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The Kings Have Options With 4th Draft Pick

The May 17th NBA Draft Lottery went well for the Sacramento Kings, who moved up from a ‘projected’ 7th spot to the 4th overall selection in the June 23rd NBA Draft.

This is a big ‘win’ for the Sacramento Kings. The 4th overall pick has a ton of trade value or could be used to select a potential franchise-changing player in the draft.

It seems like most ‘experts’ have distinguished three top-tier draft prospects. Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga), Paolo Banchero (Duke), and Jabari Smith Jr. (Auburn). Will a team in the top three pass up one of the ‘top three’ talents, and give the Kings an opportunity to swoop up one of them up at 4th overall?

In This Article

  • Breaking down a few players to draft at 4th overall
  • Trades!
  • The Kings have OPTIONS!
  • Best player or best fit?
  • What the NATIONAL SPORTS MEDIA EXPERTS think
  • My Sacramento Kings draft ‘Big Board’
  • Cast YOUR vote on the Kings draft pick
  • Questions I have

Possibilities With The 4th Selection

6’4″ guard Jaden Ivey (Purdue) has been listed in many mock drafts as the 4th best player in the draft. Ivey has been touted as an elite athlete with elite-level speed and explosiveness. Some have questioned his defensive effort and buy-in. As a sophomore, Ivey put up averages of 17.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 35% 3PT. In my opinion, Ivey does not seem to fit the Kings current needs, especially if they like De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell long-term. Though, if the Kings do select Ivey, it would be fun and FAST pairing between him and Fox.

Do the Kings like 6’8″ forward Keegan Murray (Iowa), 6’5″-ish guard Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky), or maybe even 6’6″ wing Ben Mathurin (Arizona) enough to select them at 4th overall?

  • Sharpe is exciting, did not play this last year in college, or ever in college, but has a HIGH ceiling. There have been many videos shared on social media of Sharpe dominating individual workouts and high school/AAU games. I think he may be TOO much of a GAMBLE for the Kings at 4th overall. Though, if the Kings are going to draft for upside instead of immediate fit, I like Sharpe over Ivey … for now!
  • Murray, who averaged 23.5 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.7 BPG, 39.8% 3PT, 75% FT as a sophomore at Iowa, seems to be the ‘best immediate fit’ but doesn’t seem to have nearly as high of a ceiling as the other names who may be available at 4th overall. Murray is not exactly a sexy pick, but could play the most immediately impactful role for the Kings in 2022-23, while maturing into an impactful NBA player on a playoff team.
  • Mathurin was awarded Pac-12 Player of the Year, and averaged 17.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 37% 3PT as a sophomore at Arizona. He has been touted as a potential ‘3 and D’ player in the NBA. That is while some have ‘experts’ have questioned his defensive effort. Mathurin may be ‘too far out’ of the top 6-ish prospects to justify using the 4th selection on.

*Right Click* … Options

The Kings and general manager Monte McNair have a LOT of options with the 4th selection and the possible trade opportunities that selection brings. There has been a lot of chatter that Richaun Holmes will NOT be on the Kings 2022-23 opening night roster. Harrison Barnes is going into the last year of his current contract. Sacramento most likely wants to re-sign guard Donte DiVincenzo, but there has been chatter that ‘his camp’ has been unhappy with the Kings organization.

Unless Jabari Smith Jr. or Paolo Banchero fall to the 4th selection, I think the Kings should look to trade this pick. The 4th selection could be packaged with other players, in hopes of adding a LEGIT NBA starter. Kings fans often mention trading for Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, multiple trades featuring the Detroit Pistons and forward Jerami Grant, their 5th overall selection, Saddiq Bey, and even the wild dream that is Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. My outlandish trade proposition is Chicago Bulls guard/forward Zach LaVine coming to the Kings in some sort of sign and trade. I do not think that will happen. I have zero clue if ANY of these teams have discussed trade possibilities together, or if it is just all internet hopes and dreams.

Shoot for the Stars or Best Fit

I have been digesting a lot of Sacramento Kings draft-related media. Most of that has been the local experts; James Ham, Matt George, D-Lo & KC, Brenden Nunes, Carmichael Dave, and Jason Ross, along with some national media, who are generally not too tuned into what’s going on in SacTown. It seems like the folks who like Jaden Ivey or Shaedon Sharpe often mention that you HAVE to select a future all-star level talent at 4th overall. As opposed to a nice player who fits more of a need, and who probably won’t be an all-star, like Keegan Murray.

I think that it would be fun to see Jaden Ivey or Shaedon Sharpe develop on the Kings. I also think it would be awesome to see a more ‘ready to go’ and ‘better current fit’ in Keegan Murray. The Kings have a ‘great problem’ on their hands with the 4th selection in the draft.

What Do the Experts Say?

Sam Vecenie of The Athletic likes the Kings selecting Jaden Ivey at 4th overall. Vecenie thinks the Kings will choose ‘best available’ player over selecting for best fit,

The Kings have De’Aaron Fox in place already, but they did just fill the big position with Domantas Sabonis at the trade deadline. I would imagine this is purely a best-player-available situation, depending on which of the top four falls.

Sam Vecenie – The Athletic

The Athletic’s Zach Harper also thinks the Kings will select Jaden Ivey 4th overall. He mentioned that Ivey can develop in a ‘lead guard’ for the Kings. That doesn’t make sense to me, if the Kings are ‘bought in’ to De’Aaron Fox. Harper mentioned in his article,

… And if the Kings want to avoid paying that entire contract to De’Aaron Fox, he gives them flexibility there too.

Zach Harper – The Athletic

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports thinks the Kings will select Ivey at 4th overall and that he can indeed fit next to De’Aaron Fox. Parrish wrote,

Ivey is an explosive athlete who plays big and is capable of attacking the rim in a variety of ways. As the Kings continue to build, the Purdue star would be a great option at this point in the draft in part because he could reasonably play beside DeAaron Fox.

Gary Parrish – CBS Sports

Zach Braziller of the New York Post thinks that the Kings will stray away from drafting another point guard in Ivey. The NYP thinks the Kings will select ‘3 and D’ 6’6″ forward Ben Mathurin out of Arizona.

This will be the first big surprise of the draft: the point guard-heavy Kings going with the better fit. Mathurin profiles, at worst, as a 3-and-D prospect, and that might be selling him short. He’s physical, ultra-talented and has improved immensely in the last year.

Zach Braziller – New York Post

My EARLY Sacramento Kings Draft Big Board

  1. Jabari Smith Jr
  2. Paolo Banchero
  3. Chet Holmgren
  4. Keegan Murray
  5. Shaedon Sharpe
  6. Jaden Ivey
  7. Ben Mathurin
  8. AJ Griffin

Questions I Have

  • Will Sharpe, Ivey, or someone else JUMP into the top 3?
  • Will the Kings trade up or down in the first round?
  • Will they use the 4th pick?
  • Will they package the 4th selection and other players in a trade for a LEGIT NBA starter?

It will be an exciting time in SacTown leading up to the June 23rd NBA Draft!

As always, Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Mike Brown Hired as Sacramento Kings Head Coach

Sources report the Sacramento Kings and Mike Brown have agreed to a 4-year deal for Brown to become the team’s next head coach – the 20th since the Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985 and the 12th since they decided to not retain Rick Adelman after the 2005-06 season. Will Brown be the head coach who helps end Sacramento’s NBA record 16-year playoff drought?

NBA Lifer

Mike Brown has been on the coaching staff for three NBA Championship teams – 2003 with the San Antonio Spurs, and 2017 and 2018 with the Golden State Warriors.

Brown started his NBA assistant coaching career in 1997, spending two seasons with the Washington Wizards and head coach Bernie Bickerstaff. He then moved on to take another assistant coaching role with the San Antonio Spurs, under legendary head coach Gregg Popovich – winning an NBA championship in 2003. After three seasons in San Antonio, Brown moved on to the Indiana Pacers for two seasons, under head coach Rick Carlisle.

That assistant coach ‘grind’ led Brown to earn his first head coaching job with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2005. Brown helped lead the Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA eastern conference championship, and the NBA Coach of the Year honors in 2009. Brown led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 305-187 record over six seasons, – from 2005-10, and then again in 2013-14 – where he led a LeBron-less Cavs squad to a 33-49 record.

Brown was hired in 2011 as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, compiling a 42-29 record. The Lakers fired him after starting the 2012-13 season with a 1-5 record. Lakers management had just spent a good amount of money (and hope) on past-their-prime veterans Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. That, on top of rumors that Kobe Bryant was not a fan of Brown’s offense, which led the Lakers to hire long-time Kobe favorite and offensive-based head coach Mike D’Antoni.

Overall, Brown is 347-216 (.616 winning percentage) in part of eight seasons as a head coach.

In 2016, Brown was hired as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, under head coach Steve Kerr. Brown led the Warriors to a 12–0 record in the 2016–2017 NBA playoffs while head coach Steve Kerr was absent due to chronic back pain. The Warriors went on to win the championship in five games that year, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors went back to the Finals in 2018 and defeated Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals for the second straight year.

Defense *CLAP CLAP*

The Kings haven’t finished in the top 20 in defensive rating since the 2005-06 season. The 2021-22 Sacramento Kings finished with the 27th-rated defense in the NBA. That is probably why the final three names in the Kings coaching search (Mike Brown, Mark Jackson, and Steve Clifford) were all known as ‘defensive minded coaches’.

Brown is known across the league for being a top-notch, defensive-minded coach. Golden State star Klay Thompson cited Brown as being crucial to the Warriors defensive success, telling The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami,

“One thing we’ve known in his career, he’s always been a great defensive coach.”

Klay Thompson

Kings insider Jill Adge from SportsEthos was cited in a recent Kings Herald article, “In his 18 years as a defensive coordinator on the bench, Mike’s teams have only finished twice below league average.”

International Kings Connection

Brown has been the head coach of the Nigerian National basketball team since 2020. That Nigerian team BEAT the United States in the most recent Olympics. Brown coached current Sacramento King Chimezie Metu on that Nigerian national team. Metu is a fan favorite in Sacramento but needs to improve his consistency on offense and defense to actually make a difference on a playoff-bound Sacramento Kings team.

Questions I Have

Will Brown help lead the Sacramento Kings to their first playoff berth since 2005-06?

Who will be on Brown’s coaching staff?

Will Brown earn a contract extension?

Who will the Kings draft, trade, re-sign and sign in free agency?

Roster Improvements NEEDED

A head coach can only do so much to help a team win. The Sacramento Kings front office needs to build a far better roster than they have fielded in the past 16 seasons. The Kings need five legitimate NBA starters, right now they have three.

Sacramento also needs to improve its shooting to have any chance to compete in the future. According to StatMuse, Sacramento finished the 2021-22 season ranked 20th in FG%, 25th in 3PT made, 21st in 3PT attempted and 24th in 3PT%. Adding shooters around De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis will help the Kings on offense, as well as on defense. If Fox can have some load taken off his shoulders offensively, he can spend more of that energy on the defensive end, and the Kings will improve.

I sent a text to the Murph and Mac Morning Show on KNBR 680AM radio, the home of the Golden State Warriors. They echoed what many Kings talking heads have said recently, the Kings need the HORSES to compete, regardless of who the head coach is!

Three Offseason Dates to Watch For

The NBA Draft Lottery is Tuesday May 17th, the NBA Draft is Thursday June 26th, and free agency signing period – moratorium period August 2-6, official signing begins 12:01 pm ET on August 6th! I write more in-depth about these dates in my recent article.

Overall, I am excited and optimisitic as a Kings fan.

As Always, GO SACRAMENTO KINGS!

-Tom Witt

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How Long Will Next Kings Head Coach Last?

The Sacramento Kings and general manager Monte McNair are on the search for their next head coach. A head coach who will be tasked with leading the Sacramento Kings to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. That is an NBA record of 16 straight years missing the playoffs.

The Kings have employed 11 head coaches since deciding to not renew the contract of Hall of Fame head coach Rick Adelman after the 2005-06 season. Whoever the Kings decide to hire will be the 20th head coach since the team moved to Sacramento in 1985.

This is perhaps the most important decision in Sacramento Kings history. The question I have is … how long will the next head coach of the Sacramento Kings last?

List of 7 Candidates Whittled Down to Three

The franchise announced a REAL list of coaches they are going to interview. EXCITING is a word that comes to mind, as a Kings fan.

Candidates that have been NBA head coaches previously: Mark JacksonMike D’AntoniSteve Clifford, and Mike Brown. Candidates that have not been NBA head coaches, but assistant coaches: current Milwaukee Bucks assistant coaches Charles Lee and Darvin Ham, and current Boston Celtics assistant coach Will Hardy.

That list was then shortened to three candidates as reported on April, 30th by James Ham. Those candidates are Mark Jackson, Steve Clifford, and Mike Brown.

Short Tenure in the Capital City

Rick Adelman is the longest-tenured head coach in the history of the Sacramento Kings, with 625 games coached. Adelman was not retained by Sacramento after a first-round playoff exit in 2005-06, which was the last season the Kings made the playoffs. In the 16 seasons since that fateful decision, the Kings have employed 11 different head coaches.

The average tenure for a Sacramento Kings head coach in the post-Adelman era is just above 114 games. The longest-tenured Kings head coach in the post-Adelman era is Dave Joerger, who coached a respectable 326 games between 2016 and 2019. Joerger was 98-148 overall as Sacramento head coach.

In 2018-19, Joerger’s final season with the Kings, Sacramento finished with their best record (39-43) since they finished the 2005-06 season with a 44-38 record. That 39-43 finish, 9th in the NBA western conference, would have earned the Kings a play-in tournament berth in the current NBA playoff format. The word ‘UGHHHHH’ comes to mind.

Aside from Joerger, the number of games coached per Kings head coach since 2005-06 is quite disappointing. The legendary Paul Westphal coached 171, Luke Walton 161, and no one else has reached the two full season mark (164 games). The shortest tenured head coach in the post-Adelman era was Tyrone Corbin, who coached 28 games at the end of the 2014-15 season after the Kings fired Michael Malone.

How Long Will the Next Kings Head Coach Last?

Aside from personal or legal scandals, I think there is NO way the next head coach of the Sacramento Kings lasts LESS than two full seasons (164 games). I could see the Kings moving on during the third season, if they don’t make the play-in tournament in the first two seasons, and are essentially out of the play-in hunt post-all star break of the third season.

My HOPE is that the next Sacramento Kings head coach earns a contract EXTENSION! That means the Kings most likely made the play-in tournament, and have a realistic shot at a top 7 seed in the western conference. Though, more importantly, a contract extension most likely means BOTH parties are bought into each other, which has not been the case in SacTown since 2004 or so.

As Always, Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Kings Announce List of Head Coaching Candidates

The Sacramento Kings and general manager Monte McNair are on the search for their next head coach. A head coach who will be tasked with leading the Sacramento Kings to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. That is an NBA record of 16 straight years missing the playoffs. The Kings have employed 11 head coaches since deciding to not renew the contract of Hall of Fame head coach Rick Adelman after the 2005-06 season.

In This Article

  • List of Candidates
  • Expert Opinions
  • Tom’s Takes
  • Fan Input/Poll Questions

List of Candidates

The Sacramento Kings announced a REAL list of coaches they are actually going to interview. EXCITING is a word that comes to mind, as a Kings fan.

Candidates that have been NBA head coaches previously: Mark Jackson, Mike D’Antoni, Steve Clifford, and Mike Brown. Candidates that have not been NBA head coaches, but assistant coaches: current Milwaukee Bucks assistant coaches Charles Lee and Darvin Ham, and current Boston Celtics assistant coach Will Hardy.

Expert Opinions

Tom’s Takes

I think that the list of candidates is ENCOURAGING! The fact that there is going to be an EXTENSIVE head coaching search is critical to the success of the franchise and a very new process to most Kings fans. Most of the decisions made by Kings GM Monte McNair have improved the team – besides maybe trading Delon Wright for Tristan Thompson. To put it simply, I trust McNair and the front office.

What Do Kings Fans Think?

One question I had for Kings fans was, do they think the next head coach of the Kings needs to have NBA head coaching experience? I don’t necessarily think it’s a necessity but wouldn’t be a negative at all.

To add on top of that question, I asked Kings fans who they would want to be hired out of the 4 coaching candidates with previous NBA head coaching experience?

Looking Ahead

While I have not done much or any research on the list of potential Kings head coaching candidates, I will soon! Until then … a question I have for anyone who cares is: How many seasons will the next Sacramento Kings head coach last?

Exciting times ahead for the Sacramento Kings and their passionate fanbase!

As Always, Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Sacramento Kings Head Coach Search: Sam Cassell

The Sacramento Kings and general manager Monte McNair are on the search for their next head coach. A head coach who will be tasked with leading the Sacramento Kings to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2005-06, an NBA record 16 straight playoff-less seasons.

The Kings have employed 11 head coaches since deciding to not renew the contract of Hall of Fame head coach Rick Adelman after the 2005-06 season.

The day after the 2021-22 NBA regular season ended the Kings made the decision to not retain interim head coach Alvin Gentry. Many Kings fans took to social media and voiced what coaches they would like to see get an interview. A name that came up multiple times next to the oft-mentioned Kenny Atkinson and Mark Jackson, was Sam Cassell.

Cassell Highly Respected Across NBA

Cassell has been talked about as a head coaching candidate for multiple NBA teams over the previous few years. In a July 2021 Fan Nation article, he was praised by both Bradley Beal and John Wall,

Fred Katz of The Athletic reported that Beal’s top choice was Sixers’ assistant Sam Cassell, and he was frustrated Cassell didn’t get a second interview. Cassell has previous ties with Beal as he was an assistant for the Wizards in Beal’s first seasons. He has also received high praise from John Wall in the past.

Kevin McCormick – Fan Nation

Cassell’s Playing Career

Cassell was a three-time NBA champion during his 15-year NBA career. He won two championships with the Houston Rockets and one with the Boston Celtics.

In his first two seasons in the NBA, Cassell won back-to-back championships, 1993-’94 and ’94-’95, with the Houston Rockets. To cap off his 15-year career, he helped the Boston Celtics win a 2008-09 NBA championship. Winning a championship in your first and last NBA seasons seems like a rare feat to me. One on which a Google search didn’t produce much information. I’ll have to dive deeper into that if the Kings do indeed end up hiring Cassell.

Franchise Changing Leader

Cassell averaged over 19 points per game in five NBA seasons. He was selected to the NBA All-Star game and All NBA Team in 2003-04 with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

To me though, Cassell is best known for being a ‘franchise changing’ player. He helped the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves reach the Conference Finals of the playoffs in 2001 and 2004 respectively. That was the T-Wolves first EVER conference finals appearance and the Bucks first conference finals appearance since 1986. Cassell also helped the Los Angeles Clippers to their first-ever playoff series victory in 2006.

Adding ‘First head coach to lead the Sacramento Kings to the playoffs since 2005-06’ would be an AWESOME addition to his resume, if you ask me!

Cassell’s Coaching Career

Cassell began his NBA coaching journey when he was hired by the Washington Wizards as an assistant coach during the summer of 2009. In 2014, after 5 seasons with the Wizards, Cassell was hired as an assistant coach by the Los Angeles Clippers, where he would join the coaching staff of Doc Rivers. In November of 2020 Cassell was hired by Philadelphia, where he is currently an assistant coach under Rivers.

Paul Pierce even credited his meeting with coach Cassell during the 2014 offseason as the main reason he decided to sign with the Washington Wizards. That type of energy, respect, and recruiting ability is EXACTLY what the Sacramento Kings franchise needs.

I can picture it now … head coach Cassell and assistant coach Doug Christie roaming the sidelines in SacTown. Setting a freakin’ TONE! Can I get a ‘Let’s GO!’?!

What Do YOU Think?

Let us know!

As Always, Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

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BREAKING: Kings Move On From Gentry

After finishing the 2021-22 NBA season with a record of 30-52, 12th in the NBA western conference, the Sacramento Kings will embark on the search for a new head coach, after deciding to move on from interim head coach Alvin Gentry.

Gentry tallied a 24-41 record as interim head coach for Sacramento, after taking over mid-season for former head coach Luke Walton, who was let go on November 21, 2021.

The Kings have employed 11 different head coaches since deciding to not renew the contract of legendary, Hall of Fame head coach Rick Adelman, after the 2005-06 season. That 2005-06 season what the last time the Sacramento Kings made the playoffs.

Sacramento Kings Head Coaching Candidates

The Sacramento Kings and general manager Monte McNair are on the search for their next head coach. A head coach who will be tasked with leading the Sacramento Kings to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2005-06.

A few names that experts and fans have thrown around have been – Kenny Atkinson, Mike Brown, Darvin Ham, Sam Cassell, Mark Jackson, and Terry Stotts. Even former Kings head coach Dave Joerger has been mentioned a lot! It will be VERY interesting to see what candidates emerge through the process, how long the process takes, and so much more!

A few more names have emerged after the Kings officially decided to not retain Gentry.

What Do YOU Think?

I always like to know what the fans think! Who would you like to see as the Sacramento Kings next head coach? What ‘traits’ would you like to see their next head coach?

As Always, Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Kings Travel to Houston for Two Games in Three Days

The 27-49 Sacramento Kings have two games in three days against the Houston Rockets, who at 20-57 are tied for the worst record in the NBA. This two-game series against the Rockets will have a big impact on the Kings NBA Draft Lottery odds, and the overall landscape of the NBA Draft Lottery.

The Rockets are currently tied with the Detriot Pistons and Orlando Magic for the best odds to land the #1 overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft. The top three teams in the draft lottery have a 14% chance of landing the #1 selection. Sacramento currently sits at 6th in the NBA draft lottery order, with a 9% chance at the #1 overall selection. If they slip down one spot to the 7th worst record in the NBA, their odds at the first overall selection fall to 7.5%.

While the Kings, who currently sit at 13th place in the NBA western conference, do still have a mathematical chance at making the NBA Playoff Play-In tournament, their chances hinge on going undefeated in their final 6 games, while also relying on multiple teams to fare terribly. Essentially, the Kings are hoping to play well, but lose games to help draft lottery odds. Try telling that to the players on the court though … I think they want to WIN.

If the Kings win both of these games against the lowly Rockets, they will have gone 4-1 on their recent road trip. That would be without both of their stars De’Aaron Fox and Damontas Sabonis. While that would hinder their lottery chances, any sort of good showing on the court for the Kings gives them and the fanbase optimism going into the offseason. Or just hinders their chances at landing Jabari Smith or Paulo Banchero in the top 5 of the draft. Depends how ya look at it. Kinda like ALL things regarding being a Kings fan … it’s all how ya look at it.

Davion Mitchell Shining in Elevated Minutes

Sacramento Kings rookie guard Davion ‘Off-Night’ Mitchell has seen increased minutes and opportunity to start while Fox has been sidelined with a hand injury. Over his past 4 games, Mitchell has tallied 20+ points and 7+ assists. Mitchell and Trae Young are the only two rookies since 2013 to have attained that statistical feat!

Houston Two Step

I’m not well-versed in the science or art of tanking. Over the past few seasons, the Kings haven’t really shown their fans they can commit to winning or tanking. So, in their upcoming two games in three days against the Kings, I’m not sure if the Rockets are going to be purposely ‘tanking’ and how they will go about doing that if they wanted to. But if they were to try and tank, this would be a great time to do so for them.

Head to Head This Season

The season series is tied 1-1 so far between these two western conference bottom-dwellers. According to the robots over at StatMuse, Sacramento has shot 47.6% FG and 33.3% 3PT FG in their two games against the Rockets. The Kings tallied 16 steals in their 112-118 loss at home to the Rockets on 1/22/22. On the bright side, the Kings only turned the ball over 14 and 12 times in both their matchups versus the Rockets this season.

Things to Watch For

Increased minutes for Neemias Queta. A few weekends ago, I traveled down to the 209 to watch the Stockton Kings and Neemias Queta play against former Sacramento King Pooh Jeter and the G-League Ignite squad. Physically, Queta stood out amongst all the other players on the court. Neemy also looked very comfortable on the floor skill-wise. He needs to get more NBA experience and FAIL a bunch of times NOW. And then learn from those failures and continue to work to be ready to play more impactful minutes next season.

Along with his defensive prowess, Queta sets one heckuva screen! Watch out for how the Kings use Queta on offense, especially in the screen game!

How do Donte DiVincenzo and Davion Mitchell play together? The Kings shooting guard position has been in flux since … Kevin Martin? The Kings have bench depth at the shooting guard spot, with Donte DiVincenzo, Justin Holiday, Davion Mitchell, and the currently injured Terence Davis. They currently don’t have a ‘playoff caliber’ NBA starter at the shooting guard spot, in my opinion.

That’s not to say none of these guys can continue to improve and fill that starting role for a playoff/play-in bound Kings team in 2022-23. That is why these next few games, especially without Fox, will help the Kings sort out who should be on the roster at shooting guard to start the 2022-23 season.

Predictions

I predict the Kings will go 1-1 on their two games in three days on the road against the Houston Rockets. It would be the truly Kings-y thing to do! Or maybe going 2-0 would be the most Kings-y. Depends on how ya look at it!

As ALWAYS … Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Alvin Gentry’s Future as Kings Head Coach

The Sacramento Kings and general manager Monte McNair are on the search for their next head coach. A head coach who will be tasked with leading the Sacramento Kings to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. The Kings have employed 11 head coaches since deciding to not renew the contract of legendary, Hall of Fame head coach Rick Adelman after the 2005-06 season.

Recent Kings Coaching Carousel

After 161 games as Kings head coach, Luke Walton was relieved of his duties on November 21, 2021. Walton began his tenure as Sacramento Kings head coach on March 15th, 2019 when he was hired by then-general manager Vlade Divac. During his time as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, Walton tallied a record of 68-93 (.433).

Sacramento then named assistant coach and longtime NBA head coach Alvin Gentry as their interim head coach. That was amidst some ‘rumors’ that Sacramento Kings fan favorite and first-year assistant coach Doug Christie may be appointed to the interim head coaching role.

Gentry has been a head coach for 1158 NBA games, with a 529-629 record. Since taking over the interim head coaching role on 3/21/22, the Kings are 20-37 under Gentry. Just to re-iterate… the Sacramento Kings have not made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season.

Kings Stats Under Gentry

There were a few interesting stats that stuck out to me during Alvin Gentry’s 57 games as interim head coach. Comparing the Kings this season under head coach Walton and interim head coach Gentry – Sacramento is averaging more points per game under Gentry, 110.9 PPG compared to 109.1 PPG under Walton. Sacramento is attempting more three-pointers per game under Gentry, 35.5, compared to 32.9 under Walton. Under Gentry, the Kings are also shooting a higher percentage from three-point range, 34.7% compared to 33.8% under Walton. Assists per game are also up under Gentry, 24.0 per game compared to 22.4 under Walton.

Defensively, the Kings have averaged the same amount of steals per game under both coaches, 7.2. Along with similar blocks per game, 5.0 under Walton compared to 4.3 under Gentry.

Is Gentry a REALISTIC Candidate?

It seems like Alvin Gentry is a great human, very respected in the NBA world, a high-level assistant coach, and a capable head coach. Though, going forward for the Sacramento Kings, I would hope Gentry is not their head coach. Gentry seems like a great fit for an assistant coach on the Kings but not the best fit for the long-term head coach of the Sacramento Kings. How the Kings fare in their playoff/play-in tournament push could heavily determine the future of the Gentry as Kings head coach. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, if you’re on ‘Team Tank’) that play-in push is not looking good.

Who will be the head coach of the Kings when they select in the top 7 of the 2022 NBA Draft? Read about more of the potential Sacramento Kings head coaching candidates in my recent article!

