Kings Press Row Podcast: Trade Deadline Edition

press row podcast

Hosts Charlie O and Jordan “Chape” Chapin

  • February 8th was the NBA trade deadline and it was a very active day for the Sacramento Kings

  • Point Guard George Hill did become a Cleveland Cavalier as it had been rumored for weeks but it happened in a three team team deal that surprised many observers

  • Hill goes to Cleveland while Iman Shumpert, Joe Johnson, a 2020 second-round draft pick and cash come to Sacramento

  • In a big surprise move – Georgios Papagiannis is wavied while Malachi Richardson is sent to Toronto for Bruno Caboclo

  • Look for Johnson to be bought out while there could still be additional roster moves to come

  • Charlie O and Chape also take a look at the Kings schedule up to the All-Star break

  • This is a fun 30-minute listen for Kings fans that will bring you up to date on all the latest happenings with your favorite team

Kings Press Row Podcast Week 7 in the NBA

press row podcast

hosts Charlie O Mallonee & Jordan Chapin

  • Week 7 in the NBA brings some interesting match ups for us to watch on NBA TV

  • The Kings send three players to Reno to get some playing time

  • SAC wins 2 and loses 2 in week 7

  • Week 8 brings a brutal 4 game trip to the schedule for the Kings

  • Charlie O and the Chap break it all down for you

Young Kings can’t make it two wins in a row over Spurs; lose 113-93 on the road

spurs WCSby Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings learned the very tough lesson on Friday night that all NBA teams must learn – it is very tough to win on the road in “the Association”. After beating the Spurs in their preseason opener in Sacramento, the Kings suffered their first loss of the preseason on Friday night in “the Alamo City” losing to the Spurs 113-93.

Sacramento came out of the gate fast

The Kings outscored the Spurs 24-15 in the first quarter of the game on Friday night. Buddy Hield led the Kings scoring barrage putting up eight points in the first 12-minutes of the game. Willie Cauley-Stein and Frank Mason added four points each in what would be a 24-point first quarter for Sacramento.

Unlike Monday, it was the young the Kings who were chosen to start on Friday night on the road. Malachi Richardson, Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox were the starting five in San Antonio.

The Spurs outscored the Kings in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters

The Spurs outscored the Kings by 12 points in the second quarter, six points in the third quarter and by 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Danny Green led the way with 20 points for the Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge shot 5-for-10 from the field to score 10 points for San Antonio. Brandon Paul, Bryn Forbes and Davis Bertrans scored nine points each against the Kings.

The Spurs shot 55.4-percent from the field and 48.4-percent (15-for-31) from 3-point range. San Antonio had 28 assists and 17 turnovers. That is not the ratio a team wants to have but is was good enough to post a win on Friday night.

The Kings young players were featured on Friday

spurs hield

Willie Cauley-Stein was the Kings leading scorer in game with 14-points. He also grabbed nine rebounds and turned the ball over just two times.

Skal Labissiere had a 13-point game for the Kings on Friday night. He went 6-for-10 from the field, hauled in two rebounds and did not turn the ball over in 25-plus minutes of playing time.

Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox each added 12-points in their time on the floor.Georgios Papagiannis played 29-minutes and recorded 10-points and three rebounds. Marcus Williams who is fighting for a spot at the end of the bench put up nine points in 13-minutes of playing time.

The Kings shot 45.2-percent from the field and 26.7-percent from 3-point land. Sacramento had 32 rebounds and 13 turnovers.

The bottom line lesson

Winning on the road in NBA is very hard. Unfortunately for the young Kings, that is a lesson that will be a lesson that will be learned many times in 2017-18.

Up next for Sacramento 

The Kings will return to preseason action on Sunday night in Las Vegas when they will face the Los Angeles Lakers. Proceeds from the game will be donated to victims of the tragic shooting of the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

Harry Giles update

The Kings have revealed that Harry Giles will not be available to play until January 2018 as he continues to rehab from his surgery for an injury to his ACL. Giles who was originally projected to be the number one pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery has suffered setbacks due to knee troubles.

