SACRAMENTO – The Sacramento Kings are probably younger in years than they have been in the last few seasons. At Media Day, where the players meet the local reporters before the start of training camp, their youthful appearance was quite evident.
When the Kings play their first game of the season at Golden 1 Center against the Utah Jazz on Oct. 17, it will also be quite interesting to see how these youngsters pan out. Wins, once again, will not be counted on.
“This is an opportunity for guys to develop and the organization to evaluate longtime what guys will still be here, and consider the core guy that will be here three or four years from now,” said Kings head coach Dave Joerger. “I think I have a pretty good idea who we’re gonna play and how we are gonna play. I’m gonna be serving a lot of different masters as far as different guys who need to see playing time. We have a lot of guys who need the experience.”
Marvin Bagley III, the Kings second overall pick in the 2018 Draft, appeared with all his teammates for the first time. He joins second-year players De’Aaron Fox, Frank Mason III, Justin Jackson, and Harry Giles III — all from the 2017 draft class.
Skal Labissiere, Buddy Hield, and Yogi Ferrell, who signed in the offseason as a free agent, will start their third season in the league. Ten-year veteran Kostas Koufos and Zach Randolph, entering his 18th year are the long-tooth guys in the locker room.
“I can go down the line and speak about each one of them individually,” Randolph said of his younger teammates. “I’m proud of them. You’re gonna see. You’re gonna see the work we put in this summer. You’ll see how much better they have gotten from last season to this season.”
The Kings will conduct training through Sunday, Sept. 30 before traveling to Phoenix for the preseason opener against the Suns on Monday, Oct. 1 from Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The preseason slate continues when Sacramento takes on the L.A. Lakers at Staples Center on Thursday, Oct. 4 followed by an offsite contest against the Golden State Warriors from Seattle’s Key Arena the following night.
Maccabi Haifa visits Sacramento for the Kings exhibition home opener on Monday, Oct. 8 before the preseason calendar concludes with back-to-back contests versus the Utah Jazz at Golden 1 Center on Thursday, Oct. 11 and the preseason finale at Portland the next evening.
Additionally, the Kings will host their annual Fan Fest and Open Practice at Golden 1 Center on Sunday, Oct. 7. from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in anticipation of the 2018-19 season.
This all-ages event features an open practice with a team scrimmage, rookie competition and Q&A session with the players and coaches. The afternoon will be free and open to the public, but a ticket is required for entry.
Kings fans can reserve up to four non-transferrable mobile tickets at Kings.com/FanFest.
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer