Kings

Kings season in review: Harrison Barnes a welcome addition after trade

Kings season in review: Harrison Barnes a welcome addition after trade

Kings GM Vlade Divac swung for the fences at the trade deadline and came away with a much-needed piece to the puzzle by adding Harrison Barnes. Barnes didn’t have much time to adjust to his new team, as he played major minutes for Sacramento from the moment the trade was finalized.

Known for his offense throughout his career, Barnes struggled to find his sea legs in the Kings’ uptempo offense initially. But his defense and versatility at both forward positions gave Dave Joerger the type of player he desperately needed.

Barnes is likely to opt in to his $25 million option for next season and there is hope within the franchise that he will stick around a lot longer than that.

Offense

Overall Season Stats: 16.4 points, 1.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, .6 steals, 42.0% FG, 39.5% 3pt, 32.9 min
Kings Stats: 14.3 points, 1.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds, .6 steals, 45.5% FG, 40.8% 3pt, 33.9 min

You could almost see the wheels turning in Barnes’ head as he went from a Luka Doncic-centric offense in Dallas to the Kings’ "sharing is caring" uptempo style. The seven-year NBA vet struggled to find his way initially, but in March, he looked more like himself.

Barnes brings a different style to the Kings’ offense. He can play with his back to the basket, take his man off the dribble and he shot an impressive 40.8 percent from long range in purple and black.

After posting a 23.7 percent usage rate with Dallas, that number fell to just 16.3 percent in Sacramento. That’s a tremendous adjustment for any player to make. Buddy Hield led the team with a 25.1 percent usage rate due to the ball movement and the Kings' torrid pace of play. By comparison, Doncic had a 30.5 percent usage rate for the Mavs this season.

Throughout his career, Barnes has never been asked to be much of a facilitator, but in his limited time with the Kings, he increased his assist average from 1.3 per game to 1.9. This is an area that he will need to improve on moving forward. His career-best assist rate of 9.9 percent (2017-18) would have ranked 12th on the Kings this season.

Barnes is a pro and a very smart player. He’ll make adjustments given a true offseason and training camp to work with his teammates. He also has a history with Luke Walton from their time together in Golden State -- barring the result of Walton's sexual assault case --  which might help with Barnes' transition to a new scheme in Sacramento.

Defense

At 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, Barnes finally gave the Kings the size and strength they needed at the forward position. Joerger used Barnes at both the power and the small forward positions, but it was clear that Divac traded for Barnes to fill the hole at the three.

On paper, Barnes doesn’t blow you away with his defensive numbers once he joined the Kings. He allowed a plus 3.2 percent differential overall, including a plus 5.7 percent on 3-pointers and a plus 3.7 percent on shots outside of 15 feet.

Inside of 10 feet, Barnes held his opponent to a plus 1.2 percent and inside of six feet, a plus 1.8 percent.  

With the Mavericks, Barnes ran a negative 1.7 percent differential on all defensive plays, including negatives from both the 15-feet and behind the arc. He ran a negative 1.7 percent against during the 2017-18 season in Dallas as well.

Given more time to adjust, it’s likely that Barnes’ perimeter defensive numbers will improve. It’s possible his teammates were slow to rotate to cover his man or that communication wasn’t perfect. The eye test said that Barnes is an above average defender, especially against big threes.

In addition to providing size at the wing, Barnes hit the glass when he joined the Kings. He averaged 5.5 rebounds per game and appears capable of improving that number.

[RELATED: Fox's sophomore season shows he's a budding star]

Overall

At 26 years old, but with seven years of NBA experience, Barnes was the perfect addition for a young Kings team. He has the size and ability to fill the team’s biggest need at the wing and with time, he should be able to fit right into their style of play.

He struggled early to get acclimated, especially on the offensive end, but his presence was felt from the moment he stepped on the court and he should be able to find his niche with the team.

In addition to his play, Barnes brought professionalism and maturity to a young Sacramento locker room. With most of the roster on rookie scale contracts, Barnes’ experience and talent was a welcomed addition both on the floor and to the culture of the team behind the scenes.

Kings fan makes good on pledge, gets married in Harry Giles jersey

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USATSI

Kings fan makes good on pledge, gets married in Harry Giles jersey

Whenever Richard and Kate Ivanowski look at their wedding photos, they will think of Kings forward Harry Giles.

That's because Richard got married to Kate this weekend while wearing a Giles jersey under his suit jacket.

Why did Richard wear a Giles jersey during his wedding? This all came about in early June when he asked his then-fiancé if he could wear a Kings jersey during their wedding. She said yes, but only if he got 10,000 retweets on Twitter.

It took about one day for Richard to hit the 10,000 retweet mark.

So, this weekend, Richard and Kate got hitched, with a Giles jersey visible in their photos.

Giles himself was pretty pumped about it.

[RELATED: How Giles helped Ivanowski's plan wedding]

So a few decades from now, when Richard and Kate are showing their wedding photos to their grandkids, they'll have to explain who Giles is and why his jersey was a part of their wedding.

That will be a unique story to tell.

Source: Kings unlikely to pursue free agent center Nikola Vucevic

Source: Kings unlikely to pursue free agent center Nikola Vucevic

SACRAMENTO -- The rumor mill is only going to heat up as we approach the start of the NBA’s free agency period on June 30. With $35-38 million to spend, the Sacramento Kings are going to get mentioned plenty, and often the reports will be inaccurate.

Vlade Divac and his team have placed an emphasis on improving the center position, but according to a league source, while the team holds Nikola Vucevic in high regard, the team is not expected to chase the Orlando Magic big man in free agency, despite reports to the contrary.

After posting 20.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.1 blocks per game this season, Vucevic is primed to sign a mega contract, whether it’s with the Orlando or elsewhere.

The 28-year-old is skilled and made his first All-Star team this season, but he’s not a great fit for the Kings’ uptempo style of play.

There are plenty of other centers on the market this summer. Dewayne Dedmon and DeAndre Jordan are both unrestricted free agents and might work as short-term fixes. Jordan is on the wrong side of 30 and Dedmon isn’t far behind, but both are solid rebounders and defenders.

Memphis Grizzlies big man Jonas Valanciunas just opted out of his contract for this season and is an unrestricted free agent. At 27-year-old he fits the age arc of the Kings’ roster, but again, isn’t exactly built for an uptempo style.

The team hasn’t shut the door on a return of the incumbent starter, Willie Cauley-Stein. He is long and athletic, but his inconsistent play continues to concern the Kings.

[RELATED: How Lakers' Davis trade impacts Kings]

Sacramento is likely to extend the 25-year-old a qualifying offer before the beginning of free agency, locking him into restricted free agent status. They will wait to see how the market materializes for the former No. 6 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft before making a final decision on his future with the team.