Skal Labissiere

Kings Notes: Shumpert, Cousins, Labissiere, Mason

Iman Shumpert was one of several Cavaliers to be traded at the trade deadline, leaving a championship contender to join the rebuilding Kings. The former NBA champion is currently out of action due to plantar fasciitis and his return date is unknown.

Shumpert spoke to reporters after his first practice with the Kings and expressed optimism about joining the franchise (via ABC10).

“I like it, they play an up and down speed, which is a speed I’m accustomed to,” Shumpert said. “It’s all equal opportunity and moving the ball; they move the ball side-to-side and play hard. We got a lot of athleticism and I think I could help a lot, really, and I think I fit in.”

Shumpert, 27, has only appeared in 14 games this season, averaging 4.4 PPG and 2.9 RPG — both career-lows. As an experienced player with NBA postseason experience, Shumpert said he is looking forward to helping the Kings’ young players.

“Just appreciating the opportunity and coming in here with a fresh mind,” he said. “The stuff that I’ve been doing over there [in Cleveland], and the things that I’ve learned playing in the playoffs every year, going to the [NBA] Finals the last three years. [I’m] just trying to bring it over here and help these guys apply it.

“Sometimes just bringing that voice can mean a lot with instilling confidence in young players. I know when I was young with the Knicks, having Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace and those other guys that have been there before come and instill that confidence.”

Check out other Kings notes down below:

  • Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee looks back at the one-year anniversary of the Kings trading DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans. Despite being in the postseason hunt at the time, the Kings decided to trade their best player, signaling the beginning of what team president Vlade Divac called a “culture change.” The Kings have struggled this season and third-year center Willie Cauley-Stein has noticed a change. “It was an instant culture shift,” Cauley-Stein said. “Just like from a personnel standpoint, it’s a lot more chill, a lot more relaxed, got more productive in practice. We were able to just teach each other stuff. Everybody had a role and everybody touched the ball and could get it going and play for each other.”
  • In a separate story, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee noted that forward Skal Labissiere (shoulder) and guard Frank Mason III (heel) would return Thursday. Both men were active and saw time in Thursday’s loss to the Thunder.

Kyler’s Latest: G. Hill, Kings, Mavs, Randle, Parker

In the wake of this week’s massive Blake Griffin trade, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders assessed the trade market in an effort to determine which teams may be the next to make moves. We covered some of Kyler’s Clippers-related items on Tuesday, and a Rodney Hood/Stanley Johnson note from his article was reported elsewhere, but there are plenty more tidbits worth rounding up. Let’s dive in…

  • The rumored deal involving George Hill between the Cavaliers and Kings isn’t dead yet, but both teams are exploring the market in search of trades they might like more, per Kyler. The two teams could revisit a Hill swap on or before February 8.
  • The Kings still appear willing to move a young player or two for a first-round pick, with Skal Labissiere and Malachi Richardson among those trade candidates, Kyler writes.
  • The Mavericks‘ preferred target is Julius Randle, but they may start to seriously consider Labissiere if the Lakers don’t engage in Randle talks, says Kyler. Still, Mavs sources tell Kyler that they place a lot of value on first-round picks, so it sounds like they’ll be reluctant to move one.
  • Bucks sources have “aggressively downplayed” the idea that the team will trade forward Jabari Parker, who is returning this week from an ACL injury. However, the team acknowledges that its cap situation could complicate contract talks with the former No. 2 overall pick this offseason. Bucks ownership appears willing to commit to Parker if management wants to lock him up, according to Kyler, who notes that the forward would be a prime trade chip if Milwaukee wants to make a splash for a big-name center.

Kings Make Skal Labissiere, Malachi Richardson Available

The Kings have made Skal Labissiere and Malachi Richardson available for a possible trade, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes. Jones cites the possibly looming George Hill trade as the driving factor behind their looking to unload a young player.

If the Kings are to take on Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye from the Cavaliers as has been reported (in addition to draft compensation), they would need to first clear up a roster spot.

