Pacific Notes: Moneke, Barnes, Wiseman, Suns

After spending four professional seasons playing for teams in France and Spain, forward Chima Moneke got his first opportunity with an NBA team this past fall when he received a partially guaranteed contract from the Kings and made their regular season roster.

Although he was on Sacramento’s roster until early January, Moneke logged just eight total minutes in two games at the NBA level. The 27-year-old – who spent most of his time in the G League, appearing in 18 total contests for the Stockton Kings – admitted in a conversation with Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops that his NBA experience was a bit of a letdown.

“It wasn’t what I expected and it was disappointing, because I feel like up until the training camp started, at the end of September, I was there for two months and I was playing open gym with them, working out. I felt like I was really gonna be given an opportunity,” Moneke said. “But when the whole team got there and the training camp started, I felt like I wasn’t.

“… Getting sent to the G League… I tried to be positive about it, but in my heart, I knew that I just didn’t want to be there. I just wasn’t having fun playing in a big cold hockey arena with 20 people watching the game when I could have been playing in Europe with fans who care about the sport. Every time I was there it really hurt me. I tried to be positive but I knew in November that I didn’t want to be there.”

Waived by the Kings about three weeks ago before his 2022/23 salary became fully guaranteed, Moneke has since returned to Europe, completing a deal last week with AS Monaco.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Having been the subject of trade rumors while playing for losing Kings teams over the last few seasons, veteran forward Harrison Barnes tells Anthony Slater of The Athletic that it has been especially rewarding to see the team turn the corner this year. “A lot of these guys — Malik (Monk), Kevin (Huerter), Keegan (Murray) — just walk in here and all (they) know with Kings basketball is us winning a bunch of games, playing winning basketball,” Barnes said. “… But at the same time, you know how fragile that is. You have to continue to work to not get back to the other side.”
  • After missing the Warriors‘ last 11 games due to a left ankle sprain, center James Wiseman should be available on Wednesday. He’s listed as probable vs. Memphis, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
  • In the wake of the news that incoming Suns owner Mat Ishbia is expected to officially purchase the team in early February, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype explores what that could mean for the team at the trade deadline. Gozlan argues that Phoenix is in position to be one of the NBA’s biggest in-season buyers, since the club hasn’t traded away any of its future first-round picks.
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