The Sacramento Kings concluded their three-day summer league mini-camp with another five-on-five scrimmage. Ben McLemore made his second unannounced appearance, and the third-year pro participated with Willie Cauley-Stein, Eric Moreland and the rest of the NBA hopefuls.
In the few minutes of media access, play was sloppy. Three airballs in a row were launched at a point, and the scrimmage was paused so George Karl and John Welch could give a stern lecture.
Cauley-Stein was active in the brief viewing, initiating a fast break and blocking Alex Oriakhi’s dunk at the rim a few possessions later. Duje Dukan was agressive with his shot on offense, and Ben McLemore scored a couple looks as well.
At shoot around, Cauley-Stein worked on one end of the far court to practice his runner, hook shot and free throws. McLemore and James Anderson practiced set 3’s on another end with Chad Iske and Anthony Carter kicking them the ball. George Karl and Vlade Divac conversed at the center of the practice facility.
Following their long chat, Divac spoke the media. He gave updates on the Kings’ free agent signings, Karl and DeMarcus Cousins’ relationship and other rumors.
Notes and Quotes
- Vlade Divac on the status of Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli and Kosta Koufos: “Well they should be here on Sunday evening. They have to do physicals first, and then we’ll do the next step.”
- Divac on trading Ray McCallum: “I didn’t like it personally but we tried to create more flexibility to improve our team, and at least we got something from Ray. Obviously we don’t have future picks so I tried to create something, you know, that we can at least look (to) in the future, so that’s what we did. And obviously, I was looking to find a good place for Ray. He’s a great kid and he did a great job for us. I just felt he wouldn’t have much time here, and I think San Antonio’s a good fit for him.”
- Divac on going over the salary cap: “I don’t think right now it’s good for us to do that. I think it’s nice when you reach (the) potential to be right there, (a) contender for championships. I think now we have to make the smart steps, put ourselves in situations to improve, and I think that’s exactly what we try to do here.”
- Divac on further roster additions: “Well obviously we need either a three or four-man, depends on if he can play both positions. We need another big body to help DeMarcus and Koufos and obviously with the departure of Ray, we have to find some point guard who can be, just in case there for us. In case Collison gets hurt.”
- Divac on re-signing Andre Miller: “We had some talks, yeah. But again, I want to improve at every position from last year. So I think with things that’s going to happen on Monday, I think we did a pretty good job.”
- Divac on Rondo: “I see a winner. He likes to win games. I trust him. I like to trust players. And sometimes with the frustrations and everything that’s going on, the losing can cause problems, (like) in Dallas. And I think he can help us a lot. He’s one of the best point guards in the league and we (are giving) an opportunity to him, but also I think he can help us a lot. So basically, it’s a win-win situation.”
- Divac on Belinelli: “I’m very happy with Marco. Again, all guys that should be on our roster next year, they are coming from good organizations, and our idea is to change the culture here. We want to move forward with a winning season, and I know it was a tough last couple years, seven, eight, whatever, so we want to bring somebody to help DeMarcus and Rudy (Gay) and Darren (Collison). I think it’s unfair to them to be in a situation where they have season after season of losing records. I think we improved our roster and it’s a different year.”
- Divac on how he’ll get Karl and Cousins to mesh: “Well to realize what we’re trying to do here. We try to make the environment fun, like today at practice. And try to win games. You know, just told coach, I had a teammate, we didn’t talk for three years. But we were best teammates. So that’s what I want. Put personal agendas aside and do what they can do best. He needs to be the best coach he can be, because he is one of the best. And DeMarcus, best big guy in the league, because he is. So, I try to work so see how it goes.”
- Divac on the urgency of his next moves: “Now we are in the driver’s seat. We’re not going to be aggressive and go for something that we are not sure 100 percent is going help and improve our team. We got to do it slowly and see what’s out there, and you know if it’s my money I would spend overnight. It’s not my money, I have to be very careful with that.”
After practice, the Kings packed their gear for their evening flight to Las Vegas. They’ll face the Toronto Raptors’ summer league team on Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the Thomas & Mack Center.