First-round pick Justin Jackson is falling out of the Kings’ rotation with DNPs in two straight games, and Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee explains why in a mailbag column. Sacramento has opted for a smaller starting lineup with two point guards, free agent addition George Hill and rookie De’Aaron Fox. Garrett Temple has moved to small forward, where he shares time with Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield.
- The Kings could have solved their small forward problems by taking rookie sensation Kyle Kuzma in the draft, Jones states in the same piece. Sacramento brought Kuzma in for a pre-draft workout and saw his performance at the combine, but opted for Jackson with the 15th pick and Harry Giles at No. 20. Jones says fans should watch Giles in action before criticizing the pick. Giles is being held out until at least January because of his injury history with both knees.
- Second-year center Georgios Papagiannis can expect to spend most of this season in the G League, Jones adds. Joerger wants the 20-year-old to get plenty of playing time, which won’t happen with the NBA squad, where he is behind Kosta Koufos and Zach Randolph. Jones thinks Papagiannis will get a chance to show the Kings what he can do once the G League season ends. He was the 13th pick in the 2016 draft, but played just 22 games for Sacramento last season and four so far this year.
- Before earning his way into the Kings’ rotation four games ago, rookie point guard Frank Mason endured a lot of slights in his basketball career, Jones writes in a separate story. A second-round pick out of Kansas, Mason provides a defensive tenacity the team has lacked. “Even if they didn’t need a tough guy to come off the bench, that’s still who I am,” Mason said. “That’s what I bring to the team and I’ll continue to be that way and play that way forever.”