Kings Notes: Huerter, Ellis, Vezenkov, Monk

Kings shooting guard Kevin Huerter suffered a left shoulder injury in Monday’s game against Memphis and there are concerns that he could miss the rest of the regular season, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Huerter had to leave the game after being fouled by Desmond Bane, and he was ruled out for tonight’s contest at Toronto.

The Kings are likely exploring treatment options for Huerter before making a formal statement on his prognosis, according to Anderson, who cites a 2020 study by the National Library of Medicine showing that NBA players are typically sidelined for 3.6 weeks with shoulder subluxations and 7.6 weeks with shoulder dislocations. Anderson notes that a four-week absence would keep Huerter out until the start of the playoffs, while an eight-week absence would have him returning in mid-May in the midst of the conference semifinals.

Huerter is a valuable part of Sacramento’s offense, averaging 10.2 PPG in 64 games this season while shooting 44.3% from the field and 36.1% from three-point range.

There’s more on the Kings:

  • Coach Mike Brown plans to start Keon Ellis while Huerter is unavailable, Anderson adds. Ellis, who had his two-way contract converted to a multi-year deal last month, has started six games and the Kings have won them all. “Obviously, with this team, it’s always next-man up mentality,” De’Aaron Fox said. “We have to be ready to play without Kev if it is some type of long-term thing, and I think everybody is confident in Keon. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, the minutes he’s been providing the last few games, especially since he’s been back in the rotation, have been great.”
  • Sasha Vezenkov isn’t quite ready to return from his right ankle sprain, Anderson tweets. The first-year power forward, who hasn’t played since February 9, had been upgraded to questionable for tonight, but the team opted to give him another night off.
  • In an interview with Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Malik Monk explains the career arc that has made him the favorite for Sixth Man of the Year honors as well as his decision to leave the Lakers and sign with the Kings as a free agent in 2022. “I feel like the organization needed a turnaround,” Monk said. “I feel like they needed new faces here. I feel like I could bring an energy that Sac had been waiting for since (DeMarcus Cousins) left. And my homie is here, my best friend here. Fox. This was going to be the most comfortable fit for me. Because leaving Los Angeles, a big city, coming here slows everything down. Slow pace. Now I can just focus on my craft. It’s been working for me.”
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