Skal Labissiere

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.

Kings Notes: Hield, Bogdanovic, Labissiere

Shooting guard Buddy Hield isn’t afraid of putting up shots, even the occasional ones that leave Kings fans scratching their heads. That’s just something head coach Dave Joerger will have to work with if it means keeping the prolific deep threat in a rhythm, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes.

I’m a shooting guard, so I’m trying to get as many shots as I can get,” Hield, who joined the Kings in the midseason trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans last year, said. “They call me thirsty on the team. They say I’m thirsty because I’m always trying to get a shot up.”

Jones notes that Hield’s teammates don’t consider him selfish so they aren’t afraid to keep feeding him the ball if it means that he might get hot from the perimeter and change the outlook of a game.

I’ve been reining him in, making him play the way we want to play,” said Joerger in his second year at the helm of the Kings. “[…] But then for certain guys at any moment you give them a little more latitude, and I think he’s one of those guys.

There’s more news from Sacramento:

  • After sitting out the first three games of the season, Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s status for Monday’s game against the Suns has been upgraded to probable, the team announced on its website. If he plays, it’ll be the 25-year-old draft-and-stash rookie’s NBA debut after signing the largest rookie contract in league history.
  • It won’t be long before the Kings turn to Skal Labissiere as more of an offensive weapon, James Ham of NBC Sports writes. The 21-year-old sophomore has already made substantial improvements over the course of his young career.
  • Despite how impressive De’Aaron Fox looks in his rookie season, it’s unlikely that the Lakers regret drafting Lonzo Ball, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes in a question-and-answer with readers. Los Angeles knew exactly what they were getting in Ball and there’s a good choice that both end up becoming All-Stars.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Teodosic, Reed, Labissiere

Russell Westbrook‘s decision to sign a max extension is bad news for the Lakers in their pursuit of two top-level free agents next summer, as Eric Pincus examines in a Bleacher Report column.  The Lakers were hopeful they could fill a max slot with Westbrook, who now has all season to convince another Los Angeles target, Paul George, to re-sign with the Thunder in the offseason, Pincus continues. Moreover, the Lakers are currently projected to have $47MM in cap space if they let restricted free agent Julius Randle walk, which isn’t enough to land two star free agents, Pincus notes. Unless they can convince LeBron James to come West, their best remaining options could be DeMarcus Cousins or DeAndre Jordan, provided Jordan doesn’t sign an extension with the Clippers, Pincus adds.

In other items regarding the Pacific Division teams:

  • Clippers point guard Milos Teodosic has a simple explanation why he decided to play in the NBA this season after gaining a reputation as Europe’s top player, as Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times passes along. “I decided long time ago that I wanted to play in the NBA, but I didn’t have that much chances because I was always under contract and I was not free agent,” Teodosic told Turner. “This summer I was free and the first big opportunity was here with the Clippers.” Teodosic signed a two-year, $12.3MM contract to be the Clippers’ primary ballhandler.
  • Clippers center Willie Reed had his arraignment hearing for a misdemeanor domestic battery charge in Miami rescheduled from today to Oct. 16, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel tweets. Reed was booked on the charge in August. The alleged incident occurred shortly after Reed, who played for the Heat last season, signed a one-year, $1.5MM contract with the Clippers.
  • Kings coach Dave Joerger doesn’t believe Skal Labissiere will reach his full potential until his body fills out and he gets stronger, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports. Labissiere, entering his second season, averaged 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 25 games after DeMarcus Cousins was dealt to the Pelicans. “He won’t be a finished product this year either,” Joerger told Jones. “It’s three, whatever number of years from now, when he fills into his body completely.”

Kings Notes: Depth Chart, Gudaitis, Labissiere

Don’t look now, but the Kings have assembled a veritable stockpile of intriguing assets. Recently, Shahbaz Khan of the team’s official website broke down what fans can expect to see on the team’s depth chart.

The Kings are loaded with youth this season, and it’s not just first-rounders De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles that show promise. Sacramento has at least one – if not multiple – young projects at each spot from 1 to 5, from international star and darkhorse Rookie of the Year candidate Bogdan Bogdanovic to the lengthy Skal Labissiere, who flashed promise after the DeMarcus Cousins trade.

The club isn’t without its fair share of veteran leadership, however, and Khan discusses the experience the young Kings will be able to glean from offseason additions like Vince Carter and returning players like Garrett Temple.

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • While there was plenty of turnover on the Kings roster this offseason, De’Aaron Fox leads Sacramento’s new cast of players, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England writes.
  • Don’t expect to see 2015 second-round pick Arturas Gudaitis debut with the Kings any time soon, the Lithuanian big man recently signed a two-year deal in Italy without an opt-out clause after the first season, Sportando tweets.
  • After a solid rookie season, Kings big man Skal Labissiere has changed representation, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets. The Haitian has signed with Thad Foucher and Jason Ranne at Wasserman.
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