Kings Rumors

Injury Updates: Fox, Kuzma, Gordon, Favors, Vucevic

Kings star guard De’Aaron Fox has been out since November 11 due to a Grade 3 left ankle sprain but he’s hopefully of returning next week, as he told Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee“I have more range of motion now than I did before I got hurt,” he said. “My left ankle has just never had that much range of motion, but since we’ve been pounding it hard and going at it so hard, it’s been a lot better than before I got hurt.”

We have more injury updates:

  • Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma hopes to return from a left ankle sprain sometime during the team’s current trip, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin tweets. The injury is unrelated to the stress reaction he suffered this summer, McMenamin adds. Kuzma suffered the injury on Sunday and has missed the last two games.
  • Pelicans power forward Derrick Favors, a potential trade candidate, had eight points and eight rebounds in 15 minutes against Philadelphia on Friday. He had not played since November 16 due to knee and back injuries and personal issues.
  • Rockets guard Eric Gordon has begun on-court running, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Gordon underwent knee surgery on November 13 with a projected six-week timetable. A return around Christmas remains in play, according to Feigen, though the plan is to gradually increase his workload and ease off as necessary.
  • Magic center Nikola Vucevic could return on Sunday, John Denton of the team’s website relays. He missed his 11th consecutive game on Friday against Houston due to a right ankle injury. “I think he’s feeling better and hopefully he’ll be able to get through a practice (on Saturday) and still feel good,’” Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “I think there’s a good chance he’ll play on Sunday.”

Kings Recall Gabriel

  • The Kings have recalled power forward Wenyen Gabriel from their Stockton affiliate, according to the team’s Twitter. The rookie has played in seven NBA games thus far.

Joseph Adding Bite To Kings' Defense

  • Kings point guard Cory Joseph, starting in Sacramento with De’Aaron Fox still injured, has been adding some bite to Sacramento’s defense, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic… and Joseph’s teammate Harrison Barnes. Barnes said to reporters in the Sacramento locker room on Monday night that he thinks Joseph is deserving of Second-Team All-Defensive honors for his work this season. Fox, meanwhile, is projecting a return to game action in a week and a half, according to James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area (via Twitter).

Marvin Bagley III Ready To Return For Kings

Marvin Bagley III is ready to return to action for the Kings, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee, who writes that the big man is listed as probable for Sacramento’s Wednesday night game vs. Oklahoma City.

Bagley, the No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft, has been sidelined since opening night as a result of a broken right thumb suffered in the Kings’ first game of the season. The club initially estimated that Bagley would be out for four to six weeks, but his absence extended to seven weeks and 22 games.

When the Kings opened the season, Bagley and Dewayne Dedmon were the starters in the frontcourt. Richaun Holmes and Nemanja Bjelica have taken over those roles in recent weeks. As James Ham of NBC Sports California observes, it’s unclear how exactly Bagley will fit back into the rotation now that he’s healthy, since Holmes has been one of the team’s best players and Bjelica has been on fire as of late, averaging 17.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 3.4 APG on .515/.448/1.000 shooting in his last five games.

Bagley is one of the Kings’ key building blocks, so the club will certainly find minutes for him. Still, he’ll be brought along slowly and head coach Luke Walton will likely try to stick with the Bagley/Bjelica pairing in certain lineups.

De’Aaron Fox (ankle) remains on the shelf for the Kings and is expected to be re-evaluated within the next week or two.

And-Ones: Melo, Morris, Pistons, Holmes

Carmelo Anthony suited up against the Knicks for the first time as a member of the Trail Blazers tonight and Marcus Morris was excited for the event.

“Man, I enjoy going against ‘Melo,” Morris said prior to the game (via Steve Popper of Newsday). “Growing up he always was my favorite player. Even when I came into the draft, I was like, yeah, I’m going to be like ‘Melo. You know what I’m saying? Over the years it’s been really good to go against him. I watched a lot of film on him.

“’Melo’s been one of the best scorers in this league for a long time. He’s still doing it. I’m very happy for him, very impressed that he could come from not playing for a while and make a great impact like he has.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • In the same piece, Morris spoke about how he couldn’t understand how Anthony went so long without a team. “That’s not disrespecting nobody, but there’s guys in this league that can’t really tie ‘Melo’s shoes — now. So for sure, he should have been in the league. But it always comes full circle and he’s a real one. I always say the real never lose, so he’s back and he’s doing what he did.”
  • Pistons draft-and-stash prospect Deividas Sirvydis is impressing overseas, as international journalist Donatas Urbonas tweets. Sirvydis, the No. 37 overall pick in the 2019 draft, has yet to sign his first NBA contract as he continues to play in Lithuania for now.
  • Everything is coming together for Richaun Holmes in Sacramento, Jordan Ramirez of NBA.com writes. Holmes, who signed with the Kings this offseason, began the season on the bench but his strong play has made him one of the team’s most reliable players in the starting rotation.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/10/19

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Hornets recalled Cody Martin from the Greensboro Swarm, the team announced. The move concluded Martin’s fifth stint in the G League this season.
  • The Rockets have sent Isaiah Hartenstein down to the G League, Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston relays (Twitter link). The big man has appeared in eight games for Houston this season.
  • The Kings have assigned Wenyen Gabriel to the Stockton Kings, the team announced on its Twitter feed. The power forward has seen action in seven games for Sacramento this season.
  • The Magic have sent Melvin Frazier Jr. and Amile Jefferson to the G League, the team’s Twitter feed reveals. Frazier and Jefferson suited up for the Lakeland Magic earlier tonight.

Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Luke Walton Dropped

The woman accusing Kings coach Luke Walton of sexual assault in a 2017 incident has dropped her lawsuit against him, according to a report from TMZ Sports.

Former television sports reporter Kelli Tennant had claimed Walton forced himself on her in a Santa Monica hotel room. The suit stated she was “in shock and fear” at the advances and thought she was going to be raped.

Walton, who was an assistant with the Warriors at the time, denied her charges, saying she initiated the meeting and nothing sexual took place. Walton’s attorney, Mark Baute, called her “an opportunist” and vowed that Walton would fight the lawsuit.

The TMZ report states that it’s unclear if a settlement has been reached. Tennant filed new court documents this week in the L.A. County Superior Court asking the judge to dismiss her her suit with prejudice, which means she won’t be able to refile it.

The NBA conducted an independent investigation and announced in August that Walton had been cleared because there wasn’t enough evidence to support Tennant’s allegations. Tennant refused several times through her attorney to talk with investigators hired by the league.

Injury Updates: Jackson, Oladipo, Irving, Bogdanovic, Russell

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson is showing progress on his stress reaction in his lower back but he’ll be out at least a few more weeks, according to a team press release. Jackson’s rehabilitation process will continue for another two weeks and he’ll be re-evaluated at the end of that period, the release adds. Jackson, the team’s starting point guard, hasn’t played since the first two games of the season. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

We have more injury updates:

  • Pacers star guard Victor Oladipo has practiced three times in five days with their G League affiliate in Fort Wayne, but there’s no still word on when he might return to action, Akeem Glaspie of the Indianapolis Star reports. “Just trying to get the feel back,” he said. “Coming out here just playing, taking it easy. Not trying to do anything spectacular. When injuries come around you try to rush things. When you rush your body, that’s when things kinda go south. Just gotta be smart about it.”
  • Nets guard Kyrie Irving missed his 10th straight game Wednesday with a shoulder impingement and he’s likely to be out a few more weeks, sources told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Irving has already been ruled out for Brooklyn’s game on Friday. The max player hasn’t spoken to the press since November 14th, further adding to the mystery of Irving’s ailment.
  • Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has a right knee contusion to go along with left hamstring tightness and will miss at least one game on the team’s upcoming road trip, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee relays.
  • Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing nine games with a sprained right thumb, according to an ESPN report. Russell scored 18 points in 25 minutes in the 106-91 loss to the Hornets.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Pacific Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Pacific Division:

Montrezl Harrell, Clippers, 25, PF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $12MM deal in 2018
The Rockets had no idea what they were giving up when they tossed Harrell into the Chris Paul blockbuster. Harrell doesn’t have a three-point shot but otherwise, he’s a terror. He was a prime candidate for Sixth Man of the Year last season and will be once again. He’s averaging 19.1 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 2.2 APG despite starting just two of 22 games. Harrell will be a hot commodity as an unrestricted free agent and the Clippers will be pushed into luxury tax territory if they want to retain him. It would be worth the cost.

Glenn Robinson III, Warriors, 25, SF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $1.9MM deal in 2019
Robinson’s last season in Indiana was a washout due to an ankle injury. His one season in Detroit was a washout due to a lack of production. With an expanded role on a bad team, Robinson is upgrading his resume. He’s averaging 32.1 MPG as a starter and averaging 11.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 2.0 APG while making 38.9% of his 3-point tries. Stats compiled under these circumstances can be deceiving but Robinson has at least regained his confidence and shown he’s worthy of a rotation spot on most teams.

Avery Bradley, Lakers, 29, SG (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $9.8MM deal in 2019
Bradley started 10 games for the streaking Lakers this season, though he didn’t shoot well (28.6% from deep) playing alongside two of the league’s biggest stars. The big issue for Bradley in recent seasons has been staying on the court and once again, the injury bug has bitten him. He’s out at least another week with a lower leg issue. Bradley’s contract includes a $5MM player option and he needs to show he can stay healthy and productive for a long stretch in order to decline that option and test the free agent waters.

Aron Baynes, Suns, 32, C (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $10.6MM deal in 2018
The popular Australian big man has gotten off to a terrific start in Phoenix with Deandre Ayton serving his 25-game league-imposed suspension. Baynes is averaging 14.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 2.9 APG in 24.0 MPG through 13 games. He’s also turned into a solid three-point shooter (43.9%), adding a new element to his game. He’s been slowed recently by a calf injury but with a dearth of quality centers around the league, Baynes will get some multi-year offers as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Harry Giles, Kings, 21, PF (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $6.6MM deal in 2017
The 20th pick of the 2017 draft, Giles has battling injuries since entering the league. He didn’t make his NBA debut until last season, then appeared in 58 games off the bench. The Kings declined their fourth-year option on him prior to this season, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. He doesn’t have a rotation spot under new coach Luke Walton, averaging just 7.4 MPG in seven appearances this season. The same age as a college senior, Giles will get a second chance somewhere but his offers will be modest.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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