Marvin Bagley III

Kings Notes: McLemore, Mason, Giles, Bagley

Shooting guard Ben McLemore has been among the pleasant surprises in Kings‘ training camp, relays Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. The Kings made McLemore the seventh pick in the 2013 draft and he spent the first four years of his NBA career in Sacramento before signing with the Grizzlies last year. The Kings brought him back in a trade this summer.

“My confidence is on high and I want to continue to get better each and every day, help my teammates … and do whatever they want me to do,” McLemore said. “That’s defensive, offensive, whatever the case might be. I’ve prepared myself all summer for this moment, so I’m ready.”

A knee injury to Bogdan Bogdanovic that required arthroscopic surgery could provide an early-season opportunity for McLemore. Bogdanovic is projected to miss four to six weeks, opening up some minutes in the backcourt. McLemore believes he can claim them and likes the up-tempo approach the Kings have adopted.

“The style of play they want to play, it fits me perfect, the way I play, the things I do,” he said. “I shoot the ball well, I run the floor, play defense, all those kinds of things.”

There’s more today from Sacramento:

  • Frank Mason is counting on better judgment to help him win an expanded role this season, Anderson adds in the same story. A backup point guard, Mason excels at getting to the basket but his drives often resulted in turnovers or forced shots. “[Last] year, I got in there and made a couple of wrong decisions, and some games I made the right decisions,” Mason said. “It’s just watching film and making the right reads and the right plays.”
  • Harry Giles is happy that his long wait to play in an NBA game is almost over, Anderson relays in a separate story. The 20th player drafted in 2017, Giles sat out all of last season as the Kings tried to protect his knees after a series of surgical procedures. He showed promise during summer league play and will make his debut in a Kings’ uniform tomorrow night in the preseason opener. “I love Harry’s game,” said teammate Willie Cauley-Stein. “He’s going to be a beast. Like most of us, coming into the league, you’ve got to find that pace, and once you find that pace it’s going to be scary.”
  • Kings fans probably won’t see Giles and this year’s top pick, Marvin Bagley, in the lineup together for a while, Anderson writes in another piece.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Knight, Kings

There’s pressure on the Lakers to get a second star, but it’s far from urgent, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report writes. So long as the franchise continues to practice patience, they’ll remain flexible enough to have options.

As things stand, the club has $5.7MM in cap space. That figure could grow to as much as $15.5MM if the club waives and stretches Luol Deng‘s contract over three seasons. They can get as high as $22.8MM if they can unload the deal altogether with “at least a first-rounder attached,” Pincus says. That flexibility would make a Brandon Ingram-for-Kawhi Leonard swap financially feasible.

Of course the Lakers could wait to see if a different trade for a star beckons, as reports suggest with Jimmy Butler and as is at least borderline conceivable with Damian Lillard.

An alternative to making a move this season would be giving center Brook Lopez the Lakers’ remaining $5.7MM of cap space on a one-year deal, retaining all of their young players in an audition to see who best fits with LeBron James, then going out shopping for a star next summer.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division tonight:

Kings Sign Marvin Bagley III To Rookie Deal

The Kings have signed Marvin Bagley III to a rookie scale contract, according to a team press release. At 120% of the scale, his first-year salary will come in at approximately $7.31MM.

Sacramento selected Bagley with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft. During his lone season at Duke, the big man was just one of four freshmen in the nation to average a double-double with points and rebounds. He averaged 21.0 points, 11.1 boards, and 1.5 assists in 33.9 minutes per night at the collegiate level.

Bagley will help lead an inexperienced Kings’ roster this upcoming season. Including his deal, Sacramento has nine players under contract who are on their rookie contracts, a figure that leads the league. That total does not include Bogdan Bogdanovic, who’s on his first contract in the league, but not bound to a rookie scale.

Kings Expected To Draft Marvin Bagley III At No. 2

While the Kings were linked to Michael Porter Jr. and Luka Doncic at various times throughout the pre-draft process, the team appears to be locked in on Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 pick.

After ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area, among others, indicated earlier this afternoon that Bagley was looking more and more like the Kings’ man at No. 2, a slew of other reliable reporters have corroborated that news.

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Marc Stein of The New York Times, Sam Amick of USA Today, and Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports have all reported that the Kings are zeroed in on Bagley with the second overall pick (all four Twitter links).

It has long been assumed that the Suns will draft Deandre Ayton with the No. 1 pick, so we now have a good idea of which two players will come off the board first tonight. Things could get interesting at No. 3, where teams may look to move up to snag Doncic, and at No. 4, a pick which has been mentioned in trade rumors for weeks.

As for the Kings, assuming they make it official with Bagley, they’ll head into the 2018/19 season with their top two long-term building blocks in the frontcourt – Bagley and Harry Giles – having not yet appeared in a single NBA game.

