Chance Comanche

Kings Notes: Monk, Brown, Duarte, Mitchell, Ellis, Comanche

Following some sloppy play in the first quarter of the Kings‘ loss to the Hornets on Tuesday, Malik Monk was benched for the rest of the first half. When he returned to the game in the third quarter, Monk hit a pair of three-pointers, then turned and appeared to say something to head coach Mike Brown as he passed Sacramento’s bench (Twitter video link via Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 Sacramento).

At the next timeout, Brown and Monk engaged in a heated conversation on the sidelines, but they seemed to resolve their differences quickly, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee, who notes that Brown shrugged off the incident when he spoke to reporters after the game.

“Heat of the moment,” Brown said. “Malik and I — I think everybody has seen it — but Malik and I have gotten into exchanges before. This was not the first time, and I would bet money it won’t be the last time, so that’s not a big deal.”

While Brown downplayed his exchange with Monk, he was disappointed in his team’s execution and sense of urgency down the stretch in an ugly loss that ended Charlotte’s 11-game losing streak, describing it as “alarming.”

“Our half-court defense, we’re literally just standing on the weak side of the floor, and we give up a stone-cold layup at a crucial part of the game,” Brown said. “So, to not have an awareness, a sense of urgency, it was not a good feeling being out there and being a part of it, and obviously I had a lot to do with it because I did not have our guys ready apparently.”

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • Kings wing Chris Duarte got a second consecutive start on Tuesday in place of Kevin Huerter and played well, recording 12 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in nearly 30 minutes of action. As Anderson relays, Brown explained on Tuesday that he wants to get a longer look at the new starting lineup before deciding whether or not to stick with it. “It’s one of those things that we just kind of play out, wait and see and see how it goes, but it was not a one-time thing,” Brown said. “It’s a change that we made that, right now, we’re going to continue to take a look at going forward.”
  • In addition to the starting lineup tweak, Brown has made another notable change to his rotation, playing Davion Mitchell over Keon Ellis in each of the past three games. Mitchell has averaged about 14 minutes per night during that time after being out of the rotation for nearly all of December, while Ellis had a pair of DNP-CDs for the first time since November. Mitchell earned the Kings’ defensive player of the game chain in Friday’s win over Atlanta, writes Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee. “Even if I’m not in the rotation, I’m still trying to help, still trying to help my team win,” Mitchell said after that game. “Keon’s a really good player in our league and I’m just trying to teach him the little things, things I experienced my rookie year, my sophomore year.”
  • Former Stockton Kings center Chance Comanche, who is accused of killing a woman last month in Nevada, made an initial court appearance in Las Vegas on Tuesday. According to an Associated Press report, separate murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy cases will be combined so that Comanche and his ex-girlfriend (and alleged co-conspirator) Sakari Harnden can be tried together. Comanche, who intends to plead not guilty, will remain in jail without bail — his next court date is set for February 8.

And-Ones: McClung, Comanche, Maluach, Draft, Team USA

Although he’s not currently under contract with an NBA team, Mac McClung has been invited by the NBA to take part in the 2024 Slam Dunk Contest and defend his title, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

McClung remains undecided, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link), though he says many people believe the G League guard will accept the invitation.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • C.C. McCandless of FOX5 in Las Vegas has obtained the arrest report for former Stockton Kings player Chance Comanche and shares several disturbing new details about the alleged plot to kidnap and kill Marayna Rodgers, who police believe was killed on the night of December 5, when the Kings‘ G League team was in town to face the G League Ignite. Comanche – one of two suspects facing an open murder charge – disclosed several details in an interview with investigators, including identifying on a map where Rodgers body was buried, which allowed detectives to locate her remains.
  • Standout prospect Khaman Maluach, a 7’2″ center from South Sudan, has elected to graduate high school in 2024 and will be eligible for the 2025 draft, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. The 17-year-old is still weighing his options for the 2024/25 season, including attending a U.S. college or taking a professional route like the G League Ignite or Australia’s Next Stars program.
  • In the latest 2024 mock draft from Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports, Alexandre Sarr is the first player off the board, while USC’s Isaiah Collier – the top prospect on ESPN’s top 100 – drops to No. 8.
  • USA Basketball has announced its coaching staff for the AmeriCup qualifying team that will begin competing in February. Dave Joerger, previously reported to be the head coach for the U.S. squad, will be joined by veteran assistants Jerome Allen and Melvin Hunt, per a press release.
  • Australia’s national team is in advanced talks to play exhibition games against the U.S. and Serbia ahead of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, reports Olgun Uluc of ESPN. Team USA already has a pair of exhibition contests against South Sudan and Germany on its July schedule.

Ex-G Leaguer Comanche Faces Open Murder Charge

Former Kings NBA G League player Chance Comanche faces an open murder charge in Las Vegas, according to a press release from the Las Vegas Metro police department, James Ham of The Kings Beat tweets.

