Kings

Source: Kings in recruiting phase with forward Nemanja Bjelica

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Source: Kings in recruiting phase with forward Nemanja Bjelica

After a slow start to free agency, a source has confirmed to NBC Sports California that the Kings are in the recruiting phase with unrestricted free agent Nemanja Bjelica. 

No contract has been discussed, but the team is attempting to convince the Serbian forward that there is value in staying in the NBA.

News of potential interest between the parties first broke Wednesday afternoon.

Bjelica agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers on July 5, but he never signed on the dotted line and informed the team earlier this week of his decision to return to Europe this season.

The 6-foot-10 combo forward spent the last three seasons coming off the bench for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He posted 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game under coach Tom Thibodeau, but his opportunities were limited in the T-Wolves' system.

At 30, Bjelica is older than most of the Kings’ recent targets, but he potentially could fill a glaring hole in the roster as a shooter at both the three and the four. Bjelica split his minutes between both forward positions in Minnesota last season, knocking down a career-best 41.5 percent on 2.7 attempts per game from behind the arc. 

There is no word yet on the exact dollar figure offered by the Kings. Sacramento has a whopping $20.5 million in salary-cap space to work with, and the free agent market is nearly dried up. 

While four years older, Bjelica compares favorably as a player to the Spurs’ Davis Bertans, who signed a two-year, $14.5 million contract to return to San Antonio earlier this month as a restricted free agent. 

According to a source, Sacramento likes Bjelica’s versatility and believes he can eat minutes at small forward this season, as well as shifting over to play the four.

NBA admits missed traveling late in Kings' 105-104 OT loss to Spurs

NBA admits missed traveling late in Kings' 105-104 OT loss to Spurs

Again?

For the third time in a month, the NBA admitted the Kings were victims of an incorrect call late in a loss.

With 1:10 remaining in overtime and the Kings and Spurs tied 102-102 on Friday night, San Antonio guard DeMar DeRozan started to drive into the lane. According to the NBA's Last Two Minute Report, which was released Saturday, DeRozen should be been called for a travel when he came to a stop.

Upon further review, it appears DeRozen's feet slide when he lands after a jump-stop. No call was made and 13 seconds later, Patty Mills was fouled on a missed 3-point attempt.

"DeRozan (SAS) gathers the ball and comes to a stop on two feet, and then slides both feet forward prior to releasing the pass," the league wrote.

Mills only made one of three free throws, but in reality, he never should have gotten three free throws. The Kings should have been granted possession with the game tied and 70 seconds left on the clock.

Instead, San Antonio took a one-point lead and went on to win 105-104.

On Nov. 26, the NBA announced that refs missed a traveling call on Boston's Marcus Smart, who would hit the game-winning shot.

Just 10 days before that, the NBA admitted that refs missed a foul call on LeBron James late in the Kings' 99-97 loss to the Lakers.

[RELATED: Marvin Bagley upgraded to questionable]

At a certain point, the NBA needs to hold its refs accountable, right? How many calls do they have to blow before someone is disciplined?

But if the refs are going to continue to miss calls, maybe one or two can go the Kings' way.

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Kings' Marvin Bagley upgraded to questionable, hopes to return 'soon'

Kings' Marvin Bagley upgraded to questionable, hopes to return 'soon'

The Kings will get second-year big man Marvin Bagley soon.

Sacramento just isn't sure exactly when.

But Bagley, who was cleared for contact earlier in the week, was upgraded to questionable Saturday, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The Kings face MVP candidate Luka Doncic and the Mavericks in Dallas on Sunday.

After practice on Saturday, Bagley told The Athletic's Jason Jones that he doesn't feel the need to play against Doncic, the player he was drafted before and will forever be compared to.

"I’m going in the right direction, I’m almost there," Bagley told Jones. "It’s around the corner for me, I think it’s around the corner. It’s hard to say when, but I’ll be back soon."

Bagley suffered a fractured right thumb in the Kings' season-opening loss to the Suns and has missed 20 games because of the injury.

[RELATED: Hield struggles, Holmes impresses vs. Spurs]

The Kings are in desperate need of Bagley's scoring. After winning seven of 10 games to bring their record to 7-8, the Kings have lost five of their last six and currently sit at 8-13.

The imminent return of Bagley and the looming return of De'Aaron Fox will be a welcome sight for the Kings.