SACRAMENTO -- The bounce of a ball is a siren's call for true hoopers. With the offseason fewer than six weeks old, Kings players have already descended on the team’s practice facility floor.
A few players took a quick break before jumping right back into the action. But, with the NBA draft still a month away, it’s already time to get the band back together.
De’Aaron Fox has been hitting the weight room hard for the last three weeks. He’s ready to back up his sophomore jump with another step forward in year three.
Frank Mason and Willie Cauley-Stein were in the gym shooting jumpers following Thursday’s draft prospect workout. Mason is getting a fresh start with a new head coach. The team has a third-year option on the former second round pick that becomes guaranteed in October, so he’s not wasting any time auditioning for Luke Walton and the Kings brass.
Frank Mason is also here in Sac. pic.twitter.com/EtZQ4JcRkP— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) May 23, 2019
Cauley-Stein is a King until he’s not. The 25-year-old big can become a restricted free agent on June 30. It is unknown at this time if general manager Vlade Divac will extend a $6 million qualifying offer to the team’s starting center and make him an RFA, or if they will allow him to walk away for nothing.
Harry Giles continues to rehab his quad, and he’s getting stronger. He’s trying to show that he is part of the young core moving forward and he needs to bulk up if he’s going to play primarily at the center position.
After a quick trip to India with the NBA, Harrison Barnes is also back in Sacramento. The veteran forward has a player option for next season at $25 million that he’s likely to pick up. He has openly talked about the Kings’ trip to play in Mumbai during the preseason and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere.
Nemanja Bjelica has spent time in the gym, too, as has two-way player Wenyen Gabriel. Gabriel finished the season in a walking boot after a foot injury, and he’s just now starting to get up shots. Like most of the young Kings, his focus this summer is on getting stronger -- whether it’s for a second season with the Stockton Kings of the G League or with the parent club.
Stockton head coach Ty Ellis is in town helping run prospect workouts, as is player development coach Bobby Jackson.
Luke Walton is working to fill out his coaching staff and has not been made available to the media. The team has yet to place a timetable on the investigation into sexual assault allegations made against the 39-year-old and they have no plans to comment publicly on the situation until a joint investigation with the NBA is completed.
While no additions to Walton’s staff have been announced, Jesse Mermuys -- who was an assistant with Walton in Los Angeles with the Lakers -- has been at the workouts as well, and is expected to join the staff in Sacramento.
Assistant general managers Peja Stojakovic and Ken Catanella, and the team’s scouting staff, have been in attendance for the prospect workouts with Divac in Europe for the EuroLeague Final Four.
More prospect workouts are expected this week as the Kings continue search for players worthy of the No. 40, 47 and 60 picks in the upcoming draft.