Fan Input

57 fans voted in my Twitter poll, and 91.2% of voters DO NOT WANT Alvin Gentry back as Kings head coach in 2022-23.

As always, Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Sacramento Kings Head Coach Hunt

The Sacramento Kings and general manager Monte McNair are on the search for their next head coach.

Former Kings head coach Luke Walton was relieved of his duties on Sunday 11/10/21. Walton began his tenure as Sacramento Kings head coach on March 15th, 2019 when he was hired by then-general manager Vlade Divac. During his time as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, Walton tallied a record of 68-93 (.433).

Sacramento then named assistant coach and longtime NBA head coach Alvin Gentry their interim head coach. That was amidst some ‘rumors’ that Sacramento Kings fan favorite and first-year assistant coach Doug Christie may be appointed to the interim head coaching role.

Gentry has been a head coach for 1158 NBA games, with a 529-629 record. As of 3/16/22, the Kings are 19-34 under interim head coach Gentry.

Just to re-iterate… the Sacramento Kings have not made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season.

In This Article

  • Head coaching questions
  • Head coaching candidates
  • Alvin Gentry
  • Fan and ‘Expert’ opinion

Head Coaching Questions

Is there a veteran head coach out there who is currently unemployed that would want to take over the Kings next season, with hopes of actually staying on for multiple seasons? Will there be a college coach who jumps ship for an NBA head coaching opportunity? Is there a hidden gem on the bench of a current NBA team that McNair has been eyeing? Is there a WNBA or international coaching candidate? Do the Kings go with a ‘local legend’? Will the current interim head coach and LONG time NBA head coach Alvin Gentry get hired as head coach?

Consulting the Experts

It’s exciting to get a re-tweet from a ‘big name’ in the Sacramento Kings realm, I’m not gonna lie! Carmichael Dave posed a question on his Twitter page, asking his followers what they would ask Kings GM Monte McNair.

I asked, “Build your perfect head coach, what does that look like?”

List of Potential Sacramento Kings Head Coaching Candidates

Some names I have seen in articles, heard in podcasts and scrolled bye on social media posts in NO particular order …

Sam Cassell, Kenny Atkinson, Mike Brown, Terry Stotts, Darvin Ham are the more realistic names I’ve heard out there. Then there are the ‘outliers’ that people like to talk about to stir up the conversation. Former Kings head coach Dave Joerger and even former Golden State Warriors head coach and current NBA TV analyst Mark Jackson have all been named by rabid Sacramento Kings fans when I posed the question on social media. Some have even mentioned Sacramento Kings ‘local legends’ and current members of the coaching staff, Doug Christie, and Bobby Jackson.

One name that was swirling around for a while, that is now off the table, was Becky Hammon, who was hired as the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA. Hammon, the second female coach in the NBA history, was previously an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs and is now the HIGHEST PAID head coach in WNBA history, earning up to $1 million per year.

Is Gentry a REALISTIC Candidate?

It seems like Alvin Gentry is a great human, very respected in the NBA world, a high-level assistant coach, and a capable head coach. Though, going forward for the Sacramento Kings, I would hope Gentry is not their head coach. Gentry seems like a great fit for an assistant coach on the Kings but not the best fit for the head coach of the Sacramento Kings. How the Kings fare in their playoff/play-in tournament push could heavily determine the value of the Gentry as Kings head coach. And that play-in push is not looking good.

Who will be the head coach of the Kings when they select in the top 7 of the 2022 NBA Draft?

Fan Input

What is pro sports without sports fans … nothing really! Even though the fans do not really have much of a say in who gets hired, I think it is IMPORTANT for the fan voices to be heard! Gotta keep those ears and eyes to the streets!

Past Problems Loom Large in the Memories of Kings Fans

I have heard many Kings fans state that they really don’t ‘care’ who is the next head coach of the franchise. They are more concerned that GM Monte McNair has FULL authority to hire who HE wants to, with a lack of perceived ‘meddling’ from owner Vivek Ranadive.

To me, there are multiple ways to view this, realistically.

Depends on who ya ask … but as a Kings fan, in the past, it seems that Ranadive has ‘meddled’ a bit too much, instead of fully trusting the ‘experts’ in the front office. That can be frustrating for a Kings fanbase who haven’t seen a playoff game since 2006.

I also empathize with Ranadive. If I owned a coffee shop or an NBA franchise, I want to have a say in what happens! There must be a balance (maybe even a Power Balance) found.

As always, Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Kings Head Home to Face New York Knicks

The Sacramento Kings are currently 24-42, 13th place in the NBA western conference standings. The Kings head back home after going 2-3 on their most recent 5 game road trip and will face the 26-38 New York Knicks on Monday 3/7 at 7PM in Sacramento.

Play-In Pursuits Popped

The Kings are 4 games behind the 10th place New Orleans Pelicans for the final western conference play-in spot. The Kings are not mathematically eliminated from the play-in race, but with a VERY tough schedule going forward, it will be unlikely the Kings will crack the top 10 in the west. The Knicks are in a similar situation, they are currently in 12th place in the NBA eastern conference and 5.5 games behind 10th place Atlanta Hawks.

The Kings don’t need to try and tank, as shown by blowing multiple 15+ point leads on their previous road trip. In my opinion, Sacramento has A LOT to play for, regardless of their dwindling play-in aspirations.

The Kings have a great opportunity to grow as a team, hash out their future shooting guard spot, see how Richaun Holmes fits in with the addition of Domantas Sabonis, figure out if Damian Jones has a future with the Kings, and maybe even a way to convince Harrison Barnes he deserves to shoot more than 9 shots in a game.

Previous Meeting

The Kings and Knicks have faced off once this season, at the ‘Mecca’ of hoops, Madison Square Garden, on 1/22/22. The Kings lost that matchup 118-98. Former King Tyrese Haliburton was Sacramento’s lead scorer with 22 points, along with dishing out 7 assists. Former King Alec Burks was the lead scorer for the Knicks, with 21 points off the bench.

Sacramento shot terribly from 3PT range in the first matchup against the Knicks, 28.9%. Additionally, the Kings shot 50% from the free-throw line, 11-22. How in the world that happens to an NBA team is beyond me. This new-look Kings squad will have to improve those numbers to have any chance against the Knicks this time around.

Fox Force

In their first matchup, Sacramento was without De’Aaron Fox. Fox has CAUGHT fire since the Kings traded for Domantas Sabonis. In his previous 9 games, Fox has averaged 28.3 points, 6.4 assists, and 51.8% FG.

Fox equaled his career-high 44 points in a close loss on the road to the Dallas Mavericks in their last game, Saturday 3/5. Losing was probably the best-case scenario for the Kings, helping them in their draft lottery odds.

A Few Numbers for This Matchup

Defensively, the Knicks rank highly in the NBA in a few categories. The Knicks rank 8th in points allowed, 3rd in offensive rebounds allowed and 4th in FG allowed. Offensively New York ranks 4th in total rebounds, 2nd in free throws attempted, and 5th in offensive rebounds.

The Kings rank 22nd in the NBA in total rebounds allowed and 16th in offensive rebounds allowed. To have an opportunity to compete, the Kings will have to improve in those areas and keep the Knicks from getting too many second-chance opportunities.

My Predictions

I originally predicted this game to be a WIN for the Kings. And I will stick by that!

What Do YOU Think

I want to know what the #SacramentoProud fans think!

If you want to share your opinion, stats, homemade tacos you concocted for the game … let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!

Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

https://linktr.ee/sactowncrown

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Predictions: Sacramento Kings Back-To-Back on the Road to Determine Play-In Destiny

The 23-40 Sacramento Kings are STILL in the NBA playoff ‘play-in’ hunt! The Kings kept their play-in tournament hopes alive with a much-needed 131-110 win on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

The Kings are currently 13th in the NBA’s western conference, 3 games back of the 10th place New Orleans Pelicans and the FINAL western conference play-in tournament spot. In their pursuit of the 10th seed, Sacramento also needs to ‘leap-frog’ the 11th place (25-36) Portland Trail Blazers and 12th place (24-38) San Antonio Spurs.

Controlling Our Destiny

The Kings can do a lot to ‘control their play-in tournament destiny’ over the next two games. They go into a HUGE back-to-back, both on the road, Wednesday 3/2 against the 10th place Pelicans, and Thursday 3/3 against the 12th place Spurs. This two-game stretch has the potential to clear a lot of things up for the Kings play-in tournament situation.

Going 2-0 can give the Kings a legitimate shot at fighting for the final play-in spot in the west. If they go 0-2, it may put the Kings far enough back to all but end their play-in hopes. A 1-1 stretch would be very Kings-y! Regardless, I am EXCITED about some ‘meaningful’ hoops! The Kings are 4-8 this season on games with 0 days rest, AKA the SEGABABA (second game of a back to back).

Matchup Stats and Opinions

The Kings are 2-0 this season versus the Pelicans. A couple of stats that stuck out to me were, the Kings are averaging 110.2 points per game versus all opponents this season, and 112.5 PPG against the Pelicans. Against all opponents this season the Kings are shooting 76% from the free-throw line, in their two games against the Pelicans, the Kings are shooting 89.4% from the charity stripe!

The Pelicans rank 29th in the NBA in 3PT shots made, the Kings rank 17th in the NBA defensively in 3PT makes allowed. New Orleans ranks 4th in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game, Sacramento ranks 19th in the NBA in ORB allowed per game. To give themselves the best chance at the win, the Kings will need to not allow too many second-chance opportunities, and make sure the Pels don’t catch fire from 3 point range! The Pelicans are coming off of two big wins on the road against the Phoneix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers.

Both squads acquired impact players at the 2/10 trade deadline. The Pelicans traded for former Trail Blazer CJ McCollum, one of the top scorers in the NBA. McCollum has caught fire since arriving in New Orleans. In 7 games with the Pelicans, he is averaging 28 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

Thursday 3/3 in San Antonio

Sacramento is 1-1 against the San Antonio Spurs this season, heading into their 3rd and final matchup of the regular season. Sacramento is shooting better against the Spurs compared to their season average. Against all opponents this season, the Kings are averaging 45% FG and 51% FG against the Spurs.

In all of the NBA, the Spurs rank 7th in points, 1st in FG made, and 1st in assists! Sacramento’s per-game ranks are 28th in points allowed, 19th in assists allowed, and 29th in opponent FG%. This post-trade deadline version of the Kings squad will have to step up their usual defensive output to hold the Spurs and first-time NBA All-Star Dejounte Murray close. The 25 year old Murray is averaging an IMPRESSIVE 20.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 9.4 assists per game this season.

Road WOE-rriors

The Sacramento Kings started the season 6-6 on the road, surprisingly positive. Since December 1st, the Sacramento Kings are a disappointing 2-16 on the road. On the season, the Kings are 8-22 in away games. If the Kings have any chance at making the play-in tournament, they will need to improve on the road, especially with 11 of their final 19 games away from home.

Odds Are …

The Kings are 6 point underdogs against the Pelicans tonight. The ‘lines’ haven’t been released for the Thursday 3/3 game at San Antonio yet.

Tom’s Predictions

I gave my predictions for the Kings final 22 games during the NBA All-Star break. Originally I predicted the Kings to split this back-to-back, with a win against the Pelicans and a loss against the Spurs … I am STICKING with my original prediction.

I think the Kings will get a big WIN against the New Orleans Pelicans tonight. Sacramento has had a tough time getting wins on the second night of a back-to-back, especially on the road. I predict they will lose against the Spurs on Thursday. First things first though, let’s get this big WIN in New Orleans!

What Do YOU Think

I want to know what the #SacramentoProud fans think!

If you want to share your opinion, stats, homemade tacos you concocted for the game … let me know on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

As always, GO SACRAMENTO KINGS!

-Tom Witt

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Kings Play-In MUST-WIN in OKC

The Sacramento Kings are 22-40, 13th place in the NBA western conference. That is 3.5 games behind the 10th place New Orleans Pelicans, and the final western conference playoff Play-In tournament berth. Sacramento face what is essentially a MUST-WIN game tonight on the road against the 19-41 Oklahoma City Thunder.

In This Article:

  • Stats versus OKC this season
  • Who is OUT for the matchup
  • Odds!
  • My Predictions and YOUR opinions!

Versus OKC This Season

The Kings are 2-1 in the season series against the Thunder, heading into the 4th and final regular season meeting. I found a few interesting stats on the previous three matchups between the two teams via StatMuse.

From 3PT range, Sacramento is shooting 38.4% against OKC, compared to 34.4% (14th in the NBA) on the season. Sharing is … scoring. Sacramento is averaging 25 assists per game against OKC, compared to 23.4 APG on the season. It will be fun to see how this NEW LOOK Sacramento Kings squad will do against the Thunder.

Without De’Aaron Fox, the Kings won their previous meeting with OKC on February 5th, 113-103. Sacramento ‘won’ or tied every quarter of that game. Harrison Barnes scored 24 points and added in 9 rebounds. Moe Harkless also notched a double-double, with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Richaun Holmes Likely OUT

Richaun Holmes is likely out against the Thunder, due to a sore back. OKC will be missing 6 players, Sacramento Kings insider James Ham lists them all below.

Odds Are …

Sacramento are 4.5 point (-4.5) favorites tonight against OKC.

Sacramento is 2-4 since the ‘blockbuster’ trade Sabonis/Haliburton trade with the Indiana Pacers. As this team gets more time together, they have become better and more fun to watch. Tonight is a MUST-WIN, for the Kings Play-In hopes, in my opinion.

My Predictions

I outlined ALL of my predictions for the Sacramento Kings final 22 games. I will stick by my original prediction, which means I think the Kings will come out with a WIN in OKC!

What Do YOU Think

I want to know what the #SacramentoProud fans think!

If you want to share your opinion, stats, homemade tacos you concocted for the game … let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!

As always, GO SACRAMENTO KINGS!

-Tom Witt

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Predictions: 22 Games to Determine Sacramento Kings Playoff (Play-In) Hopes

The NBA All-Star break has come and gone, with NO Sacramento Kings being selected/voted into the game, again. In my opinion, that is a GREAT thing for this 22-38 overall Sacramento Kings team who added 6 new members to the squad and traded 4 previous members of the team at the 2/10 NBA trade deadline. The new-look Kings need this time to grow together as a team, in hopes of making a push for an NBA playoff ‘Play-In’ berth during the final 22 games of their season.

In case you forgot, the Sacramento Kings haven’t made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season. Will this be the season that drought ends?

In This Article

  • Current NBA Western Conference Play-In Picture
  • To Tank or Not to Tank?
  • NBA Playoff Play-In EXPLAINED
  • My Predictions on ALL 22 Games Remaining for the Sacramento Kings
  • Stats, References, Strength of Schedule, Home/Road Records

Sacramento Kings Remaining Schedule

Current NBA Standings

NBA standings as of Thursday, 2/22/22. The Kings currently sit at 12th in the NBA western conference, 22-38 overall.

The teams whom the Kings will most likely be battling with for the 10th and final ‘Play-In’ seed are: Current 11th/12th seeds San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans (both with 23-36), 10th seed Portland Trail Blazers (25-34), and 9th seed Los Angeles Lakers (27-31).

Tanks But No Tanks

Simply put, *BLANK* tanking.

A good bit of data about the Sacramento Kings draft selection chances from the most recent ‘Sunday Musings’ article by James Ham of the Kings Beat,

Only five teams in the NBA have a worse record than Sacramento at this point in the season. If we froze the league now, the Kings would have a nine percent chance of landing the top pick, 9.2 percent chance of moving up to No. 2, a 9.4 percent chance of No. 3 and a 9.6 percent opportunity of landing No. 4.

James Ham

I was listening to the latest episode of The Locked On Kings Podcast with Matt George, guest and long time Kings media member Sean Cunningham stated it well,

Explained: NBA Playoff ‘Play-In’

The NBA added a playoff ‘play-in’ during the modified 2019-20 season. NBA.com released a Playoff Play-In FAQ outlining the format of the added play-in tournament.

“At the conclusion of the regular season but before the first round of the playoffs, the team with the 7th-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the 8th-highest winning percentage in a Play-In Game (the “Seven-Eight Game”).

The winner of the Seven-Eight Game in each conference will earn the No. 7 seed. The team with the 9th-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the 10th-highest winning percentage in the “Nine-Ten Game”.

The loser of the Seven-Eight Game will host the winner of the Nine-Ten Game in a Play-In Game, and the winner of that game in each conference will earn the No. 8 seed.”

The play-in is great in many aspects, in my opinion. Simply put, there are more meaningful regular season and playoff games for fans to watch.

Also, there is more reason for teams outside of the 8th seed to play hard to the finish of the season, and not ‘tank’. Overall, I think it makes for a more competitive and fun to watch NBA!

Tom’s Predictions: Kings Final 22 Regular Season Games

2/24: vs Denver NuggetsLOSS

2/26: @ Denver Nuggets – LOSS

2/28: @ Oklahoma City ThunderWIN

3/2: @ New Orleans Pelicans – WIN

3/3: @ San Antonio Spurs – LOSS

3/5: @ Dallas MavericksLOSS

3/7: vs. New York KnicksWIN

3/9: vs. Denver Nuggets – LOSS

3/12: @ Utah JazzLOSS

3/14: vs. Chicago BullsLOSS

3/16: vs. Milwaukee BucksLOSS

3/18: vs. Boston CelticsWIN

3/20: vs. Phoenix SunsLOSS

3/23: @ Indiana PacersWIN

3/26: @ Orlando MagicWIN

3/28: @ Miami HeatLOSS

3/30: @ Houston RocketsWIN

4/1: @ Houston Rockets – LOSS

4/3: vs. Golden State WarriorsLOSS

4/5: vs. New Orleans Pelicans – WIN

4/9: @ Los Angeles ClippersWIN

4/10: @ Phoenix Suns – WIN

That puts the Kings at 10-12 in their final 22 games, 32-50 overall.

Unfortunately … I do NOT think that record will be good enough for the 10th and final ‘Play-In’ seed. It seems as though the Trail Blazers are potentially looking to ‘tank’ to re-tool for next season and beyond, but it seems like the Pelicans, Spurs and Lakers are looking to make the playoffs/play-in.

Strength of Schedule

Sacramento has the 9th toughest strength of schedule (.509) in the NBA over the remainder of the NBA season, according to Tankathon.

The ‘strength of schedule’ for the Sacramento Kings ‘rivals’ in their pursuit of the 10th and final ‘Play-In’ seeds are currently: LA Lakers (3rd), New Orleans (7th), San Antonio (12th), Portland (29th).

I am HOPEFUL that when the Kings play some of the ‘better’ teams on their remaining schedule, those teams will have solidified their playoff spots, and rest some players/not be fully engaged. That’s hoping for a LOT.

Home Sweet Home

Sacramento has been far better at home compared to the road this season. The Kings are 15-17 at home, and 7-21 on the road. THey have 8 home games and 14 road games left.

Over their previous 10 home games, the Kings are 5-5.

Over their previous 10 road games the Kings are 1-9.

SEGABABA Genesis

The Kings are not great on the Second Game of a Back to Back (SEGABABA) this season, going 4-8 so far on games with 0 days of rest.

The Kings will have two more back-to-backs over their final 22 contests.

One of the most important being on 3/2-3/3 when they face fellow western conference ‘Play-In’ hopefuls, New Orleans and San Antonio, both on the road.

That two game stretch could very well eliminate the Kings hopes, or really catapult them into true ‘Play-In’ contention! The Kings better get their rest and eat their Wheaties!

Room to Improve

Sacramento has a LOT of room to improve. One of those areas that has a lot of room for improvement is the contribution of Richaun Holmes. Sidelined by multiple unfortunate injuries, Holmes has been a non-factor for much of the season.

Can Holmes find his groove and be a positive contributor for the Kings over their final 22 game push? Would you like to see Holmes and Domantas Sabonis on the floor at the same time?

What Do YOU Think

I want to know what the #SacramentoProud fans think!

If you want to share your opinion, stats, homemade tacos you concocted for the game … let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!

Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

https://linktr.ee/sactowncrown

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LeBron and Bronny James Could Become Kings in Sacramento

Sacramento Kings fans … put your imaginations to work …

SCENE: It is the evening of the 2024 NBA draft … Adam Silver saunters across the stage … oversized envelope in hand, the NBA Commissioner’s bald head glistening with anticipation … as he readies himself behind the podium to announce the 2024 NBA Draft.

One of the headliners in that class, the ‘Air’ to the throne … son of LeBron James, Bronny James.

Lost yet … I understand.

The Situation

LeBron James wants to play on the same team as his son Bronny James. His son is currently 17 years old, and eligible for the 2024 NBA draft.

Tom’s HYPOTHETICAL Proposal

The Sacramento Kings go ‘ALL IN’ on drafting the 6’3″ 190lb Bronny James, so they can entice his father LeBron James to SacTown.

The Royal Proposal:

LeBron and Bronny James come to SacTown and help the Sacramento Kings not only make the playoffs but win their first western conference championship and dare I say … NBA Championship.

Cementing LeBron James as the greatest hooper of all time! AKA the G.O.A.T.

After all, James did start his NBA career in ‘SacTown’. LeBron played his first NBA game in the ‘House That Jerry Reynolds Built’, ARCO Arena.

The References

A February 7th, 2022 Sports Illustrated article ‘Report: LeBron James Could Leave Lakers to Play With Son Bronny’ by Mike McDaniel states,

“LeBron likes L.A., he likes raising his family in L.A. and his postcareer businesses are in L.A.,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst told Maxim‘s Chris Sheridan last week. “But he’s made it very clear that he wants to play with his son. If that situation is available outside L.A., he’ll pursue it,” Windhorst continued.”

The Contract Situation

According to the SI article, “LeBron’s contract expires with the Lakers after the 2022–23 season, which leaves a one-year gap between LeBron’s pending free agency and Bronny’s eligibility in the NBA.”

2024 Way-Too-Early NBA Mock Draft

In a brief internet search, Bronny James currently ranks in the mid-20s for 2024 NBA draft prospects. My hopes (and dreams) are that the Sacramento Kings FINALLY break their playoff-less drought by the time Bronny is draft eligible. Which would put the Kings OUT of the top 14 draft lottery selections, and thus, more likely to actually be in a position to draft Bronny.

Hypothetically, that is.

The Fan Voice

Sacramento Kings media, and fans have been talking …. maybe even dreaming! But, that’s nothing new! Here is what some of them had to say!

Heir to the Throne … But Will He Take the Crown

Getting to the playoffs is a great thing … winning the first NBA or even western conference championship for Sacramento would be even more G.O.A.T-ish. I even talked about the topic on my latest guest appearance on the FatBoy Fadeaway podcast!

What Do YOU Think?

Is it a possibility for LeBron James to follow his son, to Sacramento, and TRULY cement his legacy as the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All-Time) of basketball?

I want to know what the #SacramentoProud fans think!

If you want to share your opinion, stats, homemade tacos you concocted for the game … let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!

Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

https://linktr.ee/sactowncrown

Embed from Getty Images

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Kings Pull Off the Trade of the Century: Haliburton for Sabonis

The Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers engaged in a franchise-changing trade today February, 8th at around 10:30 am PST. Dare I say … this is the BIGGEST trade the Sacramento Kings have made … in this CENTURY (the year 2000 and beyond)?!?!

Trade Details:

Trade Breakdown

SAC receives: Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb, Justin Holiday, 2027 2nd Rd pick

IND receives: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Tristan Thompson

Welcome to the City of Trees

A few notable stats for three of the Sacramento Kings new additions.

Per game averages for the 2021-22 season:

Domantas Sabonis18.9 points, 12.1 rebounds, 5 assists, 58% FG, 32.4% 3PT FG, 74% FT.

Jeremy Lamb – 7.4 PPG, 2.4 AST, 1.3 REBS, 15.7 minutes, 83.8% FT.

Justin Holiday – 11 PPG, 2.8 AST, 1.8 REB, 28.9 MPG, 41.5% FG, 37.8% 3PT FG, 82.9% FT.

Contract Situations

Will Zimmerle is a great follow on Twitter. He often provides unique stats on the Sacramento Kings, as well as being regularly referenced on ‘The D-Lo & KC Show’ on ESPN 1320AM radio (12 PM-4 PM Monday-Friday).

The contracts in this trade played a major role in WHY the Kings improved in this trade. Perhaps the biggest non-player/on-court aspect of the trade is they traded away Buddy Hield’s contract. Hield’s contract includes this season, plus two more on his contract. Hield will be making $24 million, $22.5 mil, $18.5 mil in his final three seasons of this deal.

Addition by subtraction. Let’s GO!

Addition By Subtraction

Simply put … the Kings got better by ridding themselves of Buddy Hield, his style of play, and his contract. Thanks for the early season motivation and viral clips Tristan Thompson and … bye Buddy.

Sometimes it’s not what you GET, it’s what you GET RID OF.

Shock in SacTown

There have been MANY rumors swirling around about trades involving either or both Tyrese Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox for weeks now. Most Kings fans, including myself, did not actually think that Haliburton or Fox would be traded. Especially after the front office kinda, sorta stated they wanted to build around the two young guards. I’m not mad … I’m just still a bit in shock.

Even the infamous Adrian ‘Woj’ Wojnarowski was stunned by this trade.

Therapy Session … #SacramentoProud Style

Like most Kings fans, I also get ATTACHED to players that come through SacTown. We loved Isaiah Thomas, then they sent him out! We rallied around the fighting spirit of Harry Giles III. He is now working his way back up to the NBA in the G-League.

We loved Buddy Hield for a while … then he started ‘Being Buddy’ FAR too often.

To be completely honest, Tyrese Haliburton was my FAVORITE player on this Sacramento Kings team. Although I am a little sad to see him go … I think this trade is BIG TIME for the Sacramento Kings.

Not only does Sabonis fit a HUGE need for the Sacramento Kings, but this trade also sets an EXAMPLE for the future. The Sacramento Kings aren’t the most well-respected franchise, simply put.

Being involved in talks for big trades all season and then pulling off a big trade shows the rest of the NBA that the Sacramento Kings are trying to make a positive change.

Big Trades in Sacramento Kings History

A few trades that come to mind in terms of Sacramento Kings FRANCHISE altering, all-time, earth-shaking.

Mitch Richmond for Chris Webber in 1998

Jason Williams for Mike Bibby in 2001

DeMarcus Cousins for Buddy Hield in 2017

What Do YOU Think?

Now that we’ve had a couple of hours to digest this trade … I want to know what you think!

Do you like this trade?

Will the Kings make more trades before the 2/10 NBA trade deadline?

Where does this trade rank in Sacramento Kings trade history?

Who will be the Sacramento Kings NEXT head coach?

Let me know on my Twitter/Instagram/Facebook page! Search SacTown Crown Report!

As always, GO SACRAMENTO KINGS!

-Tom Witt

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Davion Mitchell Mid-Season NBA Rookie Review

One word that comes to mind when thinking of Sacramento Kings rookie point guard Davion Mitchell‘s basketball career is – WINNER. The Sacramento Kings drafted the 23-year-old, 6’, 202 lb point guard Davion “Off Night’ Mitchell with the 9th selection in the 2021 NBA draft, out of Baylor University.

Hard Work Pays Off

Mitchell works hard on his craft and it has paid off. ‘Off Night’ is known to study hours his own game film, along with tape of the best guards in basketball history. On the court, Mitchell works so hard the Sacramento Kings coaching staff has had to ‘kick’ Mitchell out of the gym for working out after games, so he can go get his needed rest.

Mitchell has been a champion at multiple levels during his hoops career. In high school, Mitchell helped lead his team to a Georgia Class 4A state championship. ‘Off Night’ was the starting point guard and key contributor on the 2021 NCAA National Champion Baylor Bears. Mitchell was played an important role in helping Baylor win its first national championship, recording 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists in a 86–70 win against previously unbeaten Gonzaga in the national championship game. Mitchell even helped lead the Sacramento Kings to the 2021-22 NBA Summer League championship, where he earned tournament MVP honors!

That hard work off and on the court earned Mitchell the 2021 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year AwardNABC Defensive Player of the Year, and the Lefty Driesell Award as the top defensive player in the nation.[12] Mitchell earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Big 12 honors.[13] 

All that is awesome, but how will it translate to the NBA and perhaps the WORST franchise in the ‘major three’ north American sports … the Sacramento Kings.

Ahead, I will provide stats, opinions, and predictions for Sacramento Kings rookie point guard Davion Mitchell.

Mitchell Rookie Season Stats

Mitchell has appeared in 49 games so far in his rookie campaign, starting 7 of them. His per game averages are – 10.3 points, 3.4 assists, .7 steals, 1.1 turnovers, 40.7 FG %, 47 2PT FG %, 31.6 3PT FG%, 56.1 FT % and 25.8 minutes. It will take more time for Mitchell’s offensive game/role to develop in the NBA. Mitchell needs to improve on his free throws attempted per game, currently at a meager .8 per game. That will develop with time, as he fits into his more impactful role with the Kings.

While the offensive aspect of his game matures, Mitchell has made his mark as a lockdown defender. That not only helps the Kings on the floor, but sets an example of how his teammates need to play and prepare to improve defensively. The Kings were HISTORICALLY bad on defense during the 2020-21 season, which may have been a major reason to add ‘Off Night’ Mitchell with the 9th overall selection in the draft.

NBA.com advanced stats have Mitchell as the Sacramento Kings TOP rated defender in terms of defensive win shares. That is above well-respected NBA veteran defender Mo Harkless. According to the advanced stats compiled by HashtagBasketball, Mitchell ranks 15th among rookies this year. That seems about what we should expect, with LOTS of room for REALISTIC improvement.

Starting to Shine

With the recent injury to Kings starting point guard De’Aaron Fox, Mitchell has been called to start and has made the most of his opportunity! In his recent stint as starting PG, spanning 6 games, Mitchell has put up impressive per game averages of 19 points, 7 assists and 48.5 FG%.

All Star Weekend ‘Rising Star’ Honors

Mitchell, along with Sacramento Kings sophomore sensation Tyrese Haliburton, has been selected to participate in the NBA All Star Weekend Rookie/Sophomore game! That is not only an honor for any NBA player, but some great national notoriety for two of the Kings best players!

Getting Defenisive About Our Future

DEFENSE *CLAP CLAP* DEFENSE *CLAP CLAP*” … I can almost hear the chants ringing through Golden One Center, as Sacramento Proud fans optimistically cheer on a much-needed big defensive stop. Maybe that’s meaningful late-season game, or dare I say it … a playoff game … a Kings fan can dream, right?

That dream may be aided by Davion Mitchell.

As Mitchell matures offensively, along with continued improvement and additions to his already elite defensive skills and IQ, the Sacramento Kings will benefit tremendously!

What role will that be in the future? Back up PG to star De’Aaron Fox? Defensive stopper? Reliable late game player?

I envision Mitchell coming off of the bench, developing into a respected scorer and someone who can lead the team when Fox or Haliburton are taking a breather/injured. I also envision Mitchell getting BIG minutes late in games, using his elite defensive prowess to guard the opponents best guard, and making high IQ plays on offense.

What Do YOU Think?

Let us know on TWITTER/IG/Facebook! Search SacTown Crown Report or Overtime Heroics!

As Always, GO SACRAMENTO KINGS!

-Tom Witt

Featured

Stockton Kings Update – January 2022

The Stockton Kings, NBA G League affiliate team of the Sacramento Kings, are doing well in the early stages of the NBA G League regular season. The ‘209 Kings’ are currently 4-3 early on in the 35 game long NBA G League regular season schedule. That record is good for 6th place in the NBA G League Western Conference, where 6 teams make the playoffs from each conference.

Due to many factors, multiple Stockton Kings players have earned NBA call-ups, with more likely to come as the season wears on! The season is still very young but things are looking good, again, for the Stockton Kings, who have been one of the ‘best’ G League franchises each season since their inaugural 2008 season.

Stockton Kings Full 2021-22 Schedule

Read ahead for my takes and mid-season updates on Stockton Kings players, stats, NBA call-ups, the future, and more!

209 Shoutout!

I’m from the ‘209’ area code, born and raised, so I like to take ANY opportunity to shout out the 209 as often as possible! No, I’m not from Stockton, Modesto, or even Ripon! I hail from the mountains of Amador County, Pioneer to be exact! Have YOU ever been to Pioneer? Tweet me!

Notable Team Stats

A few notable team statistical rankings for the Stockton Kings amongst the 28 teams in the NBA G League – 6th in assists per game (26.1), 8th in FG% (47.1), 21st in 3PT FG attempted (32.3), 16th in 3PT FG% (33.6), 25th in points per game (104.3), LAST in the league in personal fouls drawn per game (17.7), and they scored the third-most points in a game this season with 137.

Defensively the Stockton Kings rank 1st in the league in personal fouls committed per game (17.7), 4th in opponents points per game (103.6), 27th in blocks per game (2.6), 22nd in steals per game (7.9), 14th in defensive rebounding per game (35.0).

For not ranking in the top half of the G League in MANY different defensive and offensive categories, it seems like the Kings are out-performing their team stats, so far this season. COVID protocols, NBA call-ups, and rehabbing NBA players on assignment will also have an effect on these team stat numbers.

What is an NBA G League 2-Way Contract?

209 Kings – Players to Watch

A few notable names on the Stockton Kings this season are Emanuel Terry, Neemias Queta, Jahmi’us Ramsey, Robert Woodard, and Lou King. Recently, Emanuel Terry made his mark on a 10-day contract with the Phoenix Suns. Terry even received high praise from future NBA hall of famer Chris Paul, after being heckled by Boston Celtics fans for being on a 10-day contract.

Rookie center Neemias Queta became the first-ever Portuguese-born player to play and score in the NBA! Queta was known for his defensive prowess while at Utah State, where he won 2021 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

Three Stockton Kings are averaging above 19 points per game, Queta (19.3), Woodard, and Ramsey (19.0). Matt Coleman, Texas Longhorn alum, is ranked in the top 5 in the G League in terms of 3PT% (53.3%), and Ramsey is also shooting 50% on 5 attempts per game from beyond the arc.

Woodard is averaging 19 points and 8 rebounds per game. Surprisingly, he is leading the Kings in 3PT shots attempted per game with 5.3, while shooting 31.3%. At 6’6″ 235lbs, Woodard will most likely need to play the ‘3’ to ever regularly sniff an NBA court, as opposed to being more of a ‘4’ in college. That is probably why Woodard is leading the Stockton squad in 3PT shots attempted, smart move, but time will tell if he ever becomes any semblance of a respected outside shooter. As they say though, practice makes PERMANENT.

Lou King has been a fan favorite in both Sacramento and Stockton. This season he’s averaged 12 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4 assists per game in the G League regular season.

DISCLAIMER: The G League website seems to have the ‘regular season’ starting after the annual G League Showcase, even though games were played previously to that. Basketball Reference takes into account all the games. I’m going with the G League website stats, for now!

Looking Ahead

Much of the Stockton Kings future this season depends heavily upon what trades the Sacramento Kings make or do not make before the 2/10/22 NBA trade deadline. A couple of questions I have going forward: Will any Stockton Kings players see ‘legit’ time on the Sacramento club? Will the Sacramento Kings make a franchise-changing trade, or will they not be able to find the deal they want and wait until the off-season? Will COVID protocols sideline Sacramento players and give a Stockton King a chance to see some extended NBA action?

Regardless, I hope to get down to Stockton Arena and cheer on the 209 Kings! Maybe announcer Dave ‘Deuce’ Mason will be giving autographs and shooting half-court shots before a game to entice more rabid SacTown fans to make the trek down to the 209!

Reader Interaction

I want to hear from YOU! One of the main reasons I decided to start writing about the Kings in 2019 was to connect with Kings fans and give a positive voice to an oftentimes very negative Kings media and community.

Simple question: Who is YOUR FAVORITE Stockton Kings player of all time?

As always, Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

Featured

Three Roster Moves to Improve the Sacramento Kings

The 16-24 Sacramento Kings have not made the playoffs since 2005-06, that’s 15 seasons for those counting. Over the past 5 seasons, this De’Aaron Fox-led roster has not made the necessary leaps to become the playoff contender that ANYONE has hoped for. Not the fans, not the front office, not coaches, not players. Maybe the janitorial staff at Golden 1 Center are having an epic 15 years of 1/4 capacity Kings games to clean up after. I guess there is always a bright spot to look for, right? I mean it must be a helluva task to clean up a ticker-tape parade … so there is that too. Maybe?

Well, now that I’ve vented a little bit … I’ll go into the ‘ness’ of the problem. This roster isn’t doin’ it. There need to be changes made. The Kings have a roster full of solid NBA players. NBA players who don’t seem to play well together. That is a problem if you’re trying to win with that roster. Though, it is a positive if you are willing to use those pieces to acquire new players.

So you’re saying there’s a chance this current Kings roster can improve and vie for the playoffs? Well, yea, there is always a chance. But, in my opinion, this roster the Kings currently field would not do well under Alvin Gentry, Doug Christie, Gregg Popovich, or Red Auerbach. Change is the only constant in life, and it’s time for the Sacramento Kings to make some major change.

Ahead, I will give three scenarios for how I think the Kings can shift courses, and start on a more realistic path to the playoffs. Plus, what I think may actually happen!

‘Compete Now’ Trade

This is the move that most rabid Sacramento Kings fans yearn for. We dream of waking up from a night of tossing and turning after watching an ugly Kings loss the previous night, to wake up and see a ‘Shams or Woj Bomb’ tweet notifying the SacTown faithful that the Kings have made a trade. Don’t hold your breath for that to happen this season. The NBA landscape this season, in my opinion, is not conducive for a Kings ‘win now’ trade.

Ben Simmons rumors have been out there, mainly just because that’s what people like to click on, and journalists need to get paid too. If the Kings can land Simmons, while still retaining De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton … I say that’s a deal we should make! But, with all the ‘stuff’ coming along with Simmons, I don’t see the upside of trying to build around him without Fox AND Haliburton. For Simmons’ offensive output and mental state in big moments, trading Fox or Haliburton for Simmons would not make the Kings a better team immediately or in the near future, in my opinion.

The Kings need to build around Fox and Haliburton. Unless someone is offering an unrealistic trade for Kevin Durant, James Harden, Giannis Antetokuonmpo, etc. I think the Kings are best suited to build around Fox and Haliburton.

I would love to have Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, or Jerami Grant on the Sacramento Kings alongside Haliburton and Fox, but I’m not holding my breath.

‘Space for Later’ Trade

Sometimes, you just can’t get what you want, when you want it. In the NBA, where most teams play a 9-10 man rotation, there isn’t much room for movement if the timing/circumstances aren’t exactly right for all parties involved. That is where Kings fans need to have patience. That franchise-changing move may not happen before the Thursday, February 10th, 2022 NBA trade deadline. Some of the most impactful trades are made in the NBA offseason, and especially as the NBA draft approaches.

Why take a C+ level trade NOW, when the Kings could wait and get a better trade in the offseason? Yes, yes, I know … “WE HAVE BEEN PATIENT FOR TOO LONG.” Even the infamous RODDY in the DLo and KC Show YouTube chat told me that we have already been patient and can’t wait ANY longer! What other options are there? I guess maybe send Vivek and crew a resume and hope? LOL Indeed.

If the Kings can make a trade to open up future salary cap space and roster space, in order to put themselves in a position to make impact moves in the future, I say we do it! I call this ‘addition by subtraction’. Trading Buddy Hield and/or Harrison Barnes for someone who doesn’t help the Kings and has a worse contract would be worse than waiting for a better trade, in my opinion. Same with trading the expiring contracts of Marvin Bagley III and Tristan Thompson for players who don’t help us BIG time, and instead we would be better suited to wait for their contracts to come off the books.

If we could package a few of our higher-salary guys who need a change of scenery for draft selections and expiring contracts, I would be into that. If this was the NFL and non-guaranteed contracts … Buddy Hield would not be cashing in like he is now. He would have been released and re-signed for a more realistic salary compared to his current salary/performance balance.

Alas, the Kings are stuck in ‘the over-pay now or don’t get anyone in return’ conundrum. I am not well-versed on the intricacies of NBA salary caps and whatnot, but if we can get rid of Buddy or Harrison for two 2nd round selections or an expiring contract … I’ll drive them to Sac Int’l Aiport in my 1996 Ford Ranger and pack ’em a snack for the flight!

Off-Season Purge and Re-Tool

The Kings have a combined $20 million potentially coming off of the payroll during the 2022 offseason. $9+ million of that for both Tristan Thompson and Marvin Bagley III, and then about 1 million for Damian Jones. I don’t see the Kings re-signing Thompson or Bagley, and Jones most likely won’t be wildly outbid for by another team, and if so, the Kings can replace him relatively easily.

Having that future roster and cap space is more valuable than trading Bagley or Thompson for a non-expiring contract now. In the past Kings GM Monte McNair has spoken about the importance of having roster control and not being tied to acquiring bad contracts.

McNair gets a lot of crap from Kings fans for ‘not making any significant moves’ in SacTown since he took over the GM role. I do think McNair needs to make more moves to improve this Kings team, either for a complete re-build or to try and get pieces to ‘compete now-ish’. Monte has not had an easy job trying to improve this team. He inherited almost a decade of franchise mismanagement. That starts at the top with majority owner Vivek Ranadive and the decisions made in the past, which includes the terrible timing of MULTIPLE head coach/general manager hirings and firings, along with bad drafts, trades, and free-agent classes.

McNair made a couple of moves last season, during the season, to try and improve the Kings team. He traded for Delon Wright, Moe Harkless, and Terence Davis. This most recent offseason he re-signed Richaun Holmes and Terence Davis. Made an upgrade from backup center Hassan Whiteside by signing Alex Len. Not franchise-changing, but not scratch your head, setting back the franchise Pete D’Allesandro, Vlade Divac moves.

McNair gets a lot of negativity for, but did his best with, the Bogdan Bogdanovic situation, as well as the Buddy Hield situation. Both of those potential franchise-altering trades were thwarted because of leaks, leaks that seem to have come from the opposing side.

McNair had a deal to send Bogi to Milwaukee for Donte DiVincenzo, which was stopped by the league due to Milwaukee Bucks tampering. The next offseason he had a trade to send Buddy Hield to the Los Angeles Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a trade which I think would have added a few wins to the 2021-22 Kings. Unfortunately, the social media world got wind, texts and calls were made … and LeBron wanted Russell Westbrook on the Lakers instead of Buddy … so he made that happen.

Monte was close to making a few franchise-improving moves, but others thwarted that. Though, if you notice, those ‘bigger’ trades were negotiated in the offseason. The NBA isn’t like the MLB or an NFL defense, where you can just plug a new player in midseason and continue smoothly. The smaller rosters and nature of play in the NBA don’t quite lend themselves to the type of trades the Kings need now, which is an impact player to add alongside Fox and Haliburton.

That is why having patience, and waiting until the offseason will prove fruitful for the Kings and their fanbase.

NBA teams will have time to assess how their roster did last season, see where they fall in the draft, assess which free agents are available to them, and make moves accordingly. During the regular season, there is usually less major turnover trade-wise, unless a rebuilding team is unloading players or a contender is adding that final piece for a championship run. There is a lack of teams fitting those potential needs this season, in my opinion, which may hurt the Kings chances of making a BIG trade during the NBA regular season.

Bottom Line:

The NBA teams ‘below us’ like Oklahoma City and Houston have already made the trades/moves to start their rebuild and don’t have many ‘disgruntled’ stars left to trade away. Conversely, most ‘top NBA teams’ currently don’t really need to add an expensive role player like Buddy or Barnes to boost their championship chances … so I don’t see big moves being made before the 2/10/22 trade deadline.

Patience. The 2022 NBA Draft is Thursday, July 29th.

What Can YOU Do?

Talk, engage, comment, ask questions, and REPRESENT. I go over three actions Sacramento Kings fans can take in my most recent article!

GO Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Three Actions Kings Fans Can Take to Change the Franchise

I am frustrated. WE are frustrated. The Sacramento Kings have not made the NBA playoffs since 2005-06. That roster was full of players that Kings fans knew couldn’t repeat the feats of the early 2000s ‘Greatest Show on Court’ squad. Kings fans had seen what NBA championship level hoops looked like in the days of Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, Peja Stojakovic winning division championships, getting federally screwed out of an NBA championship appearance … We took that 2005-06 Sacramento Kings squad for granted. We all thought, oh this isn’t Kings basketball, we will get back to the glory days. We all thought the 2005-06 Bonzi Wells, Kenny Thomas led-squad will be improved upon and get back to the ‘glory days’ … OH HOW WE WERE WRONG.

Flash-forward to January 10th, 2022 … and the Sacramento Kings are one of the worst franchises in ALL OF NORTH AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS. Period. They are a terrible franchise, in a small market town, in a region of California that most people who live east of Reno think is just a short SoCal surfboard commute from DisneyLand! I have gone over in many articles how we have arrived at this junction. A junction that can be scarier than trying to merge on the HWY 50/99/5/80 split in downtown SacTown. I’m not sure if the Sacramento traffic makes us tougher as Kings fans … or if being Kings fans makes us tougher in Sac traffic. Regardless …

We, THE FAITHFUL, have to take action!

What Can WE Do?

We displayed our Feel The Roar placards proudly in our homes, office windows, and vehicles back in 2002. We marched, wrote letters, and cried together during the HERE WE STAY movement in 2009. We packed Vivek’s new downtown arena when the team was terrible STILL … but how much more can WE take as Sacramento Kings fans? And what can WE do to help fix it?

Ahead, I gift you THREE WAYS that YOU can keep the faith alive in SacTown!

1. CALL & TEXT RADIO SHOWS

If Kings fans aren’t talking about the Kings … do we really exist?

A little dramatic, but kind of true. You ask any NBA fan who isn’t a Sacramento Kings fans about the Kings and you’ll hear a lot of … weird stuff. ‘Fox is going to want out of Sac if they don’t get better.’ ‘I haven’t paid attention to Buddy Hield since he was on the Pelicans.’ ‘Tristan Thompson, OMG, he’s on TV right? He’s so hot.’

Don’t worry though SacTown sports fanatics … we have been through the bad breakups, lusty affairs, entered into enough toxic relationships that even Tristan Thompson’s TV agent would be envious of. Who doesn’t have a bone to pick with the Kings …. many players, coaches, front office members, announcers, and hell, I’m sure there is even pissed off usher from the ARCO days who has a legitimate gripe with the Kings ownership.

We have been through the worst and well … it can’t get much worse.

But, if we aren’t talking about it in SacTown … NO ONE ELSE WILL.

If Grant Napear isn’t around to give his 30+ years of Kings knowledge and passion to us. If Carmichael Dave refuses to talk about the Kings on the radio when they aren’t winning. And don’t even start with the national media, who have ZERO clue what is actually going on with the fanbase and team … IT IS UP TO US THE FANS TO KEEP THE KINGS TALK GOING!

Actionable Steps:

Call/Text into radio shows and ask them to talk about the Kings. Part of that is helping the radio show hosts with new topics and stuff to fill air time with. Also, at a certain point, it holds the radio voices accountable to actually talk with SUBSTANCE about the Kings. Not just ‘get a pass’ to talk random NFL football, or pop culture, or Klay Thompson’s return … we tune into LOCAL SACTOWN SPORTS RADIO TO HEAR ABOUT OUR KINGS!

2. ENGAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

If the fans aren’t tweeting about #SacramentoProud … who is?

I subscribed to The Athletic in 2019 because it was really the only place to get legitimate Sacramento Kings coverage. The Sacramento Bee negativity and paywall deterred me. Same with most the #KANGZ themed independent media sites, the ones that just POUNCE on any negativity to get a comment and view from disgruntled Kings fans.

Since 2019, the Kings coverage on The Athletic has dwindled to MAYBE one Kings-focused article a month. Aside from the John Hollingers of the world getting sent to SacTown for a day to try and write a few paragraphs about the state of Kings nation … with little success. We deserve better. But, if you don’t love/respect yourself, why would you expect anyone else to?

Let’s take hold of the social media narrative.

Actionable Steps:

Tweet out that you’re still watching/listening to the Kings games/chatter.

Ask questions to the ‘experts’.

Spread the ‘realistic positivity’. I know I’d rather be a frustrated SACRAMENTO Kings fan over an Anaheim or Virginia Beach Kings fan … exercise some empathy, Kings fans!

3. KEEP TALKING/WEARING GEAR/SETTING AN EXAMPLE!

It’s honestly up to us. Not Carmichael Dave. Not Damien Barling. Not Gary Gerould. Not De’Aaron Fox taking a microdose up in Mendocino and transforming into a fiery leader (or reliable three-point shooter) … IT IS UP TO US FAITHFUL!

Actionable Steps:

Got a friend who has a kid in youth hoops? Talk to them about the Kings. Give them a t-shirt. Purple basketball. Send over a video clip of the ‘Greatest Show on Court’.

Got a friend who likes to do box jumps and ball slams at CrossFit? Talk to them about the Kings.

Go to the gym? Wear a Kings shirt.

Drive a car? Slap your favorite Kings sticker on the back window.

Going to lunch, the grocery store, school pickup? Wear a Kings shirt.

A friend who is a sports fan? Talk to them about the Kings. Ask them their thoughts.

People love to bond over disappointment and negativity, in general, and the Kings EXUDE disappointment. Use it POSITIVELY to create a connection between friends.

Be that passionate, annoying, sometimes confusing Kings fan.

Sure, don’t buy tickets to games. Don’t buy new jerseys. I get it. I support it. I don’t go to WalMart to ‘make a difference with my dollar.’ Same with the Kings!

But in this case … TALK AIN’T CHEAP. It’s really all we have.

I’ll leave y’all with a tweet from Kings fan @BigRorDawg:

What Do YOU Think?

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

Featured

Kings Face Hawks at Home

The Sacramento Kings travel home to play the Atlanta Hawks tonight at 7pm-ish. The Kings are on the second night of a back-to-back, following a 114-122 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles. Sacramento currently sports a record of 16-23, 4-6 in their previous 10 games. That record situates them at the 10th spot in the uncharacteristically weak NBA western conference this season. The Kings are 3-4 on the second game of a back-to-back this season.

The Hawks come into this game with a 16-20 record, 12th in the NBA eastern conference. Atlanta has gone 3-7 in their previous 10 games. Atlanta will be a bit shorthanded for the game versus the Kings, with John Collins and former SacTown fan-favorite Bogdan Bogdanovic out due to COVID protocols. Cam Reddish and Trae Young are also both questionable for the game.

In a loss to the Portland Trailblazers on Monday, Trae Young scored a career-high 56 points. That was while shooting 17-for-26 from the field and 7-for-12 from 3-point range. Young also made all 15 of his free throws and added 14 assists.

Sacramento is currently listed on Action Network as 1.5 point UNDERDOGS.

Watching the Paint Dry

Sacramento has been terrible defending the ‘paint’ this season. The Kings have still allowed the most points in the paint this season at 53.0 per game. The Kings will most likely be without starting big man Richaun Holmes and Chimezie Metu due to COVID protocols. Terence Davis may also be out against the Hawks, after sitting out the Lakers loss with an injury. Holmes, the Kings ‘starting’ center, has been stricken with a myriad of injuries over the previous weeks.

3rd Quarter Looms Large

The Kings are one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA in the 3rd quarter and the Hawks are one of the best. Atlanta ranks 2nd in the NBA in 3rd quarter scoring with 29.8 average. The Kings average 26.4 points in the 3rd quarter, ranking 21st in the NBA. In terms of ‘average 3rd quarter scoring margin’ the Hawks rank 6th at +1.8 points and the Kings rank 29th (2nd to last) at -2.6 points.

Tom’s Prediction

The outcome, and gambling lines, will most likely change depending on whether or not Trae Young suits up for the Hawks. The Hawks rank 24th and Kings rank 28th in overall defense in the NBA. Personally, after looking at the stats, and sippin’ some coffee at The Pour Choice coffee house up in ‘old town’ Auburn, CA … I predict the Kings will WIN in a sloppy affair. The ‘line’ for combined points in this contest or ‘over/under’ is 231.5. I think the final score will surpass this, and the Kings will win, 122-116.

What do you think? Let us know on Twitter @sactowncrown

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

Featured

Luke Walton: Before and After

The Sacramento Kings currently sit at 10th place in the NBA western conference, sporting a 13-19 record. The Kings are 5-5 in their previous 10 games, 7-9 at home, 6-10 on the road. Recently, the Kings and the NBA, in general, have had a LOT of players missing games due to league COVID protocols. That has left many teams scrambling to find legitimate players to fill the necessary 8 roster spots to be able to ‘officially’ play a game.

Recently, the Kings have been missing many crucial players. Richaun Holmes due to injury, as well as De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Terence Davis, and even interim head coach Alvin Gentry due to protocols. The Kings versatility and depth have shown through in tough fought games, featuring many second and third-string players getting their chance.

This has been a great opportunity for those reserves and has hopefully added some FIRE to the guys who are currently out. With the ‘regulars’ out, this also gives the Kings coaching staff and front office a look at a larger sample size of the guys who don’t normally get regular minutes, and how they can do against top-level NBA talent.

With all that going on … let’s compare how the Kings are doing during and after the firing of former head coach Luke Walton on November 21st!

2021-22 With and Without Luke Walton

The Kings fired coach Luke Walton on November 21st, after losing 6 of 7 games and starting the season at 6-11. Alvin Gentry (5-6) has taken over in the interim, and Doug Christie (2-2) has taken over since Gentry entered league protocols.

During the 17 games under Luke Walton as head coach this season, a few of the Kings stats stuck out to me – defensive rating of 110.5, per game averages of 109.1 points, 21.1 free throws attempted, 77% FT shooting, 35.5 three-pointers attempted, 33.8 3PT % and 22.4 assists.

During their previous 15 games under Gentry and Christie, a few numbers stick out to me – 5-3 at home, 2-5 on the road, 115.4 defensive rating, per-game averages of 112.9 points, 24.7 FT attempted, 73% FT shooting, 33.8 three-pointers attempted, 33.5 3PT % and 22.3 assists.

Out of those numbers, not much really sticks out as being remarkably different between ‘regimes’. The defensive rating improvement is nice. Though, there is some outside influence with many teams experiencing recent roster shortages due to COVID protocols.

Aside from the hard stats, there seem to be a few differences to the ‘eye’ after the departure of coach Walton. The Kings seem to have been playing with a bit more FIRE than before. Buddy Hield seems to have less ‘free reign’ when he is making mistakes and hurting the team, despite his ELITE shooting capability. Inconsistency has been a constant for the franchise and for Hield.

One bright spot in all of the COVID protocol roster thinning is that the Kings have built one of the best NBA G-League programs in the league with the Stockton Kings.

Christie Cowtown Coaching Conspiracy

Some SacTown conspiracy theorists claim that Kings owner Vivek Ranadive really wants former Kings player, and fan favorite, Doug Christie at the head coaching position, regardless of whether is ready or not. Historically, Ranadive has BANKED on hiring former Sacramento Kings glory-era players to guide the team and … well … put butts in the seats when the team on the floor isn’t doing very well.

