Sacramento Kings hit a wall in Indiana. It was partially due to the Pacers strong defensive effort, but the Kings seemed to lose their legs on the second night of a back-to-back.

Seven Pacers scored in double-figures, and they held the Kings under 100 points for just the third time all season. Indiana limited Sacramento to 42.2 percent shooting from the field and just 28.1 from long range to improve to 16-10 on the season.

Despite their offensive struggles, the Kings were in the game during the fourth quarter, but they could find their range or get the necessary stops to beat a solid Pacers team.

Sacramento currently stand at 13-12 on the season after the loss. Here are two positives and two negative from the game:

POSITIVES

Buoyed by the Backcourt

De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield scored a combined 55 points in the win over Cleveland and they were back at it again in Indiana.

Hield led Sacramento with 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting, although he went cold from the 3-point line for much of the game. After dropping in three straight triples in the first quarter and finishing the period with 13 points, Hield missed his next seven from behind the arc.

Fox struggled from the perimeter as well, missing all three of his long shots. He still managed to post 18 points, six assists, two blocks and a steal in 32 minutes of action.

These two are becoming a deadly tandem and turning heads around the league.

Justin Jackson showing signs of life

Jackson has struggled to find his way at the NBA after an extremely successful run at North Carolina, but he's starting to make a contribution for Sacramento. 

He was a non-factor early, but when the game was on the line, Jackson three 3-pointers in the fourth to keep the Kings in the game. He finished the evening with 11 points in 25 minutes.

Over his last five games, the 23-year-old small forward has hit 10-of-16 (62.5 percent) from 3-point land. If he can continue to play quality defense and hit his open shots, he's worthy of a longer look.

NEGATIVES

Trouble at the Four

The tandem of Nemanja Bjelica and Marvin Bagley III have been really good for Sacramento for most of the season. They had an off night in Indy.

Bjelica finished the game with six points on 2-for-6 shooting, including 0-for-3 from long range. His misses from deep were from way outside, including bricks from 30, 30 and 26 feet. He grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds in the loss, but the Kings needed more.

Bagley couldn't keep his hands to himself and the officiating crew punished him. The rookie big played a total of 9:43 before fouling out. He finished with just four points and two rebounds.

In addition to the rough numbers offensively, Thaddeus Young dropped in a team-high 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Pacers and Domantas Sabonis put up numbers playing the four as well.

The Fade

Sacramento looked ready to play early. They led by as many as nine points in the first quarter and finished up 31-24 after 12 minutes of action. But it wasn't their night.

The Kings looked tired and overmatched after a fast start and when the game was on the line, they couldn't get the stops they needed.

Both teams played on the road the night before, so the Kings can't use that as an excuse. Sacramento was outscored 83-66 in the final 36 minutes.

Indiana is a seasoned, veteran team which helps in these back-to-back situations, but there are no giveaway games if you want to be in the playoff discussion come April.

Kings notes: Sacramento wastes fast start against Pacers in road loss

Kings notes: Sacramento wastes fast start against Pacers in road loss

Riding high off Friday's victory in Cleveland, the Sacramento Kings jumped out to a 31-24 lead in the first quarter Saturday evening in Indiana. Everything went downhill from there.

The Pacers outscored the Kings in each of the next three quarters to come away with 107-97 victory and snap Sacramento's three-game win streak. Thaddeus Young led the way with 20 points for Indy and Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 18 to help the Pacers improve to 16-10 on the season.

Sacramento dropped to 2-1 on their four-game road trip and 13-12 overall. Here are five notes from the Kings' loss in Indiana:

Hot and Cold

Buddy Hield came out swinging in Indy, knocking down his first three 3-point attempts for 13 points in the first quarter. He missed his next seven shots from long range.

Hield has been incredibly consistent for the Kings this season as a scorer, but he appeared to lose his legs against the Pacers. He finished the night with a team-high 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting, but he knocked down just 4-of-12 from behind the arc and ran a team low -13 in the plus/minus category.

When it matters

Justin Jackson's confidence is building. The second-year wing buried three big 3-pointers to keep the Kings alive in the fourth quarter. He finished the night with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 25 minutes of action.

Over his last five games, the former North Carolina star is averaging 8.8 points for the Kings and he has hit 10-of-16 (62.5 percent) from 3-point range.

Numbers

Fresh off a 30-point, 12-assist game, De'Aaron Fox put up big numbers again for Sacramento.

Fox got off to a slow start and he didn't finish well in the fourth, but he still managed to score 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting to go with six assists and two blocks. The Kings' starting point guard is averaging 17.8 points and 7.8 assists per game this season.

Foul Mood

In his second game back from injury, Marvin Bagley struggled to stay on the court. The rookie big picked up six fouls in just 9:43 of action.

The Pacers threw a lot of different looks at the Bagley and he struggled to make adjustments. This was the first time this season that the 19-year-old big fouled out of a game.

Bogi at the 3

The plan is for Bogdan Bogdanovic to come in and play a super-sub role in the backcourt in a rotation with Fox and Hield. With Iman Shumpert missing the game to rest, Dave Joerger started his rover at the small forward spot.

Bogdanovic scored 11 points, handed out six assists and grabbed three rebounds, but the second unit didn't look the same without him.