by Charlie O. Mallonee
SACRAMENTO–Monday was the deadline for all teams in the NBA to trim their rosters down to 15 players in preparation for the start of the regular season this week. The Kings still had 17 men on the team as the day began so two players had to be released.
Sacramento vice president of basketball operations and general manager Vlade Divac announced Monday afternoon that guards Jordan Farmar and Isaiah Cousins had been waived by the Kings.
Farmar is a nine-year veteran of the NBA who played his college basketball at UCLA. Farmar spent the 2015-16 season playing for Kings head coach Dave Joerger in Memphis. He averaged 6.5 points in four preseason games for Sacramento.
Isaiah Cousins was drafted by the Kings in the second round (59th overall) out of Oklahoma in the 2016 NBA Draft. Cousins appeared in two preseason games playing a total of 12 minutes.
The Kings opening night roster will feature three rookies. Center George Papagiannis, Forward Skal Labissiere and Guard Malachi Richardson were all added to the team via the draft in June. Expect to see the three rookies log some time in Reno playing with Kings D-League team to go along with working out with the big club in Sacramento.
Ty Lawson will be a point guard for the Kings when they open the season in Phoenix on Wednesday night. After a turbulent 2015-16 season, Lawson ran into controversy with the Kings over being late to a workout and missing a flight in Las Vegas after a preseason game in “Sin City”. Lawson met with team officials and was kept on the roster. With Darren Collison lost to suspension for the first eight games of the season, Lawson will probably be the starting point guard versus the Suns in the season opener.
Sacramento native Matt Barnes will be a key member of the Kings as they open the 2016-17 campaign. The 6-foot-7 forward/guard will be counted on to bring some much needed floor toughness with offensive aggressiveness that will add fire to the Sacramento game. Barnes played for Dave Joerger in Memphis last season so he is already familiar with his system and coaching style.
Three additional NBA journeymen will be new to the Kings roster this season. Guard Arron Afflalo, guard Garrett Temple and forward Anthony Tolliver all bring solid experience to the Kings. It appears that the Kings will really depend on Tolliver to be a spark plug off the bench with the second unit early in the season.
Also back are the usual suspects. Cousins, Gay, Collison, Casspi, Cauley-Stein, Koufos and McLemore are all names that Kings fans know well from previous seasons. There have been rumors flying that Rudy Gay and Darren Collison could be on the move to Miami or Minnesota, but for now, they are just rumors. McLemore has also been mentioned as a possible trade piece.
The Kings open the 2016-17 season on Wednesday night in Phoenix against the Suns. The team returns to Sacramento on Thursday evening to open the home season versus the San Antonio Spurs in the new Golden 1 Center.