Perhaps Christie will be ready to be an NBA head coach in the future, but right now, I think the Kings need a more VETERAN coach to lead this inexperienced squad, front office, and ownership group. Though, that’s a whole ‘nother article, or book, waiting to be written.

Upcoming Schedule for SacTown

Sacramento starts a 6 game homestand tonight, Wednesday 12/22, against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kings will get a nice holiday break before taking on the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday 12/26, the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday 12/28, and the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday 12/30.

What Do YOU Think?

Let us know your thoughts and observations about the Kings with and without Luke Walton as head coach this season.

GO Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Kenny Thomas – Career Profile

Standing at 6’7″ 261lbs, Kenny Thomas played in the NBA for 11 seasons. During that tenure, Thomas played three seasons for the Houston Rockets, three for the Philadelphia 76ers, and 6 for the Sacramento Kings. Thomas attended the University of New Mexico and was selected 22nd overall in the 1999 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets.

Appearing in 632 career games, Thomas put up per-game averages of 9.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists. Thomas made his mark in MANY places across the globe, but this article will focus primarily on the Sacramento Kings portion of Thomas’ career.

Prep Hoops Standout

Some impressive stats and accolades rom the Kenny Thomas Wikipedia page, “Thomas attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, one of the highest-profile recruits to ever attend the school. He is second on the Lobos’ all-time scoring list (1,931 points), career blocks list (239), and career dunks list (114), and leads the school’s lists in career rebounds (1,032), freshman scoring (484), and rebounding (256), and personal fouls for a season (118) and career (383). Thomas is one of eight Lobos to be selected as an All-American (1998). Kenny led the Lobos to four consecutive NCAA Tournament first-round wins. UNM was an amazing 71–3 in The PIT (UNM’s home court) in Kenny’s four years with the Lobos including 41 consecutive wins.”

Thomas was also a member of the U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal at the 1997 World University Games in Trapani, Italy. During the tournament, Thomas averaged 6.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2 steals over the 6 games in the tournament.

SacTown Kenny

The Sacramento Kings acquired Thomas in one of the most ‘franchise’ changing trades ever made. On February 23, 2005, Thomas was traded to the Sacramento Kings in a deal that sent Chris Webber to Philadelphia.

The Sixers acquired Webber, one of the NBA’s elite power forwards and a five-time All-Star, along with reserve forwards Matt Barnes and Michael Bradley. Philadelphia sent forwards Brian SkinnerKenny Thomas and Corliss Williamson to the Kings, who finally divested themselves of Webber’s mammoth contract and larger-than-life personality after years of speculation.

ESPN – 2/23/2005

Thomas spent 6 seasons playing for the Sacramento Kings, 2004-05 through 2009-10. He played 227 games, starting 128. Thomas’ career averages with the Sacramento Kings were 9.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game.

Thomas’ ‘best’ season in Sacramento was in 2004-05, right after he was acquired by the Kings via trade. During those 24 games with the Kings to end the season Thomas averaged 14.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game.

Playoff King

Thomas appeared in 11 total playoff games for the Sacramento Kings, five in 04-05 and 6 games in 05-06. The Kings finished the 04-05 season at 50-32 overall, good for 6th seed in the NBA western conference. In the first round of the playoffs, the Kings faced the 2nd seed Seattle Supersonics, featuring Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, and one of my favorite NBA Live 2003 players, Vladimir Radmanovic.

Sacramento eventually ended up losing the series 4-1. Thomas started all five games in the series, averaging 30 minutes, 12.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. Thomas scored 22 points in a game three loss and grabbed a team-high in rebounds twice in the series, 8 in game one and 14 in game four.

The Kings would finish the LOCALLY INFAMOUS 2005-06 season at 44-38 overall, good for 8th seed in the NBA western conference. In the first round of the playoffs, the Kings would face the top seed San Antonio Spurs. The Kings put up a fight but eventually lost the series in 6 games, 4-2. Thomas started all 6 games for the Kings, averaging 24.7 minutes, 5.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. Little did Kings fans know at the time … it would be the last time the franchise would make the playoffs.

Post-Playoff Era

Thomas endured perhaps the toughest time in Sacramento Kings history, 2004-2010. After the 2005-06 exit from the playoffs most Kings fans thought that there would be a 2001-02 type RESURGENCE back to greatness … but that was the opposite of the plan.

Leading up to the 2005-06 season there was MAJOR foreshadowing of the events to come in SacTown, including the franchise changing trades of C-Webb and Peja Stojakovic. The Kings owners at the time, the Maloof family, were losing money on their Las Vegas based Palms Casino, there was the nation and worldwide economic decline of 2008 … long story short … the Kings owners tried to relocate the team. That relocation effort sparked the the ‘HERE WE STAY’ movement, the FANTASTICAL FAILURE of the franchise relocation, and eventual sale to current Kings owner Vivek Ranadive on May 31, 2013. Kenny Thomas was one of the few Kings to experience the biggest period of change in the history of the Kings franchise.

Say it again y’all,

“HERE WE STAY”

SacTown Residents Circa 2009

On February 18, 2010, Kenny’s time as a player in SacTown came to an end when the Kings released him after the trade deadline.

Post-Playing Career

Kenny has done a lot to help make positive change for the communities he loves. His website states his post-career goals well,

Inspire and nurture disadvantaged youth of America to reach their full potential

KennyThomas.com

Thomas has run multiple businesses, and has helped with multiple charities in the communities he loves. In 2012, Thomas received the honor of being inducted into the University of New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame.

SacTown Lifer

Thomas has called SacTown home for most of his post-NBA career. He has worked with local youth basketball organizations, hosted many of his own hoop camps and has been part of the coaching staff for the American River College men’s basketball team – focusing on player development and recruiting. GO BEAVERS! … as an alumnus of the ARC men’s cross country and track teams, when I read that Thomas became part of the Beaver athletics family I was very excited.

“With my position here at ARC, I focus on the kids that are bigs,” Thomas said. “I played small forward through center. With my past history and the knowledge that I have, being able to mentor or give advice to these kids from the standpoint of basketball overall, my basketball IQ is pretty high, so I bring a variety of dynamics when I’m helping teach these kids.”

ARC Current Article

Coach Thomas has a goal of coaching at the NCAA division 1 level someday. He has seen a lot of examples of high level hoops coaching, having played for 10 coaches during his 11 season NBA career.

New TV Voices in SacTown

Thomas joined the Sacramento Kings pre and post-game broadcast crew for the 2021-22 season. He joins the newly formed crew of Morgan Ragan, Kyle Draper and former Kings player, Sacramento native and Del Campo high school legend Matt Barnes.

Personally, I have really enjoyed what Kenny has brought to the pre and post-game shows for the Kings. He has a chill, competitive, and insightful aura about him when breaking down hoops. I enjoy the different rapports he has began creating with Matt Barnes and Morgan Ragan, as each ‘crew’ has their own flare when they work together.

Let’s Hear From YOU

Have you ever interacted with Kenny? Maybe at his restaurant, on the golf course, taking your youth hooper to one of his basketball camps, or maybe before/after a game … I want to hear your Kenny Thomas story! Let us know on my Twitter page @sactowncrown

As always, GO KINGS!

-Tom Witt

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December 15th and NBA Trade Importance

The 2021-22 NBA season is just about 29 games old and the championship competitors, playoff hopefuls, and rebuilding teams are starting to sort themselves out. This is the time of the season when teams are figuring out whether they are buyers, sellers or will stay put roster-wise before the February 15th NBA trade deadline.

Before the trade deadline, there is the rapidly approaching and important NBA trade-related date of December 15th.

A free agent who signs a standard NBA player contract (or a player who signs, or is converted to, a standard NBA player contract while under a Two-Way Contract) cannot be traded for three months following the date the contract is signed or until December 15 of the Salary Cap Year in which the contract is signed, whichever is later.

NBA

What That Means for the Sacramento Kings

For the Sacramento Kings, that means they are now able to trade free agents signed this offseason – Richaun Holmes, Moe Harkless, Alex Len, and Terence Davis.

If you’re looking to take a deeper dive, check out the FULL list.

Trade Winds Swirling

There have been many big trade rumors, both new and old. The ongoing saga of Ben Simmons, the recent intel about the Pacers looking to move Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, and Myles Turner, constant chatter around Kings sharpshooter Buddy Hield, along with many other rumors.

Regardless of how the Kings are doing, the NBA trade deadline can be a fun time for ANY NBA fan. If your team is in contention there is always hope to add that ‘last piece’ for the playoff or championship run! For the bottom dwellers, there is always the excitement of a franchise-changing trade.

There usually are not many trades made during the first 30 games of the 82 game NBA regular season. Teams are still seeing how players fit together, how realistic is it to reach their original goals for the season, and sometimes what someone’s dad said on Twitter. Regardless of what your team is doing or not doing, be on the lookout for more moves as the NBA season progresses and free agents signed this offseason can be moved on Wednesday, December 15th.

Who do you want to see traded away? Traded for? WHY?
Let me know on my Twitter @sactowncrownreport

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

Main Image Credit: Getty Images

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Opportunity for Kings on Three-Game Road Trip

The 11-14 Sacramento Kings, winners of three straight games, currently sit at 10th in the NBA western conference. Sacramento will embark on a decently important three-game road trip starting today, Friday 12/10. The Kings start the roadie against the short-handed Charlotte Hornets, moving onto Cleveland the following evening for the second game of a back-to-back against the Cavaliers, finishing the road trip on Monday 12/12 against the Toronto Raptors. I strongly dislike giving predictions … but I probably will end up doing that at the end of this article … first though, a little information on the Kings upcoming road tests.

Road Warriors .. NAH … Road KINGS

The Kings have played BETTER ON THE ROAD THIS SEASON, than at home. Which sounds good when you’re going on a road trip, but really not great overall if you’re under .500 at home, with playoff aspirations. The Kings have been TRENDING to turn those home woes around, going 5-3 under interim head coach Alvin Gentry, including 3-2 at home.

The Kings looked like they belonged in the NBA western conference play-in conversation by beating up on the 5-20 Orlando Magic in SacTown on Tuesday night. Simply put, it’s important to take care of the ‘bad’ teams in the league. The Kings played terrible defense during the game, bettering that effort in the second half, optimistically. From listening to head coach Gentry’s post-game press conference, it sounds like the Kings individual defenders need to LOCK IN more consistently, and not let up their intensity late in possessions, or ‘take possessions off’. That takes focus, effort, and sacrifice, which is much easier to produce than a consistent free throw stroke … essentially, take care of business and play like a professional.

Kings Against the League

The Kings have been BAD on defense, not as historically bad as last season, but not good enough yet. Sacramento ranks 29th in the NBA in points allowed, 30th in offensive rebounds allowed, and 29th in field goals allowed. Not to get defensive, but the Kings do rank 7th overall in defensive rating somehow. A couple of other defensive bright spots for the Kings are ranking 15th in assists allowed and 13th in three pointers allowed and three point percentage.

On offense the Kings are doing a bit better. Amongst all 30 NBA squads they rank 2nd in free throws made and free throws attempted, 6th in points, 7th in offensive rebounds, amongst a few other ‘top half of the NBA’ rankings. On the flipside, the Kings are ranked 21st in free throw percentage, 24th in assists, and 25th in three point percentage. All of those can be improved upon with this current Kings squad level of talent.

Road Trippin’

At any rate, back to the road trip! The Kings start the three-game roadie in Charlotte against a VERY shorthanded Hornets team. The Hornets have listed LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Mason Plumlee, Jalen McDaniels, and Ish Smith all OUT due to health and safety protocols. This needs to be a win for the Sacramento Kings, plain and simple, toasted and buttered, no doubt about it!

The Kings are currently 6-6 on the road, 13th overall in terms of road records, in the NBA. Even though they will be without many of their main players, Charlotte is ranked 1st in the NBA in points scored, 1st in field goals attempted, and 2nd in three-point percentage. They also rank 25th in total rebounds and 25th in free throw percentage. The Kings will be without starting forward Richaun Holmes, after leaving the game with another face injury against the Orlando Magic. After being sick, poked in the eye, now leaving the court bleeding from the face … Holmes MUST have some good karma coming his way, and maybe a ‘rec-spec’ prescription. Bottom line, the Kings need to make the most of this OPPORTUNITY and get a win in Charlotte.

Mama Holmes Knows BEST

Back-To-Back

The very next evening the Kings will travel to Cleveland to take on the 14-12 Cavaliers. This will be a tough test for the Kings. Will they drink their post-game recovery shakes, put on their sleep masks during the plane ride, and do the necessary things to get ready for the second game of a back to back, on the road? They could get some fast food, not rehydrate properly, stay up late watching movies … and not put themselves in the BEST position to win. Let’s hope they choose the first option.

Cleveland ranks 9th in the NBA in assists and 10th in free throw percentage. Darius Garland is leading the way for the Cavs statistically, averaging 19.5 points, 7.2 assists per game, while shooting 89% from the free-throw line. Rookie Evan Mobley has also been a player to watch, averaging 14 points, 2 blocks, 8.2 rebounds per game.

This will be a tough game for the Sacramento Kings. I predict a loss. A Kings loss in either of these first two games of the roadie makes the final game of the road trip against the Toronto Raptors even MORE IMPORTANT.

Cold Weather Kings

After getting Sunday off, the Kings will finish their three-game roadie in Toronto, against the Raptors, who are currently 11-14, 12th in the NBA eastern conference. The Raptors may give the Kings some trouble with their style of play. Toronto ranks 1st in the NBA in offensive rebound percentage and 4th in turnover percentage on offense. Pair that with 9th in points allowed, 3rd in steals, 3rd in FG allowed, and 2nd in turnovers forced. The Raptors strengths match up well against MANY of the Kings weaknesses – taking care of the ball and giving up offensive rebounds, which lead to second-chance points.

I have faith in the ‘Road Kings’ and think they will end the road trip with a WIN in Toronto, finishing their three-game wintery road trip at 2-1. After the Raptor game, the Kings will travel back home to play Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards on Wednesday 12/15 at Golden One Center! The Kings home arena currently ranks 26th in attendance in the NBA. Shoutout to ARCO Arena.

Check out PART 1 of my Sacramento Kings WIN/LOSS Predictions!

As always GO KINGS!

-Tom Witt

Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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Harrison Barnes: Elite Role Player

Harrison Barnes is having a career year for the Sacramento Kings. Barnes has been a top-five rated high school prospect, NBA draft lottery selection, all-rookie team member, and NBA champion! He is now the ROCK for the Sacramento Kings, a leader by example on and off the court, the Black Falcon is trying to help the Sacramento Kings break their 15-year playoff-less streak.

Ahead, I will do some digging into how this season compares to previous seasons for Sacramento Kings versatile wing, Harrison Barnes.

Barnes Career Year

This season Barnes is averaging better than his career averages in multiple categories. Barnes is averaging career bests per game in points, rebounds, assists, rebounds, field goal percentage, three-point percentage, free throw percentage, turnovers committed!

Last season, 2020-21, Barnes appeared in and started 58 games for the Sacramento Kings. He averaged 16.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game, 39% from three-point range. This season, Barnes has started 19 games this season for the Kings, averaging 20.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists per game, on 43% from 3 PT range! That is the highest 3 PT FG percentage for his career.

Below, are a few shot charts and data compilations from NBA Shot Charts comparing the 2020-21 and 21-22 seasons for Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes. Below that, I will dive into a few things that stuck out to me.

2020-21 Numbers by Zone on the Court

2021-22 Numbers by Zone on the Court

Breaking Down the Data

From last season to this current season, Barnes has made improvements in the PPS (points per shot) category from three-point, mid-range, and total. He is down from 1.35 to 1.25 PPS at the rim. His frequency is up from last season from three-point range, but down in both mid-range, and at the rim. In short, Barnes is taking more threes and making more threes.

2020-21 Make/Miss Chart

2021-22 Make/Miss Chart

2020-21 Shot Chart by Zone

2021-22 Shot Chart by Zone

Barnes ELITE Role Player

Hoops Addict gives a great definition of what they deem an NBA role player to be:

A role player in basketball is someone who plays a particular duty on a basketball court. They may have one or two specialized skills that his team requires from him. He may or may not be a starter, and if he does come off the bench, he still plays meaningful minutes because of the specific skill set that he has.

Harrison Barnes is not going to be the star to carry the Sacramento Kings to their first playoff berth in 15 seasons, but he can play a HUGE role as a 3rd/4th ‘star’ on the team. Barnes does not need to be a world-beater, he just needs to stay healthy, play defense, take good shots, value the ball, and not really ‘stick’ out good or bad. Just be consistent.

Conversely, Fox has to do a bit MORE for the Kings to win consistently, as he is their ‘game-changer’ with his skill set and role. When Barnes is given too much spotlight and is the ‘2nd or 1st’ option for the Kings … he has shown to be inconsistent, to me.

In the past, Kings fans have shown malaise at the sometimes up and down play of Barnes, where he will go for 20 points for a few games and then throw up a couple of lame-duck games in there. That wouldn’t be such a negative if the Kings had a few players ‘above’ Barnes in the pecking order. If Barnes is able to be a high-level ROLE player, he and the Kings will be more successful. By playing sound, high IQ hoops, with no pressure to ‘create to win’ all the time. Just be a high-level complement, that can sometimes be featured, but not always!

To me, that is why ELITE teams like Boston and Philly have been removed to want Barnes. Those teams aren’t looking for a superstar, but instead a high-level role player to complement their stars. Depending on how the Kings team looks after the trade deadline and more time together as a team, Barnes should be the Kings 3rd-4th best player in terms of whom they rely on most. Does that make sense? Fox, Haliburton, (at times Hield/Holmes). If the Kings try to make Barnes the focal point of the offense too often, the Kings will not do well in the long term. If he is putting up relatively the same numbers as the Kings 3rd-4th option, they will see more success, in my opinion.

Looking Ahead

At the end of the Kings win against Portland on Wednesday 11/24 Barnes left the game with a foot injury which also held him out of the Kings triple OT victory in LA against the Lakers. The injury seems to be a day-to-day type of thing. Going forward, I do not think Barnes will average 20 points per game for the entire season, I think he may go back down to his career averages as the season goes on. That will hopefully be while still maintaining career high shooting percentages!

Will the Kings be in a position to make a franchise-changing trade that involves Barnes? Will he remain on the team for this season and beyond, regardless of how the rest of the team shuffles in the trade market? I think that unless we can get a great deal, Barnes will help the Kings more as a member of the team, opposed to trade bait. The Kings need wings, wings like Harrison Barnes. He may not be the best shooter, or defender, or most athletic … but what he lacks in SUPERSTAR talent in one area, he makes up for that with his VERSATILITY!

What do you think?

GO Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers Game Preview

The Sacramento Kings take their first trip of the season down south … passing Firebaugh, over the grapevine … to the newly minted Crypto.com arena to face LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Kings head into this matchup at 7-12 overall, 11th in the NBA west, 2-8 over their last 10 games. That was after starting off the season a promising 5-4. The Lakers come in with a 10-10 record, 9th place in the NBA west, 5-5 over their previous 10 contests. Most recently, the Kings relieved head coach, and former Laker player and coach, Luke Walton of his coaching duties and appointed assistant coach, Alvin Gentry, as interim head coach.

Game Notes

LeScared … I mean … LeBron James of the Lakers is questionable tonight, as well as a few other Lakers role players. For the Kings, starters Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes are both listed as questionable.

The Kings have ‘called up’ Jahmi’us Ramsey and Louis King from the Stockton Kings G-League team for the game tonight.

Tipoff: 7:00PM PDT

Head to Head Rivalry

The Lakers have the edge in the head-to-head rivalry all-time, 278 wins to the Kings 159. The ONLY edge the Kings franchise has all-time versus the Lakers franchise is the Cincinnati Royals/Minneapolis Lakers rivalry. A rivalry in which the Kings hold the edge in FOREVER … 19-18.

The 1951 version of the rivalry even went into the playoffs, where the Rochester Royals BEAT the Minneapolis Lakers in the then western division finals 3 games to 1, en route to the franchise’s ONLY championship. Name one Rochester Royal … I’ll buy you a coffee.

Kobe Burger … Medium Rare

In the early 2000s, the Kings/Lakers rivalry was one of the best in the NBA and all of professional sports, for that matter. Log into your Spotify account, and cue up the NBA on NBC theme song to read the rest of this article! Ready … OK!

Close your eyes and think back to the late 90’s in SacTown … turn the radio to KWOD 106.5 or KSFM 102.5 on local radio while you’re cruising by the sultry smells of ‘Center Court with C-Webb’, down Interstate-5 passing by car, business and home windows dressed with ‘FEEL THE ROAR’ banners, into Natomas in your GEO Metro you leased from Cal Worthington … finally signaling (or not if you’re a seasoned SacTown driver) as you head off to the ARCO Arena exit. Did you remember your cowbell?

Back to the glory days of Jason Williams, the poster boy for the nationwide fervor for fast-paced hoops (also big thanks to coach Pete Carril). The Sacramento fan’s respectful hatred of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. The Rick Fox and Doug Christie fight, whom we ALL know the winner of. The infamous ‘Kobe’ hotel burger, motha EFF-in Robert Horry, C-Webb revolutionizing the power forward position, Peja from the corner, Mike Bibby‘s poor nose, the ARCO Arena ‘6th Man’ … all haunted by the rotting soul of official Tim Donaghy. For those too young or unaware, do some DuckDuckGo-ing of the 2001-02 NBA Western Conference Finals. The aforementioned Tim Donaghy went to federal prison… I ain’t gonna lie, I’m still bitter.

Rivalry Lost

Over the past decade and a half, these two franchises have gone polar opposite directions. The Kings have not made the playoffs since 2006, while the Lakers have experienced continued success, winning three NBA championships since 2006. Rivalry … lost.

There have been a few bright spots for the Sacramento Kings over the previous few years against the Lakers. There was a 7 game rivalry win streak for the Kings from 12/2014 to 3/2016. A 2018 buzzer-beater by former Kings fan favorite Bogdan Bogdanovic is probably the highlight of the rivalry over the past decade.

Rivalry Re-Ignited?

As much as Kings fans, media and whoever WANT this rivalry to be a thing again … it will not happen until Lakers fans gain some semblance of respect for the Kings. All my Lakers fan friends scoff at the notion of a modern-day Kings/Lakers rivalry. And rightly so! Hell, they don’t even care that they lose to us, it’s just an opportunity for LeBron to rest for more meaningful games later in the schedule. Kings fans keep up that energy, keep talking that trash, rockin’ that purple and black, shouting ‘EFF THE LAKERS *CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP* and someday the FRANCHISE will catch up with the FAN expectations. Maybe.

Tom’s Prediction

Kings 112 – Lakers 110 …. just cuz well … #BeatLA !!!

GO Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Sacramento Kings Fire Head Coach Luke Walton

As of Sunday, November 20th, 2021 9:59 AM PDT, the Sacramento Kings have announced they will fire head coach Luke Walton. Walton began his tenure as Sacramento Kings head coach on March 15th, 2019 when he was hired by then-general manager Vlade Divac. During his time as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, Walton tallied a record of 68-93 (.433).

Interim Head Coach

Unless the Kings have an outside candidate they have been secretly talking to, it is most likely that Kings current assistant coach Alvin Gentry will take over in an interim head coaching role. Gentry has a lot of NBA head coaching experience, coaching 1105 career games with a record of 510-595.

I would assume that Kings GM Monte McNair would enjoy performing a full search in the off-season for the best head coach to fit the team’s long-term goals. How much of a say will franchise owner Vivek Randive have in the head coach search/attributes of that coach?

Sacramento Kings fans have thrown out a few names in the YouTube chats of their favorite local Kings radio shows. A couple of those names have been current Kings assistant coach Doug Christie and Stockton Kings head coach Bobby Jackson. I could see those guys heading the ship for the Sacramento Kings someday, but not really in this mid-season situation.

Some questions I have … Does McNair roll with an interim coach and do a full search in the off-season? Is there a veteran head coach out there who is currently unemployed that would want to take over immediately, with hopes of staying on for multiple seasons? Will there be a college coach who jumps ship for an NBA head coaching opportunity? Is there a hidden gem on the bench of a current NBA team that McNair has been eyeing? Will San Francisco Giants general manager and sports analytics expert Farhan Zaidi be consulted? Do Marvin Bagley III or Vivek Ranadive now take the crown as ‘most reviled person‘ in the SacTown sports world? Will we see Bill Walton in Golden One Center ever again?

Best wishes to Luke, he was not dealt an easy set of circumstances and had to endure the ghosts of Maloof past. In the meantime … I’ll be refining my resume and scouring the job boards in search of the Sacramento Kings head coach vacancy.

As always … Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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New Radio Voice Joins SacTown AM Airwaves

The Sacramento sports radio market is adding a new voice to the airwaves. No, no, do not worry Sacramento Kings fans, ‘G-Man’ Gary Gerould is not going anywhere as the radio voice of the Sacramento Kings. The new voice coming to Sacramento afternoon radio is Nick Cattles. Appropriate last name for a sports radio voice in SacTown.

Starting December 13th, Cattles will take over as KHTK 1140 AM radio station program director, and will slide behind the microphone to host the 3 PM – 6 PM, Monday – Friday program slot. Cattles will be taking over for ‘man-of-many-radio-hats Jason Ross’, who will continue his roles with Sacramento State Hornet football and Sacramento Kings hoops.

For the last three years, Cattles has worked at ESPN 94.1 FM in Virginia Beach, VA. Does that city ring a cowbell, Kings fans? This addition to the infamous Virginia Beach and Sacramento Kings storyline is a bit less infamous than previous SacTown/VA ‘missed connections’

On a more optimistic note, a statement from Barrett Sports Media,

“The Sports Programming team at Bonneville International has had our eye on Nick for a while and we couldn’t be more excited that he will be joining our team in Sacramento to lead KHTK,” Chad Rufer, Group Director of Programming for Bonneville Sacramento said in a press release.

In the last couple of years, there has been a lot of shuffling in the afternoon slot at KHTK 1140AM. From my not too deep dive, it seems like Cattles is well respected in sports radio, and will bring some fresh perspective to the Sacramento (Kings) fanbase.

Welcome to SacTown, Nick!

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves Game Preview

The final game of the 6-8 Sacramento Kings four-game road trip ends with a matchup against the 4-9 Minnesota Timberwolves. The T’Wolves and Kings have been two of the … worst franchises in terms of success over the last decade, but both teams have a renewed hope this season, and beyond. Though, both squads are hopefuls of a play-in berth this season. Dare I say .. this is a big play-in hopeful early-season matchup? I dare.

In This Article

  • Thoughts and Recent Records
  • Vegas Odds
  • Team Stat Comparison
  • Tom’s Keys to the Game

Their record may not show it, but the Sacramento Kings have been in almost all of their losses, or have made a decent comeback along the way. Essentially, their losses haven’t been as demoralizing as the previous two-plus seasons. Minnesota has similar play-in expectations. Most recently the T’Wolves lost a close game to the Phoenix Suns on Monday 99-96, and secured a win against the Los Angeles Lakers, who were missing LeBron James. Though, they also have double-digit losses to the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, and a relatively close loss against the Memphis Grizzlies.

I have not watched any T’Wolves ball live this season, but it seems to me that the Kings have an opportunity to win this game. Sacramento does not want to give the T’Wolves any hope of continuing the momentum they may have been rollin’ with coming into this matchup. I will go into that more later in the article, in my keys to the game.

Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, and De’Angelo Russell are the headliners for the T’Wolves squad. Towns is averaging almost a double-double this season with 23.2 points and 9.6 rebounds along with 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.