Draft Rumors: Top 6, Bulls, Kings, Sixers, Suns

The Mavericks, Bulls, Cavaliers, and Clippers are among the teams still exploring the possibility of moving up in the draft lottery, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Wojnarowski adds that the Sixers‘ pick (No. 10) is in play for teams targeting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Wojnarowski currently believes that Deandre Ayton (Suns), Marvin Bagley III (Kings), Luka Doncic (Hawks), Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba (Mavericks), and Trae Young (Magic) are the most likely selections (Twitter link). Interestingly, the Grizzlies are the only team Wojnarowski doesn’t mention in his rundown, suggesting the No. 4 pick is still the most likely selection at the top to be traded.

If the top six plays out like that and Chicago doesn’t trade up, the Bulls would likely opt for Wendell Carter Jr. over Michael Porter Jr., tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.

Here are several more rumors worth passing along as draft night nears…

  • Kings beat reporter James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link) is also getting the vibe out of Sacramento that Marvin Bagley III is the club’s likely choice at No. 2.
  • Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link) is hearing some buzz linking Zhaire Smith to the Sixers at No. 10.
  • Although the Heat are exploring opportunities to trade into the first round of tonight’s draft, it’s hard to imagine the club completing a deal for a first-round pick unless it can shed a veteran salary, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
  • The Suns, who hold Miami’s pick at No. 16, are eyeing Donte DiVincenzo, Zhaire Smith, Jalen Brunson, Aaron Holiday, Lonnie Walker, Troy Brown, Elie Okobo, and Landry Shamet at that spot, per John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link).
  • NBA teams have been impressed with Michael Porter Jr. in interviews, but the club that picks him will have to be “ultra-cautious” with his health, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, who suggests (via Twitter) that sitting Porter for a good chunk of 2018/19 is a real possibility.

Draft Updates: Mavericks, Kings, Celtics, Warriors

There’s a “growing sense” that the Mavericks will scoop up Michael Porter Jr. if he’s still available at No. 5, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. He cautions that Dallas hasn’t reached a final decision, but the team likes Porter enough to take him even if he has to sit out all of next season because of back issues.

A report earlier today has the Sixers interested in moving into the top five to grab Porter, so it appears they’ll need a top four pick to trump the Mavericks. Porter also remains in contention for the Kings at No. 2.

There are more draft day rumors to pass along:

  • The Kings have narrowed their choices down to Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley III, according to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The team’s ownership may break the deadlock later today. Mannix adds that the Hawks will get a “stampede” of offers from teams interested in Doncic if Sacramento opts for Bagley.
  • A conflicting report from Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated states that the Kings have already reached a decision and believe they are adding a “franchise altering prospect.” (Twitter link).
  • Former NBA coach Larry Brown believes Doncic will need to land in the right situation to be successful, relays Sportando (Twitter link). “At 16 he was as good as he’s now,” said Brown, who recently accepted a job with Fiat Torino in the Italian League. “He’s smart but I don’t know in which role he can play. Maybe forward/big man. If he’d play for [Rockets coach Mike] D’Antoni or a coach with European mentality he’d be phenomenal.”
  • The Celtics are working to trade into the top five, but their chances are small unless they part with Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. The Clippers, who own the 12th and 13th selections, also want to move up and the Bucks would like to add more picks.
  • The Warriors are still hoping to buy a pick somewhere in the 30s, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). They worked out a group of players yesterday who might be available in that range, including Jacob Evans, Devon Hall, Gary Trent Jr. and Hamidou Diallo. Golden State already owns the 28th pick and can spend up to the maximum $5.1MM to acquire another.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander confirmed that he held a workout for the Clippers, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Gilgeous-Alexander admitted that he turned down a few workout requests, but didn’t specify the teams. In addition to the Clippers, the Knicks and Hornets have also watched him work out, according to Woo, who adds that Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t believed to have a promise but could be taken in the top 10 by teams that need backcourt help (Twitter link).
  • The Sixers attempted to see Donte DiVincenzo in person, but weren’t able to work out a time because of scheduling conflicts, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).
  • Mitchell Robinson was limited by a sprained left ankle in his recent workouts, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The 7-footer expects to be fully recovered soon.

 

Givony’s Latest: Kings, Doncic, Porter, Gilgeous-Alexander

ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony posted his latest mock on Thursday morning, along with the updated information regarding what teams are planning to do. Here’s some of the most noteworthy nuggets he passed along:

  • The Kings will target Duke forward Marvin Bagley III if they keep the No. 2 overall pick but they have their eyes on Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. if they trade down in the lottery.
  • Hawks ownership has pushed for Euroleague guard Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick because of star power. The compromise between the front office and ownership could be trading down and then selecting Oklahoma point guard Trae Young.
  • Porter is favored by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban at No. 5 but they’re also considering Texas center Mohamed Bamba and Duke center Wendell Carter Jr.
  • Kentucky guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander appears to be on the rise and Givony has him going at No. 6 to the Magic.
  • If the Clippers don’t trade their picks at No. 12 and No. 13, they’ll draft one of the top three college point guards – Gilgeous-Alexander, Alabama’s Collin Sexton or Young – if any are still on the board.
  • Boston College guard Jerome Robinson, Maryland forward Kevin Huerter and Texas A&M big man Robert Williams are under consideration with the Clippers’ second first-rounder.

