Why Kings traded Dewayne Dedmon to Hawks for Jabari Parker, Alex Len


Why Kings traded Dewayne Dedmon to Hawks for Jabari Parker, Alex Len

SACRAMENTO -- We have a deal.

NBC Sports California has confirmed that Dewayne Dedmon and a pair of second-round draft picks are on their way to the Atlanta Hawks for forward Jabari Parker and center Alex Len.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first with the news.

This move officially ends the Dedmon era in Sacramento after just 50 extremely disappointing games. Sacramento signed the veteran center to a three-year, $40 million deal during the summer.

The 30-year-old big put up solid numbers with the Hawks last season, including 38.2 percent from long range. Sacramento saw the veteran as a perfect fit next to Marvin Bagley, but the duo never got off the ground.

Bagley broke his thumb in the opener and missed 22 games. Dedmon lasted four games as the starter before losing his job to Richaun Holmes.

In 34 games with the Kings, including 10 starts, Dedmon posted 5.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and shot just 19.7 percent from 3-point range. He demanded a trade last month and the Kings were finally able to work out a new home for the seven-year veteran.

The two players the Kings took back in the deal are both interesting and can help the team this season.

Parker, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, has bounced around over the last three seasons. He has a history of knee issues, but the Kings have shown interest in the 24-year-old in the past.

The Kings will use Parker with the second unit as a scoring option. He is averaging 15 points and six rebounds in 26.2 minutes per game with Atlanta and while he isn’t a great perimeter shooter, he is shooting 50.4 percent from the field this season.

Like Parker, Len is a former high lottery pick. Taken with the No. 5 overall selection in the 2014, the 7-footer out of the Ukraine is averaging 8.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 18.6 minutes per game this season.

Len is having a down shooting year from the perimeter, but he should be able to provide the Kings with some solid minutes backing up Holmes.

In addition to Dedmon, the Kings sent the Houston Rockets' 2020 second-round draft pick and the Miami Heat’s 2021 second-round draft pick. More importantly Sacramento got out from underneath Dedmon’s $13.3 million salary for next season as well as the $1 million buyout for the third year of his deal.

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Parker has a player option for $6.5 million next season and Len is an unrestricted free agent. The Kings saved roughly $2.7 million in salary this season, a minimum of $6.8 million in 2020-21 and another million in 2021-22.

More importantly, the Kings cleared out a disgruntled player that wasn’t even close to living up to his contract and the cost was a pair of late second round picks. Not a bad day's work for general manager Vlade Divac and his staff.

Programming Note: The "2020 NBA Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Thursday at 11:30am on the MyTeams app and on! Our NBA Insiders will analyze all of the news and rumors that could impact the Kings heading into the Noon deadline. Don’t miss it!

Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic worries NBA games without fans would be boring


Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic worries NBA games without fans would be boring

There is no guarantee that the NBA will be able to finish the 2019-20 season amidst the coronavirus pandemic. If they are able to pull off the tall task, there is a very good chance that the league will start out playing in empty buildings to ensure player and fan safety.

It is a difficult thought. The sound of sneakers squeaking and the ball bouncing, but nothing else. A referee’s whistle could be heard blocks away without 17,000-plus cheering bodies to dampen the noise. 

From the shot clock buzzer to the sound of Luke Walton’s baritone voice bellowing out commands, it’s all very strange to imagine. 

While the experience would be different for people on the outside looking in, this is how many NBA players grew up with the game. They started playing in front of parents at rec league games, but the real work came in their driveways, at local parks and in gymnasiums where they practice in front of a coach with a whistle.

On the latest edition of the Purple Talk Podcast, we caught up with Kings starting shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, and one of the topics of discussion was the idea of playing without fans. 

“I played in Serbia without fans and we were fighting,” Bogdanovic said. “So I got used to it a little bit.”

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Serbia or New Orleans or the Bahamas, it doesn’t really matter. It wasn’t until college that most of these players truly had the experience of playing in front of a packed house. It might take a game or two to get used to, but that might be the reality facing all professional sports in the near future. 

“It will be weird for sure,” Bogdanovic added. “It will feel like a practice game, not a real game.”

While the Kings are in the middle of a 13-season playoff drought, that doesn’t mean that fans aren’t still flooding into Golden 1 Center every game. Known as one of the most loyal and loud fanbases, Kings fans have an ability to energize the building. 

[RELATED: Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic shooting on neighbor's hoop during NBA shutdown]

For Bogdanovic, he equated the feeling to being in a battle. 

“The fans are something that brings that feeling like you are in a gladiator arena,” Bogdanovic said. “Imagine two gladiators fighting, or more, without fans. It would be boring.”

Bogdanovic is hoping to return to the court as soon as the league allows it, but he also has a strong perspective. He wants the fans to stay safe and if that means they have to watch the game through the television set while the team plays in an empty arena, then he understands.

We still are at least a month or more away from knowing what might happen this season, but all options are on the table. With any luck, there will be basketball, but what that might look like is a long way from being determined. 

Kings players provide meals to locals in need amid coronavirus pandemic

Kings players provide meals to locals in need amid coronavirus pandemic

The Kings are getting involved.

It started with a 5,000-pound food donation in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, but the team is stepping up to help both the local community and abroad.

Late last week the Kings offered up Arco Arena as a surge hospital and it is currently being transformed by the Army Corps of Engineers into a 400-bed facility. On Tuesday, we learned that Bogdan Bogdan, Nemanja Bjelica and Ana and Vlade Divac are sending aid to Serbia, including ventilators, masks and other medical supplies.

Bogdanovic is now joining Richaun Holmes, De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes in a new local venture, where the players are partnering to support local eateries while supplying over 1,000 meals to families in the Sacramento area.

“Since coming to Sacramento I have experienced firsthand how our community is truly one big family, so my teammates and I are committed to looking out for those in need and lending a helping hand,” Holmes, who initiated the plan, said via press release. “I am very thankful for my teammates in joining me to help bring smiles to others and get through this time together.”

The quartet of players are working with non-profits Juma Ventures and City Year, as well as Buckhorn Grill, Chicago Fire, Fixins Soul Kitchen and Jimboy’s Tacos, who will deliver food to those in need.

[RELATED: Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic shooting on neighbor's hoop during NBA shutdown]

“Sacramento is a huge part of my life and my career,” Bogdanovic told NBC Sports California when reached for comment. “We all said, ‘we have to give back to our community.’ We’re trying to help as much as we can. There are all of these people, most of who are fans, who are helping us during our games. Now it’s our time to help them”

The group has gone through local non-profits to find those in need and will have food delivered in the coming days. 

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