Take Advantage of ‘Sacramento Kings Illiterate’ Odds Maker

As of Wednesday morning, the Sacramento Kings are +2.5, or 2.5 point underdogs, against the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. If I lived in a state where sports gambling was legal, I may put a chunk of my beertending tips on the Kings to cover that spread!

Key Stats and Keys to the Game

The Kings will need to limit second-chance opportunities for the T’Wolves if they want a chance to win. The Kings are giving up an average of 11.8 offensive rebounds per game while grabbing just under 10 themselves. Minnesota is averaging 13.2 ORB per game. Allowing too many offensive boards has been a constant negative for the Kings squad over the past few seasons. They will need to keep the offensive boards clean if they want a chance to win tonight. Another stat that stuck out to me was the T’Wolves rank 1st in three-pointers attempted per game but 24th in 3PT%.

Consistency and Opportunity

The Kings need to start forming some sort of consistency. This will be an OPPORTUNITY to build upon their well-played win against the lowly Detroit Pistons on Monday. I think if the Kings play their recent style of unselfish, smooth-flowing offense, with improved shot selection. Along with improving team and individual defense … the Kings will have an opportunity to get out of Minnesota with a MUCH NEEDED WIN. That much-needed win would take them to 2-2 on their four-game road trip, which included four WINNABLE games for the Kings – against the OKC Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, and Detroit Pistons, two losses, and a win.

Tom’s Keys to the Game for Sacramento:

  • Commit 12 or fewer turnovers
  • Allow 11 or fewer offensive rebounds
  • Dish out 21 or more assists
  • Do NOT trail by more than 12 points

Take care of the ball and share the ball. Simple, effective, fundamental! Easier said, than done, though.

The T’Wolves have been scoring just under 104 points per game while allowing just over 108 points per game. The Kings have been averaging 111 points (3rd in the NBA) while giving up 110 per game (25th in the NBA). Harrison Barnes, De’Aaron Fox, and the SacTown crew have a BIG OPPORTUNITY tonight!

The opportunity starts at 5 PM PDT tonight in Minnesota against the hungry Timberwolves.

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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NBA G-League Update: Stockton Kings

The Stockton Kings, the NBA G-League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, have quite a successful history. The Kings ‘minor league’ squad has graduated many players to the NBA, along with fielding successful teams over the years. This will be their 4th season in Stockton, and 14th total since their early days as the Reno Bighorns.

With the combination of heightened expectations in Sacramento, new G-League head coach Bobby Jackson, and multiple NBA caliber players on the roster, the Stockton Kings should be fun to watch this season!

Inside the Article

  • Looking Back at Stockton Kings Past Success
  • NEW NBA G-League Schedule Explained
  • Highlights of the Stockton Kings 2021-22 Schedule
  • Stockton Kings Players to Watch!

Looking Back

Stockton finished the COVID shortened 2019-20 regular season at 24-19, earning the title of G-League Pacific Division Champs – fifth seed in the western conference. That was before the G-League season and playoffs were canceled on March 12th, 2020. The Stockton Kings did not participate in the 2021-21 G-League season. This season things are returning to normal, and the Stockton Kings are returning HOME, the 209!

NEW 2021-22 NBA G-League Schedule Format EXPLAINED!

I will just let the media members at the NBA G-League website explain it better than I can.

Per the G-League website:

The NBA G League announced a new innovative format to its season structure featuring both a 36-game regular season and an expanded Showcase Cup, a 14-game tournament which begins on Friday, Nov. 5, and then concludes at the annual NBA G League Winter Showcase from Dec. 19-22. The 2021-22 regular-season will then begin on Dec. 27 with traditional playoffs and the NBA G League Finals

To play the Showcase Cup, the league’s 29 teams and NBA G League Ignite will be separated into four regional pods, where they will play 12 games against one another in NBA G League markets. The teams with the best winning-percentage in each regional pod, along with the next four teams across the league with the best win-percentages, will advance to compete for the Showcase Cup in a single-elimination tournament during the NBA G League Winter Showcase. The remaining teams will each play two games outside of the Showcase Cup tournament during the event.

Following the Showcase Cup, team records will reset, and the 36-game regular season will tip off on Monday, Dec. 27, bringing each team’s total games played to 50. At the conclusion of the regular season, the top six teams in each conference will qualify for the NBA G League Playoffs. NBA G League Ignite and Capitanes de la Ciudad de México will compete in the Showcase Cup but will not take part in the 36-game regular season.

The Salt Lake City Stars won the inaugural iteration of the Showcase Cup during the 2019-20 season.

Highlights of the Stockton Kings 2021-22 Schedule

Stockton started their 2021-22 season 2-0 against regional rivals, Golden State Warriors G-League affiliate, Santa Cruz Warriors. Stockton and Santa Cruz meet up a total of five times this season.

Stockton’s season continues next on November 14th and 15th, with a back-to-back at home against the Aguas Calientes Clippers. Aguas Calientes’ roster includes one of the most beloved players to roll through SacTown and Stockton during the last decade … H20, HGIII, Harry Giles III! This is a great reason to go out and support the Stockton Kings, and show some love to Giles!

Another team to watch this season, with a VERY random Sacramento Kings connection, are the G-Leauge Ignite squad. The Ignite roster features many of the best young prospects in the G-League. Their roster also includes a couple of veterans, including Sacramento Kings down-years point guard and fan-favorite, Pooh Jeter! Former King Kosta Koufos is also on the roster currently. You can catch the G-Leauge Ignite three times in Stockton this season, 11/28,29, and 3/6/22.

The Stockton Kings longest road trip of the season will span six games from Wednesday, March 23 thru Saturday, April 2. The road trip will go through Oklahoma City, a back-to-back at Rio Grande Valley, onto Memphis, Birmingham, and finishes up in Salt Lake City on April 2nd.

Players To Watch in Stockton

A few players to watch for on the Stockton Kings this season are Neemias QuetaLouis King, Jahmi’us Ramsey, Emanuel Terry, and Robert Woodard. Stockton’s roster also includes local flare, with 6’1″ guard Marcus Graves and 6’5″ guard Christian Terrell, who played their college ball at Sacramento State. Stingers Up!

Out of all the players on the Stockton Kings roster, Louis “The King’ King is making a splash early on in the G-League season. In the first two games of the young season, King is averaging 31 points, while shooting 76% from three-point range! A small sample size, but exciting nonetheless.

Many Sacramento Kings fans are becoming restless with their recent skid, falling to 5-7 overall as of Thursday 11/11, and are calling for Lou King to be called up to the NBA club. I think that with the current Kings guard-heavy lineup, right now King won’t have a true fit in SacTown. Though, if the Tyrese Haliburton injury continues to linger, if Terence Davis stays in his slump, or a trade is made … Louis the King might find himself under the bright lights of Golden 1 Center!

“Hey Deuce, What’s a G-League?”

What is the NBA G-League?

  • Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) became the NBA G League as part of a multi-year expanded partnership between the NBA and Gatorade.
  • A record 45 percent of all NBA players at the start of the 2020-21 season boasted NBA G League experience. 41% of players on start-of-season NBA rosters in 2021-22 had played in the G League.

G-League/NBA TwoWay Contracts

The Sacramento Kings two ‘two-way’ players for the 2021-22 season are forward Louis King and center Neemias Queta.

In 2017 each NBA team was granted two extra roster spots with the addition of G-League two-way contracts. That raised the number of NBA roster spots from 15 to 17.

From the G-League website:

  • NBA teams may have up to two players under NBA Two-Way Contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and not more than 45 days with their NBA team.
  • Two-Way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league.
  • Only players in their fourth NBA season or earlier can sign Two-Way Contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.

209 Stand UP!

Stockton not only plays high-level hoops, but fans who tune in will be able to gain some insider info on the next wave of Sacramento Kings call-ups. This gives Kings fans some added hope, and at times, a less frustrating team to watch, when the Sacramento club is scuffling.

And well, you can get game tickets for below 20$ in Stockton … that’s about half the processing fee for an upper deck seat for a game in Golden1 Center! Ballin’ on a budget!

As previously mentioned, the Stockton Kings start their 2021-22 regular season on November 14th at home against the Los Angeles Clippers G-League affiliate, Aguas Calientes Clippers, and Harry Giles III.

If you’re still skeptical about spending time watching the Stockton Kings …. Earlier this year, I wrote about THREE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH THE STOCKTON KINGS.

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Reader Question Mailbag: Fox Shot Selection Comparison

I received my FIRST ever SacTown Crown Report MAILBAG QUESTIONNAIRE submission (click that link to submit yours) by Jon C., @catterj12 on Twitter!

Question: Jon C. asked, “Is there a difference in De’Aaron Fox’s shot selection between last year (2020-21) and this year?”

Great question, Jon! Ahead, I will dive into a couple of different shot charts and statistical analyses on Sacramento Kings starting point guard De’Aaron Fox. I will focus on different things that stuck out to me in terms of his shot selection, for this current season and last.

De’Aaron Fox Shot Comparison: 2020-21 and 2021-22 Seasons

2020-21 Season

PPS: Points Per Shot

Things That Stick Out

  • Overall PPS (Points Per Shot) Comparison Between Seasons
  • At The Rim
  • Three-Pointers
  • Mid-Range

Fox’s overall PPS last season was 1.05 compared to .78 this season. Without getting too technical, regardless of where Fox is shooting from, he is not scoring as many points per shot as last season.

Fox made his money at the rim last season. This has not been the case so far this 2021-22 season, as Fox’s frequency and PPS at the rim have both decreased. Fox’s frequency of shots at the rim went from .29 last season to .26 this season. To compound that, his PPS has gone down at the rim from 1.38 last season to 1.15 PPS this current season. Fox averaging fewer attempts from his best area on the court, and also converting fewer of those attempts.

Comparing three-point shots between last season and the current season, Fox is taking nearly the same frequency of 3 point shots (.29 to .30) but his points per shot are down significantly from last season to this season (.97 to .46).

Last season, the mid-range was actually where Fox scored his lowest PPS, .87, with the highest frequency, .42. This season his mid-range frequency has gone up, .44, and his PPS has gone down, .77.

The next thing that I compared/looked at was the frequency and PPS from each shot type and things that stuck out. Fox’s highest PPS on the court last season was at the rim, 1.38, with a frequency of .29. That was the same frequency as three-point shots, where Fox averaged .97 PPS. I was surprised to see those two frequencies being the same.

The charts below are associated with the data tables from above.

Fox Shooting Chart – ZONE 2020-21

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Fox Shooting Chart – ZONE 2021-22

More Fox Shot Charts and Analysis

More DATA! Below are INTERACTIVE shot charts for De’Aaron Fox. These show how Fox compares to the NBA average for each shot he has taken, in each specific area of the court. Pretty cool stuff, DIVE INTO THE DATA!

StatMuse Shot Chart 20-21

StatMuse Shot Chart 21-22

Things That Stick Out

One thing that surprised me was regarding the 2020-21 season was the field goal percentage (FG%) comparison between two similar zones, the right side and left side of the painted area, or what some refer to as the ‘key’. Fox, a left-handed player, was A LOT better from the right side of the lane, compared to the left side.

Last season, Fox was 61.9% from the right side of the key and 39.6% from the left side. This season from the same spots, Fox is shooting 28.6% on the right and 30% on the left. Those are both well below the league averages for FG% in those zones. Again, there is much room for improvement and optimism!

No Free Lunches … or Throws

This season, Fox is shooting 68% from the free-throw line, on 5.5 attempts per game. That percentage is the lowest in his NBA career, for any season. His career-high is 72% from the charity stripe, back in 2018-19, Fox’s second season in the NBA.

The season is still young, and Fox will most likely improve from the free-throw line. He doesn’t seem like a professional who is unaware, or unwilling, to work at improving a glaring deficiency in his elite-level game!

If I have ONE suggestion for Fox, simplify your routine and LOOK AT THE RIM. Time to toot my own horn, my college debt, and let you know a little more about ME: I earned my masters degree in kinesiology (Let’s go Chico State) and spent 5 seasons an assistant coach/strength coach/team manager for the men’s hoops teams … and well … looking at the target MATTERS. Simple.

Here are a few studies I quickly searched on the good ole internet to help prove my point:

Eye Focus Research on Foul Shots

Control Of Visual Attention During Basketball Free Throw

Stabilization of head and eyes on target as a factor in successful basketball shooting

What Does This All Mean?

To me, this is NOT a reason to trade Fox. This is not a reason to ‘bench’ Fox. Maybe a reason to keep him on the bench, situationally, if someone else is playing better, in his position. The above data should be a sign of OPTIMISM for the Kings and their fanbase. This abysmal start for De’Aaron Fox is not what the Kings hoped for, but really, the only way Fox can go is UP.

Fox is adjusting to the ‘new NBA foul regulations’. Those regulations should HELP Fox, a great player who regularly has not had the fortune of receiving many ‘veteran’ calls so far during his career. Now that those ‘veteran’ calls aren’t being made as often, Fox and the Kings should benefit.

And, even with those new regulations, as Fox gains more respect league-wide, he will most likely get more favorable calls from officials. That will lead to more attempts from the free-throw line, more time in the bonus for the Kings as a team, which will lead to more trips to the foul line, added pressure to the opponent on defense, and more WINS …. theoretically. If that makes sense. Optimism!

Adjustments

Some of this adjustment is also due to the Kings having a better roster than previous seasons. This is making Fox less of a focal point at all times on offense for the Kings. He also is now in his 5th season of flying to the rim, taking a pounding, and doing it over again. Fox will not be able to ‘make a living’ long term that way.

Also, as teams pack the paint, Fox will have to ADJUST. Have I mentioned the word adjust yet? He will have to do less of his high flying, and falling, and add more shooting and less dangerous/injury-prone moves to his game. And free throws! As Fox evolves, the Kings will improve.

The future is bright and optimistic for the Sacramento Kings and De’Aaron Fox!

Submit your questions to Tom Witt of the SacTown Crown Report

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Win/Loss Predictions: Sacramento Kings – Part Two

The Sacramento Kings are looking to make the NBA playoffs for the first time in 15 seasons. In Part 1 of my Sacramento Kings WIN/LOSS PREDICTIONS I outlined what I think the Sacramento Kings will do from game one up until the end of January. As of Wednesday 11/3/21, the Kings are 3-4, 0-3 when leading heading into the 4th quarter, and 3-1 when trailing heading into the 4th.

The question is simple, and has been asked many times … will the Sacramento Kings get to the play-in, playoffs, or continue their playoff-less streak? Read ahead for how I think the Kings will finish their season and if they will make the NBA Play-In and MAYBE EVEN … the NBA PLAYOFFS.

15 Years …

The Sacramento Kings finished the 2020-21 NBA season 31-41, 12th in the western conference. That was two games back of the 10th seed San Antonio Spurs for the final NBA Playoff Play-In spot. That marked their 15th straight season missing the playoffs. That ties the LA Clippers for the longest playoff-less streak in NBA history. That Clippers playoff drought spanned from 1977-1991.

Looking back at last season for the Kings, if you take out a couple of LONG losing streaks, a myriad of injuries, some frustrating ‘last two minute reports’ … the Kings may have had a better chance of making the 10 seed, through the newly created NBA Playoff Play-In.

Personally, as a Kings fan since 1997 or so, I DO NOT count a Play-In berth as breaking the playoff-less streak. I have not heard many, or really any, Kings fans who disagree with that streak-busting ‘requirement’. What about you?

WIN/LOSS PREDICTIONS – PART 2

I ended PART 1 of my Sacramento Kings WIN/LOSS predictions through the month of January … where I have the Kings at 24-28 overall heading into the final two and a half months of the NBA season!

Full Sacramento Kings Schedule

February:

Prediction: 4-7 (28-35 overall)

Sacramento will play 11 games during the month of February, including two back-to-backs, both before the All-Star break. To start the month the Kings play Brooklyn at home and travel to San Francisco the next evening to take on the Golden State Warriors. After the All-Star break, the Kings will have a tough stretch, playing Washington, Brooklyn, and Chicago in the span of 5 days, on the road.

The NBA All-Star break spans 2/17-2/23, with the All-Star game falling on Saturday 2/20, in ClevelandWill the Kings have any All-Star weekend participants? I think Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell will make whatever version of the rookie/sophomore game they have nowadays. Maybe Buddy Hield will compete in the three-point competition again, after winning in 2020! I think that with a lot of help from the MEDIA and Kings voters … De’Aaron Fox could make his first-ever NBA All-Star team! Kings fans … stuff that ballot box, call national sports talk radio, and cross your fingers!

March:

Prediction: 8-6 (36-41 overall)

The Kings start their 13 game March schedule with a back to back, both on the road, against New Orleans, and then San Antonio. After a TOUGH February schedule, the Kings have some winnable contests in the month of March. Injuries, current standings and teams looking more forward to the draft lottery than a playoff run will all either aid and/or hinder the Kings road to the playoffs.

April:

Prediction: 4-1 (40-42 overall)

The final month of the 2021-22 NBA season will HOPEFULLY feature meaningful games for the Sacramento Kings and their playoff/play-in run!

Sacramento plays five games in the month of March, ending with back-to-back road contests against ‘most likely’ playoff teams Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns. Will these teams be fighting for a better playoff spot? Will they be resting for a playoff run, which may allow the Kings to sneak in a couple of wins? Will the Kings be vying for a playoff spot or hoping for another ball in the upcoming NBA draft lottery?

Game 83 and Beyond!

Will the Kings play in game 83 and beyond for the first time in 15 years? I am hopeful the Kings will have MANY meaningful games in the last three months of the season, which will lead to BREAKING their 15-year playoff-less streak.

Last season, an abbreviated 72 game season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 10th seed in the west, San Antonio, had a .458 winning percentage. If my math is correct, that would translate to 37.5 wins in an 82 game season. Will that be enough to make the 10th seed and NBA play-in? Will my prediction of 40 wins be good enough to AT LEAST make the 10th and FINAL play-in seed?

Sacramento Kings Playoff/Play-In Prediction

I think the Kings will MAKE the 10th and final seed if they do get to 40 wins this season!

This is NOT Gambling Advice … But …

Essentially, there will be no easy games for the Kings to start off the season. That could be good for the gamblers who can catch the Kings as they are hopefully improving and hopefully beating a few teams they are favored to lose against … before the Vegas odds setters catch on.

The latest NBA Playoff odds have the Kings at +380 to make the playoffs … which means if you bet 100$ on the Kings to MAKE the playoffs … and they make the playoffs (not play-in) … you WIN 380$, plus your 100$ original bet.

Did I mention I MAY have placed a wager on the Kings to MAKE the playoffs … when their odds were +450 before the regular season started … it pays to have friends who have brothers who live in Las Vegas, I guess. Maybe I should have put some cryptocurrency on the wager …

FAN QUESTION/COMMENT MAILBAG

We want to hear from YOU! Do you have a question or comment you’d like to share and have answered/read on the SacTown Crown Report podcast Google Forms Link to SacTown Crown Report Fan Mailbag!

Twitter Poll Question

Go Kings!

– Tom Witt

Main Image Credit: Getty Images

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Cryptocurrency, NBA Top Shot, and the Sacramento Kings

The ‘cryptocurrency’ boom is taking the world, and the sporting world, by storm. That excitement for ‘crypto’ and investing, in general, is starting to branch out of Discord chat rooms and into the mainstream. That crypto buzz has been growing rapidly in the professional sports world as well. Ahead, I will outline what the heck is crypto, blockchain, and NFT’s (non-fungible tokens). As well as how the NBA is integrating crypto into the fan experience, who is leading the way and the SURGE of NBA Top Shot!

What are ‘Crypto’ and the Blockchain

This article ‘What are ‘crypto’ and blockchain?‘ may do a better job than me fully describing crypto and blockchain.

A synopsis from the article,

Each Bitcoin is basically a computer file that is stored in a ‘digital wallet’ app, such as Coinbase, on a smartphone or computer. People can send Bitcoins (or part of one) to your digital wallet, and you can send Bitcoins to other people.

Every single transaction is recorded in a public list called the blockchain.This makes it possible to trace the history of Bitcoins to stop people from spending coins they do not own, making copies, or undoing transactions. Every transaction is recorded publicly so it’s very difficult to copy Bitcoins, make fake ones or spend ones you don’t own.

Investors like to use Bitcoin (BTC) for many reasons, including that it is not controlled by a bank or government, and users can be fairly anonymous, while still maintaining their security.

DISCLAIMER: Oh, and hey, this is not investing advice.

First Major Sports League Crypto-Based Sponsorship

One of the leading cryptocurrency trading platforms Coinbase has partnered with the NBA, WNBA, NBA G-League, NBA 2k League, and USA Basketball to form a ‘first of its kind’ partnership.

Coinbase can be described as, “… a software platform that allows cryptocurrency transactions, and the company makes money from fees.”

How Coinbase will fit into the NBA long-term is still unclear. Simply having exposure in a new market like the NBA will bring lots of new eyes, legitimacy, and money, to the crypto world. And there may be some crypto nerds who previously had no interest in the NBA, and now are interested. As well as NBA nerds who become interested in the crypto world … like ME!

Crypto and Professional Athletes

There has been a buzz around the professional sports world in the last few years in terms of athletes requesting to be paid in crypto. One of the most invested NBA players is Spencer Dinwiddie. An 8 year NBA veteran and current member of the Washington Wizards, Dinwiddie is very active in the convergence of the crypto and sports realm. Dinwiddie even went as far as attempting to set up a GoFundMe account for fans to donate to and have a ‘choice’ in his future. Read more on Dinwiddie and his attempt to raise crowd-sourced funds for his most recent free-agent contract. Once the donations hit a certain monetary goal, the fans would get to CHOOSE where he plays in the future. The NBA shot that down … for now.

From a recent article titled, “How the NFL and NBA are Adopting Blockchain and Crypto”

“A prominent advocate of cryptocurrency is Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie who has been negotiating with the NBA to have his contract turned into a digital bond called an SD8 security token.

The goal is to engage with his fans by enabling them to participate and share in the potential upside and for him to get money upfront. It’s a way to decentralize personal loans through bonds backed by contracts as collateral.”

Dinwiddie would not be stopped easily. Next, he attempted to ‘tokenize’ and sell off pieces of his $13.9 million contract to individual buyers on the blockchain. Due to many factors, mainly the shutdown of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the deal was not successful. Though, it creates a precedent for the future. Read MORE about ALL that here, it can be a bit confusing! Dinwiddie and a few others even created their own social media platform, Calaxy, which incorporates the blockchain, NFT’s, and more!

NBA Fan Experience and Cryptocurrency

Many professional sports organizations are incorporating cryptocurrency into the ‘fan experience’, in different ways. Recently, in August 2019 the Dallas Mavericks announced they would accept Bitcoin for tickets and merchandise. The Portland Trail Blazers inked the first ever jersey based logo sponsorship deal with StormX, a cryptocurrency trading platform. The Philadelphia 76ers followed suit, inking a similar jersey logo deal with Crypto.com, which is set to last for 6 years.

Sacramento Kings Leaders in the NBA Crypto World

The Sacramento Kings and owner Vivek Ranadive have been one of the tone setters in regards to North American pro sports and crypto integration.

An excerpt from the previously referenced article titled, “How the NFL and NBA are Adopting Blockchain and Crypto”,

“In 2014, The NBA’s Sacramento Kings became the first franchise to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. At that time, the owners wanted to improve the customer experience by making it easier for them to purchase products and season tickets.

Fans can even spend their hard-earned or mined crypto on merchandise at NBA games!

On January 15, 2020, the Kings launched the first-ever blockchain auction platform for authentic memorabilia with ConsenSys, a blockchain software development firm, for live bidding on in-game sports gear using Treum, a ConsenSys-backed supply chain product. Now, fans can securely purchase authentic game-worn merchandise with greater confidence than previously possible.”

Many individual members of the Kings squad are interested and invested in the digital space, especially NFT’s.

Too bad for Kings fans that NFT’s didn’t exist when the Kings rocked those infamous golden jerseys back in the 2005-06 season.

First NBA Team Based NFT … a ‘Golden’ Idea

For the first time, fans can purchase an NFT (non-fungible token) from an NBA team, not sold on the NBA Top Shot platform. The Golden State Warriors issued these NFT’s through an auction which, “includes a mix of digital ticket stubs designed by Brazilian visual arts studio Black Madre and virtual (and physical) championship rings from the team’s Beverly Hills jeweler, President Brandon Schneider told CoinDesk. They will not feature images of the players themselves. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Warriors’ Community Foundation.”

Nothing crazy here, just another step towards the integration of the digital world into the NBA!

NBA Top Shot

NBA Top Shot is a first-of-its-kind form of art that combines the nostalgia of old-school trading cards with the new-school blockchain and NFT (non-fungible tokens) technology.

NBA Top Shot was described in a recent Market Watch article,

“NBA Top Shot is an online-only marketplace where users can buy, sell and trade NBA highlights. These highlights, or “moments,” are owned by users through a unique number. They’re basically virtual sports cards, but instead of a picture of a player with statistics on the back, you get a video highlight of a play like a LeBron James dunk or a Steph Curry 3-pointer.”

Through the NBA Top Shot site, users can buy individual moments or packs. As users increase their Collector Score, they increase their access to new packs and better spots in line for new packs. Users are able to create showcases, and build team collections, and more.

As NBA Top Shot has grown, so have the waiting lists to get new packs. In the early days, there was not much of a fight to get in line for these virtual moments. But as the word has spread the virtual top shot lines have been clogged! If you want a new pack these days, you’ll have to enter the queue and HOPE you can get within 10,000 spots of being one of the fortunate ones who get to open a new pack.

If you miss out on a new pack release, don’t fret, users can buy and sell individual moments on the marketplace. Through the Dapper Labs app, users can buy and sell moments in US Dollars (USD) and cryptocurrency Bitcoin, BTC Cash, and Ethereum (ETH).

Sales of top shot moments can go for as low as $4 and have sold for as high as $280,000! That top sale was a LeBron James moment from the 2020 NBA Finals, with the serial number 23/79. LeBron has the four highest, and 7 of the top 10 all-time highest NBA Top Shot sales. Check out the list of the highest NBA Top Shot sales.

My Sports Card … Obsession

I have recently taken the plunge into the NBA Top Shot waters! As a kid (I am currently 32 years young) I LOVED collecting sports cards. It wasn’t just ‘getting something new’ but the whole atmosphere! Taking a Sunday drive with my dad in his roofing work truck, ladders ramblin’ down the Amador County roads. Eyes wide, walking into the card shop, talking to the owner about cards, teams, players, and gazing whimsically at the glossy cards behind the display case glass. There might be an NFL game or feature NBA on NBC game of the week on the television, or just some local sports talk radio humming over the KLH speakers … heavenly!

My GO-TO sports card shops as a kid were Cozy Collectibles in Sutter Creek, CA near where I grew up, and MVP Sports Cards in Pleasant Hill, CA when visiting my grandparents.

As a kid, I was grounded a few times, and one of those times I attempted to count all my sports cards! I got to around 5,000 and my grounding ended … and so did my counting! One of my upcoming ‘winter time projects’ is to search through my sports cards and see what do to next! I’m thinking display them, sell, trade, visit some local sports card shops and just talk about the awesomeness of the sports card nostalgia!

Check out my personal NBA Top Shot collection! Let’s make a trade!

What Next?

Will YOU be diving into the digital world of investing and art? Have you already channeled your inner 1990’s kid and bought into the digital trading card market? Let me know on my Twitter, Instagram, or SacTown Crown Report website!

-Tom Witt

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Win/Loss Predictions: Sacramento Kings – Part One

One question continues to loom in SacTown … will this FINALLY be the season the Sacramento Kings snap their 15 season-long PLAYOFF-LESS streak?

