Marvin Bagley

Kings takeaways: What we learned in dominant preseason win vs. Jazz

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USATSI

Kings takeaways: What we learned in dominant preseason win vs. Jazz

BOX SCORE

Every game is an opportunity to get better. On Monday night in Salt Lake City, the Kings got better.

Sacramento pushed the tempo early and often and ran the Utah Jazz off the court in a 128-115 win. The Kings scored 78 points in a wild first half of action to take a big lead after 24 minutes. 

Donovan Mitchell led the way for Utah, scoring 22 points in 28 minutes. Rudy Gobert added 17 points and six rebounds, but the Jazz’s duo weren’t nearly enough to keep up with the high-powered Kings. 

Here are three takeaways as the Kings improved to .500 this preseason.

Buddy and Bags

The Kings can flat-out score the ball, which the Jazz were reminded of on their home court. While six Sacramento players scored in double figures, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley stood out.

Hield used a variety of moves to create space and hit open jumpers. He finished with 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting, including three 3-pointers. Hield also chipped in five assists and grabbed three rebounds in the win. 

With Hield launching from the perimeter, Bagley went to work inside. The 20-year-old power forward posted a second straight double-double, scoring 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go with 11 rebounds and two blocks.

Plan C

De'Aaron Fox is the Kings' "Plan A" at point guard, while veteran Cory Joseph is "Plan B." With Joseph missing his third straight game with a calf injury and Fox sidelined with a sore back in the third quarter, coach Luke Walton might have revealed Sacramento's "Plan C" -- and it wasn't Yogi Ferrell.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Kings’ Swiss army knife, stepped in alongside Hield and went to work. Bogdanovic initially put his scoring on hold and set up his teammates for a team-high eight assists in 28 minutes of action. 

The Kings’ sixth-man got going late to chip in 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting, and he grabbed five rebounds to add to the big night.

[RELATED: Kings' switching defense dependent on better communication]

Switch

While the offense outburst was impressive from the Kings, the focus continues to be on the defensive end. After installing a base defense in the opening days of camp, Walton and his staff began integrating some switching principles over the last few days.

Due to their size, athleticism and shooting ability, the Jazz is a difficult team to switch on. That didn’t stop the Kings from trying it at times Monday. 

The Jazz managed to score 115 points on the Kings while shooting 48.8 percent from the field. Of course the Kings were successful on the offensive end as well, hitting a very good Jazz team for 128 points. 

It’s clear the Kings defense is behind the offense, but they're building chemistry and showing signs of improvement.

Kings vs. Jazz watch guide: Projected lineups, injuries, player usage

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AP

Kings vs. Jazz watch guide: Projected lineups, injuries, player usage

The Sacramento Kings get their first look at a revamped Utah Jazz team Monday evening when they travel to Salt Lake City. A 50-win team last season, the Jazz bolstered their roster with Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic during the summer and look primed to jump into the contender conversation.

Sacramento is fresh off a win over the Phoenix Suns and are looking to move to .500 on the preseason. The Kings also made substantial changes in the offseason as they try to snap their 13-year playoff drought.

Tip is set for 6 p.m. PT at Vivint Smart Home Arena, although the game is not available on television.

The Kings return home following the contest to face Melbourne United in their final preseason game Wednesday at Golden 1 Center.

Where to Watch: Game is not televised

Line: Jazz by 4.5

Projected Starting Lineup

Kings

PG De’Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Harrison Barnes
PF Marvin Bagley
C Dewayne Dedmon

Jazz

PG Mike Conley
SG Donovan Mitchell
SF Bojan Bogdanovic
PF Royce O’Neale
C Rudy Gobert

Injury Report

Kings

PG Cory Joseph (calf) OUT, SF Trevor Ariza (lipoma) OUT, C Harry Giles (left knee soreness) OUT, PG Tyler Ulis (groin) OUT, PF Tyler Lydon (hip) OUT, F Hollis Thompson (hip) OUT.

Jazz

PG Danté Exum (right knee rehab) OUT, F Juwan Morgan (left ankle sprain) QUESTIONABLE, PG Emmanuel Mudiay (left hamstring soreness) QUESTIONABLE.

What to Watch

Bagley vs. The Stretch 4

Marvin Bagley’s move into the starting lineup is going to create matchup issues. Sometimes it will be good for the Kings, but other times, he might be a liability, at least until he figures out how to guard stretch fours on a consistent basis. Utah runs a group of sharpshooters at power forward, including Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jeff Green.

Battle of the Backcourts

It doesn’t get much better than this. De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield are an up and coming duo that play at a breakneck pace. Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell are a perfect mix of veteran savvy and incredible athleticism. A floor general, a slasher, a shooter and an aerial acrobat.

Why De'Aaron Fox hopes Buddy Hield, Kings get contract extension done

Why De'Aaron Fox hopes Buddy Hield, Kings get contract extension done

SACRAMENTO -- The clock is ticking.

Can the Sacramento Kings and shooting guard Buddy Hield agree on a long-term contract extension before the Oct. 21 deadline, or must he play out this season and enter the summer as a restricted free agent?

Hield has been vocal about remaining in Sacramento, and he even might be willing to take less than the maximum.

On Saturday afternoon, De’Aaron Fox lent his support to his starting backcourt mate.

“Everybody deals with their own, so it’s something I worry about, but obviously, I want to continue to play with a guy like that,” Fox told NBC Sports California. “For me, just hopefully they get it done.”

Fox and Hield built chemistry on the floor last season, and are developing into a dynamic backcourt. While Fox isn’t going to jump in and help out with negotiations, he'd like to keep Hield and the rest of the young core together in Sacramento and see if they can develop into something special.

“For sure,” Fox said when asked about the core staying together. “I think we have a lot of things that we can continue to get better at, and I think once everyone is at their peak, I think we’ll be a hell of a team.”

Hield is the first of the Kings' key players to go through the negotiating process with general manager Vlade Divac, but this is only the beginning.

Bogdan Bogdanovic is in the final year of his first NBA contract. While he falls under the league’s restrictions for rookie-scale contracts and can become a restricted free agent after this season, the Kings have until June 30 to work out an extension for the 27-year-old wing.

Divac and his staff also can begin negotiations on an extension with Fox next offseason, and Marvin Bagley is eligible for a new deal during the summer of 2021.

The Kings have decisions to make on other players as well, but their core four of Hield, Fox, Bogdanovic and Bagley are all due extensions over the next 24 months. Divac will have to balance the salary cap, as well as make decisions on which players will receive the team’s two “designated player” five-year extensions.

Hield and Divac were seen joking around together after practice Friday. If a deal isn’t done soon, those smiles might not last as we draw closer to the extension deadline.