Hawks Set Their Sights On Luka Doncic

Euroleague guard Luka Doncic has moved to forefront of the Hawks’ internal conversations regarding the third overall pick, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

There has been recent talk that Doncic, who was widely considered the second-best prospect for months behind Arizona’s Deandre Ayton, could slide out of the Top 3. This report would seem to refute that, though it could also be a ploy to entice a better trade package from a team looking to move up.

Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson and Duke forward Marvin Bagley III remain possibilities for the Hawks with their pick, according to Wojnarowski, though the Kings are expected to nab Bagey with the No. 2 pick.

Draft Rumors: Grizzlies, Bamba, Kings, Huerter

One draft-related storyline worth watching on Thursday will be whether top prospects’ apparent efforts to steer themselves to – or away from – certain teams will pay off.

Appearing on 92.9FM in Memphis today, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony suggested that Mohamed Bamba has declined to work out for the Grizzlies, refusing to share his medicals with the team and saying openly that he’d rather not land in Memphis (Twitter link via John Martin). The Grizzlies are the only team in the top half of the lottery with a standout veteran center already on the roster, so it makes some sense that Bamba would prefer to end up elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Givony said during an appearance on Zach Lowe’s ESPN podcast that multiple top prospects may be trying to avoid the Kings (link via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). According to Givony, Bamba, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Luka Doncic haven’t provided medical information to Sacramento. However, Marvin Bagley III – who wants to be picked as high as possible – seems to have no reservations about landing with the Kings, which may be one reason why the Bagley-to-Sacramento rumors are picking up steam this week.

Here are several more draft-related rumors:

  • Givony’s latest mock draft at ESPN.com includes some interesting changes, particularly in the back half of the lottery, where Trae Young falls all the way to the Clippers at No. 12. Givony also notes that there “seems to be a significant market” for Kevin Knox in the 7-11 range.
  • Jeremy Woo of SI.com has a new mock draft of his own up today, and it’s filled with intriguing tidbits. Among them: Maryland’s Kevin Huerter shut down his workouts weeks ago, and league sources tell Woo that the Lakers are the team that gave him a promise at No. 25. Whether or not that’s true, Woo doesn’t think Huerter will be available that late in the first round.
  • After winning an ACB championship today with Real Madrid, Luka Doncic‘s season is over, freeing him up to attend the NBA draft this Thursday. Doncic will be present in the Green Room for the event, tweets Givony.
  • Armed with four second-round picks in this year’s draft, the Sixers figure to trade at least one or two of those selections. If they do, they’d prefer future second-rounders in return rather than cash, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Appearing on ESPN Radio this week, Michael Porter Jr. said that he’s “feeling great” and that concerns about his health have been overblown. ESPN.com has the story and the quotes from the Missouri forward.

Kyler’s Latest: Bamba, Kings, Magic, Mavs, Grizzlies

Mohamed Bamba may be a candidate to slip a little further than expected in the 2018 NBA draft, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes in his latest round-up of draft rumors. According to Kyler, Bamba is “in the mix” for a handful of clubs in the top seven, but it’s not clear if any of those teams view him as their first or second option.

As Kyler explains, Bamba is widely expected to be a strong defender at the NBA level, but there are questions about his offensive potential. Since many of the other big men at the top of the draft are considered more well-rounded prospects, they may come off the board before Bamba, creating some uncertainty about the Longhorn’s potential landing spot.

Here’s more from Kyler’s article, which is worth checking out in full:

  • The Kings appear likely to keep their pick at No. 2, but Kyler’s sources remain skeptical that the club will draft Luka Doncic in that spot. While Sacramento has taken a “long look” at Michael Porter Jr., it’s looking more and more as if the club will opt for the less risky option, Marvin Bagley III, Kyler writes.
  • If there are no surprises in the top five picks, there’s a very real chance that Collin Sexton will be the Magic‘s man at No. 6, per Kyler. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has also suggested that Orlando is high on the Alabama point guard.
  • League sources tell Kyler that the Mavericks don’t intend to move the No. 5 pick unless they can land an All-Star or would-be All-Star.
  • While it remains to be seen if the Grizzlies will make a trade involving the No. 4 selection and Chandler Parsons, they’ve received some offers that include lower picks and expiring contracts, according to Kyler, who says the club should have options it if wants to pull the trigger on a deal.
  • The Lakers and Celtics have expressed some interest during the pre-draft process in moving up significantly in the draft, but neither team seems eager at this point to part with assets necessary to make such a jump, says Kyler.