The opening stretch of the 2021-22 NBA regular season schedule will be a tough test for the young Kings. The Sacramento Kings 2021-22 NBA regular season schedule begins on October 20th, in Portland, against Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers. (That game ended in a win for the Kings! … Yea, I realize I’m late on the season prediction article, but my old laptop crashed and I finally have a new one!)

The Kings will play their first home game of the season, Friday 10/22, against the 2020-21 NBA Western Conference regular-season champs, Utah Jazz. After their first two games, the schedule does not exactly get any ‘easier’. Sacramento will face playoff-contending teams for at least the first 11 games of the season. The first game where they may actually be FAVORED to win could be on 11/10 on the road, against a re-tooling San Antonio Spurs squad.

15 Years …

The Sacramento Kings finished the 2020-21 NBA season 31-41, 12th in the western conference. That was two games back of the 10th seed San Antonio Spurs for the final NBA Playoff Play-In spot. That marked their 15th straight season missing the playoffs. That ties the LA Clippers for the longest playoff-less streak in NBA history. That Clippers playoff drought spanned from 1977-1991.

Looking back at last season for the Kings, if you take out a couple of LONG losing streaks, a myriad of injuries, some frustrating ‘last two minute reports’ … the Kings may have had a better chance of making the 10 seed, through the newly created NBA Playoff Play-In.

Personally, as a Kings fan since 1997 or so, I DO NOT count a Play-In berth as breaking the playoff-less streak. I have not heard many, or really any, Kings fans who disagree with that streak-busting ‘requirement’. What about you?

This is NOT Gambling Advice … But …

Essentially, there will be no easy games for the Kings to start off the season. That could be good for the gamblers who can catch the Kings as they are hopefully improving and hopefully beating a few teams they are favored to lose against … before the Vegas odds setters catch on.

The latest NBA Playoff odds have the Kings at +380 to make the playoffs … which means if you bet 100$ on the Kings to MAKE the playoffs … and they make the playoffs (not play-in) … you WIN 380$, plus your 100$ original bet.

Did I mention I MAY have placed a wager on the Kings to MAKE the playoffs … when their odds were +450 … it pays to have friends who have brothers who live in Las Vegas.

Elevated Expectations in SacTown

Pretty much every game this season will be important for the Kings. I see there being three ‘levels’ of opponents and hopeful outcomes, for the Kings.

To me, that means … being competitive and not getting blown out by, and maybe even beating a few ‘top’ teams. Next, a chance to win games in the late 4th quarter against teams that are on the Kings level/right above them – think ‘6-10 seed level’ teams in the NBA. Finally, showing they can beat/put away/outplay/not let down against teams ‘below’ them.

One question I like to ask people: Will the Kings be competitive enough to force LeBron to not sit out a regular season game when the Lakers visit the Golden1 Center this season? Maybe … LeBron is secretly hoping the Kings draft Bronny James in a couple of years, which will prompt LeBron ‘King James’ to want to play with his son and bring a championship to Sacramento. In my opinion, that move would CEMENT LeBron as the G.O.A.T.! I digress … and dream.

“Back to Back Like I’m Sacramento 2026-’27 WOAH …”

The Kings schedule features 12 total sets of back-to-back games. 8 of those sets will require the Kings to TRAVEL between games. Hey, NBA … WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? This is not good for viewers, quality of play, and oh yeah … the HEALTH of the players.

The NBA needs to do away with back-to-back games, especially back-to-back games where a team has to travel between games.

A possible solution: a more ‘playoff’ or MLB style back-to-back schedule where you play the same team, in the same arena. Many positives could come from this upgrade. Teams would be able to game plan and adjust back-to-back nights, creating an atmosphere similar to the playoffs. What do you think?

Way Too Early … But Also a Little Late … Win/Loss Predictions

I know, I know … this article is a little bit late. As a FREE-lance journalist, sometimes my paying job takes first priority over releasing articles. And well … needing to buy a new laptop because mine crashed delayed my ability to release timely articles recently! I am now equipped with a new laptop, and ready to give y’all the content you … deserve?

As I write this article, the Kings are fresh off of beating the Portland Trail Blazers on the road to start the season! If I am being honest, my original prediction had the Kings LOSING to the ‘Blazers. Glad I was wrong!

The Kings have a TOUGH schedule to start the season. They are most likely the ‘underdog’ in all of their first 12 games! The first game that the Las Vegas oddsmakers might favor the Kings is 11/10 on the road against the Spurs.

I’ll break this down MONTH by MONTH. Part one will go up until the end of January.

October:

Prediction: 2-4

Even though the Kings WON their season opener on 10/20 in Portland against Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers, I originally thought the Kings were going to lose, if I am being honest!

Games against Utah and Golden State at home are the highlight of the Kings October schedule. To end the month the Kings travel to Dallas, which will inevitably stir some talk about the Luka Doncic/Marvin Bagley III draft saga!

November:

Prediction: 8-8 (10-12 overall)

Sacramento plays 16 games during the month of November, including three back-to-back games. The Kings have a big opportunity during the month! A mid-month road trip gives SacTown a chance to win four games in a row against ‘lower’ level opponents. That crucial trip starts 11/10, with the Kings facing San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Detroit, and Minnesota to end the road trip on 11/17.

The Kings will have a tough test to end the month, facing LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers twice in five days, one on the road and one at home.

December:

Prediction: 8-7 (18-19 overall)

Sacramento plays 10 of their 15 games during the month of December at home. Traveling during December, to the east coast, during the holiday season inevitably puts a negative burden on even NBA players. The Kings need to take advantage of this winter scheduling fortune!

The Kings end the month of November and start the month of December with back-to-back ‘Interstate 5’ battles. The first game of the back-to-back at home against the Lakers on 11/30, just to turn around and hit the road to face Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers the very next night!

January:

Prediction: 6-9 (24-28 overall)

The Kings continue the theme of having three back-to-back games, for the third month in a row. I will have to do some digging to see if this is the ‘norm’ across the NBA or just a coincidence …

Sacramento will have a big test in their first back-to-back of the month, on the road against the Lakers and then at home the next night against Trae Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and the Atlanta Hawks. To my knowledge, this will be the first game that Bogi will be back to a potential full capacity crowd at Golden 1 Center in SacTown! Sacramento will face the Lakers for the fourth and final time of the season on 1/12 … interesting scheduling.

Looking Ahead to Part Two:

February:

The NBA All-Star break spans 2/17-2/23, with the All-Star game falling on Saturday 2/20, in Cleveland. Will the Kings have any All-Star weekend participants? I think Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell will make whatever version of the rookie/sophomore game they have nowadays. Maybe Buddy Hield will compete in the three-point competition again, after winning in 2020!

The biggest question about the All-Star break … will the Kings have an actual All-Star? I think that with a lot of help from the MEDIA and Kings voters … De’Aaron Fox could make his first-ever NBA All-Star team! Kings fans … stuff that ballot box, call national sports talk radio, and cross your fingers!

March, April, and Dare I Say May?

I am hopeful the Kings will have MANY meaningful games in the last three months of the season. Will the Kings play in game 83 and beyond for the first time in 15 years? The NBA regular season ends for the Sacramento Kings on April 10th, in Phoenix, on the second night of a back-to-back.

Will the Kings get to the play-in, playoffs, or continue their playoff-less streak? Keep an eye out for PART TWO of my Sacramento Kings win/loss predictions!

GO Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Sacramento Kings Three Guard Combo: Fox, Haliburton, Mitchell

The word versatility comes to mind when describing the 2021-22 Sacramento Kings roster. One group that provides a lot of that versatility is the new ‘three guard combo’ consisting of De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Davion Mitchell.

Fox, Haliburton, and Mitchell all bring their own high-level, unique, and improving skills sets. Whether they are ALL on the floor together, in pairs, or individually, the three guard combo will give the Kings coaching staff many potential lineup combinations to work with. The Kings squad is dynamic all around, including a much-improved group of BIGS in SacTown! Richaun Holmes, Tristan Thompson, and the rest of the Kings big man crew will play a large role in the success of the Kings, and their three guard lineup, this season. That variety of options will be pivotal to success, as the Kings attempt to break their 15-year playoff drought.

Outlined ahead will be a few things I am excited to see from the Kings three guard combo AKA the three-headed monster, three guard night … Fox, Haliburton, and Mitchell.

But first … a POLL!

Versatility

I have said it before, and I will say it again, this Kings squad is VERSATILE. Their roster may not be top-heavy with superstars, but they have a great mix of complementary, and uniquely skilled players.

I think early in the season, the Kings will put out many different lineup combinations. We Kings fans need to have PATIENCE. While the Kings are improving and finding their identity, they may not be able to always ‘set the tone’ on the court. That means they will have to often ‘match’ the lineup the opponent puts on the court.

Though, as they improve as a team and individually, and find their identity … with time and patience … the Kings will be able to dictate the style of basketball being played: big/small, fast/controlled, defensive/offensive, etc. This will force the Kings opponents to match the lineup they put on the floor. Patience is key!

‘SacTown 5-0’

The blooming duo dubbed ‘SacTown 5-0,’ consisting of Tyrese Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox, is going to be the core of what Sacramento builds their team around going forward. And they are becoming one of the most exciting tandems to watch in ALL of the NBA. Even if the Kings do not have any national TV broadcasts …. yet!

That guard-centric construction plan isn’t new to previous Sactown hoops architects. Historically, guard play has been a KEY building block for Kings basketball teams. A list that includes guards Oscar RobertsonKenny SmithReggie TheusMitch RichmondJason WilliamsMike Bibby, Kevin MartinTyreke Evans … maybe even Rajon Rondo, and Isaiah Thomas.

‘Off Night’

Davion Mitchell was perhaps the STEAL of the 2021 NBA draft. Mitchell was selected by the Kings 9th overall, a selection that Kings fans will have a hard time getting DEFENSIVE about, especially if they LOCKDOWN a playoff spot this season and beyond … (yes, puns heavily intended).

Mitchell adds a NEEDED defensive intensity and mindset to the Sacramento Kings. During the past few seasons, especially 2020-21, the Kings have been one of the worst defensive teams in NBA history. The consistent, inconsistency on defense was one of the main reasons the Kings could not get it together for a playoff/play-in run. The Sacramento Kings ‘culture’ seems to be undergoing a positive change, and I think all Kings fans can get in a defensive stance to that! Hands up!

Pressure Cooker

The addition of Mitchell and the continued maturation of Haliburton will take pressure off of De’Aaron Fox in many ways. As the Kings improve defensively as a team and individually, Fox will not have to expend as much energy defending the opponent’s best guard. This will allow Fox to focus more energy on the offensive end, while still playing solid defense.

Depth and versatility at the guard position will also help De’Aaron Fox stay healthy, this season and beyond. The fewer times that Fox has to ‘take over’ games, the better for the Kings! I love to see Fox dribble behind the back, leaving two bewildered defenders at the top of the key, as he soars through the air for a tough AND 1 layup, crashing to the floor with his Kings teammates rushing over to help him up… Those high-energy plays are fun and necessary for success. Though, the less that Fox has to put his body on the line, the better for the Kings. The NBA season is LONG, and Sacramento will greatly benefit from just staying healthy.

All of this talk of taking pressure off of Fox, and I have not even mentioned Terence Davis and Buddy Hield! The two guards will play a huge role in the success of the Kings, alongside Fox, Haliburton and Mitchell.

Offense

The Kings three guard lineup all have the ability to play multiple positions. Fox, Haliburton and Mitchell can all play point guard and also play off the ball AKA shooting guard. Those roles can be changed up from possession to possession, depending on the other team’s lineup, the Kings lineup, and the situation in that specific part of the game.

Fox, Haliburton, and Mitchell all have the capability to score from ‘all three levels’ – near the basket, mid-range and from three point range. Any one of the three can also keep the Kings ‘on track’ when one of the trio needs to go out of the game or take a game off. Keeping these three players fresh, healthy, and progressing will be key to the Sacramento Kings success, short and long term!

Kings Season Opener

The Kings start their 2021-22 NBA season on Wednesday 10/20, in Portland, against Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and the playoff-hungry TrailBlazers. Portland’s elite two guard combo of Lillard and McCollum will give the Kings three guard lineup a ‘playoff level’ test right as the regular season tips off!

Go KINGS!

-Tom Witt

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Three Reasons to Watch the Sacramento Kings: Big Man Group

Most of the talk, regionally and nationally, claim that the Sacramento Kings did not do much of anything in the offseason to improve. I BEG to differ! Since the 2020-21 NBA trade deadline and during this offseason, I think the Kings have made moves to improve, with the ultimate goal of making the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

One of those groups that have improved this offseason is the Kings group of ‘big men. Big man play has been one major ‘missing link’ in Sacramento’s success since the days of DeMarcus Cousins, maybe even back to Brad Miller.

It may not seem like it to some, but the Sacramento Kings have been working this offseason to put themselves in a position to break their 15-year playoff-less streak. The improved big man group will play a key role in the Kings success this season.

2021-22 Sacramento Kings Roster

BIG Moves in SacTown

One of the highlights of the offseason and going forward for the Kings is the BIG MAN group. The Kings were able to retain fan favorite and one of the NBA’s most improved players, Richaun Holmes. Sacramento dipped their toes in the trade market this offseason, trading guard Delon Wright for a veteran big man, with championship experience, Tristan Thompson.

Improving young players like Chimezie Metu and Damian Jones also return looking to earn more meaningful minutes. The Kings also upgraded their ‘backup/BIG’ center position by signing Alex Len, and not re-signing Hassan Whiteside. Addition by subtraction is a way to improve in SacTown, trust me non-Kings fans. How could I forget to mention that Marvin Bagley III is still on the team, has been working with new assistant coach Doug Christie, and has one of the biggest UP-SIDES of any player in the NBA!

Ahead, I give you THREE REASONS to watch the Sacramento Kings big man group this season!

1. Lineup Versatility

The Kings will be able to put out many different ‘big men combos’ this season. But, we Kings fans need to have PATIENCE. While the Kings are improving and finding their identity, they may not be able to always ‘set the tone’ on the court. That means they will have to often ‘match’ the lineup the opponent puts on the court.

Though, as they improve and find their identity … with time and patience … the Kings will be able to dictate the style of basketball being played: big/small, fast/controlled, defensive/offensive, etc. This will force the Kings opponents to match the lineup they put on the floor. Patience, patience, patience. That should probably be painted on the I-5/HWY 50 interchange in SacTown … but I digress.

The Kings can ‘go small’ at the ‘5’, with Richaun Holmes, Tristan Thompson, even Chimezie Metu, or Marvin Bagley III. A potential, and fun, ‘small’ big man lineup combo could be Holmes, Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, De’Aaron Fox.

The big man crew also allows the Kings to go BIG. The addition of 7’0″ big man Alex Len in free agency was a solid move, in my opinion. Last season, the Kings could have really used the services of Len, whom the Kings chose to not sign after trading for him during the 2019-20 season.

The Kings may choose to pair two of the big men together at 5 and 4. That could look like Len mixed and matched with Holmes, Thompson, Metu, Jones or Bagley III. The ‘big’ big man lineup could be paired with the smaller ‘three-headed guard monster’ that will be Fox, Haliburton, and Mitchell. I could also see the Kings testing the waters with ‘small’ forward Harrison Barnes playing at the 4 when a BIG like Len is on the floor at the same time.

What is one lineup YOU are excited to see this season?

2. Holmes Sweet Holmes

Sacramento was able to bring back Richaun Holmes in free agency, which was the biggest question swirling around the Kings this offseason.

The Kings do not often get opportunities to sign impact free agents, so retaining their ‘homegrown’ talent is CRUCIAL to success for the franchise – short term and long term. There was a LOT of speculation going into the offseason that Richaun Holmes would jump ship, whether it was for more money or a higher chance of winning, outside of SacTown. Thankfully, Holmes stayed in Sacramento, where he has become one of the most beloved and successful players in recent franchise history. As the Kings get better, Holmes will continue to shine even brighter!

Richaun Holmes has a great story, attitude, work ethic, and skills to back it all up! There was some sweat-inducing speculation about Holmes potentially leaving for more free agent money outside of SacTown this offseason. Fortunately, he stayed Holmes, sweet Holmes! Earning a nice 4 year/46$ million dollar deal with the Sacramento Kings.

Before landing in SacTown, Holmes was a relatively unknown big man, spending his first three seasons with Philadelphia and one with Phoenix. Former Kings general manager Vlade Divac gave the free agent Holmes a shot in 2019, and that turned out to be one of the best free-agent signings in … well … Sacramento Kings history?!

During the 2020-21 season, Holmes averaged 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 29.2 minutes per game. That was while ranking second in the NBA in FG% – 63.7%! The Richaun Holmes floater … it’s hotter than a summertime float down the American River, on a toasty 916 day! Most of the NBA is sadly unaware of how deadly Holmes’ floater can be … and a few national broadcasts would help that immensely!

If and WHEN given the opportunity, the NBA nation would fall in love with Holmes, his style of play, his humble, hardworking attitude, and his passionate mom, Lydecia Holmes! Richaun’s mom, Dr. Lydecia Holmes, has won over the hearts of Sacramento Kings fans with her passionate fanfare and post-game interviews. Whether it’s Holmes’ attitude, style of play, or side stories – he is one major reason to tune into the Sacramento Kings!

Addition By Subtraction

In the past, the Kings have been forced to retain players they may not necessarily want to bring back … but are forced to because not many free agents want to sign in Sacramento. That may have been the case when re-signing Buddy Hield a few years ago. Buddy was re-signed for what many think was an over-payment at the time. Though, if we didn’t ‘overpay’ for Buddy, and he signed elsewhere, Sacramento would most likely not have been able to replace him through the free-agent market. And the Kings would have been ridiculed (again) for the eventual outcome of the DeMarcus Cousins trade that brought Buddy Buckets to SacTown.

That ‘SacTown Retainment Tax’ has come back to bite the Kings in the past, but what can you do when no free agents want to sign in SacTown. Thankfully, this seems to slowly be changing for the better.

The Kings ‘big man’ play can really only improve compared to the last three seasons. Simply put, Hassan Whiteside is the edition by subtraction I was referring to. Whiteside was … better … than Dewayne Dedmon at least. Right? Thanks for the laughs, Hassan, best wishes in your future!

3. B.Y.C. – Big Young Core

Along with the addition of veteran big men Alex Len and Tristan Thompson, Sacramento also returns improving young big men Marvin Bagley III, Chimezie Metu and Damian Jones. Metu was a fan favorite last season, showing toughness and tenacity that could bust through any HWY 99 pothole. Metu gained some international experience by representing his home country of Nigeria in the 2020 Olympic Games! Metu even hit 6/7 three-pointers during a group stage win against Italy.

In the 2nd round of the 2021 NBA draft, the Kings added defensive-minded Neemias Queta. In his junior season at Utah State, Queta averaged 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, and 2.7 assists per game. He was named to the First Team All-Mountain West and Defensive Player of the Year. Queta was one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award. He ranked third nationally in blocks per game, and left as Utah State’s all-time leader in blocks.

Bagley III has some of the highest UPSIDE in the NBA! He really cannot be any more ‘disappointing’ to Kings fans than he has already been up to this point. The Kings have a ‘great problem’ on their hands with Bagley III. If he can stay healthy, improve on defense, and maybe even develop an outside shot, Bagz has the potential to be an impact player for the Kings moving forward!

Will Bagley develop into more of a stretch 4, who roams the three-point line or will he turn into more of a modern, interior-based, athletic 4/5 hybrid? I think he is better served to move his game ‘outside’. The proliferation of the three-point shot in the NBA and MB3’s history of injuries does not mesh well with the more physical big man style.

One question I always ask myself when I want to complain about Bagley III is, “If he was on another team, would Kings fans LOVE to have him on our squad?” The same question could be asked about Buddy … but that’s a WHOLE other article waiting to happen …

What is YOUR Opinion?

Looking Ahead

The current rotation of Kings big men has a lot of potential! They can learn lessons from Kings paint prowlers of the past … the perseverance of Jason Thompson, the passion of DeMarcus Cousins, and the panache of a Scot Pollard.

The NBA regular season tips off Tuesday, October 19th for some and October 20th in Portland, for the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings coaching staff will have a lot of potential lineups to tinker with as the 82 game season unfolds! Maybe we can even talk about an 83rd game for SacTown … for the first time since 2006!

GO Kings!

-Tom Witt

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NBA G-League Stockton Kings: Three Reasons to Watch

The Stockton Kings are the NBA G-League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings. They have one of the most storied, celebrated, and successful histories of any team in NBA G-League history.

The team moved to Stockton in 2018, after taking the reigns from the regionally-renowned Reno Bighorns.

What is the NBA G-League?

  • Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) became the NBA G League as part of a multi-year expanded partnership between the NBA and Gatorade.

Below, I share three reasons I think you should keep an eye on the Stockton Kings this season!

1. First Year Head Coach Bobby Jackson

On May 27th, the Stockton Kings hired Bobby Jackson as their head coach. Jackson, a Sacramento Kings legend and 2003 NBA Sixth Man award winner, has worked hard to earn this role.

2010 was the year Jackson started his professional coaching journey. ‘B-Jax’ started as a regional scout and player development coach for the Kings (2010-2012) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2013). Coach Jackson then returned to SacTown as a collegiate scout for the Kings, spending three seasons in that role. In 2018-19 he became an assistant player development coach. He earned ANOTHER promotion after that and spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings.

Head Coach Jackson combines elite on-court experience, with a meticulous level of study and prep.  

From James Ham of NBC Sports California. “I told them training camp was going to be hard, but I kept preaching teamwork, chemistry, having each other’s backs, defending at a high level, making other teams uncomfortable, and taking things away,” Jackson said.

Coach Jackson has already made an impact on the ‘Young Kings’ squad. Leading them to a 2021 NBA Summer League championship! Coach Jackson is known for setting a high standard for success, from himself and from his players. Those expectations are high, and rightly so. The Stockton Kings are known for producing NBA talent, and winning teams. That is my third reason to watch the Stockton Kings … but first, a personal story of mine!

Personal B-Jax Memory

I have a personal B-Jax story to share. Flashback to 2009 … it was a mild, spring Friday morning at the Arden Fair Mall. My American River College track teammate Chris and I just finished morning track practice. That day, we decided to skip the customary Adalbertos breakfast burrito and cruise the mall to kill some time.

We were ambling about the now-defunct Champs Sports, and we both felt the palpable presence of a locally significant persona walk into the room. NBA Sixth Man, Man of the People, B-Jax, Bobby Jackson, was browsing for shoes on a very vacant Friday morning at the mall.

How do we approach one of our childhood hoops heroes? Do we fully embrace our childhood fandom and go ask for autographs, while sopping up our drool with tall tees and various colored Vans (which happened to look like sneakers) on the shelves? Do we just observe this rare sighting of a Kings’ legend in the wild, allowing him to act on his own accord, without disturbing his natural process?

We decided to meet in the middle. Letting B-Jax be for a few minutes, making sure he didn’t leave without us seeing, while simultaneously showing him that we were there … and sane (though we were at the Arden Mall at 9 am on Friday, so I could see how our potential sanity could come into question …).

The time was finally right, it was now or never! We finally approached Mr. Jackson calmly, but with a known enthusiasm for all he has done for Sacramento! After obliging us with some chatter and a photo, he walked off into the abyss of the Arden Mall, probably with some fresh new Nike’s in hand.

Chris turned to me and said a phrase I’ve repeated many times over the years, with enthusiasm, “B-Jax is a man of the people.”

Shoot, I can see that slogan plastered on roadway billboards spanning the Sacramento Valley! From north to south, Marysville to Modesto, east to west from Pioneer to Patterson!

2. ‘NBA U’

In regards to producing NBA players, the Stockton Kings have been one of the best G-League teams over the past few seasons.

As of March 2020, Stockton was tied for first with the Sioux Falls G-League franchise in the category of ‘unique player call ups’ with eight. And rank second in the league in ‘non-parent call ups’ with six.

See how the Stockton Kings rank amongst the other G-League franchises.

A few of their notable alumni include: Donte GreeneDanny GreenJeremy LinSteve NovakHassan WhitesideGarrett TempleGabe VincentWenyen Gabriel.

The G-League is becoming a competitive, talented, developmental ‘minor’ league system. This will lead to more ‘impact’ players being called up to the NBA and contributing to their teams.

As time goes on, I personally see the G-League becoming more and more like the MLB minor leagues. This will increase the potential to see a future NBA player, as well as the opportunity, in the future, of seeing a ‘rehabbing’ NBA veteran return to play, by playing a few games for the G-League affiliate.

I love minor league baseball, and I think that as time goes on, NBA fans will love the increased upgrades to the G-League.

3. Future ‘Big League’ Contributors

Kings fans have a great problem on their hands … a deep, talented and successful “minor league” squad. Kings fans can decide to turn Stockton’s G-League success into a negative or a positive, and I choose the positive.

Truly rabid Kings fans have much to look forward to this season and beyond in regards to minor league ‘call-ups’ making an impact on the ‘big league’ Sacramento team. Akin to what many San Francisco Giants fans have experienced recently; their depth in the minors often leads to ‘unknown’ call-ups making BIG impacts on the major league stage.

Over the last 15 playoff-less seasons, there have been many rainy, Tuesday night Kings games with little reason to watch past the mid-3rd quarter. With the ‘evolution‘ (though, I am more of a FIBA international basketball ball type guy when I am hoopin’ …) of the NBA G-League in terms of consistently producing NBA call-ups and impact players, Kings fans will always have something to look forward to watching in Stockon. Regardless of how the Sacramento squad is doing in the standings.

A few players to watch for on the Stockton Kings this season are Jahmi’us RamseyNeemias QuetaLouis King, and Robert Woodard.

G-League/NBA TwoWay Contracts

In 2017 each NBA team was granted two extra roster spots with the addition of G-League two-way contracts. That raised the number of NBA roster spots from 15 to 17.

From the G-League website:

  • NBA teams may have up to two players under NBA Two-Way Contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and not more than 45 days with their NBA team.
  • Two-Way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league.
  • Only players in their fourth NBA season or earlier can sign Two-Way Contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.

The Sacramento Kings two ‘two-way’ players for the 2021-22 season are forward Louis King and center Neemias Queta.

Unfortunately, at the time of publishing this article, the Stockton Kings have not released their 2021-22 roster. I’ll be optimistic in thinking that the delay might mean there is an open tryout announcement coming up … a ‘209’ native like myself can only dream!

Stockton not only plays high-level hoops, but fans who tune in will be able to gain some insider info on the next wave of Sacramento Kings call-ups. This gives Kings fans some added hope, and at times, a less frustrating team to watch.

And well, you can get game tickets for below 20$ in Stockton … that’s about half the processing fee for an upper deck seat for a game in Golden1 Center! Ballin’ on a budget is a regional theme, from Vivek down to the local beertender (me)!

Looking Ahead

Stockton finished the COVID shortened 2019-20 regular season at 24-19, earning the title of G-League Pacific Division Champs – fifth seed in the western conference. That was before the G-League season and playoffs were canceled on March 12th, 2020. The Stockton Kings did not participate in the 2021-21 G-League season.

The 2021-22 G-League season schedule has not been released yet, but the Sacramento Kings start their regular season on October 9th, at Portland!

209 STAND UP!

Go Kings!

Tom Witt

Tom Witt has been in sports media for just under a decade. He started off freelancing, earning a role as an editor and Sacramento Kings writer at Overtime Heroics.

He also is an avid Spikeball fan/competitor (roundnet is the name of the sport played on Spikeball equipment) – Tom is also the head editor at the Roundnet World blog.