Giles is just 19-years old so the Kings can afford to patient. He has been most often compared to Chris Webber. If he can be close to  Webber, waiting until he his fully healthy will be worth the wait.

Kings open the Las Vegas Summer League on Friday with a 89-85 loss to Suns

by Charlie O. Mallonee

LV score

Summer League is about development

The Las Vegas Summer League is about player development and not about wins and losses. Yes, the players and coaches like to win. The fans love wins, but again the goal is the development of young players.

Teams this season are also looking for players to fill roster slots 16 and 17. These are also known as the “two-way” roster players. These players will make one rate when playing in the G-League (officially the NBA Gatorade League) and the NBA minimum rate when playing for their NBA team.

As of today, the number 16 and 17 roster spots for the Kings are empty.

Players are also looking for roster spots on G-League teams. The Kings G-League franchise is the Reno Bighorns. The NBA is in the process of turning the G-League into a true minor league system to feed players to “the association”.

The bottom line is there are many story lines to watch in Las Vegas over the next 11 days.

The Game

LV espn

The game itself was entertaining. It was a close contest that featured some very talented basketball plays and some very ugly, “we are still learning” plays. There were a few “dust ups” and even some technical fouls.

The were 17 lead changes and the game was tied 14 times. Sacramento’s biggest lead was 6-points while Phoenix held an 8-point advantage at one point. The Suns out-rebounded the Kings 41-39.

The Kings posted 11 assists and turned the ball over 14 times. The Suns turned it over 17 times and had 12 assists. Each team had eight steal.

The Kings had one glaring advantage and it was in blocked shots. Sacramento blocked 9 Phoenix shots while the Suns blocked 4 Kings field goal attempts.



  • De’Aaron Fox — It was the “D-Fox” show a number of times in the game, but he is the number one draft pick and isn’t that what you want to see? There was a beautiful Kentucky to Kentucky assist to Labbissiere that led to a nice layup. A cross-court pass to Hield let him glide in for an easy two. Fox finished with 4 assists, 5 steals and let’s not forget his 18 points (7-16 shooting). He also demonstrated his breakaway speed multiple times.
  • Justin Jackson — The number 15 overall draft selection did not start the game but he made the most of his 26 minutes coming off the bench. He shot 7-for-11 from the floor (2-4 from 3PT range) for a total of 18 points. Jackson does not demand the ball but puts himself in the right spots to score if the ball comes his way.
  • Buddy Hield — The second-year guard is joining his new teammates in Vegas to tune up for the new season. Hield scored 16 points in 24 minutes of playing time. He shot 6-for-16 but was 0-for-6 from long range. Hield did have two very impressive drives to the bucket which could be a very nice addition to his game.
  • Skal Labissiere — The big forward appears ready to pick up where he left off in April for the Kings. He scored 10 points in 28 minutes. Labissiere was 4-for-9 shooting while adding two blocked shots and one steal.
  • Malachi Richardson — The shooting guard who missed the last part of the season due to injury started the game. He was able to play 24 minutes. Richardson posted 8 points shooting 2-for-7 including a 3-point basket. He looked a little rusty but it will not take him long to get back up to speed.
  • Georgios Papagiannis — The big center got the start and played 28 minutes. His stats speak to the dichotomy that is “Papa G”. He scored no points (0-3 shooting). It is so frustrating watching him not being able to put-back close shots off rebounds. He led all rebounders with 11 and had 2 blocked shots. Papagiannis uses his size so well in those areas. He also added 2 assists and 1 steal. The key is to remember he is still young and under development.

LV Jackson


  • Marquese Chriss — The Sacramento area native made it hard to watch him because it is obvious that he is developing into the player his was projected to be when he was drafted by and then traded by the Kings. With a bulked up body, he scored 19 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 33 minutes on the floor. Chriss was 5-for-17 shooting but he made his way to the free throw line 13 times where converted 9 shots. He just bulls his way to the basket. When you watch him, keep saying Labissiere, Richardson, Papagiannis, Bogdanovic over and over again because that is who the Kings received in that trade.
  • Josh Jackson — The number 4-overall draft pick had a very nice first game for the Suns as he scored 18 points. The forward from Kansas shot 6-for-17 (0-2 3PT) grabbed 8 rebounds and had 2 assists in 34 minutes of playing time. He even showed that he can make the midrange jumper that the experts say he needs to add to his game.

Up next

The Kings will be back in action on Sunday night when they will play the Memphis Grizzlies. Game time is 7:00 p.m. PDT and can be seen on NBA TV. Memphis is 1-0 after beating the Wizards in their first game.

Images from and ESPN

Kings go to Golden State University on Friday night losing to Warriors 114-100


by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings educational tour continued on Friday as they traveled to the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors for the final time this season. The Kings had a chance to split the season series at 2-2 with a victory. The Warriors won the game 114-100 and win the season series three games to one.

The Kings did not go with an all youngster starting lineup

Dave Joerger was not of a mind to just let his team be steamrolled for the sake of learning and falling back in the draft lottery standings. Joerger went with Afflalo, Koufos, Cauley-Stein, Hield and Lawson to open the game.

Sacramento did hold out Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Tolliver for “rest”. The bottom line on those decisions are designed to get the less experienced players more time on the court. With the playoffs out of reach, getting  playing time for younger players in order to evaluate their talent and value to the organization is the priority.

Buddy Hield led the way again for the Kings

gsw hield vs curry
Hield works against Curry Photo: NBAE

Hield had another big night for Sacramento as he finished the game as their leading scorer with 22 points. He shot 7-for-14 (50-percent) overall from the floor and hit 4-of-9 from behind the 3-point line. The rookie out of Oklahoma was perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line. He played 33-minutes versus the Warriors.

Hield grabbed eight rebounds, dished out seven assists and had two steals in the game. He continues to show marked improvement in handling the basketball in traffic and passing the ball when open shots are not available.

WCS was efficient on offense

Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors
Willie Cauley-Stein works against Curry Photo: NBAE

Cauley-Stein scored 12 points as the starting center playing 27-minutes against Golden State rather than his usual 30-plus minutes of “PT” we have been seeing from him in recent games. He hit 5-of-6 shots from the floor and was a perfect 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. He also recorded four rebounds, two assists and one steal.

That other kid from Kentucky played 27-minutes as well

Rookie Skal Labissiere did not start the game but did play substantial minutes. Labissiere finished with a double-double scoring 10 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. He also distributed eight assists.

Labissiere just keeps doing things that amaze and prove that he deserves to be in a Kings uniform and on the floor playing in NBA games. The future is bright for this rookie and the fans in Sacramento.

“Papa G” spent some valuable time in class

Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors
Papa G tries to stop Curry Photo: NBAE

Kings rookie center Georgios Papagiannis received 26-minutes of classroom time on the floor versus the Warriors on Friday night. The big man had times when he looked confident and time when he looked lost. Just what you would expect from a 19-year rookie facing the best team in the NBA.

Papagiannis finished with seven points shooting 3-for-6 from the field and hitting 1-of-1 from the free throw line. He also posted four rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot.

Other Kings contributors

Ty Lawson scored 20 points hitting 8-of-9 from the floor. Ben McLemore scored 11, Langston Galloway 8 (they need to find this guy more shots), Garrett Temple 5, Arron Afflalo 3 and Kosta Koufos 2 points.

Sacramento team numbers

The Kings shot an impressive 48.2-percent (40-for-83) from the floor. They had a better 3-point shooting percentage – 47.6-percent – than the Warriors. Both teams sank 10 3-point shots.

