Kings

Kings' roster construction hits 15 players with addition of NBA legend

Kings' roster construction hits 15 players with addition of NBA legend

The Sacramento Kings continue their summer rebuilding project. First they went for broke in the NBA Draft, selecting three first-round picks and an early second rounder. Then they enticed European sharpshooter Bogdan Bogdanovic to join the team on a three-year deal. 

After building the young core, the focus shifted this week to shoring up the infrastructure of the team with quality NBA veterans. 

Point guard George Hill was signed to mentor rookies De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason. Zach Randolph, a 16-year veteran, was brought to help Kosta Koufos develop young bigs Skal Labissiere, Harry Giles, Georgios Papagiannis and Willie Cauley-Stein. 

With Garrett Temple set to work with wings Justin Jackson and Malachi Richardson, the Kings needed one more piece to challenge a fleet of young shooting guards. 

Bogdanovic and second-year guard Buddy Hield will have the honor of working with an NBA legend. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, 10-time All-Star Vince Carter has agreed to join the Kings on a one-year, $8 million contract. Carter, along with Randolph are set to join Dave Joerger, their former head coach with the Grizzlies. 

With the addition of Carter, the Kings officially said goodbye to Rudy Gay, who reportedly inked a deal with the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday. He joins a long list of veteran free agents to leave the Kings over the last week, including Darren Collison, Langston Galloway and Ben McLemore. 

With the addition of Carter, Sacramento’s roster now stands at 15 players. They have an opportunity to ink two additional players on two-way contracts in conjunction with the NBA’s G-League. 

The rebuild is in full swing and it’s hard to argue with the Kings’ approach. They’ve added cultural building blocks, talent and depth across the board. 

It’s an unconventional roster make-up, but the Kings have five quality veterans to go with 10 players under the age of 24, nine of which are first-round picks. Eight of those players are on their way to Las Vegas for Summer League, where they open Friday night against the Phoenix Suns. 

NBA rumors: Kings part of plan for 22-team season restart in Orlando

NBA rumors: Kings part of plan for 22-team season restart in Orlando

We're going to Disney World.

That is what more than two-thirds of NBA teams are waking up to Wednesday morning. According to the reporting of both Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN and The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the NBA has a plan in place to recall 22 teams and get the season going again.

The details still are coming in, but reports suggest that 13 Western Conference teams and another nine from the East will fly to Orlando where they will each play eight games. If after the eight games, the eighth seed has a four-game lead, the league will go straight to the postseason. If not, there will be a play-in format to decide who the eighth seed will be.

All of this is music to the Kings' ears. They currently sit in a virtual tie for ninth place in the Western Conference standings, three-and-a-half games behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

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If NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s plan is ratified Thursday, as expected, the Kings will be part of a group that will battle it out with a chance to snap their 13-season postseason drought.

A handful of players have been at the Kings practice facility for weeks now, working out under stringent rules. They have yet to be cleared for full contact and still have to play on individual courts.

The rest of the team is scattered across the US and eventually will have to make their way back to Sacramento for a training camp followed by a long stay at the Magic Kingdom.

According to reports, the league is scheduled to start up on July 31 with Game 7 of the NBA Finals taking place on October 12.

[RELATED: Can Holmes and Bagley play together on Kings' frontline?]

In addition to the Kings and 16 teams currently in the postseason picture, the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards will join the festivities as the league attempts to restart during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We will have more on this story as more information becomes available, but it appears that the NBA is on its way back and the Kings are going to be part of the fun.

Kings' Harrison Barnes shares funny origin of 'Black Falcon' nickname

Kings' Harrison Barnes shares funny origin of 'Black Falcon' nickname

If you know Harrison Barnes as "The Black Falcon," the Kings forward is a bit bewildered as to why.

That's what happens when you give yourself a nickname largely as a joke, as Barnes revealed to Howard Beck "The Full 48" podcast last week.

“It was funny, I was a huge Kobe (Bryant) fan, as so many people were, and he was always known as the 'Black Mamba,' " Barnes recalled (H/T Sactown Royalty). (Michael Jordan) was his favorite player, MJ was the Black Cat. So we were in New York my senior year (of high school) getting ready for Elite 24, and I was with (then-ESPN anchors) Mike Hill and Jay Harris, and we were just talking, talking about just different nicknames. We came up with that one, and I was like, 'Oh, okay.' ...

"... So I jokingly said that and when I got to [the University of North Carolina,] like one of my first days on campus, I saw this magazine that was like ‘The Black Falcon’ and it had a picture of me. I was like, 'Oh man, this nickname’s gonna stick for a while,' and it’s been around ever since. I mean, I don’t use it or do much with it, but it’s around.”

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Barnes' nickname was in far more regular rotation during his time with the Warriors, and he told the team website in 2013 he hoped to be nicknamed after an animal a la Bryant and Jordan. The moniker didn't stick around, nor did Barnes stay put with Golden State. He joined the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent in 2016 when the Warriors signed Kevin Durant, and the Mavericks traded Barnes to the Kings ahead of last year's trade deadline.

Sacramento's Twitter account only referred to Barnes as "Black Falcon" once, on the day he officially joined the team.

[RELATED: Barnes wants chance for Kings to make playoffs upon restart]

Barnes also picked up the nickname "The Senator" from Warriors broadcaster Jim Barnett, and he has expressed interest in heading into politics after his playing days are over. Former Warriors teammate asked Andrew Bogut during a Twitter Q&A if "The Black Falcon" moniker would follow him to Capitol Hill.

If the NBA season resumes and the Kings return to the court, the more pressing question is if the nickname will even follow him to Orlando.