By Charlie O. Mallonee
The Sacramento Kings knew their young roster needed some veteran experience to help guide them through the upcoming NBA season and to give them a chance to be competitive in the west. First, it was the signings of point guard George Hill and power forward Zach Randolph that brought maturity to the team.
Now according to ESPN reports, veteran small forward/shooting guard Vince Carter’s agents are announcing their client has signed a one-year contract with the Kings worth a reported $8-million. The 40-year old Carter will be entering his 20th season in the NBA in 2017-18.
Carter entered “the association” in 1998 when was drafted in the first round (fifth overall) out of the University of North Carolina by the Golden State Warriors. He then was traded plus cash to the Toronto Raptors in a Draft Night trade that saw the Warriors receive the number four overall pick Antwan Jamison in return.
This is another part of getting the band back together for Joerger
Every coach desires to have the key people from his previous team join him in a new situation, but that is not always feasible. When Dave Joerger found out he would not be returning to the Memphis Grizzlies as head coach, he barely had time to go find a new job and bring assistant coaches with him to Sacramento let alone try to transfer player personnel.
Dave Joerger now has two key veterans from his days in Memphis on his roster in Sacramento with the addition of Carter. Carter joins Zach Randolph who is expected to his special “Z-BO” brand of toughness to the front line of the young Kings team.
Joerger knows how to develop young talent. He earned his way to an NBA head coaching job by spending years coaching young players in the CBA, D-League and then as an assistant in “the association”. Joerger really likes to have inexperienced players learn by observation as well as by instruction. He has some strong talent for them to watch in Carter, Randolph and Hill.
Carter was a key figure for Memphis in ’16-’17
Carter played in 73 games last season – his most appearances since 2013. He averaged 8.0-points per game to go with 3.1-rebounds per game in 24.6-minutes per game. The Grizzlies used him at small forward the majority of the time.
Carter shot 39.4-percent overall in 2016-17. He shot 41.8-percent from 2-point range and 37.8-percent from beyond the 3-point line. His eFG% was 50.8-percent. Carter added an average of 1.2-assists, 0.8-steals and 0.5-blocks per game. He turned the ball over less than once per game (0.7).
Carter is a “long distance” shooter. Of his 490 field goal attempts last season, 303 of them came from a distance of at least 20-feet away from the basket. 175 of those attempts came from 25-29 feet away from the bucket. Carter will help the Kings spread the floor.
They are going to miss “Z-BO” in Memphis
The Memphis Grizzlies have announced they are planning to retire the number 50 jersey worn by Zach Randolph who has just become a member of the Sacramento Kings as a free agent. Randolph was in Memphis for eight seasons.
In a tweet, Grizzlies majority owner Robert Para said that number 50 “will never be worn by another member of the Memphis Grizzlies.” He also thanked Randolph for helping turn a lottery team into a playoff contender and helping to make the team a model of community service.
Randolph will be the first Memphis player to have his number retired in team history.
Kings add to the coaching staff
Phil Ricci has been hired to be an assistant player development coach for the Sacramento Kings working on head coach Dave Joerger’s staff.
Ricci has a resume that includes almost twenty years of coaching and playing time at the professional and collegiate levels. He played in the NBA Development League (now the G-League) and overseas.
This is a homecoming for Ricci who attended high school in Galt and played basketball at Delta Community College (Stockton) prior to going to Oregon State.