Sacramento Kings

Pacific Notes: McDonough, Kings, Brown

The month of August will see GM Ryan McDonough transition to a new role with the Suns, with him taking over the responsibilities of departing president of basketball operations Lon Babby, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. “It’s good for everybody to make the change that we made,” Babby said. “In any good leader’s job, the most important thing you can do is plan for the next leader, the next succession. I think we’ve done that. This next year will give us a chance to transition, not only with Ryan but also with Trevor [Bukstein, assistant GM] and Pat [Connelly, assistant GM] and our entire basketball-operations staff. I would not have proposed this to Robert [Sarver, Suns managing partner] unless I had complete confidence in the leadership we had. Ryan is constantly going into the role and extraordinarily impressively.”

Here’s more from the Pacific Divsion:

  • The Kings have officially announced the hiring of Chad Iske as associate head coach and John Welch, Anthony Carter, and Nancy Lieberman as assistant coaches on George Karl‘s staff.
  • It would take a “massive breakdown” in Phoenix for the Suns to trade Eric Bledsoe, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Conflicting reports had painted a confused picture of whether the Suns were talking about trading Bledsoe around draft time, but Kyler hears there’s nothing to his trade candidacy.
  • Alec Brown, who was the No. 50 overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Suns, has officially signed with the Spanish team Obradoiro, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Brown made 17 appearances during the 2014/15 campaign with Phoenix’s D-League affiliate in Bakersfield, averaging 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per contest.

Sixers Likely To Move Carl Landry

The Sixers are looking to move veteran forward Carl Landry, who apparently doesn’t factor into the franchise’s plans for next season, Jake Fischer of SI Now reports (Twitter link). Philadelphia intends to try and trade Landry, and falling short of that, will look to reach a buyout arrangement with the player or waive him outright, Fischer notes.

Landry, 31, is set to earn $6.5MM for each of the next two campaigns, and was acquired by the Sixers as part of the trade that garnered the franchise shooting guard Nik Stauskas. The other veteran big man obtained in that deal, Jason Thompson, was dealt today to the Warriors in exchange for Gerald Wallace.

The veteran forward appeared in 70 contests for the Kings during the 2014/15 season, averaging 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 0.4 assists in 17.0 minutes per game. Landry’s career numbers through eight NBA seasons are 10.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 0.7 APG, and he owns a slash line of .534/.176/.788.

Kings Eye Hedo Turkoglu

The Kings have emerged as a possibility for free agent Hedo Turkoglu, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Friend and former teammate Vlade Divac is in charge of Sacramento’s front office as vice president of basketball and franchise operations.

The 36-year-old who spent the past two seasons with the Clippers wouldn’t rule out retirement or playing overseas when he spoke about two months ago, but Wojnarowski indicates that the Jim Tanner client now wants to continue his NBA career. He averaged 3.7 points in 11.4 minutes per game across 64 appearances for the Clippers this past season, but he saw only 5.0 MPG in the playoffs, and it’s unclear if the Clips want the 15-year veteran back. Chatter has been scarce about NBA interest in Turkoglu this summer.

Sacramento has 14 fully guaranteed contracts, plus David Stockton on a non-guaranteed deal. The Kings preserved a measure of flexibility when they waived Eric Moreland earlier this week, in advance of Saturday, when his contract was to become fully guaranteed.

