The Kings are clearly exploring their options going into camp, and according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, former Celtic (and more recently, Mavericks’ Summer Leaguer) J.R. Giddens will be joining free agent cast-off Luther Head in Sacramento for training camp. Giddens, too, was signed to a make-good, non-guaranteed contract, but will try to play his way on to the Kings’ regular season roster.
Sacramento appears concerned with filling out their roster with wings, but neither Head nor Giddens would be a candidate for regular playing time. Even if Sacramento doesn’t yet have a clear-cut starter at the three (Omri Casspi? Donté Greene? Francisco Garcia?) they have too many capable players at both positions to warrant giving Giddens a serious look.
It’s not that Giddens is a bad player. He’s still a fringe NBA prospect, even if his instincts do manage to get him in trouble at times. He’s an NBA athlete, a good rebounder for his position, and a decent on-ball defender. A useful, but hardly necessary, offensive player. The fundamental problem with Giddens’ game is that he doesn’t give coaches a reason to play him. He’ll never force his way into a rotation. He’s just a reasonably effective last resort at the end of the bench, with little hope of climbing the ladder without notable improvement in his game.
Still, he’ll vie for that the honor to sit at the end of the Sacramento’s bench, and the one roster spot they have left. For a player like J.R., guaranteed money is the goal, and his ability to hang around in the NBA this season will likely hinge on his ability to impress the Kings.
Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:
Now, if only he could work on his accuracy from his own free-throw line.
Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:
Johnson had 12 points on the night.
For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.
Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:
The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.
The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:
Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:
That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.
Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: