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Kings opt out of G League bubble play, commit to Stockton

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The Stockton Kings are officially on hiatus.

When the NBA released the names of the 17 G League teams that will participate in an abbreviated season in the Orlando, Florida bubble, the Kings’ affiliate was not on the list, as expected.

“After a thorough analysis, we determined that the Stockton Kings will not participate in the 2021 NBA G League single-site format,” Kings GM Monte McNair said in a prepared statement. “Given the pandemic and related health and safety protocols, the flexibility of having our full roster available in Sacramento is a priority relative to the expected reduced number of G League games available. Once past the current challenges, we look forward to returning to Stockton.”

The NBA has yet to announce when the G League season will begin or how many games will be played. 18 teams, including the G League Ignite, which is a collection of elite NBA prospects, as well as a collection of NBA and G League veterans, will participate.

While they have shut down the squad for this season, the Kings are committed to a return to Stockton in the future.

“We are in close contact with the NBA regarding future plans to safely resume gameplay in home markets and remain committed to the Stockton community,” Dutin Toms, the Stockton Kings’ VP of Business Operations said. “Once league health and safety protocols and state and local public health guidelines permit, we eagerly anticipate playing in front of our valued fans at Stockton Arena. Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to support the 209 during these unprecedented times, both virtually and in a safe, physically distanced manner.”

 

The Kings are one of 11 NBA franchises to not send a team to the bubble. They will have an opportunity to allocate players to different teams, although the specifics are still being worked out by the league.

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Without a standard NBA schedule and limited practice time, the Kings have turned to their development staff to work with players like Justin James, Robert Woodard, Jahmi’us Ramsey, as well as two-way players Kyle Guy and Chimezie Metu.

That work with the young players will continue, but there is an opportunity for at least a few of them to make a trip to Orlando to get some real game action.

Due to the complexities of this season, the NBA is allowing all two-way players up to 50 games on the active roster. There is no word on how many of the Kings’ eight early season games that Guy and Metu have suited up, but Guy has played in three games so far and Metu has seen action in one.

With the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc globally, the Kings will likely take a cautious approach to which and how many players they send into the bubble. Roster flexibility with the parent club will take priority.