NBA rumors: Kings to get playoff shot in potential Adam Silver plan

NBA rumors: Kings to get playoff shot in potential Adam Silver plan

The Kings would get a chance to end their 13-year postseason drought in a proposal to restart the NBA season that reportedly is gaining momentum among the league's owners.

Sacramento would be one of 22 teams headed to Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports just outside of Orlando in a plan that has "growing support," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported Friday, citing sources. The Kings would also be included in a 20-team format that "remains alive," sources told ESPN.

Wojnarowski and Shelburne reported that the NBA will vote Thursday on a format to restart the season during a board of governors call. The league requires a three-fourths majority to approve any such plan, and the owners reportedly will vote with whichever format commissioner Adam Silver recommends.

The Kings were in the thick of a playoff chase when the NBA suspended its season on March 11 due to the coronavirus' spread, just 3.5 games back of the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot. Sacramento's game that night was supposed to the be the last before the league indefinitely shut its doors, but the New Orleans Pelicans -- the Kings' opponents that night -- were reluctant to take the court once they learned referee Courtney Kirkland had recently worked a Utah Jazz game. Jazz center Rudy Gobert's positive coronavirus test earlier that night prompted the league to suspend the season.

Teams that were within six games of the final playoff spots in each conference would be included in the 22-team format, according to Wojnarowski and Shelburne. The 20-team format reportedly would only include the top eight seeds in each conference and the four teams, including the Kings, within four games of the eighth seed. If the NBA opts to resume the season with 22 teams, there would be regular-season games and a play-in tournament "to compete for playoff berths in both the Eastern and Western Conference," Wojnarowski and Shelburne reported.

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The Kings have gotten good news all week, with NBA general managers reportedly preferring by a wide margin a "Playoffs Plus" format to resume the season with 20 or more teams and their inclusion in all the formats gaining traction among the league's decision-makers. 

Sacramento could get even better -- and more official -- news next Thursday if either a 20- or 22-team format is approved.

Kings' Luke Walton brought seven pounds of coffee to Orlando bubble

Kings' Luke Walton brought seven pounds of coffee to Orlando bubble

Always come prepared.

For an NBA player, an XBox 1 or PS4 are high on the list of "must bring" items for the extended stay in the NBA's Orlando bubble. Players have their priorities, but so do coaches.

According to Kings head coach Luke Walton, he packed the usual stack of clothing items and basic necessities, but he also had a full carry on filled with a luxury item.

"The strangest thing I brought that I'm happy I brought now is I dedicated a whole carry-on bag to my coffee," Walton said. "Which is seven pounds of coffee beans, my coffee grinder, I've got a French press in my room. I knew we were going to be quarantined, so I couldn't trust whatever was going to be in my room."

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One could imagine bringing your own varieties of Kuerig pods, but Walton has not officially upped his game. Hopefully he has more than some powdered creamer and a flimsy stir straw to work with as he settles in for the long hall at The Yacht Club.

Four Kings' traveling party members didn't fly to NBA's Orlando bubble

Four Kings' traveling party members didn't fly to NBA's Orlando bubble

The Sacramento Kings are short-handed in Orlando.

On the first day they are allowed to practice as a team, coach Luke Walton confirmed that none of the three players who tested positive for the coronavirus have traveled with the team and a fourth unidentified member of the traveling party missed the team flight as well.

“We’re still in the protocol,” Walton told the media during a Zoom call following practice on Friday. “From our traveling party, I’m not going to get into names, I’ll make that a personal decision, but from the travel party, out of the 35, we left four people back. From those four, nobody has passed NBA protocol yet to rejoin us, but we are hopeful that some of them are getting close.”

We know that three of the four are Buddy Hield, Alex Len and Jabari Parker, all three of which are confirmed to have tested positive around the June 23 mark.

“There could be a week, there could be a hey, someone doesn’t come at all,” Walton added. “It’s just the reality of what it is. I’m very open to our team about that.”

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It’s a tough situation. If Hield can’t make it back in time to play, the Kings are without their second leading scorer and one of the better 3-point shooters in the game.

Len provided a massive lift to the team as a defensive roadblock in the middle of the key. His skill set could really come in handy against players like Zion Williamson. Parker wasn’t in the rotation, but with so much uncertainty regarding the coronavirus, there could be a time where his ability to score the ball could come into play for the Kings.

“The mindset is that we’re going to embrace all of it,” Walton said. “We know that it’s going to be crazy. People are going to join us. Maybe they won’t. Maybe there are people that are here that test positive at some point. Every team has to go through this, so we’ve got to be ready to accept what our roles are. Our roles are going to change as this thing goes and the teams that can do that most efficiently I think are going to give themselves a big advantage.”

The Kings, like the other 21 teams in the bubble, have to prepare for as many variables as possible. In the meantime, the players are communicating with teammates back in Sacramento with the hopes that reinforcements are on their way.

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“It’s a troubling time, a lot of unknowns and things like that, but we’ve definitely been in contact with those guys and always let their voice be heard in the group,” Richaun Holmes said. “We just want them to get healthy. Get as healthy as possible and make sure everything is good with them and their families and then when they get down here, be ready to rock and roll.”

Sacramento has another practice session on Saturday, which will be another limited contact practice as Walton and his staff slowly build towards scrimmage games beginning on July 22. It will be a quick ramp up with the Kings playing their first official game on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs.