Kings

Kings trade Iman Shumpert to Rockets in three-team deal also involving Cavs

Kings trade Iman Shumpert to Rockets in three-team deal also involving Cavs

SACRAMENTO -- The Scores have left the building ... or at least the Kings’ locker room.

NBC Sports California confirmed Wednesday that the Kings traded veteran Iman Shumpert to the Houston Rockets as part of a three-way deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The teams later confirmed the transaction.

In return for Sacramento’s starting small forward, the Kings received shooting guard Alec Burks from the Cavs, along with a second-round draft pick.

Cleveland took on the remaining year of Brandon Knight’s contract, as well as Marquese Chriss, from the Rockets. For their troubles, the Cavs received a lottery-protected 2019 first-round selection from Houston.

In addition to Shumpert, the Rockets took on the contracts of guards Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin, both of whom were acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the week.

[RELATED: Latest 2019 NBA trade deadline rumors, news, updates]

Shumpert, who came over from the Cavs last season in the trade for George Hill, missed all but 14 games of last season due to injury. He started 40 games for the Kings this season, averaging 8.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game for the team. In an interesting twist, Shumpert only will have to walk to the visiting locker room of Golden 1 Center to join his new team.

Burks has struggled with injuries over the past few seasons, but has played well since joining the Cavs. The 27-year-old guard is averaging 11.6 points on 37.8 percent shooting from long range to go with 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists for Cleveland.

Shams Charania of The Athletic was first with the news.

Kings' De'Aaron Fox expects to play Tuesday, hopes to provide spark

Kings' De'Aaron Fox expects to play Tuesday, hopes to provide spark

The wait is almost over. De’Aaron Fox is nearing a return to the court after a 17-game hiatus. His sprained left ankle is feeling much better and according to the Kings' starting point guard, he intends to suit Tuesday night in Charlotte when Sacramento faces the Hornets.

Head coach Luke Walton confirmed to NBC Sports California that barring a setback, the plan is to get Fox on the court against the Hornets.

Fox, who was averaging 18.2 points and seven assists per game before rolling his ankle at practice on Nov. 11, is itching to get back on the court. He’s worked tirelessly and has taken the opportunity to watch plenty of film with the hopes of jump starting the team when he returns.

“I feel my presence is missed in a few areas and I just want to come and plug up those areas and just make us a better team when I step back on the floor,” Fox told NBC Sports California. 

The Kings are 9-8 since Fox went down and at 12-14, they are in sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference standings. 

With Fox out, head coach Luke Walton has tightened his rotation. He’s only played eight or nine players in each of the last four games, but that will have to expand with Fox’s imminent return.

“I’m extremely excited, we’ve seen what we can do with a shortened roster and with us getting our full roster back, we feel like the sky’s the limit,” Fox said. “There are a lot of things that we feel we need to tighten up on, especially with getting leads and losing games. As a team, we have to figure out how to put teams away.”

Cory Joseph has moved into the starting lineup in Fox’s absence and played well for Walton. While he’s not the offensive weapon that Fox is, Joseph is a steady hand and the best perimeter defender on the Kings’ roster.

“He’s a huge part of our organization, everybody knows that, so we’re happy to get him back,” Joseph told NBC Sports California. “He looks good. He’s running good. So we’re excited. He’s huge to what we do here.”

In addition to Joseph, reserve guard Yogi Ferrell has stepped in and played solid minutes for the Kings as well. Known as a spark plug off the bench, there have been nights when his ability to get easy buckets has helped the Kings win games.

“We can’t just overlook the job that guy’s like Yogi’s done for us,” Joseph added. “Me and him have tried to do our best with him out and we’re all happy to get him back, but Yogi’s done an amazing job being a professional.”

Fox isn’t the only player to miss major time for Sacramento. Marvin Bagley returned to the court three games ago after missing 22 straight with a broken right thumb. Without two of their primary scorers, Walton has chosen to slow down the offense. That is likely to change.

Sacramento led the NBA in pace for most of last season before finishing fifth overall. With both Fox and Bagley on the shelf, they are 30th this season.

[RELATED: Takeaways from Kings' win over Warriors]

“I feel like I can ramp up any team’s pace with the way I play the game,” Fox said. “I think the pace will pick back up when I step on the floor, but with most teams, it’s about taking the ball out of bounds quicker, the point guard passing the ball up the floor quicker.”

There will be an adjustment period for the team as they try to work two major pieces back into then rotation. They will have nights where the newness is too much to overcome, but in the long run, this is the group that the Kings are banking on to turn the franchise around.

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 100-79 runaway win over Warriors

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 100-79 runaway win over Warriors

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- New building, new team. 

The Golden State Warriors are a shadow of the team that just represented the Western Conference at five straight NBA Finals. Since moving to the Chase Center, they are now just 5-23, including a 100-79 blowout loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.

Kings learned a big lesson in their loss to the Knicks on Friday, which they didn’t repeat against the Warriors. They got up big early on a lesser opponent and didn’t let up. 

Here are three takeaways as the Kings hammered the Warriors to move to 12-14 on the season.

Bogi got hot

Golden State went on a mini-run early in the fourth quarter and then Bogdan Bogdanovic took over. 

Sacramento’s super-sub dropped in a pair of triples with just under eight minutes to play to take a commanding 90-65 lead. 

After a disappointing bench performance in the Kings’ loss to the Knicks Friday night, Sacramento’s second unit, led by Bogdanovic’s 25, outscored the Warriors’ by a final of 48-30.

In Rhythm

Buddy Hield didn’t post his 11th straight 20 point game, but the Kings’ leading scorer seems to have settled back into a shooting groove.

In 33 minutes of action, the Kings’ leading scorer dropped in 19 points on 8-of-11 from the field and 2-for-5 from 3-point range.

Hield’s had to carry way too much of the scoring load for Sacramento with all of the early season injuries and he’s struggled to get to the free-throw line, but when he is on, he’s one of the best pure shooters in the league. 

Building confidence

In his third game back from injury, Marvin Bagley is beginning to look more like the player the Kings saw last season. 

The high flying big posted his best game of the season, finishing with 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting to go with 6 rebounds. He was active in his 22 minutes and even showed some improvements on the defensive end.

In addition to the points and rebounds, Bagley picked up his first assist of the season. This is an area where Bagley needs to improve if he’s going to see an uptick in minutes. 

After playing primarily at power forward last season, Walton is focused on using Bagley at the five, at least until he gets comfortable in the team’s system.