Three Kings still on Team USA basketball roster for Week 2 of training

Three Kings still on Team USA basketball roster for Week 2 of training

After Friday night’s scrimmage in Las Vegas, Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo announced a few additions and a few cuts to the roster.

Later in the evening, the 17 finalists for the 2019 FIBA World Cup roster were officially posted to the Team USA website, and three Sacramento Kings players were picked for the second week of training in Los Angeles.

De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes were all but locks to make the first round of cuts, but second-year big man Marvin Bagley was a surprise addition to the squad. Bagley, 20, hasn’t played with the national program since his freshman year in high school, but he turned heads at camp with his advanced offensive game and his ability to play multiple positions on the front line.

A power forward in the Kings' system, Bagley started at center for Team White during Friday's intersquad scrimmage. While he struggled with his shot, he still managed to score eight points and grab three rebounds in 17 minutes of action.

Fox has been the talk of camp all week. The 21-year-old point guard joined the senior squad as a late addition, getting elevated from the Select Team as camp opened. Players and coaches have raved about Fox's speed and shooting ability, and he was a disruptive force on the defensive end during Team Blue's 97-78 win. He's looked comfortable from the jump and is one of the better two-way guards on the roster.

The third-year guard not only has played himself into a potential roster spot on the traveling team, but he likely will have a major role as the second point guard behind Kemba Walker if veteran Kyle Lowry isn’t available because of injury.

Barnes has played with the national program since 2010, and he is one of the few veterans to accept an invite to this year’s camp. He’s a versatile forward who can play multiple positions in the international game, and his experience makes him a strong candidate to make the roster that will open the World Cup on Sept. 1 against the Czech Republic in China.

[RELATED: Fox reflects on 'honor' of Team USA]

The three Kings will compete at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo, beginning Tuesday. The final roster cutdowns are expected following Friday’s friendly matchup against Spain at Honda Center in Anaheim.

Joining Fox, Barnes and Bagley for the next round of tryouts are Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Joe Harris, Khris Middleton, Mason Plumlee, P.J. Tucker, Kyle Kuzma, Brook Lopez, Donovan Mitchell, Myles Turner and Derrick White. Lowry and Marcus Smart round out the 17 invites, although Lowry still is recovering from offseason thumb surgery and Smart is nursing a calf injury.

Blazers' Damian Lillard vouches for play-in tournament when NBA resumes

Blazers' Damian Lillard vouches for play-in tournament when NBA resumes

It remains unclear and unknown when or how the NBA season will resume. The Kings, currently 28-36 and on the outside looking in of the playoff picture, are awaiting word on if and when their season will continue.

One thing is clear, though: Damian Lillard won't play games amid the coronavirus pandemic if his Portland Trail Blazers aren't given a true shot at the playoffs. 

"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team," Lillard said to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. "But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now.

"If we come back and I don't have an opportunity to make the playoffs, I will show up to work, I'll be at practice and I'll be with my team. I'm going to do all that and then I'm going to be sitting right on that bench during the games.

The Blazers have played 66 games so far this season. Lillard refuses to be a part of a ploy to get to 70 games, which is the minimum to fulfill regional television deals. But if there's a chance to win a ring, he's all-in.

"If they come back and say it's something like a tournament, play-in style, between the No. 7 and No. 12 seeds, if we're playing for playoff spots, then I think that's perfect," Lillard said.

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

There are a number of ways the NBA can go to continue the season. Will all teams be involved? Will there be a play-in tournament that Lillard suggested, or a 16-team tournament regardless of conferences? What about the teams on the outside looking in?

That includes Portland and the Kings. The Blazers (29-37) currently are the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, percentage points ahead of the Kings (28-36).

Sacramento hasn't made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season. Circumstances be damned, the Kings would love a crack at the postseason.

[RELATED: How NBA's Orlando scenarios impact Kings' playoff hopes]

The Kings are 2-2 against Lillard and the Blazers this season, and last played Portland on March 7 when Bogdan Bogdanovic's 27 points led Sacramento to a 123-111 win on the road.

All remains a mystery right now. The only way Lillard is playing games, however, is if they can compete for a championship. It's easy to see other players around the league sharing his same feelings, too.

Kings' 10 best NBA draft picks since team moved to Sacramento in 1985

Kings' 10 best NBA draft picks since team moved to Sacramento in 1985

Two weeks ago we looked at 10 of the biggest blunders in Sacramento Kings draft history. There were plenty to choose from over the 35 years the team has been in Sacramento, but it hasn’t been all bad for the Kings.

Despite having poor luck in the NBA draft lottery, the Kings have mined for talent and come up huge a few times during their three and half decades in Sacramento.

In no particular order, here is a look at 10 of the biggest draft successes during the Sacramento era of Kings basketball.


[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]