Kings season in review: Breaking down the rest of the 2018-19 roster


Kings season in review: Breaking down the rest of the 2018-19 roster

It takes more than a core 10 to win at the NBA level and the Kings had plenty of part-time contributors throughout the season. Iman Shumpert played a big role early, Ben McLemore filled in on occasion and Justin Jackson played over 20 minutes a game through the first 52 contests of the season.

Shumpert, McLemore, and Jackson didn’t finish the year on the Kings roster, but Corey Brewer, Yogi Ferrell, Frank Mason, and Kosta Koufos did. This group didn’t play enough minutes to warrant a full breakdown, but here is a quick look at the rest of the 2018-19 Sacramento Kings’ squad.

Corey Brewer

Stats: 4.1 points, 1.2 assists, 2.5 rebounds, .8 steals, 44.6% FG, 33.3% 3pt, 14.7 min

Brewer joined the Kings on a 10-day contract after a flurry of moves at the deadline. The forward instantly found a home in the Kings’ locker room as a high-energy veteran who played the game the right way.

On the defensive end, Brewer caused chaos. He overplayed the passing lanes, ran impromptu double-teams and generally wreaked havoc. On the offensive end, he was a streaky shooter and crash test dummy on the break.

Brewer was clear at the end of the season that he wouldn’t mind another tour of duty in Sacramento. He’s an unrestricted free agent and likely won’t find a home until the end of the free agency window. If Sacramento has a roster spot available, Vlade Divac could do a lot worse than a player like Brewer.

Yogi Ferrell

Stats: 5.9 points, 1.9 assists, 1.5 rebounds, .5 steals, 43.5% FG, 36.2% 3pt, 15.0 min

Ferrell joined the Kings late in the free agency period after things fell through in Dallas. He had plenty of moments as a spark plug off the bench but struggled with consistency on both ends of the floor, which had him in and out of the rotation.

Known for his speed and quickness, Ferrell should have been a good fit behind De’Aaron Fox at the point guard spot. Coach Dave Joerger asked repeatedly for a more conventional lead guard off the bench, but the role was never filled.

Divac has a decision to make on Ferrell. The Kings have a $3.2 million team option for the 26-year-old point guard between now and July 4. They have the first few days of free agency to see if they can find an upgrade. If not, Ferrell is affordable and already knows the roster well.

Frank Mason

Stats: 5.1 points, 2.2 assists, 1.1 rebounds, .4 steals, 42.0% FG, 21.9% 3pt, 11.4 min

Mason came out of training camp as the backup point guard, but that didn’t last long. He and Ferrell bounced back and forth between the rotation and the bench until Ferrell won the job outright.

After shooting 36 percent from 3-point range as a rookie, Mason couldn’t buy a perimeter shot in year two. A lot of it had to do with not playing enough to find a rhythm, but by the end of the season, he was a 12th or 13th man on the bench and out of the rotation.

The numbers weren’t good for the former college player of the year. Sacramento has a team option for $1.6 million, but it doesn’t become guaranteed until Oct. 15. By that time, Divac will have a very good idea about what his roster looks like and whether there is a place on the squad for a player like Mason.

Kosta Koufos

Stats: 3.7 points, .9 assists, 4.2 rebounds, .4 steals, 47.7% FG, 12.0 min

The consummate professional, Koufos took a back seat to the young bigs this season in Sacramento. He kept himself in great shape and was always ready to contribute when called upon.

Known for his post defense and rebounding ability, Koufos was a stabilizing force when he saw time on the court. His offensive timing was off for much of the season due to the inconsistent playing time, but he never complained about his role as the team shifted to players like Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley.

Koufos also worked with the young bigs and was a solid locker room contributor. The 7-footer enters the summer as an unrestricted free agent and neither side has ruled out a reunion. At 30-years-old, Koufos keeps himself in incredible shape and would love to play another 4-5 years in the league.

