Kings

Kings vs Suns -- nothing left to play for but pride

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USATSI

Kings vs Suns -- nothing left to play for but pride

78 down, four more to go. The Sacramento Kings travel to Phoenix to face off with the Suns Tuesday evening for one of the final road games of the season.

Sacramento is coming off a road win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. The trio of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox came up big down the stretch to propel the Kings to their 25th win of the season.

Phoenix has chosen the path of least resistance. They’ve sat most of their regulars and that has equated to plenty of losses. They’ve dropped 15 straight and 25 of their previous 26 games to fall to the bottom of the NBA standings.

LINE

Pick

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 25-53

Suns: 19-59

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Justin Jackson vs. Josh Jackson -- The Kings have given Justin Jackson a long look at the small forward position and he’s struggled to find a groove. Tuesday’s game is another opportunity to get on the right track for the rookie small forward. Josh Jackson is coming into his own in the second half of the season, averaging 17.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game since the All-Star break.

INJURY REPORT

Kings:  PF Skal Labissiere (sprained left ankle) out, SG/SF Garrett Temple (sprained left ankle) out, SF Iman Shumpert (knee rehab and plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bi-lateral knee rehab) is out until January at the earliest.

Suns:  SG Devin Booker (hand) day-to-day, SF Jared Dudley (ankle) day-to-day, C Alex Len (ankle) day-to-day, T.J. Warren (knee) day-to-day, C Tyson Chandler (neck) day-to-day, PG Elfrid Payton (knee) day-to-day, PG Brandon Knight (ACL tear) out for the season.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Day-to-Day-- As the old saying goes, “We’re all day-to-day.” The Suns have taken this philosophy to a new level, listing most of their roster on the injury report as day-to-day. If the last few games are any indication, “day-to-day” is a clever word for tanking.

Forget About Wins and Losses -- There are a lot of Kings fans looking for losses down the stretch. With lottery positioning at stake, Sacramento continues to compete and sometimes they come away with a win. It’s the ugly side of the game that needs fixing at the league level, but the Kings are learning valuable lessons in close games. The basketball gods will hopefully take care of the rest.  

Nigel Hayes and Bruno Caboclo -- With nothing left to play for but pride, the Kings are giving some young guys a look. Hayes and Caboclo are both combo forwards trying to fight their way into the league. These are important opportunities that these young guys need to take advantage of.

SERIES HISTORY

The Suns lead the season series 2-1, including a win at Golden 1 Center on Dec. 29. Phoenix leads the all-time series 133-91 and they hold an 86-52 advantage during the Sacramento-era.

Kings' 2018-19 schedule has fewer back-to-backs, but start is road heavy

Kings' 2018-19 schedule has fewer back-to-backs, but start is road heavy

Basketball season is just around the corner. Well, maybe not. We’re still nearly five weeks away from the opening of training camp for the 2018-19 season, and the regular season doesn’t begin until mid-October. 

On Friday, the NBA announced the 82 game schedule for all 30 teams, including the Sacramento Kings, who will open the season at home Oct. 17 against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz.

Here are some of the nuts and bolts from this season’s campaign.

•    For the second season in a row, the Kings will play only one set of five-games-in-seven-nights, and that comes at the tail end of March and into early April. This is part of the NBA’s new plan of allowing players more time to rest. The league has eliminated the dreaded four-games-in-five-nights grouping from the schedule as well.

•    Sacramento will have 14 sets of back-to-backs, two shy of last season’s total of 16 sets. Of those 14 sets, one is home-and-home, seven are away-and-away, two are away-and-home and four are home-and-away.

•    After a balanced November and December schedule, the Kings will hit the road for their longest trip away from home in mid-January, stopping in Charlotte, Detroit, Brooklyn, Toronto, Memphis and Los Angeles (Clippers) from Jan. 17 to Jan. 27. 

•    The Kings’ longest homestand will be six games and come on the heels of their longest road trip. From Jan. 30 through Feb. 10, Sacramento will host the Hawks, 76ers, Spurs, Rockets, Heat and Suns at Golden 1 Center. 

•    Sacramento will play seven of its first 10 games away from Golden 1 Center. With plenty of new faces expected to see time in the rotation, the young Kings will have to learn on the fly while traveling around the NBA landscape.   

[RELATED: Five most intriguing games on Kings' 2018-19 schedule]

There are plenty of games to look forward to as well, beginning with opening night. There are old faces in new places and plenty of intrigue.

•    Sacramento will match up with the two-time reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors four times this season. The initial battle is set for Nov. 24 at Oracle, with a follow-up three weeks on Dec. 14 at Golden 1 Center. The teams will meet again Jan. 5 at Golden 1 and then finish the series in the first game coming out of the All-Star break on Feb. 21. It likely won’t happen early in the season, but at some point, former Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins will make his debut as a member of the Warriors, which should be fun to watch.

•    The Kings will face off with the new-look Los Angeles Lakers four times as well, beginning on Nov. 11 at home. The Lakers have made substantial changes to their roster, including the addition of LeBron James. These teams will play each other again twice in late December before completing the series March 24 in L.A. 

•    Isaiah Thomas joined forces during the offseason with former Kings coach Michael Malone in Denver. Sacramento will play the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 23 and then again on Jan. 3 at Golden 1 Center and Feb. 13 back in Denver.

•    The Kings will have to wait until Dec. 4 to get their first look at No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton when they travel to Talking Stick Resort Arena to face the Suns. They’ll see No. 3 overall selection Luka Doncic on Dec. 16 when they stop over in Dallas for a game against the Mavs.

Below is the complete Kings 2018-19 schedule, with all times local to where the game is played:

Report: Lil Wayne is suing Kings guard Frank Mason III

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AP/USATSI

Report: Lil Wayne is suing Kings guard Frank Mason III

Second-year Sacramento Kings pro Frank Mason III is being sued by rap star Lil Wayne. Seriously. 

The 24-year-old guard is being sued for $92,000 and must give back his Young Money diamond chain, according to TMZ Sports.

Before the Kings selected Mason in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft, Lil Wayne's agency, Young Money APAA Sports Group, signed the former Kansas star. The agency reportedly gave Mason $40,000 in advance, paid his pre-draft expenses which totaled $52,000 and gave him an $11,000 diamond chain. 

However, Mason's contract reportedly stated if he left the agency, Mason would have to repay the money and give back the chain. This past April, Mason left the agency. 

Mason signed a three-year, $4,181,147 contract with the Kings after the 2017 draft. He is guaranteed $2,562,627.