Kings games in Mumbai, India key to Vivek Ranadive's 'vision of NBA 3.0'

Kings games in Mumbai, India key to Vivek Ranadive's 'vision of NBA 3.0'

SACRAMENTO -- It took five years of extensive planning, but Kings owner Vivek Ranadive got what was promised to him.

On Dec. 20, 2018, the NBA announced that the Kings and the Indiana Pacers would play two preseason games in Mumbai, India, in October.

The games in Ranadive's hometown were something NBA commissioner Adam Silver promised him back in 2014. The two even made a trip to India together soon after Silver became commissioner.

"[Adam Silver] and I spoke about it all the time, and it took a lot of planning, a lot of effort," Ranadive told NBC Sports California in an interview before the Kings and the Warriors tipped off Saturday night at Golden 1 Center. "The NBA has had a presence in India and in Bombay. We opened an Academy in Delhi. So, the NBA has come through on every promise it has made, and there’s a lot of work that went into it."

Ranadive is thinking big picture with the games in India, and he hopes the impact is vast.

"This is my vision of NBA 3.0, where basketball really becomes the premier sport of the 21st century," Ranadive said. "And capturing the hearts and minds of a billion Indians is key to that."

If you're wondering how the Pacers were picked as the opponent for the two games, it's a simple answer, and something that has been in the works since Ranadive became Kings owner in 2013.

"When I came into the league," Ranadive said. "The owner of the Pacers, Herb Simon, who’s a huge fan of India, he came to me and said, 'I know you’re gonna go to India one day, so you have to promise me you’ll take me with you.' "

While Mumbai was picked for the two games, Ranadive said Delhi, the capital of India, was looked at a possible venue, and other cities will be discussed in the future.

"We’d consider any place where we can put on a good show," Ranadive said.

Ranadive hopes the young Kings players find the trip "enriching and highly educational," and said there will be some sightseeing on the trip.

"A trip to India wouldn’t be complete with a trip to the Taj," Ranadive said.

NBA rumors: Kings one of many teams showing interest in Tobias Harris


NBA rumors: Kings one of many teams showing interest in Tobias Harris

The rumor mill is churning, and it’s unlikely to stop until the first week of NBA free agency has passed. Armed with massive amounts of salary-cap space, the Kings likely will be mentioned in all kinds of potential deals.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Kings are one of the many NBA teams interested in forward Tobias Harris.

In addition to the 76ers and Clippers, “Brooklyn, Dallas, Denver, Memphis, Minnesota, New Orleans, and Sacramento are expected to also express interest,” Charania wrote Wednesday.

Harris’ name has been floated as a potential fit for a while with the Kings, although he’d come at a steep price and create an issue on the frontline.

With Harris more of a stretch four than a small forward, new Kings coach Luke Walton would have his hands full trying to fit the pieces together, especially if Harrison Barnes returns to the team.

The Kings could fit both Harris and Barnes under the cap and shift prized big man Marvin Bagley to center. With the team’s pace of play, it might work -- at least for short bursts during games.

It likely would take a max offer, which is around four years and $141 million, to obtain Harris.

The smooth shooting forward turns 27 on July 15. He averaged 20 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, and shot 39.9 percent from long range during stops with the Clippers and 76ers last season.

This isn’t the first time Harris has been linked to the Kings. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer listed the Kings as a potential landing spot for the rangy forward back in May.

[RELATED: Why Kings should call Rockets if Capela is available]

In addition to Harris, Charania added that the Kings are a potential landing spot for reserve point guard Cory Joseph.

Joseph, 27, spent the last two seasons coming off the bench for the Indiana Pacers. The eight-year veteran averaged 6.5 points, 3.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 25.2 minutes per game last season.

If Sacramento doesn’t pick up a $3.2 million team option on Yogi Ferrell, it might be in the market for a player to eat minutes behind starter De’Aaron Fox.

Why Kings should call Rockets if Clint Capela is available via trade


Why Kings should call Rockets if Clint Capela is available via trade

Having more than $60 million in available salary-cap space is both a blessing and a curse for the Sacramento Kings.

On the one hand, they need to spend at least $50 million to get to the NBA’s salary floor. On the other hand, they don’t want to spend, just to spend.

While the team hopes to be a player in free agency, there is a full menu of ways to improve the team. One of those options is to package a future asset and some of their coveted cap space, and trade for an established NBA player on a long-term deal.

Steven Adams was the first major center to potentially come available, but it looks like he won’t be the last. The Rockets reportedly are trying to make a play for Jimmy Butler, and they're willing to deal away a couple of their key players. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that one of those players is center Clint Capela.

Capela checks all of the boxes for the Kings. At 25 years old, he fits the team’s player arc, and he is the rim-running, shot-blocking rebounder they desperately need.

He’s also locked up on a four-year, $72 million contract that is completely affordable for a player who averaged 16.6 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game last season in Houston.

It likely would cost the Kings a top-10-protected first-round draft pick, but the team is young enough to withstand another year without a selection. Sacramento also has seven second-round selections over the next two years to sweeten a deal.

If the Kings were feeling generous, they could make a mega-deal out of the situation. They have the available cap space to absorb Capela ($16.4 million), Eric Gordon ($14 million) and P.J. Tucker ($8.3 million), freeing up just under $40 million for the Rockets.

In a scenario like this, the Kings still would have more than $20 million per year to pay Harrison Barnes. They also could clear $22 million off the books next season when Gordon and Tucker expire and Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic come up for extensions.

Whether or not the Kings have held discussions with the Rockets is unknown at this time, but Sacramento needs to be aggressive in all facets of the summer schedule. The team knows Willie Cauley-Stein wants out, and there are options to replace him on the market.

But very few offer the contract, numbers and age fit that Capela does.

[RELATED: Kings' 10 options to fill small forward opening in free agency]

Kings general manager Vlade Divac selected three players in the second round, but the likelihood of any of them making an impact this season is minimal. If the Kings are going to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, they have to take risks in free agency and on the trade front.

A deal for Capela would add another impact player to the foundation of the team. It would come with future costs, but it’s hard to imagine finding a better fit than the 6-foot-10 center.