Jahmi'us Ramsey

Kings Notes: Mitchell, King, Ramsey, Jackson

Rookie guard Davion Mitchell lived up to his defensive reputation as the Kings defeated the Celtics Tuesday to capture the championship in the Las Vegas Summer League, writes Jason Jones of The Atheltic. Jones suggests Mitchell could be a strong Rookie of the Year candidate, even without exceptional numbers on offense.

Mitchell showed he can be a difference-making defender during Baylor’s run to the NCAA title, and he brought that same intensity to Summer League play. In Tuesday’s game, he shut down Boston’s Payton Pritchard, who had been averaging 20.3 PPG in Vegas, holding him to six points.

“I think if my teammates see that, they’re going to want to play hard because I’m like the head of the snake,” Mitchell said. “So I’m going to be up there playing pressure defense, so my teammates are going to follow behind me. So I think if I lead by example and be myself in training camp, I can change the identity here.”

Sacramento was hoping to land Michigan’s Franz Wagner on draft night, according to Jones, but when the Magic took him one pick earlier, the Kings opted for Mitchell, the highest-rated player left on their board, even though they already have two ball-handlers in De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. They have confidence in Mitchell as a defender, even against bigger players, Jones notes, and plan to use a lot of three-guard lineups.

There’s more on the Kings:

  • The MVP of the title game was Louis King, who had 21 points and five steals, Jones states in the same story. A two-way player who played six games for Sacramento at the end of the season, King can provide size on the perimeter and showed he can play defense, which was a question coming into Las Vegas. “He’s got an edge about him and that’s why I like him,” Summer League coach Bobby Jackson said. “He’s confident. He understands where he wants to be at and what he wants to achieve.”
  • Another player who improved his standing was Jahmi’us Ramsey, a second-round pick in 2020 who got into just 13 games last season. The Kings weren’t sure if Ramsey would play in the Summer League because of injuries, but he was steady throughout and scored 16 points in the win over Boston.
  • Jackson, who was named head coach of the Kings’ G League affiliate in May, showed he’s ready for the job, observes James Ham of NBC Sports California. “I told them training camp was going to be hard, but I kept preaching teamwork, chemistry, having each other’s backs, defending at a high level, making other teams uncomfortable, and taking things away,” Jackson said.

Kings Notes: Bagley, Walton, Robinson, G League

The Kings are encouraged by Marvin Bagley III‘s performance through the first quarter of the season, but mostly they’re happy he has been able to avoid injuries, writes James Ham of NBC Sports. Bagley has appeared in all 18 of Sacramento’s games so far after being limited to 13 last year by a variety of mishaps.

“Just being able to be there for my team — available, that’s something that I wanted to do and I did everything in the offseason to make sure I was ready for that,” Bagley said. “I’m feeling good.”

There has been a cloud hanging over Bagley’s career, not only due to injuries but because of the Kings’ decision to draft him ahead of Luka Doncic and Trae Young, who have already been to All-Star games. Sacramento hopes better health will lead Bagley on a similar course.

“We have to be patient,” coach Luke Walton said. “He hasn’t had the experience he needs. He’s still a very young player. He’s a very willing learner. He’s a very talented player and it just takes time.”

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • Walton probably won’t have to worry about his job for a while, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. New general manager Monte McNair is still assembling his long-term roster, and Anderson thinks McNair will want to see what Walton can do with that group before making a decision on his coach. Anderson points out that the Kings have been through 10 head coaches in the past 15 years.
  • Glenn Robinson III is one of several NBA players with a father who played in the league, notes Alex Kramers of NBA.com. The swingman, who’s in his first year with the Kings, said he has learned to rely on that connection. “Throughout the years and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve appreciated my dad more and more,” Robinson said. “Obviously, we both have the same career, and I’m able to call him and get advice, on and off the court. That’s something that I can never replace. I’m forever grateful for that.”
  • Sacramento has assigned two players to the G League bubble, Anderson writes in a separate story. Because the Kings’ affiliate isn’t participating, they sent Jahmi’us Ramsey to play for the Clippers’ team (Agua Caliente) and Robert Woodard to the Spurs’ squad (Austin). Both are rookies who were selected in the second round of November’s draft.

