Kings

Kings' second unit steals show from Fox-Ball, fuels victory over Lakers

Kings' second unit steals show from Fox-Ball, fuels victory over Lakers

SACRAMENTO -- The fans came to watch De’Aaron Fox and Lonzo Ball square off for the first times as professionals Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center. They ended up being treated to a breakout performance by Sacramento’s second team.

“It’s not all about Fox and Ball, it’s about Kings and Lakers,” Frank Mason said after another solid performance. “I’m just happy we got the win as a team.”

Coming into Wednesday night, the Sacramento Kings ranked first in the league in bench scoring at 48.1 points per game. The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t far behind, posting 40.6 a contest, good enough for fourth in the NBA.

Sacramento received solid contributions from almost every player that stepped on the floor, including 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from starter Zach Randolph. But the group that came off the bench put on a show, outscoring Los Angeles 67-38.

In his fourth game in a reserve role, Willie Cauley-Stein scored a game-high 26 points in 28 minutes, including 13 in the fourth quarter as the Kings pulled away. He drew a crowd around his locker during post game, but he was the direct beneficiary of some stellar play by others.

Mason and fellow rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic broke down the Lakers defense countless times and found Cauley-Stein for the poster dunk. According to the official scoresheet, nine of Cauley-Stein’s 10 made baskets were assisted, including five alley-oops from Bogdanovic.

“We talked about it yesterday when we were icing,” Cauley-Stein said of his Serbian guard. “We were both sitting in the cold tub and exactly what happened is what we were talking about.”

Cauley-Stein is gifted athletically and he’s extremely long. He was a star receiver in high school and he knows how to go up and get a ball.

“I think he realizes, (he’s) just got to get it up there and I’m going to go get it,” Cauley-Stein said of Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic hit his first two 3-point attempts and it seemed to open the floor up for Sacramento. With defenders going over screens to defend the long ball, Bogdanovic used his dribble to get free.

When the Laker’s bigs stepped in to stop his dribble, Bogdanovic tossed the ball near the rim and Cauley-Stein finished with authority.

“It’s easy to play with Willie, because he can catch,” Bogdanovic said. “I didn’t pass perfectly those alley-oops, but he likes to be a little higher than usual.”

Both Bogdanovic and Mason set new career-highs in assists, finishing with seven dimes apiece off Dave Joerger’s bench. Bogdanovic dropped in 14 points and picked up two steals. Mason added 11 points and five rebounds.

The smallest player to step on the floor, Mason brings a physicality the Kings have lacked early in the season. Since earning rotational minutes four games ago, the 23-year-old is posting 9.8 points and 4.3 assists in 22 minutes a game.

“That’s who I am, that’s who I’ve always been,” Mason said when asked about his toughness. “I take a lot of pride in someone scoring on me and I play every possession like it’s game point.”

With the win, the Kings improved to 4-4 on their home floor and 5-13 overall this season. They’ll take Thanksgiving off, but return to practice Friday in preparation for the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday evening. They’ll need another big evening from the bench unit if they hope to build momentum going forward.

Source: Kings locked in on Marvin Bagley III with No. 2 overall pick

Source: Kings locked in on Marvin Bagley III with No. 2 overall pick

SACRAMENTO -- Welcome to the 2018 NBA Draft, not to be confused with the 2018 World Series of Poker. In any other year, the Sacramento Kings, sitting at the No. 2 overall selection, would be set. But this year feels decidedly different with multiple options to consider. 

Barring a crazy shake up at the top, big man Deandre Ayton appears to be headed to Phoenix with the top spot. The Kings are on the clock and with just hours remaining, Sacramento has locked in on Duke big man, Marvin Bagley III and are expected to select him with the second pick.

According to a league source, the Kings love Bagley’s motor and aggressive style. He posted big numbers in his lone season at Duke, dropping in 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

At 6-foot-11, 234 pounds, the Kings believe Bagley can play both the four and five at the NBA level. The First Team All-American selection and Wooden Award finalist is an elite athlete, but a work in progress on the defensive end. 

If Sacramento selects Bagley at No. 2, as expected, they have a glut on the front line. More changes are in store for a team that won just 27 games last season.

NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Luka Doncic

NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Luka Doncic

Draft Profile: Luka Doncic

Shooting Guard/Small Forward - Spain

Age: 19 Height: 6-foot-8 Weight: 230

Stats: 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals, .4 blocks, 30.9% 3-point

Player Comparison: Toni Kukoc, Brandon Roy, Manu Ginobili

Strengths

A multi positional player with a basketball IQ off the charts, Doncic is the most accomplished player to come from the European game, perhaps ever. He’s a wizard in the pick-and-roll and he can score at all three levels. Doncic is also a proven winner that makes his teammates better and he has the hardware to prove it.   

Weaknesses

There is some concern that Doncic lacks the athleticism and lateral quickness to dominate in the NBA like he did in Europe. While he can play the point guard, shooting guard and small forward position on the offensive end, he’s more of a three on defense at the NBA level. He masks any physical liabilities with incredible instincts, but that might not fly every night at the NBA level.

Fit

With Sacramento, Doncic would jump in and start at the small forward position on day 1 alongside the backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic. He would add a scoring threat and another ball handler to the Kings’ first unit.

Chance of going No. 2

Doncic is on a short list of players the Kings are considering at No. 2. They have scouted him all season in Europe and gone overseas to visit the Slovenian prospect twice in the last month leading up to the draft.