Kings

Kings levy substantial fine on DeMarcus Cousins

Kings levy substantial fine on DeMarcus Cousins

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings announced Tuesday morning that they have levied a heavy fine against franchise cornerstone DeMarcus Cousins for his role in a verbal altercation between he and a local media member.

“The Kings have a clear set of standards of conduct expected of our entire organization. As a result of negative interactions with certain members of the media that were not corrected after verbal warnings, we have decided to impose a substantial fine," the Kings said in a statement. "If this behavior is repeated again we will be forced to consider further discipline.”

The Sacramento Bee released footage on Friday of Cousins having words with reporter Andy Furillo. Cousins took exception to Furillo mentioning his brother’s arrest in a piece for the Bee. The two were discussing the matter when the conversation became heated.

While there was more nuance to the exchange that was not captured in the seven second clip, this isn’t the first run-in with local media for Cousins.

The fine comes as the Kings return home from a three game road trip. Cousins has yet to make a statement on the matter and no further action is expected from the NBA.

Kings vs. Grizzlies watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

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USATSI

Kings vs. Grizzlies watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

After finishing a tough homestand at 2-2, the Sacramento Kings venture back out on the road for a quick trip to Memphis and Houston. They’ll face a veteran Grizzlies team that loves to slow it down and is off to a strong 8-5 start on the season. 

The Kings are flying high following Monday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs. They continue to play at an incredible pace with the starting backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield leading the charge.

Kings Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay California begins at 4:30 p.m., with tip-off scheduled for 5:00 pm.

[HAM: Kings should take long look at changing their plans for 2018-19 season]

The Kings play Saturday in Houston on the second night of a back-to-back. They return home Monday to host the Thunder before heading back out on the road Wednesday to face the Utah Jazz.

Line: Grizzlies by 6.5

Projected Starting Lineup

Kings

PG De’Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Iman Shumpert
PF Nemanja Bjelica
C Willie Cauley-Stein

Grizzlies

PG Mike Conley 
SG Garrett Temple
SF Kyle Anderson
PF Jaren Jackson
C Marc Gasol 

Injury Report

Kings 

C Kosta Koufos (right calf strain) OUT.

Grizzlies 

SF Omri Casspi (knee) PROBABLE, SF Chandler Parsons (knee) OUT, PF JaMychal Green (knee) OUT, G Dillon Brooks (knee) OUT.

Rotation Outlook

Kings

Coach Dave Joerger continues to adjust to the return of Bogdan Bogdanovic. The second-year shooting guard was a starter before injury, but he has yet to crack back into the opening group as he works through minutes restrictions and a rotation that has found early success.

Joerger has started the same five for nine straight games, which is a huge adjustment after last season’s carousel. Kosta Koufos will miss a few games with a strained right calf, which opens up an opportunity for rookie Harry Giles. After a rough start to the season, Giles posted 12 points and six rebounds in the Kings’ win over the Spurs on Monday.  

Grizzlies

J.B. Bickerstaff has the Grizzlies playing their typical grit-and-grind style of play, but he’s struggling to field a team of 13 healthy bodies. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol continue to anchor Memphis’ rotation and former King, Garrett Temple is having a breakout season as the team’s starting shooting guard.

The Grizzlies rank 29th in points per game and play at the slowest pace in the NBA, but they have a top-five defense and a strong identity. Whoever controls the pace of the game will likely come out on top. 

Kings should take long look at changing their plans for 2018-19 season

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USATSI

Kings should take long look at changing their plans for 2018-19 season

The Philadelphia 76ers call it, “The Process.” Others call it a rebuild or asset collecting. Some might even call it tanking. For more than a decade, the Sacramento Kings have been on a perpetual road to nowhere, gambling on the NBA Draft and more often than not, coming up empty. 

Excuse the sample size, but things appear to be turning in Sacramento’s favor. Four years in, Willie Cauley-Stein looks like a ball player. The acquisition of the draft rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic is paying off. Buddy Hield has become more than just a scorer and De’Aaron Fox looks like a top tier player

The Sacramento Kings appear to have a core group of young players to build around and we haven’t even mentioned rookies Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles III, or young players with potential like Justin Jackson, Frank Mason and Skal Labissiere. 

At 8-6, there is a buzz around the Kings for the first time in years and it’s probably time to start looking long and hard at the short-term and long-term plan for this franchise.

[HAM: In Year 3, Kings have unleashed Buddy Hield into way more than a scorer]

The initial idea coming into the season was to leverage the team’s $11 million in cap space and bevy of expiring contracts. Sacramento planned to facilitate transactions for other teams around the league with the hopes of replacing the 2019 draft pick the Kings lost via trade.  

Sacramento was mentioned in deals surrounding Jimmy Butler, but only as a third team willing to take on a contract. They can wait for another deal like that to materialize and potentially land a non-lottery level draft selection in exchange for a bloated contract. 

It’s a perfectly reasonable plan coming into the season, but at some point, Vlade Divac and his group might need to reconsider their approach.

With the team playing well and the roster still incomplete, this might be a season when the Kings consider buying instead of selling.

There are high-budget teams around the league that are struggling and on the hook for major tax bills. There are also teams around the NBA looking to clear space for next summer’s bonanza where nearly half the league can become a free agent. 

The Kings can sit on their nest egg. They have upwards of $60 million in cap space come July 1 and they can dip their toes into free agency like the other 20-plus teams around the league with money. 

Or they can go out, leverage their position as the only franchise in the league with cap space and start looking for the right deal to help this team win more games now. What is the right deal? That’s complicated. 

Any trade should involve a player that is on the same age arc as the majority of the current roster. Whether that player is locked into a long-term contract or is still working through their rookie scale deal, it shouldn’t matter to the Kings. 

These types of players come at a premium and the Kings will likely have to absorb a substantial additional contract. 

[HAM: Kings’ De'Aaron Fox shares reason behind his improved 3-point shooting]

December 15 is a major date to watch in the NBA. It’s the point in the season when players who were signed over the summer are allowed to be traded and it usually sparks some movement around league. 

It’s also the point when most teams have an understanding of who and what they are in regards to the standings. A team that came in with high expectations and spent accordingly during the offseason might be willing to chat if their season has gone sideways. 

Sacramento is in a rare position. They have a ton of power around the league as the only team with any measure of cap space. They can clear up even more room by waiving veteran players on expiring deals or adding them in a package while taking back longer term contracts. 

The plan to acquire future assets made sense coming into the season, but at this point, the Kings should look long and hard at changing their stance and getting coach Dave Joerger and his squad a piece or two to help improve the club.