Kings Rumors

Stein’s Latest: Simmons, Sixers, NBPA Executive Director

The structure of Ben Simmons‘ contract may embolden him in his plans to hold out from the Sixers, Marc Stein of Substack writes in his latest newsletter. As Stein explains, Simmons received 25% of his 2021/22 salary on August 1 and will receive another 25% on October 1, meaning he’ll already have earned half of his $33MM salary for the season by the time the preseason starts.

[RELATED: Ben Simmons Adamant About Not Attending Camp, Not Playing For Sixers]

League rules permit the Sixers to assess substantial fines for each game he misses during his holdout (approximately $228K per game), but Stein suggests those fines won’t be docked from Simmons’ pay until November, after the first pay period of the regular season. If Simmons was on a more traditional payment schedule, those fines would be more costly, but it will take a while for them to put a dent into the $16.5MM he’ll already have earned this season.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • Don’t expect the Sixers and Simmons to follow the blueprint that Al Horford and the Thunder or John Wall and the Rockets have, according to Stein. While those rebuilding teams were comfortable holding out their veteran players until they found a suitable trade partner, the 76ers continue to try to convince Simmons to report to training camp and have “zero interest” in reaching a mutual agreement to allow the three-time All-Star to remain away from the team, says Stein.
  • According to Stein, many of the teams that have engaged the Sixers in Simmons trade talks – including the Timberwolves, Raptors, Spurs, Cavaliers, and Kings – typically aren’t major players in free agency, and like the idea of securing a young impact player who is under contract for four years. However, most of those teams don’t have stars that would interest Philadelphia, or have made them unavailable in trade negotiations (such as the Wolves with Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, or the Kings with De’Aaron Fox).
  • The NBPA has enlisted Chicago-based search firm Heidrick & Struggles to help seek out a new executive director to replace Michele Roberts, according to Stein, who says that “well-placed observers” believe Roberts’ replacement could be an unexpected selection who hasn’t yet been publicly identified.
  • Stein, who previously named Malik Rose as a candidate to become the NBPA’s executive director, suggests Noah Croom, Arne Duncan, Nichole Francis Reynolds, Pat Garrity, and Mark Termini are other viable contenders for the job. Croom and Garrity are veteran team executives, Termini is a longtime player agent, and Duncan and Reynolds work outside of the NBA in education/politics and business, respectively.

2021/22 NBA Over/Unders: Pacific Division

The 2021/22 NBA regular season will get underway in less than a month, so it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign and to resume an annual Hoops Rumors tradition.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites, including Bovada and BetOnline, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

In 2020/21, our voters went 17-13 on their over/under picks. Can you top that in ’21/22?

As a reminder, the NBA played a 72-game schedule in 2020/21, so a team that won 41 games last year finished with a 41-31 record. This year, a club that wins 41 games would be a .500 team (41-41). For added clarity, we’ve noted the record that each team would have to achieve to finish “over” its projected win total.

We’ll turn today to the Pacific division…

Los Angeles Lakers

Phoenix Suns

Golden State Warriors

Los Angeles Clippers

Sacramento Kings

Previous voting results:


  • Brooklyn Nets (55.5 wins): Over (63.2%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (51.5 wins): Under (70.0%)
  • Boston Celtics (46.5 wins): Over (58.1%)
  • New York Knicks (42.5 wins): Over (65.1%)
  • Toronto Raptors (36.5 wins): Under (50.6%)


  • Utah Jazz (52.5 wins): Over (61.7%)
  • Denver Nuggets (48.5 wins): Over (69.3%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (44.5 wins): Over (53.0%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (34.5 wins): Under (57.1%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (23.5 wins): Under (65.0%)


  • Milwaukee Bucks (54.5 wins): Over (63.7%)
  • Indiana Pacers (42.5 wins): Under (58.2%)
  • Chicago Bulls (42.5 wins): Over (68.3%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (26.5 wins): Under (50.5%)
  • Detroit Pistons (25.5 wins): Under (52.6%)

Fox: I Move Differently Than Other Players

  • Kings guard De’Aaron Fox explained why he’s faster than anyone else in the league in an interview with The Reel’s Kenny Beecham, relayed on the team’s website. “The way I move is so much different than everybody else,” Fox said. “Everybody’s not able to make the cuts and just stop and do what I do, especially going at full speed.”