Last season the Kings addressed a similar scenario by waiving Matt Barnes ahead of the DeMarcus Cousins trade in which they netted one additional player. This time around, however, the club could potentially benefit more from parlaying one of their prospects into something valuable than just outright releasing somebody.

While Richardson has been buried behind players like Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield in the depth chart, Labissiere showed considerable promise following the Cousins deal that went down part-way through his rookie season.

Labissiere, still just 21 years old, is averaging 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 2017/18 but posted 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 22.4 minutes per game after the All-Star break in 2016/17 (sans Cousins).

Kings Notes: Carter, Labissiere, Veterans, Fox

Forty-year-old Vince Carter is sticking to his plan to play one more season after this one, he tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Carter had his best game since joining the Kings with 24 points Wednesday against the Cavaliers, the most points scored by someone 40 or older in less than 30 minutes since 1988.

The performance stood out for Carter, who is playing less than 15 minutes a night after leaving a playoff team in Memphis to sign with Sacramento. He understands that he doesn’t fit well with a rebuilding organization and isn’t surprised to hear his name mentioned in trade rumors.

“It’s a business. … I just have to do my job for what it says on the front of my jersey,” Carter said. “I kind of go from there. I am still going to be me. I am still going to play my best game within the confines of what the coach wants and asks from me. You’ll stress yourself out worrying about what is being said. There are always going to be rumors out there. That’s just how it goes in the league and it’s more prevalent now, whether it’s a superstar, two-way player or you’re a guy that has been around five years.”

There’s more news out of Sacramento:

  • Coach Dave Joerger is ignoring criticism of the way he has juggled the lineup as he searches for the right combinations, relays Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Joerger has used 14 starting lineups in 35 games and occasionally makes changes right before tip-off. Among the players affected is Skal Labissiere, who sat out three straight games before starting Friday night. The second-year power forward scored 10 points in the first quarter, but didn’t re-enter the game until the second half and played just 16 minutes total.
  • Of the Kings’ veterans, Zach Randolph and George Hill are most likely to remain with the team next season, Jones writes in a question-and-answer column. Both players signed as free agents over the summer and have contracts that run though the end of 2018/19. Randolph will make nearly $11.7MM next season before heading into free agency, while Hill will earn $19MM with a non-guaranteed $18MM for the following season. Jones expects Garrett Temple and Kosta Koufos to exercise their player options and try to join a contender, while Carter’s contract expires after this season.
  • Rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox, out since December 14 with a partial tear in his right quadriceps muscle, was a limited participant in practice today, tweets Sean Cunningham of KXTV in Sacramento. Fox was shooting and running at full speed, but is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/9/17

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

Kings Notes: Hill, Randolph, G League, Draft

George Hill becomes eligible to be traded in six days, and Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee expects rumors involving the Kings point guard to start emerging soon. Like most players who signed contracts over the offseason, Hill can be traded beginning December 15. He probably envisioned a larger role when he inked a three-year, $57MM deal with Sacramento, as he is getting just 25.5 minutes per night, even though he has started all 23 games that he has played.

Hill’s playing time might diminish even further if he stays with the Kings. First-round pick De’Aaron Fox is Sacramento’s point guard of the future and the organization views him as a developing star. Second-round pick and fellow point guard Frank Mason has been a pleasant surprise, leaving Hill to play off the ball more often. His numbers are down across the board after averaging 16.9 points for the Jazz next season, and Jones suggests a trade would be best for both Hill and the Kings.

