Kings

Zach Randolph: Kings training camp profile

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Zach Randolph: Kings training camp profile

No one was more consistent on the offensive end for Sacramento than Zach Randolph last season. He fought back father time as long as possible and then finished the season as a spectator when the Kings went young.

Nothing is guaranteed in season two as a King for Randolph. The 37-year-old forward cashed in with the Kings, signing a two-year, $24 million deal in 2017. He’s owed $11.7 million this season, making him difficult to move via trade.  

The Kings plan to go young this year from the opening tip. That doesn’t bode well for Z-Bo, who is nearly twice the age of Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles III. 

Strengths

Randolph is a legendary tough guy that brings a grit and a personality to the floor. As he’s advanced as a player, he’s focused more on his perimeter game, extending all the way to the 3-point line where he shot an impressive 34.7 percent last season. 

Still a reliable scorer in the post, the Kings turned to the 17-year NBA veteran on countless occasions last season to help steady the ship. Randolph shot 63 percent at the rim and 50.9 percent inside of 10 feet last season. 

While he struggles to get off the floor, Randolph still managed to post 9.5 rebounds per 36 minutes last season by positioning and using his strength on the blocks.

On the defensive side of the ball, Randolph’s physical limitations hurt the team in transition and against quicker players. He can still hold his position in the post, but as a defender, he’s not a great option.

Weaknesses

The Kings went out and drafted a Ferrari to play the point guard and then paired him with a mack truck. Randolph is too slow to play in the uptempo offense the team hopes to transition to this season and would be better suited playing for a team that place a more methodical half court game.

As his game has moved away from the basket, Randolph’s field goal percentage and free throw attempts have steadily declined. He posted 2.2 assists per game last season, which is well above his career average, but he’s not a natural passer. 

Father time is undefeated. Randolph is stationary on both ends of the court. He can still score in bunches and get a rebound when you need it, but he can’t defend more athletic fours.

Path to Improvement

There is no way to turn back the hands of time. By adding the 3-point shot, Randolph extended his NBA career for few extra seasons, but even that has its limitations. 

The only path for improvement this season for Randolph is taking on an even larger role as a leader and locker room influence behind the scenes. With a fleet of young bigs, the Kings need Randolph to become more of a coach than a player and help teach the ins and outs of being a professional and the finer nuances of NBA post play. 

Projection

This is a complex situation. If the primary focus was just on wins, Randolph could still play 18-20 minutes per game and put up numbers. The Kings are going to run and gun and it’s hard to imagine Z-Bo keeping up. 

Bagley, Giles and Willie Cauley-Stein are the future and the present. Nemanja Bjelica fits the role of stretch four and Skal Labissiere is going to need some minutes as well. It’s a crowded front line and we haven’t even mentioned veteran Kosta Koufos. 

Z-Bo started 57 games and played 25.6 minutes per night last season for Dave Joerger. It would be shocking to see that again this year. Things can change, but Randolph’s court time should be limited this offseason barring a series of injuries or a complete collapse of scheme.

Kings' Buddy Hield fined $25K for kicking ball into stands vs. Celtics

Kings' Buddy Hield fined $25K for kicking ball into stands vs. Celtics

Buddy Hield has to write a check for $25,000 to the NBA.

The league announced Monday that it has fined the Kings shooting guard for kicking the game ball into the stands after the win over the Celtics on Sunday.

The incident occurred as the Kings were celebrating their thrilling 100-99 victory over the best team in the Eastern Conference.

After Marcus Smart's shot rolled off the rim at the buzzer, the ball bounced out in the direction of midcourt. Hield, running towards the Kings' bench to celebrate with his teammates, punted the ball into the stands.

[RELATED: Kings troll Boston Globe on incorrect tweet]

Replays sent out by the league show the ball tailing over the Kings bench and into the crowd. No word on if anyone was hit by the ball.

Kings troll Boston Globe for mistakenly tweeting Celtics beat Sacramento

Kings troll Boston Globe for mistakenly tweeting Celtics beat Sacramento

Doug Christie and Grant Napear were on the edge of their seats. The Boston Globe was ready to press send. 

Football is a game of inches, and as the Celtics learned Sunday, basketball is a game of bounces. 

Marcus Smart's game-winning floater attempt hit the rim, rolled around and dropped off to give the Kings a wild 100-99 win at Golden 1 Center, snapping Boston's 10-game win streak.

We've all wished Twitter had an edit button, and the Globe certainly could have used one as the ball rattled off the rim. The Kings, of course, took notice. 

The Globe quickly corrected themselves, but this is the internet. Once you've pressed send, there's no going back. 

Really, though, this ending was pure chaos for a Kings win. 

A game of bounces, folks.