HOUSTON -- Minutes before the Sacramento Kings faced the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday evening, a pair of players flew in to join the team. Cody Demps and Caleb Swanigan, fresh off a playoff run with the Stockton Kings, weren’t in time to suit up in the Big Easy, but both are available Saturday in Houston.
Swanigan played in 45 games over the last two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers before joining the Kings via trade at the deadline. But for Demps, this is the first time he will put on an NBA uniform and sit on the bench.
The achievement isn’t just Demps’. He is attempting to become the first Sacramento State alumni to see action in an NBA game.
“It’s crazy, it’s basically a dream come true,” Demps told NBC Sports California during pregame in Houston. “Growing up in Sacramento, seeing the Kings growing up. I’m just trying to take every moment as it comes and try to just live in the moment.”
Demps signed a 10-day contract on March 22 which will run out following the current road trip. There is no early word on whether Sacramento will extend a second 10-day to finish off the season.
With the team shorthanded, there was an opportunity to at least get Demps on the active roster for the evening. Whether he gets game action or not likely depends on the score of the game.
“It’s going to be amazing,” Demps said of walking out onto the Toyota Center floor in uniform. “Even just looking at my uniform now and seeing Demps on the back of a Sacramento Kings jersey is just crazy to me.”
The Kings were impressed with Demps’ versatility in Stockton. They had multiple injuries throughout the year and the 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard was able to step in and fill in different roles for the team.
“I try to be useful in any way possible, whatever they ask me to do, basically that’s what I’ve done for the Stockton Kings this year,” Demps said.
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Playing a variety of positions for the Kings’ G League affiliate, Demps notched 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 30.7 minutes per game.
Before playing at Sac State, Demps attended Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, just outside of Sacramento.