Kings

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.

Kings' De'Aaron Fox targeting return to lineup vs. Hornets on Tuesday

Kings' De'Aaron Fox targeting return to lineup vs. Hornets on Tuesday

De'Aaron Fox won't play Sunday against the Warriors in San Francisco, but the injured Kings point guard is close to returning.

"Right now, after talking to [the training staff], it could be as early as the Charlotte game," Fox told reporters in Sacramento before the Kings lost to the Knicks, 103-101 on Friday night. "I don't see it being as late as after Christmas, or even the Houston game right before Christmas. So right now, we're looking at between the Charlotte game and the Memphis game."

After making the drive down to San Francisco, the Kings head out on a three-game road trip. On Tuesday, they face the Hornets, followed by the Pacers on Friday. They finish the trip with a game against the Grizzlies on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Fox has been out since Nov. 11 when he sprained his ankle during practice. The team diagnosed him with a Grade 3 ankle sprain.

In Fox's absence, the Kings have gone 8-8, including Friday's fall to the lowly Knicks.

Offseason acquisition Cory Joseph has started every game since Fox got hurt and is averaging 5.7 points and 4.9 assists in 15 contests. Once Fox returns to the starting lineup, Joseph will move back to his bench role and lead the second unit.

[RELATED: Lack of intensity costs Kings against Knicks]

When Fox returns, the Kings will be fully healthy and should be poised to go on a run.

Kings' lack of maintaining intensity costs them game vs. lowly Knicks

Kings' lack of maintaining intensity costs them game vs. lowly Knicks

SACRAMENTO -- By the time the media arrived in the Sacramento Kings’ locker room Friday evening at Golden 1 Center, half of the locker room was already gone.

A few players stayed by to answer for the team’s disappointing 103-101 loss to the New York Knicks, but not nearly enough.

In classic Kings fashion, they went up big on a less than stellar opponent and then let off the gas. The victory by New York was just their sixth of the season against 20 losses.

“We took our foot off the pedal and let them come back and stick around the game when we had them kind of buried,” veteran Cory Joseph said.

In front of a sold-out crowd on their home floor, the Kings took a 16-point lead with 4:45 remaining in the third quarter. After a series of substitutions, Sacramento stopped moving the ball and settled for perimeter shots.

New York hit the Kings with an 11-3 run to finish the third to pull within eight points going to the fourth.

“We got up big and we just stopped doing the things that got us there,” Joseph said. “We stopped playing with that aggression and they out physicaled us down in the paint.”

The Knicks destroyed the Kings down low, outscoring them 56-32 in points in the paint, including an 18-10 advantage in the third as they tightened the game up.

“I’ve got to watch the film,” Marvin Bagley said. “They started getting easy buckets. I’ve got to go see what went wrong, but I really don’t know.”

The final 12 minutes was more of the same, except New York started to hit an occasional perimeter shot to help open the lane even more. The Knicks knocked down 4-of-8 from the perimeter in the fourth. Sacramento matched the number of makes with four, but they took 15 3-pointers in order to do it.

“We didn’t play enough of the 48 minutes to secure a win tonight,” coach Luke Walton said. “Give the Knicks credit. They knocked down shots. They made plays as that game went on.”

This isn’t the first time this season that the Kings have struggled against a beatable opponent on their home floor. They fell apart early in the season against the Hornets and then lost a game to the Chicago Bulls to open then December schedule. For a team with playoff aspirations, these are must-win games.

“Our guys were ready to play, we came out and were the aggressors, we built up a double-digit lead and then we didn’t do a good enough job of maintaining that type of play,” Walton said.

[RELATED: Walton suits up at Folsom to support criminal justice reform]

It’s back to the drawing board for the Kings. They’ll face another struggling opponent on Sunday when they travel to San Francisco to face the Golden State Warriors.

After playing in five straight NBA Finals, the Warriors are just 5-22 to start the season and they’ve lost three straight. Instead of playing to get back to .500, the Kings are 11-14 and back on the outside looking in of the Western Conference playoff standings.