Pacific Notes: Bridges, Ramsey, Lakers, Kings

Suns forward Mikal Bridges discussed a variety of topics with Spencer Davies of BasketballNews.com, including the early buzz for Most Improved Player, playing with Chris Paul and his relationship with Deandre Ayton.

Bridges, a 24-year-old defensive-minded player, has improved his offensive game and starts alongside Jae Crowder and Ayton in Phoenix’s frontcourt. He scored a career-high 34 points on 12-of-18 shooting (including 6-of-8 from deep) in the team’s game against Indiana a week ago, averaging 15.1 points per contest in 11 games so far this season.

“I was just hoopin’, man,” Bridges said of his performance. “Just playing basketball. Reading things, being aggressive, taking shots when I’m open. The Pacers do a lot of things out there, so still keying in on the other end, but just being more aggressive and taking the shots where I thought I could be aggressive.”

Phoenix has opened the season with a 7-3 record. The team’s last three games have been postponed because it didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available due to health and safety protocols, as noted in our new 2020/21 NBA Game Postponement Tracker.

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division today:

  • Kings guard Jahmi’us Ramsey will be re-evaluated in 2-to-3 weeks after undergoing an MRI that confirmed a left groin strain, the team announced. Ramsey, the No. 43 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, has only appeared in four games this season.
  • The Lakers have made the most of their somewhat limited time together, building their chemistry on the court to start the season, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register writes. COVID-19 has restricted teams this season, but at 11-3 (and five straight wins), the Lakers look to be maximizing their situation so far. “I think it’s all about having fun and being happy with your job,” Dennis Schroder said. “So I think everybody when they wake up, they like to come to work and I think that’s pretty important for us and I’ll always be on the sidelines and just talking and trying to get everybody engaged.”
  • De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton will likely be the only Kings players untouchable in trade talks this season, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee writes. Fox, 23, is coming off a season where he averaged 21.1 points and 6.8 assists per game, while Haliburton, 20, was drafted by the team No. 12 overall last fall.

Kings Sign Jahmi’us Ramsey To Three-Year Deal

12:05pm: The Kings have officially signed Ramsey, they announced in a press release.

10:27am: One of the last unsigned players from the 2020 draft, rookie guard Jahmi’us Ramsey has reached an agreement with the Kings on a three-year deal that includes two guaranteed seasons, sources tell Jason Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). Because it exceeds two years, the contract will be completed using a portion of Sacramento’s mid-level exception.

As a Texas Tech freshman in 2019/20, Ramsey averaged 15.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.3 SPG in 27 games (31.2 MPG), making an impressive 42.6% of his attempts from outside the three-point line. He left the Red Raiders in the spring to enter the NBA draft.

The terms of Ramsey’s deal are interesting, since the No. 43 overall pick looked like he might be a candidate to fill the Kings’ second two-way contract slot. Instead, he’ll become the 14th Sacramento player with a guaranteed salary for 2020/21.

[RELATED: 2020/21 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

The Kings can carry up to 15 players on their regular season squad – not counting two-way contracts – so the team isn’t facing a major roster crunch. Still, Glenn Robinson III, Frank Kaminsky, and Chimezie Metu have all joined the team on non-guaranteed deals, and it looks like there will only be one roster spot up for grabs for that trio unless Sacramento trades or cuts a player with a guaranteed salary.

Southeast Notes: Gordon, Magic, Hawks, Heat

Before the Trail Blazers reached an agreement with Houston to acquire Robert Covington in exchange for Trevor Ariza, this year’s No. 16 pick, and a protected 2021 first-round selection, Portland used similar assets to attempt to acquire Aaron Gordon from the Magic, according to Mitch Lawrence of SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link), who says Orlando didn’t bite.