Two stats that killed the Kings:

  • Turnovers: Kings 21 that resulted in 36 GSW points; GSW 13 that created seven Kings points
  • Assists: Kings 27 ; Golden State 37 … let that sink in


  • Kings: have lost four-in-a-row and are 2-8 in their last 10
  • Warriors: have won six-in-a-row and are 7-3 in their last 10

Up next for SAC

The Kings are back in action on Sunday at 12:30 PM PDT when they will face the LA Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles.




Spurs take the Kings to school as they break a two game losing streak

Sacramento Kings v San Antonio Spurs

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Coach Gregg Popovich is notorious for resting players whenever he decides it is necessary. He does not care what the league, broadcast executives or fans have to say about the practice. A team in the Kings situation is praying that “Pop” will rest a few stars against them.

Unfortunately for the Kings, San Antonio had lost two games in row coming into Sunday’s game, and there was no chance that the Spurs were going to rest anyone unless they had opened up an unbeatable lead. All the Kings could do was suck it up, give it their all and hope to keep the game close to have a chance at the end.

Sacramento came out of the gate starting quickly – something they have not always done this season – and put up 27 points in the first quarter. The Kings held a six point lead after the first 12-minutes.

Coach Pop got his team’s attention in the second quarter and they outscored the Kings 37-22 in the second 12-minutes. The Spurs took a 58-49 lead to the locker room at halftime and they would never look back after that.

The Spurs did not let up after halftime as they put up 41 points to the Kings 25 in the third quarter. After 36 minutes, it was a chance for the Spurs to rest the starters and for the Kings to go to school against a championship team.

Ultimately the Spurs (53-16) won the game 118-102 to drop the Kings record to 27-43 and to 1-2 on this three-game road trip.

Buddy Hield got back on track

Hield did not have the game he wanted to have in OKC on Saturday. On Sunday in the Alamo City, Hield put up 18 points. He shot 8-for-14 from the floor and went hit 2-of-3 from beyond the 3-point line. Hield also grabbed five rebounds, dished out five assists and made one steal. He played 32-minutes in his start versus the Spurs.

Look out here come those Kentucky guys

Willie Cauley-Stein got the start at forward and took advantage of that opportunity. He scored 18 points to tie Buddy Hield for the team high. WCS also pulled down four rebounds, distributed five assists and had a blocked shot. He shot 5-for-11 from the field and converted 8-of-11 from the free throw line.

Skal Labissiere did not start but he added 14 points. The rookie big man hit 7-of-9 from the floor to go with seven rebounds. Labissiere did all of that in just 23-minutes on the floor.

Papa G grabbed some serious rebounds

Georgios Papagiannis spent 24-minutes in the game versus the Spurs. The big rookie scored just six points going 2-for-7 from the field, but he grabbed 10 rebounds – including four offensive rebounds – in the contest. “Papa G” is getting the opportunity to learn on the job against some of the best players in the NBA.

Temple played well against Kawhi Leonard

Garrett Temple played tough on defense helping to hold Leonard to just 12 points in the game. At the same time, Temple scored 15 points hitting 3-0f-3 from 3-point land. Temple continues to be a solid leader for the Kings.

Kings had some solid team numbers

Sacramento shot a respectable 49.4-percent (41-for-83) from the floor. They shot 7-for-10 (70-percent) from beyond the 3-point line. The Kings had a very acceptable 29 assists to 11 turnovers posting for the game.

Why did the Spurs win

San Antonio scored more points in the paint, had more second chance points and had more fast break points than the Kings. That pretty much guarantees a win for your opposition. In this case, it did.

Up next

The Kings are off until Wednesday when they will host the Milwaukee Bucks at the Golden 1 Center. The Bucks are battling to hold on for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference of the NBA.


The NBA D-League comes to Sacramento for one night only

by Charlie O. Mallonee


SACRAMENTO–There was a time if you did not make the roster of an NBA team going overseas to play basketball was really a players only real option. Yes, there was the Continental Basketball Association that ultimately gave way to the NBA Development League, but the money was not good and the chances of moving into “the Association” were slim to none.

