Kings

Troy Williams making strong bid for Kings' roster spot: 'You notice him'

Troy Williams making strong bid for Kings' roster spot: 'You notice him'

SACRAMENTO -- The NBA is all about opportunity. For young players trying to break into the league, it may only knock once or twice ever and it’s the player that seizes that moment that usually finds a home. 

Kings fans were reminded of this fact on more than one front Wednesday evening at Golden 1 Center. Late in the game, former Kings draft pick, Malachi Richardson, stepped onto the court for cleanup duty. Selected by Sacramento with the 22nd overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft, Richardson looked like a keeper midway through his rookie season and then he tore a hamstring muscle.

The injury lingered into the offseason of 2017 and then Richardson had another setback in Las Vegas Summer League. By the time he was ready to compete for minutes, the Kings had already moved forward with a different group of youngsters. 

Richardson’s opportunity had come and gone in Sacramento. He was shipped to the Raptors at the deadline later that season for Bruno Caboclo.

So far this season, Richardson has played in seven contests for a total of 35 minutes for Toronto. At 22-years-old, there is still time for him to make his mark in the league, but whether he gets another real opportunity to shine is unknown. 

While Richardson made a late appearance in the final two minutes against the Kings in the Raptors 114-105 win, another young player trying to secure a home in the league was adding to his highlight reel. 

The Kings inked Troy Williams to a two-way contract during the first week of the season and so far, he’s remained with the parent team and is making an impact. 

Against the Raptors, Williams scored seven points on a perfect 3-for-3 from the field, including a pair of huge dunks. He added three rebounds and two assists while playing tough defense in 14 minutes of action.

“It’s what they ask of me - just to be versatile, just to be athletic, just to defend multiple people,” Williams told NBC Sports California. “What I focus on is how I can help this team defensively before anything else.” 

The sample size is small, but through four appearances this season with Sacramento, the 23-year-old wing is producing at a high level and stealing minutes from players on the regular roster. He’s bringing an intensity to both ends of the floor while averaging 8.3 points on 66.7 percent shooting from both the field and the 3-point line.

“It’s hard, I’ll figure out what I want to do here in the rotation wise,” Dave Joerger said. “He comes in and he gives us some pop and I like that both defensively and offensively. He gets a couple of dunks, he gets a couple of cuts. You notice him and he makes an impact in that way.” 

After going undrafted out of Indiana in 2016, the 6-foot-7 small forward has moved from one team to the next looking for a chance to play. Signed originally by the Memphis Grizzlies, Williams is on his fifth team in three seasons, including stops with the Rockets, Knicks and Pelicans. 

“The right opportunity, the right fit, that’s with anybody, that’s everybody, especially people that took the road that I took, being undrafted,” Williams said. “You just get in where you fit in.”

He’s in a roster crunch in Sacramento, but that hasn’t stopped Williams from performing every time he steps on the court. 

As a two-way player, the Kings can use him for up to 45 days before having to make a decision on his future with the team. If he continues to earn rotational minutes and help the team, the decision will only get tougher for the Kings’ brass.

Sacramento currently has 15 players under contract. If they hope to add Williams to the regular roster, another player would have to be traded or waived. Luckily there is time to make a decision.

If OKC's Steven Adams is available, Kings need to get on the phone

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USATSI

If OKC's Steven Adams is available, Kings need to get on the phone

SACRAMENTO -- Anthony Davis reportedly is set to become a Laker. Mike Conley Jr. reportedly will be traded to the Utah Jazz. The NBA isn’t messing around, and we haven’t even reached the 2019 NBA Draft.

It’s hard to tell what is real and what isn’t, especially with the substantial transactions that have already taken place.

Wednesday afternoon brought more scuttlebutt, which the Sacramento Kings should investigate fully. Sports Illustrated's Jake Fischer reported Wednesday that Thunder center Steven Adams is available in trade talks.

Rumors make the basketball world go round, and this is a good one. The Kings have yet to be mentioned as a potential trade partner with the Thunder, but this is worth more than a cursory phone call.  

Steven Adams is a beast of a man and instantly climbs to the top of almost every list when it comes to available centers. The fact that OKC might be willing to throw in the 21st pick in a deal to save luxury tax dollars adds to the intrigue.

At 25 years old, Adams not only fits the age arc of the Kings, he would instantly sure up almost every one of their deficiencies on the front line.

A rebounder and defensive presence, Sacramento could slide the 7-footer next to Marvin Bagley and never look back.

Strapped with a $147 million payroll for this season, OKC is potentially on the hook for a $50 million luxury tax bill. By dealing away Adams, the Thunder could save upwards of $75 million between his $25.8 million salary and the tax penalty.

Whether or not Thunder general manager Sam Presti has been asked to cut the team’s tax bill or not is unknown, but dealing away Adams would clear up almost all of the team’s financial woes.

Adams posted 13.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and a block in 33.4 minutes per game last season. He’s one of the better offensive rebounders in the game and his defensive rebounding totals are likely to improve without Russell Westbrook roaming the painted area.

He also brings a toughness and maturity that would help the Kings’ younger players both on and off the court.

The Kings plan to be aggressive this summer, whether it’s on draft night or when free agency opens June 30. Their primary focus has been to improve the center position.

[RELATED: Eight ways Kings can use their three second-round picks]

With Harrison Barnes’ decision to opt out of the final year of his contract on Tuesday, the team has upwards of $60 million to make improvements, although the Kings are confident they will retain the veteran forward with a new long-term contract.

If Adams is indeed available, the Kings need to jump in line and start shoving other teams out of the way. He would instantly improve the roster and give Sacramento another building block to work with.

NBA Draft: Best-ever No. 47 picks, where Kings will select in 2019

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USATSI

NBA Draft: Best-ever No. 47 picks, where Kings will select in 2019

The No. 47 pick might not seem like a spot to grab an impact player, but that's where the Kings will be selecting during Thursday's NBA draft. Luckily for Sacramento, there have been a few success stories with that pick that make for some interesting throwback stories.

Here are some of the best No. 47 picks in the history of the NBA Draft. 

Paul Millsap, PF, Jazz, 2006

Before Millsap was ever on an NBA court, he was making history. He became the only player in NCAA basketball history to lead the nation in rebounding for three consecutive years. 

Is that good? I think that's good. 

Across 13 seasons in the NBA with the Jazz, Hawks and Nuggets, Millsap has averaged 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He has also been selected to four All-Star teams and was named to the 2006-07 All-Rookie team. 

Mo Williams, G, Jazz, 2003

Williams was also drafted to the Utah Jazz -- but left a mediocre rookie season behind him before signing Milwaukee Bucks when as an unrestricted free agent. He fared well with the team, but it was his ability to come off the bench in the clutch making game-winning shots that set him apart from others. 

In his four-season stint with the Bucks, he averaged 14.1 points and in December 2006, he recorded his first triple-double against the Miami Heat. 

Mike Gale, G, Bulls, 1971

Gale's background is similar to that of George Gervin, who we outlined as the best-ever player selected with the No. 40 pick. Well, minus the insane numbers, the Hall of Fame induction, and the 12 All-Star selections.

[RELATED: How Kings can use their three second-round picks]

But Gale did play for the San Antonio Spurs in both the ABA and the NBA. That's the only similarity between the two. 

Across his 13-year career, Gale tallied 6,203 career points and 3,146 career assists, and he won the 1974 ABA Championship while with the New York Nets.