There’s more out of Sacramento:

  • Zach Randolph, another veteran offseason free agent addition, has developed into the Kings’ most consistent player, Jones writes in the same piece. Coach Dave Joerger doesn’t believe in using young players just for development purposes, so Randolph has pushed rookie forward Justin Jackson and second-year forward Skal Labissiere to the bench. Joerger’s policy is to reward production with playing time, and Randolph has earned his minutes by averaging 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per night.
  • The Kings made the right decision to send Jackson, Labissiere and Malachi Richardson to the G League this week, Jones contends in a separate story. Sacramento doesn’t have enough playing time to devote to the nine first- or second-year players on its roster. Fox and Mason are joined by rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic in the rotation, and Joerger is reluctant to use too many young players at the same time. “It’s just generally not great practice for us if we put at least four young guys on the floor together,” he said. “It can get ugly.”
  • The Kings’ focus has changed since adding free agents Hill, Randolph and Vince Carter over the summer, according to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Those signings were made by Scott Perry, who has since left the organization to become GM of the Knicks. The new regime reportedly told its three free agent additions and fellow veteran Garrett Temple that the emphasis is now on acquiring a top five pick in next year’s draft rather than contending for the playoffs.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/5/17

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

3:10pm:

  • After assigning him to the G League for today’s Raptors 905 game, as detailed below, Toronto has recalled Alfonzo McKinnie to the NBA, according to the team (Twitter link).

2:03pm:

  • The Raptors assigned Alfonzo McKinnie to the G League this morning, per the team (Twitter link). Toronto’s G League affiliate, the Raptors 905, played a day game today, and McKinnie was excellent, racking up 23 points and 16 rebounds (nine offensive).
  • The Jazz have recalled rookie big man Tony Bradley from their G League squad, the team announced today (via Twitter). Bradley had a double-double (24 points, 10 rebounds) in a win for the Salt Lake City Stars on Monday.
  • After practicing with the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario on Monday, Danilo Gallinari, Milos Teodosic, and Brice Johnson were recalled by the Clippers, as Robert Flom of Clips Nation details. Gallinari and Teodosic are close to returning from their respective injuries, with Gallinari hoping to play on Wednesday.
  • The Bulls have sent second-year guard Kay Felder back to the G League, according to the team (Twitter link). Felder will soon be joined by Zach LaVine, who will continue rehabbing his ACL injury with the Windy City Bulls.
  • Rookie center Ike Anigbogu has been recalled from the G League by the Pacers, the club announced in a press release. The 19-year-old struggled in his most recent game for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, recording just two points and two rebounds in 22 minutes on Monday.
  • The Sixers have recalled Furkan Korkmaz from the Delaware 87ers, tweets Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Korkmaz has yo-yo’d back and forth between Philadelphia and Delaware all season — his most recent G League assignment was his seventh.
  • The Kings have made a pair of G League moves, assigning Skal Labissiere to the Reno Bighorns and recalling Georgios Papagiannis, according to the team. Of the two 2016 first-rounders, Labissiere has been the more regular fixture in Sacramento’s rotation this season, averaging 17.1 MPG in 23 contests.

Kings Notes: Labissiere, Temple, Giles, Fox

Second-year power forward Skal Labissiere is trying to remain upbeat despite a loss of playing time, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Although the Kings are emphasizing youth this season, that’s not true at Labissiere’s position, where veteran Zach Randolph was brought as a free agent and has claimed the starting role.

Labissiere got a rare opportunity with 25 minutes in Saturday’s blowout loss to the Knicks, nearly as many as in the three previous games combined. The 21-year-old said he will continue to be “happy for my teammates” while working to improve.

Labissiere frequently stays after practice to work on post moves, and Randolph believes he has a bright future ahead. “I tell him, ‘Just keep playing,’” Randolph said. “He played good [Saturday]. The kid works hard and that’s all you can do, keep working and that’s what Skal does every day. He puts his time in and he works.”