Now that players are being drafted after just one year of college basketball experience, the need to have player development teams similar to the system baseball uses has become a necessity. Rather than losing control of players to teams in Europe and Asia, NBA teams are establishing a true player development system of their own.

There are currently 22 “D-League” teams and the league will expand to 25 teams next season. It will not be long before every NBA team owns a D-League team of its own. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expands each teams roster from 15 to 17 players next season. There are special pay provisions for players 16 and 17 on the roster depending on whether they on a the team’s D-League roster or NBA roster. A D-League team could have up to five NBA contract players on its roster beginning next year.

The sleepy, little D-League is now a thing of the past. The D-League (which next season will become the NBA Gatorade League) is about to become the most important player development tool the NBA has in its arsenal.

The game on Friday night featured the Reno Bighorns (owned& operated by the Kings) and the Raptors 905 (owned& operated by the Toronto Raptors).

This was my first time to see an NBA D-League game in person

I was interested in seeing several things in this particular game:

  • I was curious to see the level of play and where it fits between college and the NBA game
  • This game also offered a chance to see center Georgios Papagiannis play extended minutes that he does not get with the Kings
  • This match up also provided the chance to see one of the best teams in the D-League. Raptors 905 came into the game with the best winning percentage in the league

By halftime I had some answers

  • The level of play was obviously not NBA-like but it was also a real cut above Division-I basketball. The pace was fast and furious plus they love to shoot the ball from beyond the 3-point arc
  • Papagiannis was very interesting to watch work around basket especially with his soft-touch half-hook shot that can be very effective and almost impossible to stop because of his height and length
  • 905 showed why they win so many games by outscoring the Bighorns 36-16 in the second quarter and took a 57-42 lead into the locker room at halftime

Bighorns made it close in the third but could not hold on in the fourth

The Bighorns behind the play of David Stockton (6 pts, 1 ast) and Kendall Marshall (6 pts, 5 ast) outscored 905 26-20 in the third quarter to cut the Raptors lead to 77-68. It appeared that the momentum had swung over to Reno but things changed rapidly in the final period.

Both teams shot 6-for-20 (30-percent) from the floor in the final period. The difference came in 3-point shooting. 905 converted 3-of-8 from long range while the Bighorns hit only 1-0f-6 shots beyond the arc. The Raptors won the quarter 17-13 and the game 94-81.

Raptors 905 now has a record of 30-9 on the season and 6- 0 versus Western Conference teams. The Bighorns are now 13-25 for the season.

The Wrap

Raptors 905

  • Brady Heslip was the game’s leading scorer with 33 points in 33 minutes on the floor. He hit 8-of-15 shots from beyond the 3-point arc
  • Yanick Moreria and Antwaine Wiggins each added 11 points
  • 905 hit 12-of-31 (38.7-percent) tries from long-range
  • Raptors are now 6-0 this season versus Western Conference teams
  • Their road record improves to 15-2


  • Former King David Stockton was the leading scorer for Reno with 20 points. He also had three assists and three steals
  • Georgios Papagiannis posted 17 points shooting 8-for-19 from the floor. The big man also had six blocked shots in contest
  • Kendall Marshall recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 assists
  • Isaiah Cousins — who the Kings drafted in the second round — scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Cousins played his college basketball at Oklahoma with Buddy Hield who just joined the Kings in the DeMarcus Cousins trade with New Orleans

Kings news & notes Monday 11-28-16

by Charlie O. Mallonee


Cousins passes Webber on the scoring list

DeMarcus Cousins scored a game-high 37 points in win over the Nets on Sunday night. Those 37 points allowed Cousins to pass Chris Webber for third on the all-time Sacramento Kings scoring list.

Cousins now has 8847 career points for Sacramento. Webber accumulated 8843 points during his six-plus years with Sacramento.

Peja Stojakovic is currently in second-place with 9498 points and the great Mitch Richmond holds down the number one spot with 12,070 points. The all-time franchise (Royals/Kings) points leader is Hall of Famer Oscar Robinson.