The Rest of the Roster

Alec Burks joined the team at the deadline in a swap for Shumpert. Joerger used him alongside Bogdan Bogdanovic in the backcourt off the bench, but the veteran struggled without the ball in his hands. Burks posted just 1.7 points in 13 games with Sacramento and is an unrestricted free agent come July 1.

Divac made another small move at the deadline, acquiring second-year big man Caleb Swanigan in exchange for Skal Labissiere. Without a G League affiliate in Portland, Swanigan struggled to stay in shape with the Blazers, but he’s under contract for next season with the Kings and will have a summer to prep for training camp. He’s a big body with soft hands and a very good understanding of the game. He may play a lot in Stockton as the Kings continue their evaluation process.

Troy Williams and Wenyen Gabriel were Sacramento’s two-way players this season. Williams played 21 games with the parent club and had some nice moments. Inconsistency and out of control play had Joerger and his staff looking for another option.

[RELATED: Giles became Kings contributor after slow rookie start]

Gabriel signed a two-year, two-way deal last summer with the Kings and is under contract for next season again. He failed to make an appearance in Sacramento and finished the season on the injured list with a bad foot.

Most of the Kings’ core is locked in for the foreseeable future, but changes to his secondary group are likely on the horizon.

Kings' Wenyen Gabriel making family proud in road from war-torn Sudan to NBA

Kings' Wenyen Gabriel making family proud in road from war-torn Sudan to NBA

Kings forward Wenyen Gabriel is one of 25 active NBA players who attended the University of Kentucky, but his journey to the league is far from common.

“I’m 100 percent pure-bred, South Sudanese and I take pride in that.”

Gabriel emigrated to Egypt when he was just a year old to escape a brutal civil war, before eventually getting to the U.S. as a refugee through the United Nations. His first name, Wenyen, means “wipe your tears” in Sudanese, and Gabriel takes that message to heart. 

“I’ve kind of taken it on going forward, that I’m going to wipe the tears from my family, wipe the tears from my country.”

Gabriel was also a college teammate of Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, who has been more than impressed by Gabriel throughout his career.

“He’s great, I mean he’s been through a lot, but that’s why he works so hard,” Fox said.

“I met him like our senior year, before we were both committed to Kentucky, and he reached out to me.”

Gabriel went undrafted in 2018 and was signed to a two-way contract by Sacramento, playing in 42 games for the Stockton Kings in the G League. The big man averaged 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

[RELATED: Why Kings' De'Aaron Fox likely walked away from Team USA opportunity]

His game really made waves this summer, as he averaged just over 15 points and seven rebounds in six summer league games, while also shooting 42 percent from three.

Despite the small sample size, an ability to stretch the floor at his size and athleticism will make Gabriel a valuable commodity for a young Kings team looking to make some noise in the Western Conference.

Harrison Barnes all smiles as last Kings player on Team USA roster


Harrison Barnes all smiles as last Kings player on Team USA roster

And then there was one.

Harrison Barnes is the last Kings player left on the Team USA roster after point guard De'Aaron Fox decided to withdraw Saturday, one week after big man Marvin Bagley did the same.

Fox was scheduled to travel with the team this week to Australia for two friendlies, but he’ll now stay home to focus on helping the Kings end their 13-year NBA playoff drought.

Fox's choice was a bit shocking and confusing, considering what he had said in recent days, but in the end, it's the right thing to do based on all the travel that would come along with playing another two weeks until the FIBA World Cup in China.

Barnes, on the other hand, is one of the sage veterans on the team, and it appears he plans to stick it out.

The 13 remaining players on the Team USA roster got together for a photo shoot in Marina del Rey on Saturday, and Barnes was all smiles.

Fox impressed his coaches and teammates during Team USA's training camp, but he never found a consistent role. Barnes, though, started the friendly against Spain on Friday, and finished with two points and three rebounds in 14 minutes.

[RELATED: Why Fox likely decided to leave Team USA]

With the Kings traveling to India for two preseason games in October, Barnes could have three long trips in his future if he also goes to China with Team USA.

Hope you're able to sleep on planes, Harrison.