Kings

Zach LaVine: 'Thank god the Bulls matched' Kings offer sheet

Zach LaVine: 'Thank god the Bulls matched' Kings offer sheet

High-flying wing Zach LaVine has the Kings to thank for his new deal with the Bulls. But he never wanted to come to Sacramento.

In a recent interview with NBC Sports Chicago's Vincent Goodwill, LaVine opened up about his restricted free agency.

For much of free agency, the Bulls and LaVine had been unable to come to an agreement on a deal. But on Friday, July 6, the Kings signed LaVine to a four-year, $78 million offer sheet. Within the hour, reports started to surface that the Bulls would match the offer sheet. Two days later, they made it official. LaVine would be returning to Chicago. Sacramento had missed out on another high-potential player.

LaVine is happy with the way things turned out.

“I never wanted to leave, that's the main thing. But business is business. The offer sheet happened and thank God the Bulls matched it. That's exactly what we wanted to happen. I never wanted it to get to that point," LaVine told Goodwill.

After missing out on LaVine, the Kings signed guard Yogi Ferrell and forward Nemanja Bjelica.

Legal experts explain why Luke Walton's accuser didn't speak to investigators

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USATSI

Legal experts explain why Luke Walton's accuser didn't speak to investigators

The NBA and the Sacramento Kings announced Friday the conclusion of their joint investigation into former Los Angeles TV reporter Kelli Tennant's allegations of improper sexual conduct against coach Luke Walton. 

In a press release sent by the Kings, the investigation found insufficient evidence to support Tennant's claims against Walton and the case is considered closed unless new evidence becomes available.

The Kings said that Tennant, through her counsel, chose not to participate in the investigation, despite numerous attempts.

But legal experts told the Sacramento Bee they weren't surprised Tennant and her legal team declined to sit down with investigators. 

“Lawyers generally don’t like it when their clients tell their stories multiple times,” Northwestern University law professor Deborah Tuerkheimer said. “I’m not surprised she decided to opt out.

Laura Beth Nielsen, a sociologist and legal expert at Northwestern who has studied the #MeToo movement also wasn't surprised. Nielsen says independent investigations of sexual harassment and assault cases by big companies such as the NBA have a reputation of taking sides of the employee. 

Nielsen described it as "a sort of circle the wagons, we want to have a defensive posture." 

According to the Kings, more than 20 individuals, including Walton, were interviewed during the course of the joint investigation, which was led by Sue Ann Van Dermyden, from the Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, and Elizabeth Maringer, senior vice president and assistant general counsel of the NBA.

Tennant, at an April news conference, said that Walton sexually assaulted her at a hotel room in Santa Monica when he was then an assistant coach on the Warriors. 

Walton has denied the allegations. 

“I am 100% focused on coaching the Sacramento Kings, and energized to work with this incredible group of players and coaches as we start the preseason,” Walton said in a statement. "I will have no further comment."

Kings' Harrison Barnes makes final Team USA roster for FIBA World Cup

Kings' Harrison Barnes makes final Team USA roster for FIBA World Cup

Team USA will feature one member of the Sacramento Kings after all in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, as the final roster was made official Saturday.

Both Marvin Bagley and De’Aaron Fox were among the finalists before both withdrew, citing a need to prepare for the 2019-20 NBA season. 

Barnes has competed for Team USA before, as he was part of the national team that won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.

There is, however, one more Northern California connection on the World Cup roster. Celtics forward Jaylen Brown played his one season of college hoops at Cal.

This team is a far cry from the initial roster projections, as just about every marquee player offered the chance to play seemed to withdraw from consideration due to injury or desire to rest, as the tournament will end just a few weeks before the start of NBA training camps.

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Barnes has started two of the three games during Team USA’s training trip in Australia, which included the program’s first international loss in more than a decade Friday night. 

Even with so many great players declining the opportunity to represent the Red, White, and Blue in the World Cup, Team USA is still favored, so look for Barnes to be bringing back some hardware to Sacramento.