Report: Sacramento Kings to sign Royce White

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It’s easy to forget now, but Royce White was the No. 16 pick in the 2012 NBA draft for a reason.

He projected to have enormous upside thanks to his ball-handling and passing ability for his size, and he still had big-man skills to form the full package as a prospect. Before Giannis Antetokounmpo, there was Royce White.

The off-court concerns about White existed then, too, though. They’re why he slipped so far.

If not for those, the main draft debate about him would have been whether he’d be picked in the top or bottom half of the lottery. Prospects like that don’t lose all their value in two years, not even White, who has yet to play in the NBA as he’s dealt with mental-health issues.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

The Sacramento Kings recently worked out 22-year-old forward and mental health advocate Royce White and are likely to sign him to a 10-day contract, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

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The Kings definitely aren’t making the playoffs this season, and they’re wisely tilting their rotation in favor of young players. That’s a good way to evaluate and develop potential future contributors – and earn a better draft pick in the process.

It’s a sound strategy, one that shouldn’t include only players already on the roster. White is a longshot to become a significant NBA contributor, but there’s little downside fir the Kings in trying to make him into one.

There are a host of obstacles to clear, even just to get White onto the basketball court. This experiment likely won’t work, and if it doesn’t, Sacramento might even improve its lottery odds while trying it. But if it does, the Kings get value where there was none.

It’s really a can’t-lose situation. How much could White harm them in 10 days?

There’s only upside here.

Kevin Durant reverses course: Playing Thunder ‘just a regular game for me now’

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Kevin Durant said last season playing the Thunder is “never going to be a regular game for me.”

Now, the Warriors star, who’s questionable for tomorrow’s game in Oklahoma City, is singing a different tune.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic:

Durant:

Just a regular game for me now. I learned how to tune out the crowd. I learned how to tune out the bulls— and just play. Just keep at basketball, and I’ll be alright.

Durant is entitled to change his mind, and maybe that’s all that happened.

But this strikes me as yet another chasm between how Durant actually feels and how he wishes he felt – all while facing immense public scrutiny.

Durant spent eight years in Oklahoma City. Many of his former teammates, including Russell Westbrook, are still there. Durant might want to move on, but how could there not be a different feeling when playing the Thunder, especially in Oklahoma City?

Tony Allen: Russell Westbrook flopped to draw DeMarcus Cousins

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DeMarcus Cousins got ejected from the Pelicans’ win over the Thunder last night for elbowing Russell Westbrook in the head.

Afterward, Tony Allen came to his New Orleans teammate’s defense.

Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:

Did Cousins elbow Westbrook in the head? Yes. Did Westbrook create and/or embellish the contact? I don’t know.

Westbrook stuck his head in close, and he might have been baiting Cousins into a foul. But that doesn’t give Cousins carte blanche to commit a foul.

And even if Westbrook were baiting Cousins, the elbow still might have hurt. Westbrook’s reaction could have been genuine.

Did Cousins’ reputation as a flagrant fouler influence Westbrook’s strategy and how officials perceived the play? It’s much easier to convince me of that.

Ray Allen tells Orlando court he was ‘catfished’

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Retired NBA star Ray Allen believes he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen says Bryant Coleman “pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in” him. In documents filed Tuesday, Allen acknowledges he communicated with who he thought were those women and that he eventually entered into an agreement with Coleman to not disclose details of those conversations.

Allen says that agreement was violated.

It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found. Coleman told the court in a filing Monday that Allen is stalking him; in Allen’s request for an injunction, he says “the reverse is true.”

Klay Thompson interviewed about scaffolding on local news (video)

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Man-on-the-street interviews are a staple of local news.

They just don’t usually include Warriors star Klay Thompson.

But here’s Thompson – in town for Golden State’s win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday – talking on Fox 5 New York about walking under scaffolding in the wake of a couple recent scaffolding collapses:

Thompson is the only NBA star who could do this interview so earnestly.