Kings

Kings set off fireworks on 4th of July by agreeing with Hill and Randolph

Kings set off fireworks on 4th of July by agreeing with Hill and Randolph

Fireworks and the Fourth or July are synonymous. Fireworks and the Sacramento Kings, not so much.
 
Vlade Divac and his budding front office set the NBA world buzzing Tuesday morning when they agreed to terms with two free agents.
 
Divac and co. added one of the premiere free agent guards in Utah’s George Hill, a source confirmed to NBC Sports California.

The contract -- which could be worth up to $57 million -- contains two guaranteed years and a partial guarantee in Year 3.

The deal was first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical.
 
Minutes after reports broke on Hill’s addition, the Kings struck again, adding 16-year NBA veteran Zach Randolph. Z-Bo spent three years working under head coach Dave Joerger with the Memphis Grizzlies and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he’s agreed to a deal worth $24 million over two years.
 
Hill is signing on to mentor rookies De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason. The 32-year-old point guard posted 16.9 points, 4.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds last season for a 51-win Utah Jazz team. He played just 49 games due to injury, but he managed to shoot 40.3 percent from three in 31.5 minutes a night. 
 
Randolph continues to grind. The soon-to-be 36-year-old dropped 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game last season in Memphis. He will be asked to help mentor the Kings’ fleet of young bigs, including Skal Labissiere, Harry Giles, Willie Cauley-Stein and Georgios Papagiannis. 
 
The two-time All-Star brings a toughness the Kings sorely lack on the frontline and he’s played alongside veteran Kosta Koufos during their time together with the Grizzlies.
 
Sacramento isn’t done shopping, although they are running low on roster spots. They still have a major hole at the small forward position and at least $15 million to spend. 
 
Hill and Randolph represent two of the biggest free agent acquisitions by the Kings in recent memory. They are solid veteran additions that will join Koufos and Garrett Temple as the team’s elder statesmen tasked with bringing along one of the league’s youngest rosters.
 

Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic re-injures left knee, needs another procedure

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Associated Press

Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic re-injures left knee, needs another procedure

SACRAMENTO -- After a week of speculation, the verdict on Kings shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic’s knee is in.

For the second time this offseason, the Serbian is heading for a procedure on his left knee after an MRI revealed a minor injury. The timetable for his return is unknown at this time.

Bogdanovic re-injured his knee Monday while playing for the Serbian national team in World Cup qualifying. He felt discomfort in the knee during the first quarter against Estonia and left the game early. Once Bogdanovic was back in Sacramento, the Kings medical staff evaluated the 26-year-old wing this week and determined that action was needed.

According to the Kings, Monday’s procedure will be performed by Dr. Riley Williams in New York, and Bogdanovic is expected to make a full recovery. The team will send an update when more is known.

Bogdanovic averaged 11.8 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game for Sacramento in his rookie NBA season.

Zach Randolph: Kings training camp profile

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USATSI

Zach Randolph: Kings training camp profile

No one was more consistent on the offensive end for Sacramento than Zach Randolph last season. He fought back father time as long as possible and then finished the season as a spectator when the Kings went young.

Nothing is guaranteed in season two as a King for Randolph. The 37-year-old forward cashed in with the Kings, signing a two-year, $24 million deal in 2017. He’s owed $11.7 million this season, making him difficult to move via trade.  

The Kings plan to go young this year from the opening tip. That doesn’t bode well for Z-Bo, who is nearly twice the age of Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles III. 

Strengths

Randolph is a legendary tough guy that brings a grit and a personality to the floor. As he’s advanced as a player, he’s focused more on his perimeter game, extending all the way to the 3-point line where he shot an impressive 34.7 percent last season. 

Still a reliable scorer in the post, the Kings turned to the 17-year NBA veteran on countless occasions last season to help steady the ship. Randolph shot 63 percent at the rim and 50.9 percent inside of 10 feet last season. 

While he struggles to get off the floor, Randolph still managed to post 9.5 rebounds per 36 minutes last season by positioning and using his strength on the blocks.

On the defensive side of the ball, Randolph’s physical limitations hurt the team in transition and against quicker players. He can still hold his position in the post, but as a defender, he’s not a great option.

Weaknesses

The Kings went out and drafted a Ferrari to play the point guard and then paired him with a mack truck. Randolph is too slow to play in the uptempo offense the team hopes to transition to this season and would be better suited playing for a team that place a more methodical half court game.

As his game has moved away from the basket, Randolph’s field goal percentage and free throw attempts have steadily declined. He posted 2.2 assists per game last season, which is well above his career average, but he’s not a natural passer. 

Father time is undefeated. Randolph is stationary on both ends of the court. He can still score in bunches and get a rebound when you need it, but he can’t defend more athletic fours.

Path to Improvement

There is no way to turn back the hands of time. By adding the 3-point shot, Randolph extended his NBA career for few extra seasons, but even that has its limitations. 

The only path for improvement this season for Randolph is taking on an even larger role as a leader and locker room influence behind the scenes. With a fleet of young bigs, the Kings need Randolph to become more of a coach than a player and help teach the ins and outs of being a professional and the finer nuances of NBA post play. 

Projection

This is a complex situation. If the primary focus was just on wins, Randolph could still play 18-20 minutes per game and put up numbers. The Kings are going to run and gun and it’s hard to imagine Z-Bo keeping up. 

Bagley, Giles and Willie Cauley-Stein are the future and the present. Nemanja Bjelica fits the role of stretch four and Skal Labissiere is going to need some minutes as well. It’s a crowded front line and we haven’t even mentioned veteran Kosta Koufos. 

Z-Bo started 57 games and played 25.6 minutes per night last season for Dave Joerger. It would be shocking to see that again this year. Things can change, but Randolph’s court time should be limited this offseason barring a series of injuries or a complete collapse of scheme.