Pacific Notes: Lieberman, Moreland, Durant

10:28pm: The Kings and Lieberman have reached an agreement, Lieberman tells Voisin (Twitter link).
7:29pm: The NBA will boast multiple female assistant coaches for the first time this season, as the Kings are expected to hire Hall of Famer and women’s basketball pioneer Nancy Lieberman to head coach George Karl‘s staff, reports Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Kings VP of franchise and basketball ops Vlade Divac told Voisin today that he’ll make Lieberman an offer, and she said to Voisin that she’ll accept it.
“George and I talked about bringing her back after she helped us at summer league,” Divac said. “She was terrific. She brings a different dimension. I think [it’s] a nice opportunity for her.”
She’ll join Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, the head coach of the Las Vegas Summer League champs, who became just the second female NBA assistant coach ever last summer, and the first to hold such a position full-time. Lieberman has previously served as head coach of the Mavs D-League affiliate. Here’s more from around the Pacific Division:
  • The Kings decided one-year veteran Eric Moreland‘s playing style was too similar to that of No. 6 pick Willie Cauley-Stein, helping prompt Sacramento to waive Moreland on Thursday rather than guarantee his salary, as Shams Charania of RealGM writes. Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee wouldn’t be shocked to see Moreland end up with Denver, where former Sacramento GM Pete D’Alessandro, who signed him to the Kings last year, works in the Nuggets front office, but Bill Herenda of CSN California heard early word suggesting that won’t happen (Twitter links).
  • The Warriors will surely chase Kevin Durant next summer, when he’s set for free agency, but realistically, they’d have to sign-and-trade for him, and such a deal would probably have to include Harrison Barnes plus more, as Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group posits in a look at Golden State’s chances for the former MVP.
  • Golden State has promoted Luke Walton to lead assistant to replace Alvin Gentry, the team announced. Gentry became the head coach of the Pelicans earlier this summer. Walton joined the Warriors coaching staff last year.
  • The Suns have officially added Earl Watson, Nate Bjorkgren and Jason Fraser to their coaching staff, the team announced. Watson and Fraser come from the Spurs D-League team while Bjorkgren had coached Phoenix’s D-League affiliate. Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group first reported the addition of Watson, who helped with the Suns’ pitch to LaMarcus Aldridge, his former teammate with the Trail Blazers.

DeAndre Kane Signs In Germany

Germany’s Ratiopharm Ulm announced the signing of guard DeAndre Kane, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes.   The Hawks had Kane on their Summer League team this year and had plans to discuss a free agent deal with the 26-year-old, but that apparently won’t be taking place.

The Celtics, Kings, and Jazz all had their eyes on Kane back in January while he was playing for the Antwerp Giants in Belgium.  However, due to a contract that ran through the remainder of the NBA season, he wasn’t eligible to come over as an in-season addition.

In his senior season at Iowa State, Kane averaged 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.9 assists across 36 games.  After helping to vault the Cyclones to the Sweet Sixteen, Kane hit the workout circuit hard and auditioned for a number of teams, including the Kings and Jazz.

Kane first established himself as an intriguing prospect at Marshall, where he played his first three seasons of collegiate ball.  He also made a transfer of sorts in his first year overseas – Kane signed on with Russia’s Krasny Oktyabr but joined up with Antwerp following his November release.

Kane averaged 14.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 5.4 APG in the EuroChallenge last season.

Kings Waive Eric Moreland

1:15pm: The move is official, the team announced.

12:08pm: The Kings are placing Eric Moreland on waivers rather than guarantee his salary, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). His minimum salary would become fully guaranteed if the Kings don’t release him by the end of Saturday, as the schedule of guarantee dates shows.

The big man who went undrafted out of Oregon State in 2014 saw only two minutes of NBA regular season action before a labral tear in his left shoulder knocked him out for the rest of the season around New Year’s Day. Sacramento had signed him to a three-year partially guaranteed deal for the minimum salary before the season, but no guaranteed money remains on the pact. The 6’11” 23-year-old put up fairly impressive rebounding numbers in seven games while on D-League assignment, averaging 12.7 boards in 28.7 minutes per contest.

The news of Moreland’s impending release is probably an auspicious sign for Kings point guard David Stockton, even though he plays a different position. Sacramento is carrying 14 fully guaranteed contracts, and Moreland would have become the 15th if the Kings had kept him this weekend. That means Stockton, whose salary wouldn’t become guaranteed until January, has an opening on the regular season roster to fight for.

Who do you think has a better shot to stick in the NBA, Eric Moreland or David Stockton? Leave a comment to let us know.

Pacific Notes: Hibbert, Crawford, Cousins, Evans

Lakers trade acquisition Roy Hibbert is excited to play for coach Byron Scott, and while he cautioned that he has nothing against Pacers coach Frank Vogel, the center made it clear as he spoke with TNT’s David Aldridge that his preference this summer was to end up on a team with a former player as coach. Hibbert also expressed his unwavering sentiment for Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird, even though Bird strongly signaled to the media this spring that he was ready to move on from the former All-Star.
Larry was very up front with me,” Hibbert said. “He said before the press conference that I can’t promise you minutes next year, and they wanted to go in a different direction. So it wasn’t like what happened came out of nowhere, what he said. I’ll always say that Larry changed my life. I was on the phone with my agent in the office during the [2009] draft process and Larry said ‘If Roy’s there at 17, we’ll take him.’ That meant a lot to me. I know that things change and the NBA is ‘What have you done for me lately?,’ but I could never say a bad thing about Larry or the Pacers organization.”
We had more on Hibbert’s old team earlier today, and now here’s the latest on his new team’s division rivals:

Western Notes: Smith, Kings, Durant

Russ Smith‘s minimum salary became fully guaranteed at the end of Saturday when the Grizzlies elected not to waive him. He’d had a $150K partial guarantee on that salary that he picked up July 15th, as the schedule of salary guarantee dates shows.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Kings are parting ways with analytics guru Dean Oliver, Bill Herenda of CSN California confirms. This move is not necessarily an indication that the team is moving away from a data-driven approach. Sacramento is looking to hire someone to replace Oliver, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The reason behind the move is that vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac wants to assemble his own hand-picked front office cabinet, Stein adds (Twitter link). It was reported yesterday that former Kings star Peja Stojakovic received an offer to join the front office.
  • Kevin Durant, who is still recovering from his foot surgery that ended his season, will visit the team USA minicamp next month in Vegas and clearly wants to be part of the program, Sam Amick of USA Today reports (Twitter link). The Olympic games will be in August of 2016, which is roughly a month after Durant is eligible to sign a new contract.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Kings Rumors: Stojakovic, Divac, Jackson

Former Sacramento All-Star Peja Stojakovic has received an offer to join the organization’s front office, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. VP of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac reportedly asked Stojakovic to assist him in a player personnel role. Stojakovic worked as a consultant to Divac during summer league, Stein notes. Divac and Stojakovic were teammates on the Kings and in international play.

There’s more out of Sacramento:

  • The Kings may have to wait few weeks for Stojakovic’s decision, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. “I asked him to join me,” Divac said, “and in September we’ll probably know.”
  • Another former Divac teammate could be in line for a job, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). Divac is reportedly trying to convince ex-Kings guard Bobby Jackson to accept a role with the organization.
  • Sacramento has taken some ridicule for its offseason moves, but Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders argues that the organization is daring to be great. The Kings have formed a potentially unstable mix by adding free agent Rajon Rondo and coach George Karl to an unhappy star in DeMarcus Cousins, who has been the subject of trade rumors, but Divac contends that every move is about building a winner. The team assembled its newly signed free agents on a private plane to summer league games in Las Vegas and emphasized the need for everyone to put aside personal interests and do what’s best for the franchise.

Pacific Notes: James, Rivers, Lakers, Kings

Summer league point guard Mike James impressed the Suns, but the team doesn’t seem to have a need for another point guard, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Multiple teams are in pursuit, according to Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link), but he’s under contract with Laboral Kuxta Vitoria in Spain, Coro points out, suggesting that it would likely require a guaranteed deal with an NBA team to make it worthwhile for him to exercise his buyout clause. James, who’s not to be confused with the 12-year veteran by the same name, is inclined to play one more season in Spain, Charania adds.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Austin Rivers‘ brief tenure with Relativity Sports has met an end, tweets Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal. Rivers joined the agency after splitting with David Falk this past season. Relativity represented him as he came to a two-year deal for nearly $6.455MM to stay with father Doc Rivers and the Clippers.
  • The deals that Caron Butler, Quincy Acy, and Seth Curry agreed to with the Kings are all two-year, minimum salary arrangements that are fully guaranteed the first year and include player options for the second season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • The performance of the Lakers‘ Summer League squad was underwhelming, leaving some around the league skeptical of the long-term future of a number of the team’s younger prospects, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. “You don’t want to draw any conclusions from a few summer games obviously,” one league executive told Deveney. “But I think in general, the way to put it is that they probably value their assets more than the rest of the league values them. Everyone gambles on young guys. You just don’t know. For [the Lakers], they could all turn out to be fine, but they’re a long way from that now.
  • The new Kings arena cleared another legal hurdle Friday, as a judge issued a ruling in favor of the city of Sacramento and against plaintiffs who asserted that the team and the city struck a side deal, writes Tony Bizjak of The Sacramento Bee. The arena is already under construction.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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