Justin James

Kings Sign Second-Rounder Justin James

JULY 10, 6:05pm: According to James Ham of NBC Sports California, James’ new contract with the Kings is a three-year, minimum-salary deal with the first two seasons guaranteed. The total value of James’s contract is $4,198,912.

JULY 10, 1:30pm: The Kings have officially signed another one of their second-round picks, announcing today in a press release that No. 40 overall selection Justin James is now under contract.

Terms of James’ first NBA deal aren’t yet known, but players selected in that range often sign contracts at or near the minimum that include at least a couple guaranteed seasons. Sacramento still had a little cap room left over after signing a handful of veteran free agents, so the team could go up to three or four years for James.

A 22-year-old guard out of Wyoming, James filled up the stat sheet during his senior season with the Cowboys, averaging 22.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 4.4 APG in 32 games. However, he struggled with his efficiency, making just 40.9% of his attempts from the floor, including 29.6% from beyond the three-point line.

The Kings didn’t have a first-round pick in this year’s draft, but selected three players in the second round. The team has signed No. 55 pick Kyle Guy to a two-way contract and appears likely to stash No. 60 pick Vanja Marinkovic overseas.

Western Notes: Cousins, Cook, Valanciunas, OKC

While Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson have been the most-discussed free-agents-to-be on the Warriors‘ roster all season long, a handful of the club’s other players who are headed for the open market are seeing their stocks impacted by what they’re showing in the postseason.

As Marc Berman of The New York Post writes, DeMarcus Cousins is one of those players. When he tore his quad in the first round of the playoffs, he seemed unlikely to return into the fall, raising uncertainty about what sort of offers he could expect in free agency. However, Cousins helped key the Warriors’ Game 2 win on Sunday, and is now in position to take on an even more crucial role with Kevon Looney sidelined for the rest of the NBA Finals. Cousins could be earning himself some extra money with each game he plays this series.

Meanwhile, one of the Warriors’ most reliable contributors off the bench in Game 2 was Quinn Cook, who played 21 minutes and knocked down three big 3-pointers to help hold off the Raptors. After the game, Draymond Green referred to Cook as “our Patty Mills,” adding that the young guard “should be here for a long time” (Twitter link via Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated).

The Warriors will have to decide in a few weeks how strongly they agree with Green, as Cook will be up for restricted free agency. Even if Golden State issues a qualifying offer to gain the right of first refusal on Cook, a rival suitor could swoop in with an offer sheet that the Warriors may be reluctant to match, given the luxury-tax implications.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Jonas Valanciunas once again stated this week that the Grizzlies‘ head coaching decision will play a part in his decision on his $17.6MM player option for 2019/20, as Lithuanian reporter Donatas Urbonas relays (via Twitter). “Deeper into the summer, we’ll have a better picture [of] who’s staying and what are the team’s plans,” Valanciunas said. “First, I want to see who’s the head coach. It’s gonna be a huge factor.”
  • With Darko Rajakovic prepared to head to Phoenix, the Thunder will have three openings to fill on Billy Donovan‘s staff, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Mark Bryant and Bob Beyer also accepted jobs with new teams.
  • Brett Dawson of The Athletic explores Patrick Patterson‘s outlook as the Thunder forward prepares to enter a contract year. Despite two up-and-down years in Oklahoma City and the possibility that he’ll be on the trade block, Patterson could be a rotation player if he returns, Dawson writes.
  • The Nuggets worked out six prospects at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday, bringing in Javon Bess (Saint Louis), Kavell Bigby-Williams (LSU), Jordan Davis (Northern Colorado), Justin James (Wyoming), Tanor Ngom (Ryerson), and Josh Reaves (Penn State), per a team release.

Draft Notes: Vick, Caroline, Kings

The NBA Draft is less than one month away. As we await the big night, let’s take a look at some workout notes: