Mitch Richmond

NBA rumors: Kings' Marvin Bagley added to USA Select Team before World Cup


NBA rumors: Kings' Marvin Bagley added to USA Select Team before World Cup

SACRAMENTO -- Kings big man Marvin Bagley’s summer reportedly just got a little busier. USA Basketball tabbed the 20-year-old for its Select Team at an August training camp in Las Vegas ahead of September's FIBA World Cup, ESPN's Tim Bontemps reported Wednesday, citing league sources.

Bagley earned first team All-Rookie honors after posting 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in his first campaign with the Kings. He was limited to just 62 games due to left knee injuries, but the No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft is considered one of the team’s long-term building blocks.

In addition to Bagley, point guard De’Aaron Fox is likely to draw interest from the Select Team as well. The speedy guard turned heads in his sophomore season in Sacramento, and is a finalist for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. Fox was also a member of the 2015-16 USA Basketball men’s Junior National Team

Bagley isn’t the only current player from the Sacramento squad to have earned recognition with the national-team program. Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein participated in the Select Team during the summer of 2016 ahead of the Rio Olympics. 

Harry Giles won gold as a prep athlete at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship, 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship and 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

[RELATED: Giles plays special role in couple's wedding plans]

A pair of former Kings even won Olympic gold while they plied their trade in Sacramento. DeMarcus Cousins spent time in the national program with both the Select Team, and won a gold medal in Rio. Basketball Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond won gold at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta while playing for the Kings as well.

It’s a tremendous opportunity for Bagley to train under NBA legend Gregg Popovich alongside some of the league's bright young stars on the Select Team, and play against some of the greatest players in the world in practices. For some players, the Select Team is a stepping stone to earning a spot in major tournaments with USA Basketball. 

Buddy Hield close to setting new Kings' record in midst of career-year


Buddy Hield close to setting new Kings' record in midst of career-year

SACRAMENTO -- Buddy Hield is having quite the season for the Sacramento Kings. He’s averaging nearly 21 points per game in his third NBA season and completely changed the conversation about who and what he is as a player.

Hield is also having a historic run as a shooter. With 11 games remaining, Hield is just three 3-pointers shy of breaking the Kings’ all-time record for 3-point makes in a season, held by the current assistant general manager, Peja Stojakovic.

“It’s a good honor to get it, but Peja, what he’s done for this franchise has been terrific, it’s been special,” Hield said.

Stojakovic drilled 240 3-pointers during to the 2003-04 season. He not only led the league in triples, but he broke Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond’s franchise mark of 225 makes, which was set in 1996.

The former player turned exec has worked as a mentor behind the scenes, helping Hield take a huge step forward in his development.

“He’s always on me and he’s always on me about how to get better, how to get my shot off quicker, how to use my pump fake,” Hield said of Stojakovic. “He’s still today doing that. A lot of my success comes from talking to him and trying to test him and pick his brain. It would be great if I can get the overall franchise record in threes made.”

Hield has 238 makes on the season. He’s averaging a shocking 3.4 makes per and is on pace to match Damian Lillard’s NBA record of 599 made 3-pointers over the first three seasons of a players career.

[RELATED: Dirk Nowitzki raves about future of Kings]

The 26-year-old slinger has 562 makes over his first three seasons. He needs 37 more makes to snap the record. He’s already surpassed Klay Thompson’s 545 makes to move into second place all-time for most 3-pointers in the first three seasons, although Thompson’s rookie campaign was marred by 16 missed games due to the strike-shortened season of 2011-12.

Hield will need a few more seasons to track down Stojakovic’s franchise record of 1070 career makes from behind the arc.

Kevin Durant passes former Warriors, Kings star on all-time scoring list


Kevin Durant passes former Warriors, Kings star on all-time scoring list

Earlier this season, Kevin Durant eclipsed 20,000 career points.

On Wednesday, the Warriors forward passed a local legend for 40th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Durant entered the game against the Wizards trailing Mitch Richmond by three points. With a free throw at the 8:15 mark of the first quarter, Durant registered the 20,498th point of his career, passing Richmond's 20,497.

Durant went on to finish the first quarter with 16 points.

Spurs big man Pau Gasol currently ranks 39th on the all-time list. He will keep moving up with Durant. The pair should pass Hall of Famers George Gervin, David Robinson and Bob Pettit over the next few weeks.