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Tag: Vlade Divac

Joe Morgan on Pro Scout School and “Belief in the (Kings’) Future”

A commitment to the youth movement and De’Aaron Fox’s impressive summer league performance give Joe Morgan optimism for the Kings’ future (Photo: Joe Morgan).

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The NBA world has taken over Las Vegas for the last two weeks, and while the main attraction has obviously been Las Vegas Summer League, where teams test out and try to develop their new talent, with so much of the top brass in one city, there are bound to be auxiliary events as well. One such event is TPG Sport Group’s Pro Scout School, which our guest, Joe Morgan, was able to attend this week. He details the highlights of what he learned there, from experts like Fran Fraschilla, Bobby Marks, Tony Ronzone, Drew Hanlen and more. Of course, Joe is also co-host of The Kings Court and covers the Kings for SacKingsNation.com, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t also get his views on Sacramento’s eventful offseason so far. Scout out these royal excerpts below:

7:15-8:11 Joe speaks on gaining an insider’s perspective from front-office personnel and other experts: “They talk to you more openly than they would during the season when they’re busy. They give you that insider’s view of ‘Why did this move happen?’ …I could not figure out why Oladipo went to Indiana, and somebody made the point in the class that he’s a Hoosier alumnus. So do you think that helps them sell tickets for the team that was 22nd in attendance last year?… Basketball teams only convene to do two things: win games and make money. As a fan and even on the commentating side of it, generally, you only look at the game-winning side of it. We forget to add in that this is a business.”

11:26-12:20 On how modern teams are able to use both advanced analytics and traditional scouting in conjunction for player evaluation: “In the class, one of my favorite sentences that came out of the whole thing was: ‘Analytics is just evidence-based decision making.’ A guy has to pass the eye-test; you can’t watch a guy and think he’s horrible and then want him on your team. But analytics gives you something that helps you watch for specific patterns… It gives you another way to fine-tune what you’re looking for. A lot of these guys, you only get to watch once or twice… so if you have an analytics team give you some notes beforehand, it really helps you out as a scout.”

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James Ham: Kings “Rip the Band-Aid Off” by Trading Cousins

James Ham takes us through enigmatic DeMarcus Cousins’ journey with the Kings and looks ahead to the franchise’s future (Senior Airman Daniel Hughes/Creative Commons).

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Last Sunday, the Sacramento Kings finally dealt the player who served as both franchise cornerstone and a near-constant thorn in their side for his first six and a half NBA seasons. Comcast Sports Net California Kings Insider James Ham breaks down the complexities of the divorce as only he can. Royal excerpts from James’ responses can be found below:

12:35-13:07: Don’t compare Buddy Hield to Stephen Curry, but there is reason to be excited about the young shooting guard:

“Just take that and throw that out the window. He’s not Steph Curry. He can average 14 to 16 points per game in the pros. He can also struggle. But from what I saw of him in limited action on Thursday, [he had a] very nice teardrop in the lane, I thought he handled the ball well, he was able to take guys off the dribble, I thought his defensive prowess was better than what people have talked about, and [post-game] he even talked about not being critiqued the whole time.”

19:48-21:41Hands-on Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé was persuaded to move on from DeMarcus Cousins in a very specific way: 

“I know that he’s got his fingers in every pie in the organization. And in this situation, he was convinced to trade DeMarcus by management as it got closer and closer to the deadline. He was pretty adamant about not trading DeMarcus, and he has been [since he took over]… Continue reading

Morgan Ragan: Defenders’ Best Strategy Against Cousins? “Get in His Head”

Guest Morgan Ragan does not envision DeMarcus Cousins’ current role as being conducive to future Kings success.

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With a new defensive-minded head coach, the Sacramento Kings are hoping to halt their 10-year playoff drought, but they continue to struggle, especially on the defensive end. However, our guest, Morgan Ragan, host of The Deuce and Mo Podcast, Kings digital contributor and local Sacramento reporter, explains why coach Dave Joerger should be afforded job security unlike many of his Kings predecessors. Other topics covered in the episode include how to guard DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay’s future in Sacramento, the front office’s perpetual draft blunders and what the team needs from the point guard position. Enjoy some selected excerpts from the interview below:

6:55 – 7:23: Ragan starts by asserting that the Kings’ center is better suited for a situation in which he’s no longer the franchise cornerstone: “He gets away with a lot of stuff…because he’s DeMarcus Cousins. He’s the best player on the team. He’s the one producing the most points, the most rebounds. So if he wasn’t that guy and didn’t have that power, he would be even better somewhere else.”

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Down Goes Durant, the Combustible Kings and Kawhi Wait for Superstardom

This season, Kawhi Leonard has shouldered much of the Spurs' scoring load in addition to playing tenacious defense (Mark Runyon/BasketballSchedule.net)

This season, Kawhi Leonard has shouldered much of the Spurs’ scoring load in addition to playing tenacious defense (Mark Runyon/BasketballSchedule.net)

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In this action-packed episode, the guys reflect on the state of the Oklahoma City Thunder, particularly given Kevin Durant’s hamstring strain. Later, the trio celebrates the emergence of 24-year-old Kawhi Leonard as a bona fide offensive star and explores what in the hell is going on in Sacramento these days. Should George Karl lose his job this early in the season? Can the damage be undone? The OTNB boys are on the case.   

Music: “Who Likes To Party” by Kevin MacLeod

James Ham Feels Optimistic About the Retooled Kings

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The Sacramento Kings are mired in a nine-year playoff drought. But James Ham, Kings Insider for Comcast SportsNet, brings preseason cheer in the form of his optimistic outlook. He believes there is a bigger-than-expected opening for a team like the Kings to sneak into one of the West’s final three playoff spots. He acknowledges the potential for combustibility, while praising the team’s myriad offseason acquisitions around DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. Particularly, James shares his enthusiasm for rookie big man Willie Cauley-Stein and what he can do to improve a previously miserable defensive squad. Also, the Rondo enigma is further explored.

Music: “Who Likes to Party” by Kevin MacLeod

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