Tyrese Haliburton Laughs Off Trade Speculation

Kings Add Emanuel Terry To Camp Roster

10:00pm: The signing is official, according to RealGM’s transactions log.

6:30pm: The Kings are signing forward Emanuel Terry to an Exhibit 10 contract, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. They have also acquired his G League rights from the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, the Clippers’ affiliate.

Terry played five Summer League games at Las Vegas for Sacramento, averaging 7.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG and 1.6 SPG in 17.4 MPG.

The 6’9” forward played three NBA games during the 2018/19 season with Phoenix and Miami. In 15 games with Agua Caliente last season at the Orlando bubble, Terry averaged 10.8 PPG and 10.4 RPG in 28.5 MPG. He also appeared in nine Euroleague games with Serbia’s KK Crvena Zvezda.

He’ll be a longshot to make the Kings’ 15-man roster but with Sacramento securing his G League rights, he’ll have a better chance to get a call-up during the season.

Kyle Kuzma Thought He Would Be Traded To Kings

Since it was one of the first major moves of the 2021 NBA offseason, it’s easy to forget now that the trade that sent Russell Westbrook from the Wizards to the Lakers didn’t initially look like it would happen.

The Kings and Lakers were pretty far down the road on a trade that would’ve sent Buddy Hield to Los Angeles. Multiple players who were eventually included in the Westbrook deal – likely Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell – would’ve headed to Sacramento if the Hield trade had been finalized, so the Lakers couldn’t have done both deals. When the opportunity to acquire Westbrook arose, the Lakers pivoted to negotiating a deal with the Wizards rather than finalizing one with the Kings.

Kuzma, rumored to be part of the return for Hield, ended up getting sent to Washington in the Westbrook trade. However, he acknowledged during an appearance on No Chill With Gilbert Arenas (video link via Bleacher Report) that he believed at one point in July that he was about to become a King.

“I was kind of shocked because I thought I was going to Sac,” Kuzma said of being dealt to the Wizards. “The Sacramento deal with Buddy Hield, that s–t was done. So I’m thinking in my head, ‘Yeah, okay, well, I’m in Sac, 45-minute flight, that’s not bad.’ … But then out of nowhere, it goes, ‘You’re going to Washington.'”

Kuzma, who spent the first four years of his NBA career in Los Angeles after being selected in the first round of the 2017 draft, will be moving across the country rather than just elsewhere in California. However, he didn’t sound too disappointed about becoming a Wizard instead of a King, expressing excitement about the opportunity to team up with Bradley Beal in Washington.

“I was super hyped, obviously, because it’s a better situation (than Sacramento),” Kuzma said. “Going to Sac would’ve been fun, I would’ve went crazy for sure. But to have the opportunity to play with Brad Beal, someone that is trying to really be a winner in this league … It’s just a perfect opportunity. It’s a lot of guys that have chips on their shoulders, everyone’s ready to prove something. That’s when something can be special.”

Kuzma isn’t the only one whose 2021 offseason would look a lot different if the Lakers had completed a deal for Hield instead of Westbrook. That decision had a major impact on the subsequent summer moves made by the Lakers, Kings, and Wizards. If L.A. had gone in another direction, it would’ve had a ripple effect on a handful of teams and players, including perhaps Richaun Holmes, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, among others.

California Notes: Kings, Carmelo, Lakers

The Kings have had a relatively quiet 2021 offseason thus far, Zach Harper of The Athletic observes in a thorough recap of Sacramento’s transactions across every position. Sacramento shored up their big man depth behind Richaun Holmes, whom they re-signed to a reasonable four-year, $46.5MM deal. Sacramento also added Tristan Thompson via trade and brought back old friend Alex Len on a two-year agreement.

Harper notes that the Kings appear to have also improved on the lead guard front, having drafted Summer League co-MVP Davion Mitchell with the ninth selection out of Baylor. However, Harper opines that, thanks to the strength of several clubs at the top of the Western Conference, the Kings will be once again struggling to make the play-in tournament for the 2022 postseason.

Another item of interest is the long-term future of maximum-salaried Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox with the team, in the wake of 2021 All-Rookie first team guard Tyrese Haliburton and now Mitchell both flashing significant promise.

There’s more out of California:

  • New Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, reflected on his first official workout for Los Angeles, held at the UCLA Health Training Center. “That purple and gold is different, it always has been and it always will be,” Anthony said, per Spectrum SportsNet (Twitter video link). “I’m just happy to be a part of it. I wish my fans could see me here working, but just know that I’m in here working.” Anthony, 37, proved his mettle as a valuable offensive role player for two playoff-bound Trail Blazers teams during the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons. Last year, Anthony averaged 13.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.5 APG, while posting a solid shooting line of .421/.409/.890.
  • The veteran-heavy Lakers added a lot of familiar faces, including five who have played for the team before. Dave McMenamin of ESPN details how the five once-and-future Lakers made their way back to Los Angeles, and what the team and fans should reasonably anticipate from their on-court output. Three of those former Lakers have won titles with the club. Point guard Rajon Rondo (previously with the Lakers from 2018-20) and center Dwight Howard (a Laker for the 2012/13 and the 2019/20 seasons) were both members of a championship-winning 2019/20 L.A. squad. Forward Trevor Ariza was a key two-way player for the 2008/09 champions.
  • In case you missed it, former NBA point guard Darren Collison scrimmaged with the Warriors this week ahead of a potential comeback. Collison, a California native, was most recently the starting point guard for a playoff-bound Pacers club during the 2018/19 season.

Western Notes: Jones, Lakers, House, M. Brown, Mavs

The Lakers were interested earlier in the summer in big man Damian Jones before the Kings chose to guarantee his salary, according to Marc Stein of Substack. Jones had his $1.98MM salary guaranteed last month despite a glut of centers on Sacramento’s roster. Jones played eight games for the Lakers last season. Los Angeles is expected to sign DeAndre Jordan once he’s bought out by the Pistons and clears waivers.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Danuel House is likely to be dealt during the upcoming season, Rahat Huq of the Houston Chronicle opines. House has an expiring $3.98MM contract and doesn’t have a future on the rebuilding Rockets. He appeared in just 36 games last season but might bring back a late first-rounder from a contender seeking depth at the wing, Huq adds.
  • Moses Brown is working closely with longtime NBA center Tyson Chandler to improve his game, Dwain Price of writes. Brown was traded twice this offseason and was forwarded by Boston to the Mavericks in the Josh Richardson deal. “He’s been helping Moses a little bit in the gym just to kind of help him get a feel for things,” Al Whitley, GM of the G League Texas Legends, said of Chandler. “So to have a guy like Tyson Chandler as a mentor – someone who is a championship player, who brings what Tyson brought to the court, his intensity, toughness, all those types of things – that’s now being shared with Moses.”
  • Free agents Lance Stephenson and Isaiah Thomas left positive impressions during the workouts with the Mavericks, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets. Dallas is seeking more backcourt depth and both veterans guards are looking to revive their NBA careers.

Latest On Ben Simmons

The Warriors have been mentioned as a possible destination for the Sixers to send Ben Simmons, but the teams haven’t engaged in serious trade talks, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Sources tell Slater that their discussions on Simmons have been limited to a single phone call before the draft in which Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey asked for Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, Golden State’s two picks in this year’s lottery, and a pair of future first-rounders. The Warriors’ front office declined the offer and no further negotiations took place.