Based on his current scoring projections, Cousins could pass Stojakovic for second-place on the scoring list later this season.

It was a night of technical fouls plus a flagrant two ejection

DeMarcus Cousins picked up his fifth technical foul in the third quarter of the game for contact with Luis Scola’s face. It was incorrectly reported as his fourth technical foul in last night’s story. Cousins is now tied for the league lead in that category with DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers.

The Kings Kosta Koufos was charged with a technical foul in the fourth quarter for arguing with the officials. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson picked up a “T” in the fourth out of frustration with the officials and his team. Nets guard Randy Foye was also a recipient of a technical late in the final period.

Matt Barnes received his flagrant two foul (which was a flagrant one all the way) and ejection from the officiating crew on Sunday night in Brooklyn.

Four technicals and a flagrant two ejection begins to sound like an officiating crew that might have lost control of a game. This would be a good game for the chief of officials to review.

The Kings went back to the big starting lineup on Sunday in Brooklyn

After using the the “small ball” starting lineup for the past three games, Sacramento head coach Dave Joerger went back to the “big lineup” versus the big Nets. That means Koufos started at center, Cousins slid back to power forward, Rudy Gay played the three, Arron Afflalo was at shooting guard and Darren Collison started as the Kings point guard.

Three Kings return to Reno


Center Georgios Papagiannis, Forward Skal Labissiere and Guard Malachi Richardson ended few days with the parent club and returned to the D-League on Sunday. The Bighorns hosted the Warriors D-League entry the Santa Cruz Warriors.

The Bighorns used a runaway second quarter to establish a solid lead over Santa Cruz and won their second game of the season 100-84.

Malachi Richardson led the Bighorns scoring attack with 24 points and made it a double-double with 11 rebounds. He shot 8-for-18 from the floor, 3-for-6 from 3-point range and hit 5-of-6 from the free throw line.

Skal Labissiere recorded 18 points and grabbed four rebounds. He went 6-for-11 shooting from the field and was 6-for-8 from foul line.

Papagiannis did not play which was listed as a coach’s decision. Kings head coach Dave Joerger had told us that having all three players in a game really limited the number of touches each player received and they want to maximize that number to speed up player development.

The Bighorns will host the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston) on Thursday.

Don’t let this guy get to close to you on the court in D.C.

For entertainment purposes only says the Wizards have a 68-percent chance of beating the Kings tonight in Washington (remember: this is the second game of a back-to-back set on the road). FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO system predicts the Wizards are the favorites minus 4.5 points.

CARMELO also predicts the Wizards will finish with a record of 34-48 and have a 31-percent chance of making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

The fellows who make those predictions for the owners of those big resorts say go with the Wizards minus 4.5 points. They call the over/under as 210 to 210.5.

Looking ahead to game six of the road trip in Dallas


As reported by HoopsHype via Dallas Morning News on the Dirk Nowitzki injury: He’s only played five of 16 games. “We have every expectation that it’s not serious,” owner Mark Cuban said. “It’s dramatically better. That’s why he played the other night (in Cleveland). He just felt it again, so there’s no reason to take a chance. We’re just being cautious.” Said Carlisle: “The important thing is that we’re doing the right things to get him to a full recovery. He’s come a long way in a four-plus week period. But it’s an Achilles strain and it’s taking time. My hope is that it can be complete sometime in December, sooner than later. But we just got to be patient with it. He’s too important to us. If we have to play without him, we’ll play without him.”

Reno Bighorns win their first game of the season downing Texas 110-108

Charlie O. Mallonee


The Reno Bighorns finally broke into the win column on Tuesday night when they edged the Texas Legends (Dallas Mavericks)  110-108. Malachi Richardson hit a jumper with one-tenth of a second left on the clock to break the tie and give the win to the Bighorns (1-4).

