Kings

Kings finally get to unleash highly skilled weapon Bogdan Bogdanovic on NBA stage

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AP

Kings finally get to unleash highly skilled weapon Bogdan Bogdanovic on NBA stage

The legend of Bogdan Bogdanovic grows. After another deep run against European competition, the 25-year-old shooting guard is headed for the NBA with plenty of fanfare.

Bogdanovic and his Serbian teammates fell short of the ultimate goal of winning EuroBasket 2017. Goran Dragic and Team Slovenia took home the gold, pulling away from Serbia for the 93-85 victory in the finals on Sunday.

Dragic scored a game-high 35 points in 28 minutes of action, giving Bogdanovic a taste of what the competition will look like on a nightly basis in the NBA. Bogdanovic led Serbia with 22 points on 9-of-21 shooting, but he struggled from long range, knocking down 2-of-11 from behind the international 3-point line.

The Kings acquired Bogdanovic from the Phoenix Suns, along with the rights to Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere for Marquese Chriss on Draft night 2016. Phoenix had failed multiple times in their attempts to bring the sharpshooter over from his Turkish league team after taking him with the 27th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Vlade Divac couldn’t get Bogdanovic to come over for last season, but he found traction early this summer and added the talented wing as part of his July shopping spree.

After dominating league action overseas, Bogdanovic became the highest paid rookie in NBA history, signing a three-year, $27 million deal with Sacramento. He’ll make close to $9.5 million in his first season in the league, more than double what fifth overall pick, De’Aaron Fox, is scheduled to make.   

Bogdanovic walks into a crowded situation in Sacramento. He’ll compete for minutes with Buddy Hield, Garrett Temple and Malachi Richardson at the shooting guard position. Both Hield and Temple worked under coach Dave Joerger for parts of last season, but the Kings front office is very high on their European import.

Listed at 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, Bogdanovic has great size for the two and he might even be able to shift to the small forward spot for short stints. He is not the defender that Temple is and Hield might have an edge on him as a volume scorer, but Bogdanovic has an advantage over both players in versatility.

He’s a highly skilled offensive weapon that should make an immediate impact on the floor. He spent plenty of time manning the point guard position for Serbia and can even act as the primary ball handler. Bogdanovic is blessed with an extremely high basketball IQ and he’s shown advanced playmaking skills, both with Fenerbahce and the Serbian national team.

Bogdanovic can light it up from distance, having knocked down 43 percent of 3-pointers this season for Fenerbahce, but he’s not just a catch and shoot player. He hit 50 percent from the field overall using a variety of moves to create space. He has a killer crossover and step back jumper, a nice floater in the lane and he is fearless going to the rack.

Where he has the biggest advantage over his competition is in the pick-and-roll. Bogdanovic uses hesitation dribbles and crafty maneuvering to create looks for both himself and his bigs moving to the hoop. He also has nice court vision and is an unselfish distributor.

If Bogdanovic’s European game translates to the NBA, Sacramento has a rotational player and possibly much more. He’ll likely struggle on the defensive end initially, like most rookies coming into the league, but he plays with effort and has solid instincts.

Joerger has a lot to work out during training camp and the early season. He has multiple bodies at every position and the competition for minutes is going to be intense. While it’s early to make predictions, it appears that Bogdanovic will have a substantial role as the Kings enter year one of their rebuild.

NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Deandre Ayton

NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Deandre Ayton

Deandre Ayton - Center - Arizona - Freshman

Age: 19 Height: 7-foot-1 Weight: 250

Stats: 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, .6 steals, 1.9 blocks, 34.3% 3-point

Player Comparison: David Robinson (without the defense), Karl-Anthony Towns

Strengths

Built like David Robinson, Ayton comes into the league with an NBA ready body. He put up huge numbers at Arizona, using an advanced post game, with potential to extend his range behind the arc. He projects as a franchise big and a potential superstar.

Weaknesses

Ayton’s a beast on the offensive end, but his effort and understanding on the defensive side of the ball leaves you wanting more. He’s not a great shot blocker and his motor has been an issue dating back to his high school days. He dominated the college game with his size and athleticism, but he’ll find much bigger and stronger players at the next level.

Fit

Ayton would push for starter minutes at the center position in year one. He’s a top tier scoring option and he would instantly improve the team’s rebounding issues.

Chance of going No. 2

It’s unlikely the Suns pass on Ayton with the top overall selection, but if they do, Sacramento would jump all over the opportunity to draft the 19-year-old center. He looks and plays the part of a franchise cornerstone and he’s too talented to slip past the Kings.

Brother of Kings forward Zach Randolph shot and killed

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USATSI

Brother of Kings forward Zach Randolph shot and killed

Authorities say the brother of an NBA player was killed during an early morning shooting at a Marion bar.

Police say Roger Randolph, brother of Sacramento Kings player Zach Randolph, was killed when gunfire erupted about 5 a.m. Saturday at Hop’s Blues Room. 

Zach Randolph was not with his brother at the time, police say

Investigators have not said what led to the shooting. But police say they do not believe it was a random act.

Police say an officer heard shots fired and found Roger Randolph on the ground between two cars.

Zach Randolph, a two time NBA all-star, was a standout at Marion High School and led the Marion Giants to an Indiana state championship in 2000. He was a two-time All-Star with the Grizzlies. Last season was his first in Sacramento where he averaged 14.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report