When the Kings moved up to the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the excitement in Sacramento was palpable. General Manager Vlade Divac and the team’s management group could go in a couple of different directions, but European star Luka Doncic is expected to get plenty of consideration for a Kings team in search of a franchise player.
On Saturday, Doncic was named the Turkish Airlines MVP of the EuroLeague, which only adds more fuel to the fire in Sacramento.
“It’s amazing, it’s like a dream come true,” the 19-year-old Slovenian told media members on Saturday. “Still, we have one more game to go, which would make me so much more happier.”
The 6-foot-8 wing posted 16.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 25.9 minutes per game for Real Madrid.
Doncic and his Real Madrid teammates will face off with Fenerbahce in the European Cup Finals on Sunday. His 16-point, 7-rebound performance against CSKA Moscow on Friday helped propel his club into the championship game.
“It’s going to be really really hard,” Doncic said. “Fenerbahce has an amazing team, amazing coach, they have amazing fans. So it’s going to be a really hard game. We need to be focused 40 minutes, every possession and like a team. We need to play like a team.”
There is still a possibility that Doncic could unseat Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton for the top overall selection in the draft. He’s a versatile player that can play the point guard, shooting guard and small forward position and is considered one of the best prospects to come out of Europe in the last two decades.
SACRAMENTO -- Buddy Hield has been a revelation for the Sacramento Kings this season. From the moment he arrived for training camp, the third-year guard looked ready to take a leap.
Hield came into Saturday evening needing just two 3-pointers to tie Peja Stojakovic’s franchise record of 240 makes in a season.
It took less than five seconds for Hield to hit his first triple of the game, to draw within one of the record.
Hield tied Stojakovic’s mark midway through the second quarter and then broke it moments later.
The 26-year-old guard has a shot at an NBA record this season as well. Counting the three on Saturday, Hield needs just 35 more to surpass All-Star Damian Lillard’s mark of 599 makes through the first three seasons of his career.
Hield is a strong candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player this year. He’s averaging 20.8 points on 46.1 percent from the floor and 43 percent from behind the arc on the season. In addition, he’s posted 5.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 32.1 minutes per game for Sacramento.
The Kings enter the final stretch of the season in do-or-die mode.
Every win keeps them alive in the playoff hunt, while each loss moves them closer to elimination.
[RELATED: Kings-Suns Watch Guide]
On Saturday, the Kings have a good chance to come away with a much-needed win as they host the Phoenix Suns, the worst team in the Western Conference.
The Kings are coming off a big win over the Mavericks on Thursday night, and begin the night six games behind the Spurs for the final playoff spot.
Here's how you can watch Kings-Suns, as well as NBC Sports California's pregame and postgame coverage, live on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app.
When: 7 p.m. PT on Saturday, March 23 (pregame show starts at 6:30 p.m.)
Live Stream: MyTeams by NBC Sports app