Yogi Ferrell signing is great value for the Kings


Yogi Ferrell signing is great value for the Kings

Money well spent. The Sacramento Kings jumped into the free agent market Friday afternoon, inking point guard Yogi Ferrell to a two-year, $6.2 million contract NBC Sports California has confirmed.

Ferrell had a deal in place to remain with the Dallas Mavericks, but pulled out after learning the specifics of the contract. The Kings jumped at the opportunity to add the talented 25-year-old, who went undrafted out of Indiana in 2016.

Why Ferrell?

Sacramento came into the summer of 2018 with a mountain of cap space and quickly found out that the market wasn’t ideal. Adding a player like Ferrell this late wasn’t expected, but it’s a very solid addition.

The 6-footer posted solid numbers for the Mavs last season, averaging 10.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 27.8 minutes per contest. More of a scoring guard than a pure point, Ferrell knocked down 37.3 percent from long range and 42.6 percent from the field overall.

Ferrell instantly gives Sacramento another ball handling option and a quality scorer off the bench. He loves to push the tempo and should fit in well with the current crop of young Kings players.

What does it mean for Frank Mason?

De’Aaron Fox is the face the of the franchise, so you can expect him to play the bulk of the minutes at the point guard spot. The remaining minutes will be fought over by Ferrell and 2017 second-round pick Frank Mason.

Mason struggled to separate himself from the crowd during both Sacramento and Las Vegas summer leagues. He led Vegas in assists per game, but he never really found a way to jump start the Kings’ offense.

Ferrell is more accomplished as an NBA player. Mason is the more accomplished NCAA player. Ferrell likely earns the first look as the reserve point guard behind Fox, which means Mason will pick up scraps and wait for his chance.

What is the financial impact of the deal?

After backing out of his deal in Dallas, Ferrell found a soft landing in Sacramento. He’s a budget addition for the Kings and will barely dent their salary structure in year one or two. Ferrell played in 82 games for the Mavericks during the 2017-18 season, including 21 starts. The Kings found an experienced, rotational player on the cheap.

With Ferrell signed, Sacramento still has roughly $17.5 million in cap space remaining, although they’ve maxed their roster at 15 players. The Kings have the ability to clear roster spots by waiving players like Deyonta Davis or Ben McLemore, both of whom were acquired in a trade this week. 

Now healthy, Bogdan Bogdanovic has lofty goals for Kings, including playoffs


Now healthy, Bogdan Bogdanovic has lofty goals for Kings, including playoffs

SACRAMENTO -- There are very few things worse for a player than sitting on the sidelines with an injury and having to watch. Watching your team lose and wondering if you could have helped. Watching your team win and wishing you were part of the magic.

Bogdan Bogdanovic wanted to play from the opening tip of the season. He had put in the time in the gym during the summer to ready his body for the rigors of an 82-game NBA schedule. He even had undergone a scope on his left knee to free up the joint, with the hopes of a pain-free sophomore campaign.

As the season approached, the 26-year-old wing joined the Serbian national team for a tune-up for the season. It was no different than playing in a pickup game at the Kings’ practice facility or playing some friends in a game of three-on-three.

Unfortunately for Bogdanovic, something unexpected happened during a World Cup qualifying game against Estonia. He felt discomfort in the knee, and upon returning to Sacramento for evaluation, it was determined that he would need a second procedure on the same knee.

While Bogdanovic anxiously awaited his return, the Kings got off to an unexpected fast start. He missed the first 10 games of the season, having to sit courtside while his teammates amassed a 6-4 record. 

When he finally got a chance to return to the court a week ago against the Toronto Raptors, he struggled, and so did his team, dropping the game 114-105. Still lacking medical clearance to play in back-to-back games, Bogdanovic sat out Friday’s win over the Timberwolves but returned to the court for the team’s loss to the Lakers on Saturday.

[RELATED: Bogdan shines in win over Spurs]

Bogdanovic finally looked like the player the Kings have grown accustomed to seeing in the team’s Monday win over the San Antonio Spurs. Coming off the bench, Bogdanovic posted a team-high 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting in 25 minutes. 

“It’s a great feeling, I cannot lie,” Bogdanovic said of being part of the win. “You can see it in my emotions. It’s a totally different feeling than when you’re playing bad and your team loses. It’s just different.” 

The Kings didn’t exactly turn over their roster this summer. A few veterans are gone, but the core of the team -- with the exception of Nemanja Bjelica, Marvin Bagley and Yogi Ferrell -- are almost the same.

Sacramento is finding success with young players and a new style of play. For Bogdanovic, the growth of the team’s team is exciting to see.

“It’s amazing how we suddenly improved from last year,” Bogdanovic said. “I remember we didn’t didn’t know some of the plays in the season -- ‘Where’s my spot, where should I be?’ I talk about everyone generally. And now I think we know the roles more and more.”

Bogdanovic remains on a minutes restriction, but he hopes to play in the Kings’ upcoming back-to-back on the road in Memphis and Houston on Friday and Saturday. Following that stretch, he hopes to be cleared for full duty moving forward.

[RELATED: Positives and negatives from the Kings' win over the Spurs]

After starting his rookie season 3-11 through 14 games, including a seven-game losing streak in the first two weeks, Bogdanovic has high hopes for the team this season.

“We are really trying to make the playoffs this year, and I know that sounds crazy for somebody, but that’s our motivation,” Bogdanovic said.

The Kings have a long way to go before people outside the locker room start talking about a potential playoff run. At 8-6, the team is playing much better than expected, and once Bogdanovic is completely cleared for regular duty, Sacramento will have another weapon to run out on the floor for major minutes.

Harry Giles sends message in Kings return after one-game G League stay


Harry Giles sends message in Kings return after one-game G League stay

SACRAMENTO -- Harry Giles is full of energy, and when he steps onto an NBA court, the excitement seems to get the better of the Kings rookie.

It’s a young player issue, and the big man is no ordinary young player. He fought through two major knee surgeries and thousands of hours of rehabilitation to get where he is today. After playing just 300 minutes over a three-year period, Giles has every reason to be amped up when he steps on the floor.

Fresh off a trip to the G League's Stockton Kings, Giles picked up some early run in the Kings’ win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night. Although he had a successful stint, Giles' opening minute looked very similar to some of his previous games.

Eighteen seconds into his first appearance off the bench, Giles traveled. On the next trip down, he nearly had the ball stolen, and then he seemed to wake up.

After bobbling the ball, Giles attacked his defender, flashed to the rim and missed a layup. He bounced right back up, grabbed the rebound and tipped the ball in.

[RELATED: Gregg Popovich notes Kings' drastic culture change]

It was aggressive. It was physical. It was the Harry Giles that everyone expected when the season opened in mid-October.

“I just need to slow down, man, and just know that you don’t have to be in a rush all the time,” Giles said. “The first time I was in the game, I actually had a turnover when Frank [Mason] threw the ball. After that, I was like OK, I know what I got to do now, and I applied it from there.”

It’s hard to live up to the hype. After Giles redshirted last season in Sacramento, the buzz surrounding the 20-year-old reached a fever pitch before he ever played a minute in the NBA. It only grew after he posted a solid summer league and preseason.

Giles wants to be great. He has worked hard just to be able to step on the court, but like most young players, the mental aspect of the game is getting in the way. He’s playing too fast and compounding his mistakes by forcing the action.

The former top prep prospect played in 10 of the first 14 games for the Kings, averaging 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per night. His numbers were limited because of foul and turnover trouble, as well as an abundance of big bodies on the roster in Sacramento.

After seeing very limited time over the last eight games, the Kings sent Giles to the G League on Sunday. He dominated the action, scoring 30 points in just 23 minutes.

Being sent down to the G League usually can go one of two ways with a young player. They either accept the opportunity and try to improve their game, or they sulk and it becomes a negative in their development.

For Giles, it seemed to wake him up and motivate him to find his game quickly at the NBA level when given a chance.

“It gave me a new charge, a new energy, just playing where I was at,” Giles said of his stint in Stockton. “I got some things done, but it just kind of set off a different fire in me to just do what I want to do up here. I’m just trying to be up here.”

The way the Kings currently are playing, everyone has an opportunity to shine during a game. The uptempo style creates an abundance of shots. So far this season, the Kings have shared the wealth, and everyone has had an chance to shine.

Giles can easily fit into this style of play. He’s athletic and strong, and his ability to create for others eventually will help open up the floor.

[RELATED: Two positives, two negatives from Kings' win over the Spurs]

Against the Spurs, Giles finished with a career-best 12 points and added six rebounds in 16 minutes of play. He also played solid defense on All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.

“It was great,” De’Aaron Fox said of Giles’ performance. “He was real comfortable, real confident. Sometimes that’s really all you need. Sometimes it’s all about confidence.”

The Kings have a three-day break in the schedule to rest up and work out some of the kinks. When the team hits the road for a back-to-back in Memphis and Houston later in the week, don’t be surprised to see Giles in the rotation and building off his strong performance against the Spurs.