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.”