There’s more today from Sacramento:

  • Garrett Temple has seen a lot of NBA cities while playing for six teams in nine years, and he would like to finish his career with Sacramento, relays James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. Temple, 31, has a player option worth $8MM for next season. He is in the middle of a three-year, $24MM deal he signed in the summer of 2016 and said he feels like he has found a home with the Kings. “I can see myself finishing my career here, I can definitely see that,” Temple said. “I have a great relationship with the front office. I have a great relationship with the coaching staff, the fans as well.”
  • The Kings are being cautious with rookie Harry Giles, copying the Sixers’ approach with Joel Embiid, writes Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. “Their injuries are different,” said assistant GM Brandon Williams, who formerly worked for Philadelphia, “and I think there is a little more data on Harry simply because there are not as many navicular fractures [Embiid’s foot injury] than anterior cruciate [ACL] tears. What we learned from Philly probably more than anything was that it was best to be honest and open with your fans. We didn’t want to abuse that relationship. So rather than be coy about what we were doing, we sort of laid it out there.” Giles’ extensive injury history was the reason he dropped to 20th in this year’s draft. He had two ACL tears in high school, then a meniscus tear in his left knee shortly after he arrived at Duke. He will be out of action until at least January, when Sacramento’s medical staff will re-evaluate his condition.
  • The performance of rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox is bringing hope of the start of a new era in Sacramento, according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post.

Kings Notes: Hill, Randolph, Labissiere, Okafor

Sacramento added a veteran presence to a rebuilding team this summer and the combination can make the older guys feel out of place, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. The Kings spent their free agent money on George Hill, Zach Randolph and Vince Carter, but their contributions have been limited as the team stumbled to a 1-8 start. Between nights off for rest and sitting through the fourth quarters of blowouts, they are playing and producing less than expected.

Hill has been the starting point guard as the Kings wait for prize rookie De’Aaron Fox to develop, but his stats have dropped to 9.6 points and 2.7 assists per game after posting 16.9 and 4.2 last season in Utah. Randolph is averaging 12.0 points, his lowest in six years, and 6.0 rebounds, his smallest number since 2002/03. Carter is scoring a career-low 2.6 points per game in less than 12 minutes per night.

“I ain’t been through this,” Randolph said. “…We’re a young team with a young talent, so staying positive and keeping everybody together, that’s the main thing.”

There’s more this morning out of Sacramento:

  • Bad matchups contributed to Skal Labissiere‘s lack of playing time this week, Jones explains in a separate story. The second-year power forward was on the court just six minutes in Saturday’s loss to the Pistons and sat out the entire first half Wednesday against the Celtics. Coach Dave Joerger said he hasn’t lost confidence in Labissiere, but at 6’11” he has trouble matching up against stretch fours like Detroit’s Tobias Harris and Boston’s Jayson Tatum. “It’s hard when all these teams are playing threes as fours and they’re stretching you out,” Joerger said. “… As he learns and gets experience, he’ll be able to play on the perimeter defensively. He’ll be able to take a guy down low if he has a mismatch down there.”
  • The Kings need all the young talent they can find, but Sixers center Jahlil Okafor doesn’t seem like a good fit, Jones states in a mailbag column. He believes Sacramento should prioritize perimeter shooting and defense, two areas where Okafor doesn’t offer much help. Although Jones doesn’t dismiss the idea, he says the Kings shouldn’t offer much for Okafor, who will be a restricted free agent next summer after Philadelphia declined his 2018/19 option.
  • Young players such as Frank Mason and Malachi Richardson are likely to get more playing time as the season wears on, Jones adds in the same piece. As the Kings fall farther out of the playoff race, their emphasis will be on developing their young talent and maximizing their draft position.

Kings Exercise 2018/19 Options On Five Players

The Kings have picked up 2018/19 rookie scale options on five players, the team announced today in a press release. The moves will add about $14MM in guaranteed salary to Sacramento’s books for the ’18/19 season. Here are the options exercised by the club in advance of today’s deadline:

None of these decisions comes as a real surprise. With the exception of Hield – who was the centerpiece in the trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans – all of these players were drafted by Vlade Divac and the current Kings management group.

Cauley-Stein, the only player of the bunch whose 2018/19 option is on the fourth year of his rookie contract, will be eligible for a contract extension during the ’18 offseason, and will reach restricted free agency in the summer of ’19 if he’s not extended next year. The other four players are on track to be RFAs in 2020 if their fourth-year options are picked up next offseason.

All of this year’s rookie scale team option decisions can be tracked right here.