The Bighorns held a four-point lead at the end of three quarters. The Reno lead fluctuated between two to six points as the Legends tried to retake the lead. With 7:58 to go in the game, Texas grabbed that lead and built it up to five points only to have the Bighorns comeback and tie things up with 4:31 to go.

The teams tied the game up three times in the final four minutes. The final tie coming with 16.7-seconds to play when the Legends Bryson Fonville banked in a three-foot jump shot to make it a 108-108 game.

Reno’s Lamar Patterson made a bad pass that was stolen by Fonville. Isaiah Cousins was able to steal the ball back for the Bighorns who called a timeout with 3.8-seconds left in the game and Reno trailing by two points.

The inbound pass went to Malachi Richardson who immediately put up a 21-foot jump shot that went through the hoop with 1-tenth of second remaining in the game which did not leave enough time for the Legends to make a basket.

The Bighorns won the game 110-108.

Bighorn scoring

  • Guard Lamar Patterson was the leading scorer in the game with 27 points. He went 12-for-14 from the free throw line. Patterson also had five steals.
  • Malachi Richardson not only hit the game winning shot – he put up 26 points and was also productive at the charity stripe hitting on 9-of-11 opportunities.
  • Skal Labissiere had a big game at center scoring 21 points in 28 minutes on the floor. He shot 9-for-16 in the game and grabbed eight rebounds.
  • Isaiah Cousins posted a double-double scoring 16 points and pulling in 10 rebounds.
  • Big Georgios Papagiannis – who was sent back to Reno from the Kings – also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.


Reno’s team numbers

  • Shooting 36-for-81 (44.4-percent)
  • 3-pointers 6-for-18 (33.3-percent)
  • Free Throws 32-for-38 (84.2-percent)
  • 47 rebounds, 16 assists, 11 steals, 3 blocked shots
  • 18 turnovers that resulted in 23 Texas points

Texas numbers


  • Shooting 39-for-87 (44.8-percent)
  • 3-pointers 8-for-24 (33.3-percent)
  • Free Throws 22-for-28 (78.6-percent)
  • 41 rebounds, 22 assists, 10 steals, five blocked shots
  • 20 turnovers that turned into 16 Reno points

Up next

Everyone in the NBA D-League has Thanksgiving off.

The Bighorns return to play on Friday night in Prescott Valley, Arizona when they visit the Northern Arizona Suns.

The Legends head back to Texas where they will host the Salt Lake City Stars on Saturday night.

The three players on Kings roster are recalled to Sacramento


Malachi Richardson-the fourth highest scorer in the D-League, Skal Labissiere and Georgios Papagiannis will enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner in Sacramento. All three players have been recalled by the Kings.

Kings head coach Dave Joerger told reporters last Friday in his pregame press conference to expect the players to go back and forth from Reno to Sacramento frequently. He also said that only two of the roster players will be in Reno a majority of the time in order to increase the number of shot opportunities for the players who are with the Bighorns. The Kings also feel it is good for the rookies to be around and practice with the veterans.

There are no option rules in the NBA like in Major League Baseball so players can move between a NBA roster and a NBA D-League roster whenever the parent club wants them to and as many times as the organization feels is appropriate for the players.

Who’s hot in the D-League?

Two of the Top 25 players who are rated most likely to make it to the NBA are on the Reno Bighorns:

  • #7 is Lamar Patterson is averaging 20.6 points and 4.4 assists per game
  • #20 is Isaiah Cousins is averaging 12.6 ppg and 3.6 assists per game
Isaiah Cousins in the NBA Summer League

Both men are a “Affiliate Players” of the Sacramento Kings assigned to Reno. That means the Kings were able to send Patterson and Cousins to Reno without sending them through the D-League Draft so they can continue to learn the Sacramento style of play. However, both players remain free agents who can sign with any team in the NBA that offers them a contract.

  • Former Kings player Ray McCallum is currently ranked as the number two player most likely to be called up to “the Association”. He is playing for the Pistons D-League entry – the Grand Rapids Drive and is averaging 18.0 points to go with 9.3 assists per game.