Golden State could still get involved if Morey lowers his asking price, but Slater doesn’t expect Simmons to wind up in San Francisco. He points out concerns about how effective a lineup with Simmons and Draymond Green would be when neither is an effective shooter and notes that the Warriors aren’t desperate to make a move. They have 14 players on guaranteed or partially guaranteed contracts, and it’s assumed throughout the organization that those 14 will make up the opening-night roster. The team isn’t making any trade calls and doesn’t plan to seek any deals before the season begins, sources tell Slater.

In addition, owner Joe Lacob is a strong supporter of both Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga and would be reluctant to part with either player, Slater adds. Morey would likely ask for at least one of them in return for Simmons, which would be a tough sell for Lacob. Slater sees the Warriors’ best offer as Wiggins and future picks, and he believes the Sixers will have better options.

There’s more news related to Simmons:

  • The Timberwolves and Raptors have been linked to Simmons most frequently over the summer, Derek Bodner states in an Athletic roundtable on a potential deal. He believes the Cavaliers could be a “wild card” as well and notes that the Sixers’ options improve if a multi-team deal can be worked out. Sam Amick points out that the Wolves – with president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas – and the Kings – with general manager Monte McNair – both have executives who worked closely with Morey during his time in Houston.
  • Confirming a Wednesday night report from Amick, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes in a mailbag column that the Kings aren’t willing to part with De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton to acquire Simmons. He’s skeptical that the Sixers would be interested in an offer of Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley, who are both below-average defensive players.
  • John Gonzalez of The Ringer looks at the role that Simmons’ uneasy relationship with Philadelphia fans has played in his desire to leave the team.

Wolves Notes: Edwards, Beverley, Simmons, Harding

Anthony Edwards has grown two inches in the past year and it may affect the way the Timberwolves use him, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Edwards, who finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting, was 6’4″ when Minnesota selected him with the top pick in the 2020 draft. He’s now 6’6″ and may be even more versatile than he was last season.

Edwards averaged 4.7 rebounds per game as a rookie, but Hine notes that figure increased to 5.4 over the final 20 games as the Wolves asked him to put more emphasis on attacking the backboards. Coach Chris Finch is now considering using Edwards as a power forward in smaller lineups.

“He’s an extremely unique player and has all this raw ability, but he’s very literal when you coach him. Like I say to him, ‘I need you to go out and do X,’ he’ll do it,” Finch said. “We discovered in the last part of the season (when I’d tell him), ‘I need you to get seven rebounds tonight.’ We gave him goals almost every game or every period of time, so you give him stuff to focus on and he went out and did that.” 

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Finch is looking forward to reuniting with Patrick Beverley, whom he coached several years ago as an assistant with the Rockets, Hine adds. Finch expects Beverley, who was acquired in a trade with the Grizzlies, to serve as a leader on defense. “He’s going to bring a lot of toughness, tenacious defense,” Finch said. “It gives our defense a bit of a personality. Defenses are always best when they start on the ball with the type of approach and aggressiveness he brings. I think one of the most encouraging things about bringing Patrick here is not how excited we are he’s coming, but he’s really excited. He knows he’s exactly the type of piece we need.”
  • Beverley appears to be on board with the Wolves’ pursuit of Ben Simmons. Responding to a tweet from NBA writer Ben Stinar suggesting that Simmons, Edwards, D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns would be a contender in the West, Beverley wrote “Facts” (Twitter link). Of course, as Stan Van Gundy noted in a reply to Stinar’s tweet, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Minnesota could land Simmons without giving up any of those three players.
  • Before hiring Elston Turner as an assistant on Finch’s staff, Minnesota considered Kings player development coach Lindsey Harding, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Harding began her WNBA career with the Minnesota Lynx.