Kings

Why Iman Shumpert looked for Jusuf Nurkic after Kings beat Trail Blazers

Why Iman Shumpert looked for Jusuf Nurkic after Kings beat Trail Blazers

SACRAMENTO -- We’ve got a beef. Or, maybe a missed opportunity for a conversation between two competitors.

Following the Kings' 115-107 win over the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night at Golden 1 Center, veteran wing, Iman Shumpert ventured over to the visiting locker room to have a chat with Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic.

According to Shumpert, he wasn’t looking for a fight, just a discussion with Portland’s center about a few plays that took place during the game. The two exchanged a few words on the court during the first quarter when Shumpert attempted to go around Nurkic on a screen near the top of the key.

“Some stuff just needs to be between me and him,” Shumpert said. “A conversation between two men. At the end of the day, this league is a bunch of men. A bunch of great men off the court. Some stuff happened that we needed to have a conversation about.”

Despite the media’s attempts to sort out the situation, Shumpert wasn’t biting.

“Y'all can review the game tonight,” Shumpert said. “The Scores was on. The Scores won. Everybody’s got a TV to watch the game. I just wanted to have a conversation with the man. Nothing malicious. Nothing crazy. I didn’t go over there and bombard the locker room.”

[RELATED: Vlade Divac reportedly puts foot down with some of Kings' minority owners]

Nurkic, 24, wasn’t available when Shumpert arrived, which helped defuse the situation. When asked about what was said on the court between the two, he didn’t exactly answer the question -- or put the disagreement to rest.

“I just said what I said. I’m not worried about him,” Nurkic said of the 28-year-old Shumpert. “I’m not worried about a guy who’s going into retirement soon.”

The two won’t have an opportunity to break bread for a while. Sacramento and Portland won’t face off again until April 10, the final game of the 2018-19 season.

If the first two matchups between the two teams is any barometer, it should be a lively evening at the Moda Center in Portland.

Why Kings need to go after Steven Adams if Thunder center is available

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USATSI

Why Kings need to go after Steven Adams if Thunder center is available

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.