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Four Reasons The Sacramento Kings Deserve National TV Broadcast

The Sacramento Kings deserve a national TV broadcast, and I give you four of my reasons why! The 2021-22 Sacramento Kings schedule does NOT include any nationally televised games. The last time the Kings even sniffed an opportunity at a nationally broadcast game was March 11, 2020. That game was scheduled to be televised on ESPN, against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. Unfortunately, the game was canceled minutes before tip-off. This was a historical moment, as one of the first ‘major events’ in the USA to be canceled to due COVID-19.

The Kings and Pelicans were neck-and-neck for the final playoff spot in the NBA western conference. At the time, I lived in Chico, CA … I was getting off of work at Sierra Nevada Brewery, and my biggest worry was where to watch the game! My buddies and I were debating all day whether to go watch it at the old school, local watering hole, ‘The Oasis’, or in the backyard, chill zone dubbed ‘Kings Klub’.

Below I list four reasons the Sacramento Kings should have at least ONE nationally televised game this season.

1. SacTown 5-0

The blooming duo dubbed ‘SacTown 5-0’, consisting of Tyrese Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox, is going to be the core of what Sacramento builds their team around going forward. And they are becoming one of the most exciting tandems to watch in ALL of the NBA.

That guard-centric construction plan isn’t new to previous Sactown hoops architects. Historically, guard play has been a KEY building block for Kings basketball teams. A list that includes guards Oscar Robertson, Kenny Smith, Reggie Theus, Mitch Richmond, Jason Williams, Mike Bibby, Kevin Martin, Tyreke Evans … maybe even Rajon Rondo, and Isaiah Thomas.

The roles these two can play are numerous! They can play together, either one assuming the point guard role, when situationally dependent. They can also keep the Kings on track when one of the duo needs to go out of the game, or take a game off. Keeping these two fresh, healthy, and progressing will be key to the Sacramento Kings success, acutely and chronically!

Whether you like high-quality individual hoopers, a hungry team, or have a love for rooting for the underdog – you will want to check out the 2021-22 Sacramento Kings and their young leaders ‘Sactown 5-0’.

2. ‘Off Night’ Mitchell

Davion Mitchell was perhaps the STEAL of the 2021 NBA draft. Mitchell was selected by the Kings 9th overall, a selection that Kings fans will have a hard time getting DEFENSIVE about, especially if they LOCKDOWN a playoff spot this season and beyond … (yes, puns heavily intended).

Mitchell has been a winner on every level, from high school, to NCAA hoops, now to 2021 NBA Summer League champs! A small excerpt from the Baylor Bears men’s basketball bio of Mitchell, “2021 National Defensive Player of the Year, All-American and two-time All-Big 12 honoree, nicknamed “Off Night” for the reputation of forcing player he’s defending into having an off night.” The Kings and general manager Monte McNair seem to have struck gold in back-to-back drafts, drafting Haliburton 12th overall in 2020.

Mitchell adds a NEEDED defensive intensity and mindset to the Sacramento Kings. During the past few seasons, especially 2020-21, the Kings have been one of the worst defensive teams in NBA history. The consistent, inconsistency on defense was one of the main reasons the Kings could not get it together for a playoff/play-in run. The Sacramento Kings ‘culture’ seems to be undergoing a positive change, and I think all Kings fans can get in a defensive stance to that! Hands up!

3. Richaun Holmes

Richaun Holmes has a great story, attitude, work ethic, and skills to back it all up! There was some sweat-inducing speculation about Holmes potentially leaving for more free agent money outside of SacTown this offseason. Fortunately, he stayed Holmes, sweet Holmes! Earning a nice 4 year/46$ million dollar deal with the Sacramento Kings.

Before landing in SacTown, Holmes was a relatively unknown big man, spending his first three seasons with Philadelphia and one with Phoenix. Former Kings general manager Vlade Divac gave the free agent Holmes a shot in 2019, and that turned out to be one of the best free-agent signings in … well … Sacramento Kings history?!

During the 2020-21 season, Holmes averaged 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 29.2 minutes per game. That was while ranking second in the NBA in FG% – 63.7%! The Richaun Holmes floater … it’s hotter than a summertime float down the American River, on a toasty 916 day! Most of the NBA is sadly unaware of how deadly Holmes’ floater can be … and a few national broadcasts would help that immensely! In the meantime, here is a Richaun Holmes FLOATER mixtape.

If and WHEN given the opportunity, the NBA nation would fall in love with Holmes, his style of play, his humble, hardworking attitude, and his passionate mom, Lydecia Holmes! Richaun’s mom, Dr. Lydecia Holmes, has won over the hearts of Sacramento Kings fans with her passionate fanfare and post-game interviews. Whether it’s Holmes’ attitude, style of play, or side stories – he is one major reason to tune into the Sacramento Kings!

4. Underdog Story

And one final reason to watch the Sacramento Kings … they are a great underdog story. The franchise was robbed in 2002, almost shipped out of town 2006-13, and has not made the post-season since 2006. Unfortunately, 15 years of playoff-less basketball might write off the Kings to some national NBA fans. Though, in my opinion, it should be a reason to jump on board to a comeback, rags-to-riches, type story! And speaking of money … I hear the gambling odds are in our favor … should I put my money where my mouth is?

What Do YOU Think?

Let us know on TWITTER @oth_basketball and @sactowncrown or my personal Sacramento Kings website sactowncrownreport.com

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Will Tyrese Haliburton Take a Major Leap in Year Two?

Rookie Campaign

Tyrese Haliburton was selected 12th overall in the 2020 NBA draft and made an instant positive impact on the Sacramento Kings and their rabid fan base. Tyrese was dubbed ‘steal of the draft’ by multiple expert analysts and was in the running for the NBA Rookie of the Year award the entire season.

While appearing in 58 games, and starting 20, Haliburton averaged per game – 30 minutes, 13 points, 5.7 assists, 1.3 steals. His shooting percentages were quite respectable as well – 47% field goals, 41% three-point field goals, 86% free throws.

Tyrese earned himself a selection to the 2020-21 NBA All-Rookie 1st team, as well as two NBA Rookie of the Month awards (January and February 2021).

Ahead I will outline my thoughts on the potential roles, a few questions, and my predictions for the sophomore sensation, Tyrese Haliburton!

Potential Roles

Starting shooting guard next to starting point guard De’Aaron Fox

This is the typical ‘next step’ that most fans and Kings media members talk about. Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox played well together when on the floor at the same time. It also just makes sense to start Haliburton, for team success and individual player growth.

The same questions linger though …. Will Buddy Hield be on the team to complain about not starting? Will he finally embrace the ‘sixth man’ role? A role that would most likely highlight his elite-level talents, while working on and ‘hiding’ his faults.

Though many folks say it and I mostly agree, it’s not who starts the game … it’s who finishes it. Well, actually, now that I type that out I have SOME beef with that statement.

Being that an NBA game is played to a certain time, not score, sometimes the beginning and middle of the game are more important than the end. Often, the Kings make nice late-game comebacks but are deterred from the win because of a lack of time to fully make that comeback (refer to The Big 3 and the Elam Ending for alternative end of game scenarios).

That means to me, sometimes, the first, second, and third quarters are more important than late in the fourth, if that makes sense.

Main ball-handler, initiator, to set up Fox

I think a ‘next level’ upgrade for the duo dubbed ‘SacTown 5-0’ of Fox and Haliburton would be to have Hali act as the main ball handler and initiator of offense.

That would help to set up Fox for scoring opportunities off of the ball. Dependent on how the Kings ‘run’ Fox off the ball, opposing defenses will have to scheme to make sure Fox doesn’t consistently torch them, while not playing his main point guard position. This would not only open up more opportunities for Fox but for other Kings players as well. The Kings coaching staff have a LOT of options going forward.

Less time as the main point guard will lead to will lead to less wear and tear, which will help Fox and the Kings immensely in game 83 and beyond …

Haliburton acts as ‘Floor General’ when Fox is on the bench

The Kings seem to NEED at least one of the ‘SacTown 5-0’ on the floor at all times. There will be times when matchups and hot lineups without Fox or Haliburton get some run, but that will not be the main formula for success.

Haliburton has shown flashes of elite-level point guard skills. He controls the pace well and is becoming known for his deceptively devious look-away assists to his Kings running mates. That, paired with his ability to score from ‘all three levels’ makes Tyrese a THREAT when he is the main ball handler, regardless of whether Fox is on the floor or resting.

Let’s Get Physical

Will Haliburton be able to take a physical leap in year two? Not only in regards to his body size and strength but also durability and endurance. Haliburton was sidelined at the end of the 2020-21 season with a leg injury. The reason the Kings decided to keep Tyrese out seems to have been more a ‘precautionary’ measure, rather than a long term, worrisome injury.

Many folks point to Tyrese being too thin, needing to put on weight, size, and strength to take the necessary next steps in the NBA. I think that will happen, over time, patiently, intelligently. Based on a long and short-term plan for optimal success.

Haliburton uses his light frame, change of pace, and deceptiveness to his advantage. If he was to get ‘Buddy thick’ that may improve some aspects of his game, but also hinder some others. Being patient with physical maturity, paired with elite-level NBA nutrition, training, and recovery … I think Tyrese will be fine in that category.

I am more concerned about his durability, and endurance, over an 82 game season, and playoff push. Not because of anything necessarily regarding him personally, but just the general grind of a full NBA season, year after year. That heated term ‘load management’ will be CRUCIAL to the short and long-term success of Tyrese Haliburton and therefore, the Sacramento Kings.

One of the most important aspects to success in the NBA isn’t just having great players, but being able to keep them on the floor, at a high level, consistently. I think that the Kings success will be greatly impacted by taking advantage of opportunities to REST Tyrese. That means monitoring minutes, taking games completely off and taking him out in lop-sided games.

My 2021-22 Tyrese Haliburton Predictions

I am hopeful that even if Haliburton does not show much of an increase in ‘numbers’, his impact on the overall game will increase tremendously. Opposing teams will be forced to scheme harder to deter Haliburton, while he is playing in his MANY potential roles on the Kings. Occasional double teams, opposing defenses shading help towards him while off the ball, and other ‘x’s and o’s’ type things which will help Hali and the Kings be more successful than last year.

In terms of minutes per game, Haliburton was fourth on the team behind Harrison Barnes (36 MPG), Fox (35 MPG), and Hield (34 MPG). Haliburton should see an increase in minutes per game this season, especially during important times of the game.

As Haliburton evolves into his roles, this year and beyond, I think his numbers will be determined by how he is used and NEEDED to win games for the Kings. That may mean some games he is focusing on moving and creating off of the ball, some games where he is initiating offense and setting up Fox, and many games with a mix of both.

Now that the Kings are seemingly in the midst of a positive ‘culture shift’, winning is the expectation. The Sacramento Kings coaching staff should be ABLE to be more focused on scheming lineups and roles to WIN games, not just to develop players for the future (see 2006-2021…).

I can see Haliburton appearing in 63 games this season, compared to 58 last year. He started 20 games last year, and depending on if the Kings trade Buddy Hield or not, I could see Haliburton starting over 50 of those games, or coming off the bench and only starting if Fox is out.

If Buddy doesn’t want to win NBA Sixth Man of the Year, I’m sure Tyrese won’t mind!

One potential lineup some have thrown out there is putting Fox, Buddy, Tyrese, Barnes, and Holmes (or larger big man Alex Len) on the floor at the same time. Some have even talked about switching out Buddy for Kings first-round, 9th overall, draft selection, Davion Mitchell, better known as ‘Off Night’ for his defensive prowess.

My Haliburton 2021-22 Numbers Predictions:

  • 35 minutes, 16 points, 2 steals, 7 assists per game

Sacramento Kings general manager Monte McNair has been creating an improving team and winning culture in SacTown (yea, even though I grew up in the 209, Amador County, I ran cross country/track and field at American River College … may I call it ‘SacTown’ pleaseeeeee @carmichaeldave ?!?).

It will be exciting to see how this team, coaching staff, and organization continue to upgrade!

What do YOU think?

Let me know on my Twitter page! @sactowncrown

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Tom’s Top Three: Sacramento Kings Content

In today’s sports world, there are MANY ways to eat up your favorite sports media voices. Classic consumption methods may include nostalgic AM radio, newspaper, magazine, cable television. Or maybe you enjoy the more new-age styles including podcasts, YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Twitter, and more! Regardless, it can be exciting and overwhelming when chewing up your favorite Sac Kings content!

Ahead I will outline a few of my FAVORITE Sacramento Kings ‘shows’, why I love them, interesting info, how you can listen/watch, and more!

D-Lo & KC

D-Lo & KC airs Monday through Friday Noon – 4pm on 1320am radio in Sacramento. When I’m cruising around in my 1996 Ford Ranger ‘Chuck the Truck’, I usually tune into D-Lo and KC on classic AM radio. When the dial gets a little fuzzy, I usually listen on their Twitch or YouTube channel. The ‘Chat House’ adds a fun, community aspect to the show. The chat is regularly referenced by the show’s hosts, Damien and Kenny, for its… unique enthusiasm.

I enjoy listening to D-Lo & KC for many reasons.

The dynamic duo is knowledgeable, passionate, ‘cool’, and they talk about the Kings a lot, regardless of how the team is doing!

They mix real hoops knowledge, with realistic takes. A lot of Kings media members like to … well … really play the ‘negative’ side of the franchise up A LOT. D-LO & KC keep it real, positive, but without going too overboard, which I really enjoy!

And they are one of the best shows to call into, especially if you may be a bit nervous as a ‘long time listener, first time caller.’ Call in! Share a story, take or question! I am glad I have!

The Carmichael Dave Show

The Carmichael Dave Show airs Monday through Friday 6am – 9am on KHTK 1140am radio. Carmichael Dave is the Sacramento Kings ‘Voice of the People’. Literally working his way up from being a passionate caller, to making a career having his own shows! (Well, besides NBA TopShot and Robinhood) …

Dave has passion, local roots, and a ‘regular Kings fan’ vibe that his Sacramento fans LOVE.

Some of those SacTown fans have even created a community in the YouTube chat of The Carmichael Dave Show.

Though the numbers of commenters may change depending on how the Kings are doing in the standings, there are a few OG commenters that always keep Dave on his toes. Rudy, Chris G., a few others … and the glue that holds them all together Christy H. really do make the morning show even better.

Crossover question: What would you cook for Carmichael Dave if he was over for dinner at your house for a Kings game?

Jason Ross and (formerly) Doug Christie in the Afternoon

The afternoon show on KHTK 1140AM included former Sacramento King Doug Christie and Jason Ross air Monday through Friday 3pm – 6pm on KHTK 1140am radio. As I come back to writing this article after a few weeks of editing … Doug Christie has accepted a new role as Sacramento Kings assistant coach! Congrats Doug!

Doug’s last day on the show was Monday, August, 2nd. Who do you want to see added to the afternoon show host lineup? Kayte C.? Deuce and Mo? The already connected, and hardworking, Matt George?

As the years progressed, I really enjoyed listening to Doug Christie. And honestly, that wasn’t always the case. Doug started off with Grant Napear and was learning the radio ropes on the job as he went. Over the past few years, Doug has really dove into his new craft, and has become one of my favorite Kings talking heads!

It goes almost without saying, but I love saying it: Doug is one of the most beloved Sacramento Kings ever!

He was the anchor on defense for ‘the greatest show on court’. The kind of hustle, grit, and toughness Christie displayed on the hardwood has translated well to the ‘booth’. Jason Ross and Doug worked well with each other, using their individual skills and personalites well together. With time and practice, Doug became much more comfortable giving his KNOWLEDGABLE takes, while finding his radio ‘cadence’.

I am excited to see how Doug attacks this next endeavor as a Sacramento Kings assistant coach! Coach Christie has even mentioned he has unfinished business in SacTown and that he wants to help bring an NBA CHAMPIONSHIP to the 916!

I’m IN!

More Kings Chatter to Check Out!

Below, I will list a few of the other shows, authors, and websites I like to peruse to get my Sacramento Kings FIX!

What else would you add to the list?

Deuce and Mo Podcast

Deuce and Mo are EVERYWHERE in Kings nation. They have a mostly daily podcast that can be found on most streaming services like YouTube, Twitch, Spotify, etc. They also host the Night Chat, which is live after Kings games, and can get … interesting.

Locked On Kings Podcast

Matt George is passionate and his content is well-researched! I usually listen on Spotify or the TuneIn app. What about you?

KHTK 1140 AM articles – Franklin Cartoscelli

Return of the Roar podcast – KHTK 1140AM

NBC Sports CA articles/interviews – James Ham

One of the most ‘dialed in’ Sacramento Kings content creators around!

The Athletic

In my opinion, the best Sacramento Kings written content available. They are nationally and locally connected. That along with being the most frequent posters of articles, which is big time!

Oh yea … I have a few podcast episodes and articles too.

Sactown Crown Report

It’s already an exciting off-season for the Sacramento Kings, make sure and keep up with the latest action, and join the conversation!

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Three Reasons the Sacramento Kings Offseason Will Be Exciting

This Sacramento Kings offseason should be exciting, full of big possibilities and changes. After having a fighters chance at the 2020-21 NBA Playoff Play-In, the Sacramento Kings fell just short, missing the playoffs for the 15th straight season. Though, there is a lot for Kings fans to be excited about!

Read ahead for three reasons I think the Sacramento Kings will have an EXCITING offseason.

BIG Trade Possibilities

One way the Sacramento Kings may cause the biggest stir this offseason could be through trades. The typical names keep coming up in Kings trade talk – Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III, Harrison Barnes, and even a lottery draft selection to dangle in front of teams.

The Kings are not a big free-agent destination, in fact, many Kings fans point to Vlade Divac signing in Sacramento as their last big free-agent signing back in 1998, YEESH. One thing ‘holding back’ the Kings in the free-agent market, and trade market is Buddy Hield’s big contract. Yes, Buddy is one of the best shooters in the NBA, and I think could be a great 6th man, but his contract holds back the Kings in multiple ways.

Marvin Bagley III has been injured most of his NBA career. Bagley hasn’t put up bad numbers in his limited time in the NBA, 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Though, some point to his lack of defensive IQ as a HUGE hindrance to his growth and the success of the Kings. I think Bagz could be a sweet add-on to a Buddy Hield trade, to soften Buddy’s salary impact by adding a player with huge upside in Bagley.

If the Kings do end up trading Bagley and he does well in the future … what will Kings fans say? I’m sure if you’re a Kings fan, you have a few ideas. One thing Kings fans do well viciously fall in love with players. Fortunately, I guess, for Kings fans, Bagley III hasn’t really endeared himself to the SacTown fanbase, which will make the negative noise much less if he does get traded.

Harrison Barnes is usually in trade talks when it comes to the Sacramento Kings and pieces that other teams would actually value. I personally hope the Kings keep Harrison. Though he may never be a ‘superstar’, I think he will stay consistent as he ages. Long term, I think the black falcon could be a great piece off of the bench, on a playoff-series-winning Kings team.

The Kings are a team that is trying to make the playoffs next year, while still needing to improve their current roster. That’s while playing in a tough western conference that’s only getting tougher. The Kings scored the 9th selection in the 2021 NBA Draft. While it would be awesome to get an impact rookie, like Tyrese Haliburton, that may not be the case. If the Kings can package their lottery selection in a trade to get an impact player who is ready to contribute to a playoff team … let’s do it!

Lottery Selection

The Kings hold 9th draft spot in the upcoming NBA draft. Many exciting things can happen with that selection.

The Kings front office struck some draft gold like it was 1849 in Sutter Creek, CA with the selection of Tyrese Haliburton 12th overall in the 2020 NBA draft. Haliburton was playing so well this past season, he was one of the contenders for the NBA rookie of the year award until a late-season injury scare sidelined him and his chances at the NBA rookie of the year award. Regardless, Haliburton should be a crucial part of the Kings success in the future. Alongside De’Aaaron Fox, the guard duo has been dubbed ‘SacTown 5-0’ by Kings commentator Doug Christie.

With the Kings wanting (and NEEDING) to make the PLAYOFFS in 2021-22, they aren’t exactly in need of a high draft selection to groom for the future. It would be awesome if the Kings currently had the roster to make the playoffs while being able to train a lottery pick to make an impact in the future. Realistically though, the Kings are not currently in that position.

Many things will impact what the Kings choose to do with their lottery pick: What value the number 9 pick has to other teams, along with what they do in terms of trades and free agency. If the Kings make an IMPACT trade before the draft, they may be in the position to use their lottery selection. But, one of the most valuable trade assets the Kings possess is their lottery selection.

If the Kings do choose to keep their draft selection I have a few questions …. What position/type of player do you think the Kings should look to select in the draft? Or do they just select the BEST player, regardless of position?

Richaun Holmes Contract

Over the last few seasons, Richaun Holmes has been one of the best stories in SacTown and in the NBA. Holmes has worked hard and hasn’t just floated to earning this upcoming payday. Holmes has been one of the top players in the NBA in terms of field goal percentage over the last couple of seasons with the Kings. He is known for his soft floater, along with the ability to screen, roll and throw down a monstrous lob. His humble, high energy style has made him a fan favorite in SacTown.

Holmes seems like a great fit alongside ‘SacTown 5-0’ but will the price tag deter the Kings front office from re-signing Holmes? Some ‘chatter’ around the NBA project that Holmes could garner up to $18 million dollars a year, for a 4 year contract. If that is the case, the Kings will have a tough time re-signing Holmes, unless they make some other roster moves to free up cap space.

A few questions I have …. How does Holmes’ style of play fit with the long-term vision of the Kings? How can Bagley III and his style of play, and future contract situation, fit in with Holmes? Is Holmes the best ‘fit’ at starting center with the current Kings roster? Do the Kings even have enough money to re-sign Holmes? How much is Holmes valued across the league? I still have a few more questions … maybe I should just call into D-Lo and KC and ask them!

Sacramento Kings Offseason Excitement

It is bound to be an exciting summer for the Sacramento Kings and their fanbase!

What do you think the Kings will do? What do you WANT the Kings to do? Let us know YOUR opinion on Twitter @sactowncrown

GO Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Sacramento Kings Chimezie Metu Player Profile

Born in Los Angeles, raised in Nigeria, the 24-year-old Chimezie Metu stands at 6’10”, 225 lbs. Ahead, I will cover the prep/college and professional career of Metu, as well as my takes on the impact he can have on the Sacramento Kings in the future!

Metu has made the most of his opportunities with the Sacramento Kings. Chimezie has appeared in 28 games this season for the Kings, while averaging 10 minutes, 5.1 points, 2.5 rebounds per game.

In the eyes of the Sacramento Kings front office and general manager Monte McNair, Metu has earned a spot on the Kings. As of 4/28/21, Metu inked a three-year deal with the Sacramento Kings. The Kings front office sees Metu as a piece to help in their push to end a 15-year playoff drought … the longest streak in North American pro sports, to my knowledge.

Prep/College Career

Chimezie Metu was born in Los Angeles, CA but at the age of 6 would move to Nigeria with his dad. Metu would visit his mother in LA every summer, but living in Nigeria really made a lasting impression on Metu.

“Living in the area I did in Nigeria, [I saw] a lot of poverty and people struggling. It kind of pushed me. I didn’t want to be in that situation,” Metu says.

All 6’11” of Metu Could Be Headed to the NBA

Metu had a successful high school career at Lawndale HS in southern California, where he was named a John R. Wooden Award winner as the CIF Southern Section Division II Player of the Year in 2015. As a senior in high school, ‘Mezie’ averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks per game. 

Metu played three seasons at USC, and increased his productivity each season in the NCAA. During his three seasons at USC, 2015-16 through 2017-18, Metu started in 71 of 104 career games. During his junior season, Metu averaged 15.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game.

Metu earned multiple awards during his collegiate career, including:

2016-17 All-Pac-12 – 2nd Team
2016-17 Pac-12 Most Improved Player
2017-18 All-Pac-12 – 1st Team
2017-18 Wooden Award – Preseason

Professional Career

The former USC Trojan was selected in the 2nd round (49th overall) of the 2018 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs. While in San Antonio, Metu was often utilized as a ‘two-way player’, splitting time between the Spurs G-League affiliate in Austin and the NBA squad in the Alamo city.

Link to Chimezie Metu G-League stats with the Austin Spurs, affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs.

In two seasons with the Austin Spurs, Metu appeared in 51 total games, 41 as a starter. In that time, Metu averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game.

After spending two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs organization Metu was signed, released, and then signed again two days later by the Sacramento Kings, at the end of 2020.

Metu has made the most of his opportunities with the Sacramento Kings. Chimezie has appeared in 28 games this season for the Kings, averaging 10 minutes, 5.1 points, 2.5 rebounds per game.

International Competition

Metu was selected to be a member of the Nigerian national basketball team, which competed in the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Cup, hosted by China. Team Nigeria finished 17th overall, out of 32 nations, which qualified them for the next summer Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan, scheduled for summer 2021!

Future Impact on the Sacramento Kings

Patience, power, pace are three words that come to my mind when I see Chimezie Metu play. In my opinion, Metu’s game is akin to a swiss army knife. He can do a lot of things, decently well. While he won’t be a ‘franchise changing’ starter for the Kings, he may play a crucial bench role. That’s a Kings bench squad that’s been lacking the last few, or 15 seasons …

Metu runs the pick and roll well. He does this by using his ‘pace’ to help lure defenders into the correct areas of the court, in order to open up driving lanes for his teammates or to free himself up on the roll for an easy catch and FLUSH.

Metu has also shown the ability to finish on the fast break when he is dished the rock by one of the Kings many talented scorers/ball handlers.

He has also displayed the ability and confidence to take and hit the mid-range jumper. That confidence alone helps set up the pump fake and drive to the hoop.

Around the rim, Metu has a mix of patience and POWER. Metu has shown he can play ‘controlled’ and not be like the Tasmanian devil cleaning the gym in the ORIGINAL Space Jam, like many really ‘athletic’ players often are. But when necessary, Metu can use that athleticism to drop step and rock the rim with power that sends surges from downtown Sactown to the Folsom Dam!

It will be fun to see how Metu is utilized alongside a HOPEFULLY re-tooled Sacramento Kings roster for the 2021-22 season! How can he fit in next to Richaun Holmes, Marvin Bagley III, and other Sacramento Kings ‘big men’?

Poll Question!

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Kayte Christensen-Hunter Basketball Career Bio

Kayte Christensen-Hunter has been a GAME-CHANGER in the basketball world. She worked hard to achieve much success in prep, collegiate and professional basketball. Currently, Kayte is a member of the Sacramento Kings television media team. She is a crucial part of the pre and post-game show, along with growing in-game commentating opportunities!

Kayte’s journey spans from small-town NorCal roots (shoutout Alturas, CA), NCAA and WNBA standout, and now a growing NBA media career. Did I mention she is a mother as well?

NorCal High School Hoops Legend

Kayte was born in Oregon and played her high school hoops in the rural northern California town of Alturas. During her four years at Modoc high school, Kayte was a three-time league MVP, state champion and was even named 1998 CIF Division V PLAYER OF THE YEAR during her senior season.

As a Chico State Wildcat alumni and former men’s basketball team manager and strength coach … I wonder what Kayte’s best game was in the legendary NorCal hoops mecca, Acker Gymnasium, on the grounds of Chico State.

Among MANY accolades as a high school hooper, one that stuck out to me was that she was named the Double Pump Classic (California All-Star Game) MVP in 1998. Small town high school athletes often have very few opportunites to shine amongst athletes from larger schools, and Kayte did just that when given the opportunity! In high school, she also competed in volleyball and track.

UC Santa Barbara Hoops Legend

Continuing to build upon her elite high school hoops career, Kayte would take her talents to Isla Vista, CA … the home of the University of California, Santa Barbara Gauchos!

