Kings

Kings finalize Trail Blazers trade to add Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver

Kings finalize Trail Blazers trade to add Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver

The deal is done.

After a 72-hour delay, the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers officially have completed a trade to swap Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan for Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver and two second-round draft picks.

Due to Gabriel’s signing date, he couldn’t be traded until Jan. 21, which is why the trade was put on ice for a few days.

Gabriel, an undrafted combo forward out of the Sudan via the University of Kentucky, spent last season as a two-way player for the Kings. He played his way onto the roster through hard work over the summer and training camp.

Like Gabriel, Swanigan put in extra time with the team’s training staff during the offseason. He completely reshaped his body during his time with the Kings, losing massive amounts of weight and building muscle.

This pair worked together, along with second-rounder Justin James and big man Harry Giles, playing pickup games after practice. They were instrumental in helping Giles get back on the floor after a rough start to the season.

“They both work extremely hard and they’ve been with me through my process of getting back to where I need to be,” Giles told NBC Sports California. “I got nothing but love for them the whole way and I know they are going to be successful wherever they go.”

Swanigan and Giles were both part of the 2017 NBA Draft class. Giles was selected by the Kings at No. 20- overall, and Swanigan went six selections behind him at No. 26 to the Blazers. But the prep basketball circuit is a much smaller world than you would expect, especially when you are dealing with NBA prospects.

“Those are my boys, I’ve known them from before we got in the league so I have a special relationship with them,” Giles said. “I’m happy for them to get a new opportunity. They’re still in the NBA, so it’s a blessing for them.”

The players joining the Kings both have ties to Sacramento as well. Tolliver played with the Kings during the 2016-17 season, before being waived during the summer of '17. He averaged 7.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 65 games for the Kings in his lone season and shot an impressive 39.1 percent from 3-point range.

Bazemore played with Dewayne Dedmon over the last few seasons in Atlanta before he was traded to Portland during the offseason. In addition, he broke into the league as part of the Golden State Warriors' 2012-13 rookie class that included Festus Ezili, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes.

“Coming into the league, I think Kent really worked hard to establish himself as a good two-way player -- a guy who can knock down shots and defend at a high level,” Harrison Barnes told NBC Sports California.

Undrafted out of Old Dominion, Bazemore bounced back and forth between the Warriors and the D-League during his first two seasons, but he still managed to suit up and play 61 games alongside Barnes in his rookie season.

The two forged a friendship and have stayed in contact over the years despite no longer playing for the same team.

“We spent a lot of time together, developed a great friendship and we still have that,” Barnes said.

[RELATED: What will Kings' plan be as NBA trade deadline approaches?]

There is no word on how coach Luke Walton will use either Bazemore or Tolliver. Of the two, Bazemore should be able to find a role in the Kings’ wing rotation. He is an energy player that can defend multiple positions and he can eat some of the minutes that Ariza was receiving.

Tolliver is lost in a sea of bigs on the front line, although Sacramento has struggled with injury woes all season long and there always is a chance the 12-year NBA vet will be needed at some point.

Both players are on their way to Detroit to meet up with the Kings. There is a good chance they will be eligible to play Wednesday night when Sacramento faces off with the Pistons.

Kings guard Kyle Guy reveals his grandfather died from coronavirus

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USATSI

Kings guard Kyle Guy reveals his grandfather died from coronavirus

The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forever changed Kyle Guy's family.

The Kings second-round pick revealed Saturday that his grandfather died Friday night after contracting the virus.

"When I was 7 or 8 my grandpa had me sign a piece of paper saying he’d be my manager (jokingly) if I ever made it to the NBA 😂 something as small as that was always on my mind while I tried to make that dream come true. I know he’s up there waiting for his cut lmao.. and one day, I’ll give it to him ❤️," Guy wrote on Instagram.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 277,205 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States and 6,593 deaths in the country.

[RELATED: Kings' former arena to be converted to hospital]

Guy, who grew up in Indianapolis and went to school at the University of Virginia, signed a two-way contract with the Kings in July.

 

Five things to watch from Kings’ emotional comeback over Timberwolves

Five things to watch from Kings’ emotional comeback over Timberwolves

Programming note: Watch the re-air of the Kings’ victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves from Jan. 27, 2020 this afternoon at 3 p.m. on NBC Sports California.

To pass the time while the NBA figures out it’s next moves, NBC Sports California is bringing fans some of the best games from the last few seasons.

In our ninth installment, we go back to earlier this season when the Kings fell behind huge and pulled off an improbable comeback on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This was an emotional night for both teams. NBA legend Kobe Bryant had passed away the day before. The Timberwolves opened the game with an eight-second violation and the Kings gave it back on a 24-second shot clock violation to pay tribute to Bryant.

While we know the final outcome, sometimes the details are forgotten. Here are five things to watch from the Kings’ 133-127 overtime win over the Timberwolves at the Target Center.

The Decision

99 times out of 100, an NBA head coach pulls his starters when they are down 22 points with six minutes remaining in the fourth. That is not what coach Luke Walton did.

Showing some faith in his team, Walton left his starters in the game and they responded with a 33-11 run over the final 5:42 of the fourth to force overtime.

With momentum on their side, the Kings put the T-Wolves away in the extra five minutes to come away with one of the most stunning recoveries in team history. Sometimes you just have to play out the entire 48 minutes and show respect to the basketball gods.

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Buddy goes big

Buddy Hield can fill it up, but against the T-Wolves, he was on a different level.

In 38 minutes off the bench, Hield posted a career-high 42 points on 14-of-24 from the field and 9-for-14 from behind the arc.

With the Kings trailing big in the fourth, it was Hield who caught fire, scoring 20 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the field in the final 10:30 of the game.

With his teammates feeding him the ball at every opportunity, Buddy Buckets put on a show. A lifelong fan of Bryant, Hield had a little extra motivation in this game as well.


Fox misses ... and then doesn’t

It looked like the game was over in the third quarter and the Kings were barely breathing late in the fourth. The team got hot, played defense and had a little luck on their side to help claw back into the game, but they still needed a special play to get over the hump.

With three seconds remaining on the clock, De’Aaron Fox was fouled and sent to the line with his team trailing by three points. The Kings’ starting point guard nailed the first free throw and before the Timberwolves knew what hit them, he threw the ball off the front of the rim, caught it on the way up and scored a layup to tie the game.

Fox finished the game with 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. He closed out the game with six points in the overtime session to give the Kings the shocking comeback win.

Revenge game

Nemanja Bjelica spent his first three seasons in the NBA playing in Minnesota. He had all but given up on the league after that experience before the Kings talked him into signing a three-year deal.

In the overtime victory, the Kings power forward did a lot of everything. Bjelica knocked down 4-of-6 from long range on his way to 20 points. He added eight assists, nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 41 minutes of inspired basketball.

When Bjelica is on, the Kings are a different team.

[RELATED: Former Kings arena turned into coronavirus surge hospital]

Laws of averages

The Timberwolves aren't a great 3-point shooting team, but they were on in this game. The 'Wolves shot an incredible 23-of-46 from 3-point range and that almost carried them to victory.

Andrew Wiggins knocked down seven triples and Robert Covington added six of his own.

Unfortunately for the T-Wolves, they went cold when it mattered, hitting just 2-of-6 from behind the arc in the fourth quarter and 1-of-7 during the overtime session. As quickly as they shot themselves out to a huge lead, the Timberwolves shot themselves right out of the game.