NBA D-League: There are eight types of players in pro basketball’s minor league


by Charlie O. Mallonee

In talking or reading about players in the NBA D-League, you will often come across different designations for players. For example, Lamar Patterson who was the leading scorer for the Reno Bighorns on Sunday is listed as an “affiliate player of the Sacramento Kings”.

What does that mean? There are several categories of player in the D-League, so let’s try to work our way through the basics.

NBA Affiliate Player

As NBA teams waive players in the preseason, they have the first opportunity of signing those players to their D-League affiliate.

Teams can designate up to four “affiliate players”. These player remain free agents in the NBA and those players are free to sign with any of the 30 NBA organizations. The affiliate status allows teams to keep players they like learning their system should the need arise for a player at the NBA level.

Only 22 teams can have affiliate players because not all teams have a dedicated D-League team associated with their organization.

Lamar Patterson and second-round draft pick Isaiah Cousins are affiliate players with the Kings who are playing for the Bighorns.

Isaiah Cousins Reno Bighorns – Kings Affiliate Player

Returning Players

NBA D-League teams retain the rights to any player who has played for that team within the last two seasons – as long as the team has not released that player.

The Bighorns have two returning players – forward Kadeem Jack and guard Mark Tyndale.

No. 32 Kadeem Jack Reno Bighorns Photo Credit: NBA

NBA Assignees

NBA organizations can assign players with three years or less service to their D-League affiliate an unlimited number of times. Unlike baseball with the its complicated options rules, NBA can move players up and down as often as they see fit.

For example in 2014-15, 56 different players were assigned to D-League teams a total of 195 times. Because most the development teams are in close proximity to the parent clubs, free movement between the organizations is very feasible.

The Kings have three players assigned to Reno in this designation: forward Skal Labissiere, center Georgios Papagiannis and guard Malachi Richardson.

Labissiere, Ricardson and Papagiannis Photo credit:

NBA Draft Rights Players

These are affectionately known as “domestic draft-and-stash” players. The “draft rights player” rule allows D-League teams to directly acquire players from their NBA parent team’s draft list bypassing the usual D-League player selection processes.

The Oklahoma City Thunder was the first team to use this rule in 2012 when they selected Josh Huestis from Stanford in the first round for the purposes of sending him to the D-League.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat
Josh Huestis OKC Thunder Photo Credit: Getty

NBA Draft-Eligible Players

These are players who are eligible but have not entered the NBA Draft. They can instead enter the NBA D-League and keep their NBA Draft status.

If a player signs with the D-League before the season, he is eligible to enter the D-League Draft. If the player signs mid-season, he is available to D-League teams through the wavier pool claiming process.

NBA Draft-Eligible players cannot be called up by NBA teams. This the only category of players in the D-League that has that limitation.

Players who have used  the route to eventually enter the NBA are: P.J. Hairston – who is back in the league with the Vipers, Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Glen Rice,Jr.

P.J. Hairston Photo Credit: Sergio Hentschel/Getty Images

Local Tryout Players

These are my favorite players. Guys who have not given up the dream and believe if given the chance, they can make it happen. D-League teams can invite up to five players from their open tryouts to join their training camps.

Jonathan Simmons who played college basketball at Houston attended an open tryout for the Austin Spurs in 2013. He was added to the San Antonio Spurs roster in 2015 and is now a major component of their second unit this season.

Jonathan Simmons Photo Credit: Jack Arent/Getty Images

Other ways to make the D-League

  • D-League Draft: around 200 players are signed by the league in put into a draft pool. Approximately half of these 200 players are selected on Draft Day.
  • Free Agents: there will be an influx of free agents hitting the market for the D-League as winter approaches. Players will be returning to the country from playing overseas and there will be NBA players who been released who are trying to work their way back into the league. These players are selected by the D-League teams on a rotational wavier system.

Information supplied by was used in the writing of this article