During her four seasons of play at UCSB, Kayte helped the Gauchos become one of the best in the west! During the 2001-02 season, Kayte’s senior year, she averaged per game 14.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals!

In an article by Jorge Mercado titled, Work Hard Play Hard: Kayte’s Journey Beyond College Life and Basketball Stardom at UCSB, Kayte mentioned how those around her helped her be at her best,

“Mark French was a special coach and the whole coaching staff was great,” Christensen said. “I just think my senior year especially was my favorite year just because of the group of people I was with and the human beings that were here and what we accomplished.”

Kayte arguably had her best season for the Gauchos as a senior. She earned All-Big West honors, tied for the Big West lead with nine double-doubles, was twice named conference Player of the Week, as well as established career highs with 23 points, and 16 rebounds, in separate games.

Kayte earned her degree in classical civilizations – classical literature, language, history, and archaeology.

The California college kid in me wonders …. if Kayte ever went to the infamous ‘Freebirds’ late-night college burrito joint after games …?

Kayte Christensen-Hunter WNBA Career

Kayte Christensen-Hunter was selected in the third round (40th overall) of the 2002 WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury. Kayte played 6 total seasons in the WNBA with three teams – Phoenix Mercury, Houston Comets and the Chicago Sky.

Kayte, again, made the most of her opportunities! From the Mercado article referenced earlier, “But then I realized I was one of 12 rookies to actually make a roster, even everyone that was selected in the first round [16 players] didn’t make a team, so that’s when I realized how uncommon it was that I wound up in the WNBA and I was able to play a long time.”

Arguably, Kayte’s best season in the WNBA was in 2003, her second year in the league. With the Mercury that season Kayte appeared in 30 games, starting 16 of them. During that season, she averaged per game – 22 minutes, 6.9 points, and 4.2 rebounds.

Kayte is a hard worker! Her bio on the Mercury website describes Christensen as aggressive and describes typical play for her as “diving for loose balls and generally sacrificing her body for the good of the team.”

One random stat that stood out to me, in terms of how the game of basketball has evolved, is that Kayte attempted zero three-point shots during her WNBA career! Would that be the same case if she was playing in today’s hoops landscape?

During WNBA offseasons Kayte competed professionally overseas in South Korea, Turkey, and Greece.

Twice during her career, Kayte was honored with the WNBA Offseason Community Assist award, in 2003 and 2004!

The award winners work with The Sports Envoy program, which sends professional athletes overseas to conduct sports camps and engage in dialogue about important life lessons such as education, leadership, conflict resolution, and respect for diversity. 

Sports Media Career

Kayte started her sports media career in 2003, serving as Arizona State Lady Sun Devil basketball radio color commentator. After her WNBA playing career, Kayte started in 2010 as a sideline reporter for the Sacramento Kings. After a brief break with the Kings, Kayte returned in 2013-14 and continuously slangs ELITE level basketball knowledge as the pre and post-game host for the Sacramento Kings! Kayte has also worked with ESPN as a college basketball analyst.

Kayte earned the opportunity to serve as the television color commentator for a Sacramento Kings game during the 2020-21 season! This was not just groundbreaking, but also one of the best Kings broadcasts I listened to ALL season!

Personally, as a Kings fan, I am looking forward to more appearances from Kayte on the Sacramento Kings in-game broadcast team!

I Want YOUR Opinion

Have anything to add about Kayte? Let me know on my TWITTER @sactowncrown

Also, I love asking questions and hearing feedback! So, I often pose POLL QUESTIONS for my Twitter followers to vote on.

Below is one topic which I am really curious to hear about the opinions of Sacramento Kings and NBA fans!

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Sacramento Kings Trade Cory Joseph for Delon Wright … Aid in Kings PLAYOFF Push

The Detroit Pistons Delon Wright traded to the Sacramento Kings for Cory Joseph, and two second-round draft selections (2021 and 2024).

This trade was executed just minutes after the Sacramento Kings big win on Wednesday night over the HOT Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks were winners of 8 of their previous 9 games before losing to the Kings last night 110-108.

Sacramento Kings postgame crew of Jim Kozimor, and Kayte Christensen were breaking down the Kings win when the news of the CoJo trade broke LIVE on air. Even the infamous trade-breaker himself, ‘Woj’, was taken by surprise when the trade broke while he was LIVE on air with Scott Van Pelt on ESPN.

Delon Wright Traded to the Sacramento Kings

What does the 28-year-old, 6’5″ 185 lbs, Delon Wright add to the Kings? His per-game averages this season are 29.2 minutes, 10.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5 assists. Wright is shooting 46.4% FG, 34.8% 3pt FG, 78.9% free throws.

Wright is under contract next season as well, where he will be slated to make 8.5 million dollars. This addition will complicate the re-signing of Richaun Holmes, salary-wise. There are still moves to be made before the NBA trade deadline Thursday 3/25, as well as the offseason.

My Takes

As of today, Thursday 3/25/2021, the Sacramento Kings have a record of 19-25. They have gone 4-1 over their previous 5 games.

In the NBA western conference standings the Kings currently sit at 12th place, only 3 games back of the 10th seed Golden State Warriors (22-22). The Kings play the Warriors TONIGHT in the second game of a back to back for the Kings. Steph Curry will be out of the game due to injury. The outcome of this game COULD be a BIG shake up in the western conference ‘play-in’ scene.

Some Kings fans and media members would instead point at the stat of the Kings being only 2 or so games back of a top 5 WORST record in the NBA. Nothing wrong with that, I’d be down for Jalen Suggs or Cade Cunningham next to Fox and Haliburton!

Currently though, I think the Kings have more to gain from a potential play-in push, and experience, rather than ‘tanking’. I say this less than 3 hours away from the 3/25 NBA trade deadline.

I personally think this Wright move is GREAT for the Kings. This is a sign the Kings are making a run at the playoff ‘play-in’ this season, as well as setting themselves up for next season! Delon Wright helps us NOW.

This also sets the Kings up to have Haliburton and Fox be the two main ball handlers. Luke Walton has said that he wants to have at least one of those two on the floor at all times.

I do not think the Kings need to add another point guard to the roster. Players are so ‘fluid’ in today’s NBA … being REQUIRED to handle the ball, guard multiple positions, shoot, etc. Wright adds that element to the Kings, where CoJo did not.

The Kings will miss the presence of CoJo as a leader in the locker room and especially to the Kings young players. Tyrese Haliburton even went as far as to say as CoJo has been a ‘big brother’ to him since his arrival in Sactown.

This move makes the Kings better now, and in the future. It also sets a precedent that they are willing to make some upgrades, change and take ACTION. I am excited to see what Kings general manager Monte McNair has in store for the future!

What Do YOU Think?

Let me know what you think about this trade, the future, the past, the present, WHATEVER … on my Twitter @sactowncrown

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Justin James Sacramento Kings Player Report

Original article by Tom Witt posted on Overtime Heroics Basketball

Justin James Sacramento Kings career is ready for take-off. How will the lofty-leaping Justin James impact the Kings in the future?

Ahead, I will outline Justin James basketball career – from college at the University of Wyoming, to the G-League with the Stockton Kings, to the NBA. As well as a few of my thoughts, questions, and opinions of what James has done so far, and the future he may play with the Sacramento Kings!

Justin James Sacramento Kings

The 6’7″ 190lbs Justin James was selected 40th overall (10th selection of the 2nd round) in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. The James selection was made by FORMER Kings general manager Vlade Divac. Former GM Divac stepped down during the off-season and was replaced by Monte McNair.

College Career

Justin James Collegiate Stats – University of Wyoming

Justin James played four seasons, 2015-16 through 2018-19, at the University of Wyoming. James steadily increased his numbers as he earned more playing time over his four seasons as a Wyoming Cowboy. For his play during his senior season, James was selected to All-MWC (Mountain West Conference) 2nd Team.

James went from starting 3 of his 30 games played as a freshman in 2015-16, to starting ALL 32 of 32 games played during his senior season, 2018-19!

During his senior season, James’ averaged 22.1 points, 4.4 assists, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, in 38 minutes per game! That earned him 2nd Team All-Mountain West Conference honors.

James’ shooting percentages were a bit up and down over his four-year collegiate career. Though his smooth attacking, high-flying style of play aided in an overall field goal percentage of 44% during his career at Wyoming.

James can attack the rim with the best of ’em! His leaping ability was on often on display during his college career.

James, while still working on consistency, has shown flashes of the ability to score from behind the arc. His best three-point shooting season was during his sophomore year, where James shot 42% on 3.2 attempts from deep per game.

G-League Short Stint Stand-Out

Justin James G-League Stats – Stockton Kings

Justin James played well in a very SMALL sample size with the Stockton Kings of the NBA G-League.

In three games played for Stockton during the 2019-20 season, James averaged 17.4 minutes, 15.7 points, 72% FG, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1 steal per game.

It seems as though James has earned himself a spot on the Sacramento Kings, over some other ‘prospects’. Some of that could be due to injuries on the team, some could be due to his contract stipulations, and some could be due to the Stockton Kings choosing to not enter the G-League ‘Gubble’ during the 2020-21 season.

While watching G-League highlights from James, his ATHLETICISM stood out. James’ play has been a collection of smooth, high-flying dunks … along with energetic, active play on defense.

NBA Career So Far

Justin James – NBA Stats

During his rookie season, 2019-20, James appeared in 36 games. JJ’s per-game averages as a rookie during the ‘Bubble’ modified season were – 6.4 minutes, 42% FG on 2.3 attempts, and 2.5 points.

James had an impressive showing against the Brooklyn Nets on 11/22/2019. During 33 minutes of action, James scored 14 points on 6-14 shooting! He also added in 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. You can check out highlights of James’ performance against the nets in my tweet, below!

So far this season James has been used sparingly by the Kings coaching staff. James has appeared in 14 games, while averaging 5.5 minutes and 1.9 points per game. Recently, the high-flying James has earned more playing time.

The Future of Justin James and the Sacramento Kings

I have a few questions!

How can James’ skills be best utilized now and in the future? How much playing time will the Kings coaching staff allot James as the season goes on?

I have hopes James will see increased action, and be able to add some sort of some positive contribution … while knowing he still has a lot to learn as he improves as a young player.

On offense, James has shown the ability to do more than just dunk. In a few of the highlight tapes I have watched James has been able to hit shots from different depths. Ranging from the pull-up floater, out to the three-point line.

Recently, due to the Kings injury woes, Justin James has been seeing increased playing time. In the past, the most we have seen of James is usually him running out from the bench to chest-bump a teammate. That’s not meant to ‘hate’ on James at all … shoot, I’d pay money to do that job for a night!

Could we see a future Sacramento Kings lineup featuring former Stockton Kings stand-outs DaQuan Jeffries and Justin James?

What’s YOUR Opinion?

I love posting polls for fans to be able to share their opinion! As a fan myself, I love interacting on polls, giving my opinion, and seeing what others think!

One of my latest poll questions I asked my followers on my Twitter account @sactowncrown addresses the goals of the Kings for the short term, and how they may most positively affect the long term.

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

Check out the Sactown Crown Report Podcast

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Sacramento Basketball and the 2021 Naismith Hall of Fame Nominees

*Original article found on Overtime Heroics

Feel the Roar! Sacramento Basketball and the 2021 Naismith Hall of Fame class MAY become synonymous. Yolanda Griffth, Rick Adelman, and Chris Webber, three Sacramento basketball legends, are part of a group of 14 up for the 2021 nomination into the Naismith Hall of Fame.

2021 Naismith Hall of Fame Nominees

From the Naismith Hall of Fame, “The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced the list of eligible candidates for the Class of 2021, including first-time nominees Doug CollinsMichael CooperHoward GarfinkelLou HensonPaul Pierce, Val Ackerman, Yolanda Griffith, and Lauren Jackson.

Returning to the ballot are fan-favorite nominees Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Richard Hamilton, Bob Huggins, Ben Wallace, Chris Webber, Jay Wright, Swin Cash and Becky Hammon among others.

Yolanda Griffith

In my opinion, Sacramento Monarch Yolanda Griffith is the best professional basketball player to ever play in Sacramento.

The former WNBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, Griffith was an integral part of the Sacramento Monarchs build-up to, and during, their WNBA championship WIN in 2005.

That 2005 Monarchs WNBA championship triumph is the ONLY professional basketball championship, yet, to come to the city of Sacramento, CA.

During her 11 year WNBA career, “Yo” appeared in 311 contests. The 7-time WNBA All-Star Griffith holds career averages of 13.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game.

The former Florida Atlantic Owl was a member of the United States Women’s Basketball Team, where she won Gold Medals during the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics.

Griffith was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.

From 1999-2008 the Sacramento Monarchs went on a historic run –

  • Sacramento made the playoffs 9/10 seasons from 1999-2008
  • 2005 and 2006– The Monarchs earned back to back WNBA western conference championships
  • ‘Crowning’ Achievementwinning the WNBA CHAMPIONSHIP in 2005!

Griffith and Lauren Jackson are the only two former WNBA players, out of 14 total people, nominated for the 2021 Naismith Hall of Fame class.

Rick Adelman

Adelman is the greatest head coach in Sacramento Kings basketball history. The Sacramento Kings have had 8 winning seasons during their 36-year history in Sacramento. ALL 8 of those seasons were coached by Adelman.

Coach Adelman is the 9th most winningest coach of all time. He started his NBA coaching career in 1989 with the Portland Trailblazers.

After a brief stint with the Golden State Warriors, Adelman was hired on September 17th, 1998 as the head coach of the Sacramento Kings. Adelman was the head coach for many of the greatest Sacramento Kings of all time … from the flashy Jason Williams, the sharp-shooting Peja Stojakovic, and even the high-flyer, Gerald Wallace.

Adelman is a beloved figure in Sactown, one of the only former ‘Greatest Show On Court’ members to not have any real … resentment … from Sacramento Kings fans.

Regardless of if Adelman gets into the Naismith Hall of Fame this year, he deserves MORE recognition in Sacramento. How should the Kings honor the greatest coach in franchise history?

Adelman Avenue adjacent to David J. Stern Walk next to the Golden1 Center in downtown Sacramento, ‘DOCO’, would be pretty cool!

Chris Webber

C-Webb is one of the most beloved and sometimes … saddening … figures in Sacramento Kings basketball history.

The acquisition of Webber was one of the most POSITIVE franchise-changing moves ever made by the Sacramento Kings. Bringing in Webber, along with the team that molded around him, became known as ‘The Greatest Show on Court’. An exciting, high-energy, NBA team that was decades ahead of their ‘time’ in the NBA.

During his NBA career, Webber appeared in 831 NBA games, where he held career per-game averages of – 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.

Webber has been ‘snubbed’ from the Naismith Hall of Fame for the last five years. Will this be the year C-Webb finally gets his HOF bid?

Sacramento Basketball and the 2021 Naismith Hall of Fame

There is an opportunity for one, two, or three Sacramento basketball legends to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame. Sacramento Basketball and the 2021 Naismith Hall of Fame class MAY become synonymous.

This is a great opportunity for the Sacramento media community, Sacramento Kings, and Monarchs fans, to bring some POSITIVE notoriety to the area.

The Sacramento Kings are sometimes talked down upon, sometimes not even talked about at ALL by the national media.

This is an exciting time in Sacramento sports history! Best of fortunes to all in the HOF journey!

Go Kings and Monarchs!

-Tom Witt

Let’s continue the conversation on TWITTER @sactowncrown

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Sacramento Kings Potential Trades and Future Moves

*Link to FULL Article – Sacramento Kings Potential Trades and Future Moves – By: Tom Witt*

Just about halfway through the 2020-21 NBA season, and the Sacramento Kings look to be sellers in the NBA trade market. Ahead, I outline a few Sacramento Kings potential trades. As well as some of the possible ‘motives’ behind different types of moves that Sacramento Kings general manager Monte McNair may make before the March 25th NBA trade deadline.

Many Potential Trade ‘Motives’

There many possibilities in terms of Sacramento Kings potential trades and future moves.

Carmichael Dave‘ said it well in his recent article, “Monte’s Plan is Clear Ish”Sacramento Kings GM Monte McNair needs to think in the MACRO, not the MICRO.

The Kings had a stretch earlier in the season where they won 7 of 8 games and showed flashes of playoff prowess! Though, after that hot streak, the consistent inconsistency got the best of the Kings, who have recently lost 9 of their last 10 games … as of Saturday 2/27/21.

That hot stretch gave the Kings fans some ‘false hope’ in terms of a playoff push. I think the Kings are SELLERS as the trade deadline approaches.

Kings Have Valuable ‘Playoff Assets’

Sacramento Kings Team Payroll

The Sacramento Kings roster is full of players who can potentially fill MANY roles on teams contending for the playoffs and championship.

In late January I went over my ‘Sacramento Kings Trade-Ability Tiers’ for EVERY player on the Kings roster.

I still mostly stand by the ‘three tiers’ I outlined in that article. Besides De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Marvin Bagley III (for now), all Sacramento Kings players are tradeable, in my opinion. Some of the ‘nuance’ behind my thoughts on each player and their future with the Kings will be expanded upon more, later in this article.

The Kings have many players whom I think can offer a lot of value to the right team, at the right time.

Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield is a polarizing figure in the Sacramento Kings basketball world. I think the Kings would be best suited if they can move on from Buddy.

The Kings might be able to get ‘lucky’ and find a trade partner who is willing to ‘overpay’ to add Buddy to a championship run.

Another scenario may involve the Kings trading Hield for a ‘salary dump’ type of player(s), in order to free up room to make more moves in the future.

I think the most realistic scenario is that the Kings do not move Buddy Hield this season. He is making $24 million this season, declining by $2 million each season until his contract is over at the end of the 2023-24 season.

Hield might be hard to trade, this season.

Who knows though, Buddy could age well, and fit into an ELITE shooting role off the bench for the Kings at $18 million during a playoff run in the 2023-24 season ….

Richaun Holmes

Richaun Holmes ranks in the top of the league in multiple categories!

Holmes ranks in the top 4 in the league in 2PT FG percentage.

He also ranks first in the league in personal fouls. Although, Holmes is getting better at not getting into foul trouble. It is hard sometimes though, when he is the only one playing defense on the floor for the Kings.

I am going to get straight to it ….

Does Monte McNair value Holmes enough to re-sign him? How do Bagley III and Richaun Holmes pair together in the future?

Does McNair want to utilize the ‘Robinhood’ method, and trade Holmes at his highest value? Maybe even do the ‘unspeakable’ and trade him with the hopes to pursue him back to Sactown in the free agent market, with an added piece from trading him previously ….

Or, just move on completely.

The next few weeks leading up the the March 25th NBA trade deadline, and the decisions made with Richaun Holmes will really dictate the Kings future, short term and long term.

McNair has some tough, and exciting, decisions ahead!

Harrison Barnes

I love what Harrison Barnes brings to the Kings in terms of defense, and at times offensively. Though, Barnes is sometimes ‘inconsistent’ on offense.

To me, that inconsistency is due to a few different reasons. Sometimes, he is just off and doesn’t score much. Sometimes he is tasked with defending the opponents best offensive player, night after night.

Barnes has even been playing some ‘5’, or center, for the Kings in smaller lineups. Being consistently productive on offense is tough, especially when Barnes is giving a high level of individual defensive effort, on an all-time bad defensive team.

Barnes can add a LOT to a playoff or championship contending team, depending on need and fit. Barnes can even play a role on a team that isn’t quite contending for a championship this season, but building for the future.

Harrison Barnes is under contract for two years after this season. He makes $22 million this season, with that number declining by $2 million or so the next few seasons. That could work in the favor of the Kings, or it could work against them.

The right team, at the right time, with the right need …

Nemanja Bjelica

Bjelica is a sharp shooter, who doesn’t shy away from the big shots … or the big inbounds pass.

Big Shot Belli‘ has made some CLUTCH late game shots, many times for the Kings.

ANY playoff bound team, especially a team with championship aspirations this season, would benefit from having Bjelica on their roster.

Even if that just means Bjelica plays a few minutes here and there. If he can hit even one big shot, to help on a team’s quest to win a championship, it would be well worth ‘renting’ out Bjelica for a playoff run.

Will the Kings trade him as part of a package deal? Or just indivdually?

The ‘package deal’ option seems like the best way to get the most VALUE out of most Kings trade options for Belli. Maybe add in a third team. There are LOTS of options out there for Bjelica and the Kings to make moves, if they choose to do so!

Bjelica has been looking good in his limited role recently with the Kings. What happened with him sitting out earlier this season? Are the Kings tempted to keep him? Will they look to re-sign him in the off-season?

Since the Kings aren’t making a legit playoff run this season, and Bjelica is a free agent at the end of the season, I think the Kings SHOULD move him.

Hell, for the good of the view-ability of the NBA playoffs, Bjelica and MANY other Kings should be spread around the league to teams who can utilize their skills to pursue a championship …

Maybe I should write an article about former Sacramento Kings players currently ballin’ on another team …. who knows?

Hassan Whiteside

Whiteside can add DEFENSE to a team that needs a big, slow, lane clogger! He also has 6 fouls to use up for a team …

I think that any team who may want to trade for Whiteside will do so based on a future potential playoff matchup with a specific opponent. Not necessarily for the their current team needs, but based on an important playoff matchup in the future.

Maybe a team’s coaching staff thinks the way to stop Embiid, Giannis, or even an elite, lane penetrating guard … is to just clog the lane up and force a different mode of attack.

Again, I think the Kings can get the most value out of a Whiteside trade if they package him with other players.

Cory Joseph

Cory Joseph seems to be another one of those Kings players that will play much better when on a better team, with better players, more established systems, etc.

Joseph can lock down on defense with the best in the league. On a playoff team, with POTENT offensive weapons around him, Joseph could shine in a championship run!

Just like multiple of the players listed above, Joseph will probably bring back the ‘most value’ paired with other Kings players in a trade, or potentially involving the third team.

Joseph makes $12.6 million this and next season. If the Kings decide to just get rid of him for a ‘salary dump’ and add someone else going into next season, I’m alright with that.

Three Ways Kings Can ‘Upgrade’

Trades, Free Agency, NBA Draft

I posed a poll on my Twitter and 36 people voted on how they think the Kings should look to upgrade in the future.

The results showed that 54% of voters think they should do that mainly through the NBA draft, 38% trade, and 8% free agency.

The ‘farm system’ of the NBA G League is improving daily! Though, it doesn’t seem like all that many players are getting NBA call-ups and making impacts on playoff teams. I think that is going to be more of an option in the future. Right now though, developing ‘impact’ players on playoff teams isn’t something the G League is doing consistently, yet.

Former G League and Stockton Kings standout DaQuan Jeffries has seen increased minutes since his return from injury. Many Sacramento Kings ‘talking heads’ out there are calling for more minutes for Jeffries, and even to start him over … Buddy Hield.

Kings rookies Jahmi’us Ramsey and Robert Woodard have been playing well in the G League ‘Gubble’ this season. Will they ever make an impact on a playoff-bound Sacramento Kings team? I need to do more research, and let time take its course. Patience seems to be a theme with Kings basketball …

Dump Salary and ‘Reset’

One approach to the Kings long term playoff-type improvement, may be to just trade some of our higher salary players. That might be for other high salary players, or players which teams are looking to move on from, with expiring contracts.

This route may give the Kings a bit more money in the free agency market going into the upcoming off-season.

This ‘dump and reset’ (no not Carmichael Dave‘s morning routine…) approach also gives the Kings more opportunity in the trade market. With more money available, they may be able to trade draft picks and ‘non-core’ players for a player on another team to take on an ‘impact’ player with a ‘higher’ salary.

Acquire Draft Picks

Another avenue the Kings may travel down is to trade players for draft assets.

Those draft assets may come along with some young unproven players. Players who have fallen out of favor/rotation on their previous team, or veterans to add salary to the trade.

Monte McNair has talked about having ‘control’ of the roster going forward. One of the best ways to do that, is to choose the players in the draft to build your team around.

‘Mid-Level Star’ to Complement ‘Kings Core Three’

One more ‘farfetched’ possibility would be for the Kings to acquire a proven player through trade or free agency.

In my opinion, this would have to be a player who the Kings can pair along with their ‘core three’ of De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Marvin Bagley III.

This could be a player who the Kings are willing to potentially trade for, using their future first-round draft selections and ‘non-core three’ players.

The likelihood of the Kings landing a major free agent during the next off season are low, in my opinion.

In the future, I think the Kings will build a positive reputation around the NBA and be a more sought out free agent destination.

For now though, the Kings still need to build that league wide free agent rapport. That will most likely be done through the draft in the short term, and by cleansing the roster with salary dump and reset type trades.

This will give GM McNair more control of the future of the Kings. Which will put them in a position to contend for the playoffs and a championship consistently, for years to come.

Remember the wise words of Carmichael Dave … ‘macro not micro’.

Sacramento Kings Potential Trades – NBA Trade Machine Fun

I’m not going to go over multiple, unrealistic Sacramento Kings potential trades. I try to not predict too many trades or moves. But … the ‘NBA Trade Machine’ is fun to play around with from time to time.

I will present one trade option that I think works well for the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers.

Questions Remain

What is Marvin Bagley III future ‘position’ on the floor with the Kings?

What does GM Monte McNair think of the price and the future fit of Richaun Holmes?

How does McNair feel about head coach Luke Walton‘s long term future with the Kings?

Future is Bright in Sactown

I think the Kings future is exciting and bright!

There is a lot of upside for all of the Kings players.

I mean, do we really want to break our 15 year playoff drought when Golden1 Center isn’t allowed to be ROARIN’ at FULL capacity? I’ll wait another year for a first round playoff home game, and most likely exit. That whole patience thing again, jeez!

I Want YOUR Opinion

What are your thoughts on Sacramento Kings potential trades and future moves?

Who/what position/type of player do the Kings need to add alongside their ‘core three’ to make a consistent playoff presence in the future?

Let’s start the conversation on Twitter @sactowncrown

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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*Link to FULL Article – Sacramento Kings Potential Trades and Future Moves – By: Tom Witt*

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February Sacramento Kings PREDICTIONS

Greetings all!

Check out my Sacramento Kings Predictions – February 2021

See my takes on the TOUGH upcoming schedule for the Sacramento Kings as they navigate their way through the month of January!

Check out how my first set of Kings season predictions went!

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt


Follow Sactown Crown Report on Twitter!

ALL my Sacramento Kings articles on Overtime Heroics

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Kings Defense Shines in Victory Against Nuggets

Hello My Lovely Subscribers!

Below is the link to my most recent Sacramento Kings article!

Kings Defense Shines in Victory Against Nuggets

The Sacramento Kings are ENTIRELY EXCEEDING EVERYONE’S EXPECTATIONS EXPONENTIALLY!

On Tuesday, the Kings move to a 3-1 record with a thrilling victory over the 2019-20 NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALIST Denver Nuggets!

Upcoming Kings Games

Thursday 12/31 – @ Houston Rockets

Saturday 1/2/21 – @ Houston Rockets

Monday 1/4 – @ Golden State Warriors

GO KINGS!

As always, any feedback is ALWAYS appreciated! And can be directed to any of my social media links below!

Much Love and Happy New Year,

Tom


Sactown Crown Report on social media

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Sacramento Kings Weekly Recap 1 – Optimism High After First 2-0 Start Since 2003!

Hey, All!

I am sending the link to my latest article!

This is my FIRST article that I published after accepting my new role as an editor of the Overtime Heroics NBA basketball page!

Thank you for your support, clicks, feedback and everything!

Much Love and Go Kings!

Sacramento Kings Weekly Recap 1 – By Tom Witt

-Tom Witt