Comanche, who had been playing for the Kings‘ G League affiliate in Stockton, was released by the team on Friday. He was arrested by the California FBI Criminal Apprehension Team in Sacramento on Friday as a person of interest in the case.

Comanche’s girlfriend, Sakari Harnden, was arrested in Las Vegas on Wednesday on kidnapping charges. Comanche was also charged with kidnapping and is pending extradition to Nevada.

The case involved the Dec. 5 disappearance of Marayna Rodgers. Her remains were discovered in a desert area in Henderson, Nevada “based on information obtained after the arrest of Harnden and Comanche,” according to the release.

Detectives determined that Harnden and Comanche “were responsible for the murder of Rodgers,” per today’s announcement. Charges against them will be amended to open murder.

Comanche played in one game for the Trail Blazers last season, which was his lone NBA appearance. He signed with Sacramento this summer on an Exhibit 10 contract before being waived ahead of the season. He joined the Stockton Kings after clearing waivers.

Pacific Notes: Comanche, Ellis, Warriors, Lakers

Center Chance Comanche, who had been playing for the Kings‘ G League affiliate in Stockton, was released by the team on Friday after he was arrested as a person of interest in an out-of-state FBI investigation, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reports.

According to Anderson, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office helped the FBI apprehend Comanche, who is being held without bail in the county’s main jail. Jail records show Comanche’s felony arrest fell under a California penal code provision allowing peace officers to arrest a person “charged by a verified complaint… with the commission of any crime in any other state.”

His first appearance before a judge is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court, per Anderson. It’s not clear what charges he faces in another state or where in Sacramento County he was apprehended.

Comanche played in one game for the Trail Blazers last season, which was his lone NBA appearance to date. He signed with the Kings this summer on an Exhibit 10 contract before being waived ahead of the season.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Two-way wing Keon Ellis had his best game in a Kings uniform on Friday against the Thunder, writes The Athletic’s Hunter Patterson. Ellis scored 17 points, hitting five of his seven three-point attempts, and added six rebounds and three assists. “Keon was big. He’s been big ever since we gave him minutes,” head coach Mike Brown said. “He just doesn’t seem to get rattled out there. … We have faith or confidence — or however you want to call it — in him, especially when his feet are set and he’s shooting wide open catch-and-shoot 3s. Heck of a game from him on both ends of the floor. He could’ve easily gotten the Defensive Player of the Game [crown].” Ellis is averaging 4.5 points in 16 games (two starts) on a two-way contract.
  • Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. was adamant the next 15-20 games, many of which will be played without Draymond Green, will impact the direction the team takes at the trade deadline. The Athletic’s Anthony Slater explores what that span of time could look like, writing the team could continue to rely on younger players, such as Trayce Jackson-Davis, in the short term.
  • The Lakers are 13-5 in their last 18 games and have multiple players performing at a high level. Outside of the usual star-level play from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves is establishing Sixth Man of the Year candidacy, Cam Reddish is announcing himself as a top-level defender and players like Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent will soon return to the lineup, The Ringer’s Seerat Sohi writes. Still, the Lakers have room to improve on offense and Sohi explores what the team needs to do between now and the trade deadline.

Chance Comanche, Deonte Burton Waived By Kings

The Kings have waived both center Chance Comanche and wing Deonte Burton, according to James Ham of The Kings Beat (Twitter link). Ham adds that the expectation is that both players will join the Stockton Kings, assuming they clear waivers.

Since Comanche and Burton signed Exhibit 10 contracts, they’ll both be eligible to receive a $75K bonus if they spend at least 60 days with Stockton. Both players have three or more years of experience in the G League and spent time in Stockton last season.

Comanche signed with the Kings on September 21 after averaging 12.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks across 43 regular season and Showcase Cup games with Stockton last season. His strong efforts in the G League turned into a 10-day contract with the Trail Blazers in April, and he put up seven points and three boards in one appearance with Portland. He did not appear in any preseason games with Sacramento this season.

Burton, who signed on September 23, averaged 11.5 points across 33 total appearances with the Stockton Kings last season. He holds averages of 2.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in 73 career NBA games. His play in the G League last season also resulted in a 10-day contract, but Burton’s was with the Kings, though he only appeared in two games and didn’t record a stat. Burton appeared in one preseason game with Sacramento this year.

After waiving Comanche and Burton, the Kings’ roster now stands at 18 players, with Jaylen Nowell the only currently signed Exhibit 10 player on the roster. Sacramento has one open spot for its 15-man regular season roster, so it’s possible the Kings are eyeing Nowell for that spot. It’s likely the team will cycle through more Exhibit 10 players for G League purposes in the coming days.

Chance Comanche Signs Training Camp Contract With Kings

SEPTEMBER 21: The signing is official, per RealGM’s transaction log.

SEPTEMBER 20: The Kings will sign Chance Comanche, a source tells Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

The 27-year-old big man played for Sacramento’s G League affiliate in Stockton last season, averaging 13.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 32 regular season games. He was also part of the Kings’ entry in this year’s Las Vegas Summer League.

