The Kings‘ decision to take big men in the first round of the draft may force them to make an aggressive offer to free agent point guard Rajon Rondo, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento traded down with its first pick and took center Georgios Papagiannis at No. 13, then later added forward Malachi Richardson at No. 22 and forward/center Skal Labissiere at No. 28. The selections leave the Kings with holes on the roster, Jones notes, and could make them desperate to keep Rondo, who led the NBA in assists this season.
There’s more news from the Pacific Division:
- Kings GM/executive Vlade Divac said his team is “set” in the front court after draft night, Jones tweets. Divac adds that he is open to re-signing Rondo.
- Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak hopes to surround all his young talent with some veteran leaders, posts Baxter Holmes on ESPN Now. L.A. selected Brandon Ingram on Thursday to team with D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson, if he re-signs with the team. “History tells you that a bunch of young guys on the team is probably not a good thing,” Kupchak said. “They look around for leadership or they look around for advice from somebody who’s been through this a couple times, and if there’s nobody to talk to, well, you don’t know how to handle the situation. So I think we will look to add some veteran leadership and hopefully it’s not only leadership but guys who can help us win games.”
- The Suns feared Dragan Bender wouldn’t be available later if they didn’t take him at No. 4, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix. The Suns thought Denver would take Bender at No. 7, which is why they nabbed him with the fourth pick and waited until No 8 to take Marquese Chriss.
- Even though they have limited cap room, the Clippers will make an effort to re-sign all their free agents, coach Doc Rivers told Rowan Kavner of NBA.com. “To a man, they all want to come back,” Rivers said. “Then there’s business. We’ll see once July 1st comes. It’s going to be interesting the way the cap’s going up. We have three Bird [Rights] guys we have a chance of signing [Jeff Green, Jamal Crawford and Luc Mbah a Moute], but they all may be — not all of them — but they may outprice and we can’t sign all three. But we’re going to try.”
The Suns will hire Tyrone Corbin as an assistant to head coach Earl Watson, tweets Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com. This is Corbin’s first coaching job since he was dismissed as head coach of the Kings midway through the 2014/15 season.
He started his coaching career in 2004/05 as an assistant with the Jazz. He was promoted to head coach in the middle of the 2010/11 season and compiled a 112-146 record in three and a half seasons.
Corbin landed an assistant’s job in Sacramento in 2014/15 and was appointed interim head coach when Michael Malone was fired. He held that position for 28 games, posting a 7-21 record, until the Kings hired George Karl.
Earlier this month, Corbin was mentioned as a candidate for the lead assistant’s position with Golden State.
Former Kings swingman James Anderson has reached an agreement with the Turkish club Darussafaka, international journalist David Pick reports (via Twitter). The contract details are unknown, though Pick does classify the deal as a long-term pact. It is also unknown if the contract contains an NBA-out clause.
Anderson will be joining former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, who is now head coach of Darussafaka. The 27-year-old opted out of his deal with Sacramento in May in order to become an unrestricted free agent. He was in line to earn $1,139,123 for the 2016/17 campaign.
The swingman made 51 appearances for the Kings this past season, including 15 starts. Anderson averaged 3.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 14.1 minutes per night while shooting .376/.267/.759 from the field.
- In his discussion of No. 13 overall pick Georgios Papagiannis on Thursday night, Kings GM Vlade Divac expressed optimism about bringing the Greek center to Sacramento for 2016/17, suggesting his buyout wouldn’t be a problem. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com confirms the buyout is worth a very manageable $500K, tweeting that the Kings should have no problem bringing Papagiannis to the NBA right away.
- As Kings general manager Vlade Divac explained after the draft, Sacramento was willing to trade down from No. 8 because the point guard the team wanted (Kris Dunn) was no longer available. The Kings when didn’t have a point guard rated high enough on their board to take on at No. 13 (Twitter link via Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee).
Each year, the draft brings questions about which foreign players are ready for the NBA immediately and which ones will remain overseas for a year or more. A few answers were provided tonight:
- Greek center Georgios Papagiannis, drafted 13th overall by the Kings, has a buyout cost with his Panathinaikos club, tweets Sean Cunningham of ABC10 in Sacramento. However, GM Vlade Divac says the price is manageable and promises Papagiannis will be with the Kings next season.
- French swingman Timothe Luwawu, whom the Sixers drafted at No. 24, plans to join the team next season, tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.
- Furkan Korkmaz, the Sixers‘ pick at No. 26, will not be in Philadelphia for 2016/17, according to international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). The Turkish forward will be stashed overseas for at least a year.
- The Lakers plan to have Croatian center Ivica Zubac on their roster next season, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. L.A. took Zubac with the second choice in the second round. He had received a “soft promise” from the Lakers if he fell to the 32nd pick, according to Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
- German small forward Paul Zipser will play for the Bulls during the 2016/17 season, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. Givony believes the 22-year-old can find a role in Chicago right away.
- Egyptian forward Abdel Nader of Iowa State, the Celtics‘ pick at No 58, has agreed to spend next season in the D-League, according to Givony (Twitter link). Players who agree in advance to be stashed in the D-League don’t count against the salary cap.
10:40pm: The Kings have officially announced the swap (via Twitter).
7:24pm: The Suns and Kings have agreed to a trade that will send the No. 8 pick to Phoenix, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter link), the pick will be Washington power forward Marquese Chriss.
In return, Sacramento will receive Bogdan Bogdanovic and the Suns’ pick at No. 13, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). Phoenix’s pick at No. 28 will also be included, along with a second-rounder in 2020, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. That second-round pick originally belonged to the Pistons (Twitter link).
Earlier today, Bogdanovic decided to remain in Turkey for another season before joining the NBA. That decision gives him the freedom to negotiate a salary in 2017, rather than being bound by a rookie contract, which would have happened if he had signed during this offseason.
The Celtics weren’t able to find “realistic deals” for the No. 3 pick, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. There was speculation that several teams, most notably the Sixers, were trying to acquire the pick to get their hands on Providence point guard Kris Dunn, but the Celtics never found an offer they liked. Instead, Boston used the pick to grab California power forward Jaylen Brown, whom the team intends to keep, according to Andy Katz of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said the team never came close to making a deal, tweets Adam Kauffman of WBZ News Radio in Boston. “We did not sniff a trade today,” Grousbeck said. “It was a collection of rip-off attempts, and we laughed at them.”
There’s more as draft night heats up:
- French power forward Guerschon Yabusele, the Celtics’ pick at No. 16, will probably be a draft-and-stash player, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.
- The NBA opt-out clause for Dragan Bender is $1.2MM, according to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link). The Croatian big man, who was selected fourth overall by the Suns tonight, will contribute to his release, says Pick.
- Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said his team received a lot of trade interest in the No. 2 pick, but was’t offered anything compelling enough to give up the rights to Brandon Ingram, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
- The Bulls will keep Denzel Valentine, who was their choice at No. 14, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Chicago had him ranked second on its draft board behind Dunn.
- Before they made their pick at No. 13, the Kings called the Pistons about the possibility of moving back to No. 18, but Detroit turned down the offer, reports Jake Fischer of Liberty Ballers (Twitter link).
- The Cavaliers, who currently don’t have a pick in either round, are trying to obtain a second-round choice, tweets Chris Haynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer.