Marvin Bagley working with Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic on 3-point shot


Marvin Bagley working with Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic on 3-point shot

SACRAMENTO -- Balls bouncing, sneakers squeaking and loud music playing. The Kings are back home after a long trip and before facing the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday afternoon, they had had a chance to get in a practice on Tuesday.

There was a welcome sight on the near court when the media was allowed into the practice facility. Rookie big man, Marvin Bagley III, was working on his 3-point stroke alongside shooting guards Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

The 19-year-old wasn’t perfect, but if you want to be a better shooter, practicing with two of the best on the team is a decent place to start.

“We’re just trying to help him a little bit, get his confidence up,” Buddy Hield said. “That’s the thing about being teammate, me and Bogi, I think it’s good for him to shoot with two good shooters."

Hield is one of the best 3-point shooters in the league. Although no formal announcement has been made, he is expected to participate in the 3-point shootout at All-Star weekend next month.

In his third NBA season, Hield is currently shooting 45.7 percent from behind the arc on 7.4 attempts per game. He is just seven 3-point makes away from setting a new career-high, which he set last season at 176.

He currently ranks fourth in the league in makes, behind James Harden, Paul George and Steph Curry and he also ranks fourth in the league in 3-point percentage.  

Bogdanovic isn’t the pure shooter that Hield is, but he’s currently hitting 35.6 percent from long range, down from the 39.2 percent he shot last season. Like a few other Kings, Bogdanovic has struggled with his shot in the month of January where he’s shooting just 32.9 percent from deep.

Bagley is learning. The No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NBA draft shot 39.7 percent from long range in his lone season at Duke, but that was in limited opportunities and from the college 3-point line.

At the NBA level, the rookie’s struggled, shooting 26.8 percent (11-for-41), but again, the sample size is small.

“He looked good, really good, he shot the ball really well,” Hield said. “It’s part of getting better.”

A point is coming in the season when Bagley is going to assume a starting role. It might not happen until after the All-Star break, but the Kings are going to need him to improve from the perimeter or teams will sag off of him and clog the running lanes for De’Aaron Fox.

This is part of the development of a young player. It's good to see Hield and Bogdanovic taking an active role in Bagley's mentorship.

Kings' Marvin Bagley cleared for contact, getting closer to return


Kings' Marvin Bagley cleared for contact, getting closer to return

The Sacramento Kings finally got some good news on the injury front. According to an official press release from the team.

Marvin Bagley has been cleared to resume full-contact basketball activities on Thursday after missing the last 19 games with a broken right thumb.

Bagley stayed back in Sacramento to have his hand re-evaluated, but according to a league source, the 20-year-old power forward is on his way to San Antonio to rejoin the team. While he is medically cleared, that doesn’t mean he will suit up when the Kings face the Spurs on Friday evening.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has continued to work on his game during his absence, but he has yet to go through a full-contact practice with the team and the early word is that he is doubtful to play against San Antonio.

Bagley posted solid numbers in his rookie season, finishing the year averaging 14.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and a block in 25.3 minutes per game. He missed a combined 20 games last season while dealing with two separate knee injuries.

With Bagley out, Nemanja Bjelica has stepped into the starting lineup and played well for Sacramento. The Serbian forward is averaging 10.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 26.3 minutes per game alongside starting center Richaun Holmes.

Head coach Luke Walton will have to make some adjustments to fit another big back into the rotation, but Bagley is low post threat and one of the better rebounders on the team. He also has fresh legs after sitting out the last six-plus weeks.

[RELATED: Woman who accused Walton of sexual assault drops lawsuit]

There is no early word on Bogdan Bogdanovic, who missed Sacramento’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday evening due to a right knee contusion, although the Kings’ super-sub was confident he would play and told NBC Sports California that his left hamstring is feeling much better.

Starting point guard De’Aaron Fox stayed back in Sacramento to rehab his injured left. The 21-year-old injured himself at the end of practice on Nov. 11. He has missed the last 11 games for the Kings and will be re-evaluated in two-to-three weeks.

Report: Woman who accused Luke Walton of sexual assault drops lawsuit


Report: Woman who accused Luke Walton of sexual assault drops lawsuit

Kelli Tennant, the woman who accused Luke Walton of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room in 2014, is dropping her lawsuit against the Kings coach, TMZ Sports reported Thursday morning.

Tennant sued Walton after claiming he forced himself on her in a Santa Monica, Calif., hotel when she was a sports reporter. Walton was a Warriors assistant coach at the time.

TMZ reported that Tennant now has filed new court documents calling off the suit, asking a judge to dismiss with prejudice, which means she can't refile.

TMZ reached out to Tennant's attorney for comment but did not receive a response.

Walton, for his part, is ready to move on.

“I remain 100 percent focused on coaching the Kings and will have no further comment," Walton said when asked about the dismissal. 

In August, the Kings and the NBA concluded their joint investigation into Tennant's allegations. The investigation found insufficient evidence to support the claims against Walton. 

The Kings said that Tennant, through her counsel, chose not to participate in the investigation, despite numerous attempts.

"Based on this and the available evidence, the investigators determined that there was not a sufficient basis to support the allegations made against Coach Walton," a statement by the Kings and NBA read.