News » Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-07-14

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-07-14

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-07-14
When Las Vegas Summer League began in early July, the annual practice of grooming new draft picks and developing second-year players started anew for the 21 teams on hand.

But the Kings' to-do list was longer than the rest, as their youth-filled roster simply demanded a different approach. Theirs is the most extreme of youth movements, with a number of players who are likely to hold significant roles taking part. There was starting power forward Jason Thompson, the Rider product who played in all 82 games during his rookie season and didn't hesitate to play in summer league for a second time. There was second-year player Donte' Greene, the Syracuse product who is looking to bounce back from a disappointing rookie campaign. And, of course, there were the team's draft picks -- former Memphis guard Tyreke Evans, Israeli small forward Omri Casspi, and former Washington forward Jon Brockman.

The one notable absence was that of Spencer Hawes, the third-year center who decided not to take part despite the team putting him on the roster. In light of the reality that these young players must develop together quickly to help the Kings' chances at improving on their 17-win season, Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie said it was a disappointing development.

"He obviously was invited to participate and at this point has chosen not to, and we'll go from there," Petrie told The Sacramento Bee. "It's the middle of the summer, and the invitation was there. The knowledge about it was there. If he doesn't want to play, he doesn't want to play.

"We have, for the most part, five roster players here, and we're going to be a young team and having a new coach and a new staff. Certainly a good part of what we were trying to accomplish is to prepare those (players) better for the start of training camp and let the coaching staff get their first feel of them as players, and they can start to put in things that they're going to do in fall camp. I think it's valuable and completely productive."

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Added: July 14, 2009


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