Gordon is believed to be available, with one recent report suggesting the Magic are attempting to move up in the draft by attaching the forward to the No. 15 pick. However, it makes sense that Orlando would be lukewarm on an offer made up of an expiring contract and two mid-to-late first-rounders. If the Magic do move Gordon, they’d likely want to get an impact player in return, or at least create a path to land one  (ie. securing a high lottery pick).

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman confirmed on Monday that his team has explored the possibility of trading up or trading down in the draft, but said the “greatest likelihood” is that the club remains at No. 15, per Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel.
  • Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said something similar in his Monday conference call, suggesting that staying put at No. 6 is most likely for his club, followed by trading down. As Chris Kirschner of The Athletic relays, Schlenk also spoke about Atlanta shifting from “asset accumulation to hopefully talent accumulation” using its cap room this offseason, suggesting the team is no longer prioritizing accommodating salary dumps with its cap space.
  • Texas Tech guard Jahmi’us Ramsey conducted a personalized workout on Zoom with the Heat, he told reporters today (Twitter link via Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic). Ramsey added that he also did a Zoom workout that about 22 teams watched.

Heat Notes: Ramsey, Quickley, Draft, Crowder, More

Texas Tech guard Jahmi’us Ramsey and Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley are among the prospects whom the Heat have reached out to about potential in-person workouts, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

The club only holds the No. 20 pick in this month’s draft, but is doing plenty of homework on the players who could be options in that range — Ramsey is the 35th prospect on ESPN’s big board, while Quickley – who has interviewed with Miami twice, per Jackson – ranks 42nd.

As Jackson details, the Heat have also “taken a look” at Washington forwards Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart, who are 23rd and 27th on ESPN’s board. Additionally, Miami has called to speak to Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans, who is ranked just 68th by ESPN. Hagans would likely only be an option for the Heat if they acquire a second-round pick or if he goes undrafted, Jackson notes.

The Heat were also expected to view group workouts for Minnesota big man Daniel Oturu (No. 37 on ESPN) and Arizona guard Nico Mannion (No. 25), writes Jackson. And as our JD Shaw reported on Monday, College of Charleston guard Grant Riller has interviewed with Miami as well.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Although Jae Crowder is a Georgia native, he has made Miami his adopted hometown, having prepared for the 2012 draft in South Florida and having bought a house in Miami in 2017. As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes, Crowder’s fondness for both Miami and the Heat should put the team in a good position to re-sign him this fall, even if he doesn’t give the club an “adopted-hometown discount.”
  • While the Heat are accustomed to getting the most out of players who might not have thrived in other environments, Derrick Jones may be a candidate to become a more complete player and have more success with a new team if he departs in free agency, Winderman says in a Sun Sentinel mailbag.
  • Ultimate Software, the company that has an advertisement patch on Heat uniforms, has merged with The Kronos Group to form the Ultimate Kronos Group, resulting in a new jersey patch for the Heat. Darren Rovell of The Action Network (Twitter link) has the details.

Texas Tech’s Jahmi’us Ramsey Declares For Draft

APRIL 25: Ramsey announced on Twitter that he will enter the draft.

APRIL 24: Texas Tech freshman guard Jahmi’us Ramsey will declare for the 2020 NBA draft prior to Sunday night’s early entry deadline, according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link).

Following Precious Achiuwa‘s announcement this afternoon, Ramsey is the highest-rated underclassman on ESPN’s big board who has yet to officially enter the 2020 NBA draft class, ranking 23rd on that list.

As a freshman, Ramsey averaged 15.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.3 SPG in 27 games (31.2 MPG) for the Red Raiders, making an impressive 42.6% of his attempts from outside the three-point line.

[RELATED: 2020 NBA Draft Early Entrants List]

Early entrants have until the end of the day on Sunday to submit their paperwork to the NBA for the 2020 draft. College players who are testing the waters will then have until at least June 3 to make a final decision on whether or not they’ll keep their names in this year’s draft pool.