No details were given on Comanche’s contract, but it will likely include Exhibit 10 language. That will allow him to earn a bonus worth up to $75K if he’s waived and spends at least 60 days with Stockton. Exhibit 10 contracts can also be converted into two-way deals, but the Kings currently have all three of their two-way spots filled.

Comanche has been hoping for an NBA opportunity since going undrafted out of Arizona in 2017. He has played for three organizations in the G League and spent a season in Turkey as well. He signed with the Trail Blazers on the final day of the 2022/23 season, scoring seven points and grabbing three rebounds in 21 minutes during his NBA debut.

Once Comanche’s contract becomes official, Sacramento will have 18 players, including 14 with fully guaranteed deals. The Kings will be able to add three more before the start of training camp.

Trail Blazers Sign Skylar Mays, Chance Comanche

The Trail Blazers have signed a pair of players ahead of Sunday’s regular season finale, announcing that they’ve brought back guard Skylar Mays (Twitter link) and added center Chance Comanche (press release).

The Blazers have a full roster, but they’re dealing with so many injuries that they’ve been granted three hardship exceptions — those exceptions allow the team to sign players to short-term deals without having to adhere to the usual roster limits.

Portland had been carrying Mays, Shaquille Harrison, and Justin Minaya on 10-day hardship contracts. Mays’ and Harrison’s deals expired overnight on Saturday, while Minaya’s runs through Sunday. The team re-signed Mays, but Harrison has joined the Lakers, so the Blazers used their third hardship exception to promote Comanche from the G League.

Mays, a 2020 second-round pick who spent his first two NBA seasons in Atlanta, averaged 14.2 points, 7.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 29.6 minutes per night during his first five games (all starts) as a Blazer.

Comanche, who will turn 27 on Friday, was a rotation player for the Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s G League affiliate, this season. The former Arizona Wildcat appeared in 32 regular season games and averaging 13.0 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in just 22.9 MPG.

Since they’re on hardship contracts, Mays, Comanche, and Minaya will all become free agents after today’s game and the Blazers won’t hold any form of Bird rights on them this summer. Portland is now carrying 20 players, with at least nine of them ruled out for Sunday’s game vs. Golden State due to injuries.

Pacific Notes: Curry, Kerr, Draft, Warriors, Kings

Stephen Curry was more valuable to the Warriors offensively this season than Kevin Durant, writes Kevin Pelton of In a fascinating piece about the relative value of the pair, Pelton points to Curry’s passing ability and the game-changing effect his lethal three-point shooting has on drawing defenders. As a result, ESPN’s real plus-minus (RPM) views Curry as having been far more valuable than Durant this season. However, the writer does allow for Durant’s already high value improving next season and beyond. Adjustments were constantly being made during KD’s first year on the team.

Here’s more from the Pacific division:

  • Although the Warriors presently lack a pick in this week’s draft, the team held a pre-draft workout on Tuesday, tweets Jeremy Woo. According to Woo, the participants were Canyon Barry (Florida), Sterling Brown (SMU), Chance Comanche (Arizona), Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin), Ben Moore (SMU), and Tai Webster (Nebraska).
  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr will be given time off throughout the summer to explore options for alleviating his back problems, according to Janie McCauley of The Associated Press“I think at the point we’re at now, it’s what makes you 5-10-15 percent better? And that’s what he’s going to pursue and explore with our blessing,” GM Bob Myers said.
  • In the wake of Chris Granger‘s resignation Monday as president of the Kings, Ailene Voison of The Sacramento Bee explains why the departure signifies a major loss to both the franchise and the community. Golden 1 Center stands as Granger’s crowning achievement as Kings president. About Granger, team owner Vivek Ranadive said, “I’m really sad Chris is leaving, but when I recruited him, I also knew it wasn’t going to be forever. He built the arena. He stayed a year (afterward). I told him, ‘I’d like to keep you, but I also understand you don’t want to be selling sponsorships your whole life.’ He’s a big time guy.”
  • The Kings‘ top priority should be to find a point guard to grow their nucleus around, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Each team in the Pacific division is stacked at point guard, except for the Kings, who have Darren Collison and Ty Lawson, both free agents. Jones suggests that the team draft its point guard of the future, with many talented floor generals available, even if De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky) is drafted before the Kings pick at No. 5.

Atlantic Notes: Pre-Draft Workouts, 76ers, Nets

Although likely no other pre-draft workout will top the excitement of Markelle Fultz‘s with the 76ers on Saturday, followed by media availability, and the subsequent finalizing of the blockbuster trade that would bring Fultz to Philly, the Sixers held another session on Tuesday, Keith Pompey of reports. Participants included Kris Jenkins (Villanova), Michael Young (Pittsburgh), Kadeem Allen (Arizona), Michael Ojo (Florida State), and Youssoupha Fall (France).

Here are more pre-draft workout updates from the Atlantic division: