The mantra regarding center Hassan Whiteside and what the Kings hope to get out of his athletic, 7-foot frame hasn't changed much.
Summer league coach Bobby Jackson pulled him aside Wednesday and repeated it anyway.
"(The coaches) really just want me to block a lot of shots, rebound, really run the floor," Whiteside said. "He said we have enough scorers. He's just looking for somebody to come in and get a lot of rebounds, block shots."
Whiteside, entering his third season, has yet to be a consistent contributor for the Kings since being drafted out of Marshall in the second round in 2010.
Injuries and stints in the NBA Development League factored into his appearing in only 19 games in his first two seasons with the Kings. Last season, he averaged 1.6 points and 2.2 rebounds while playing sparingly off the bench.
So at the team's summer league minicamp this week, Whiteside and his coaches agreed this season is important for him.
"I had that same conversation with him you're in year three, you've got to start making improvements," Jackson said. "The one thing I told him is he worries about scoring too much.
"I used Brian Grant for an example. He probably made $90 million, and he couldn't score a lick. But if you block shots, play defense and rebound, man, a lot of 7-foot-1 guys don't want to do that."
Whiteside gained prominence in his lone college season for shot blocking, and he averaged three blocks in less than 19 minutes per game for the Reno Bighorns of the D-league last year.
When he played for the Kings, there were flashes of his ability. He recorded five points and seven rebounds in 14 minutes in a March 5 loss to Denver, and he grabbed 10 rebounds in 20 minutes in an April 8 loss to Houston.
Not being a big factor offensively takes some getting used to, Whiteside said Wednesday. But he has seen players settle into roles in the NBA.
"I'm just going to do what the team needs," Whiteside said. "If the team don't need me to score, I'll just rebound and block shots. I'm going to score off offensive rebounds, put-back dunks, all that."
Center DeMarcus Cousins is often more liable to try to draw a charge than block a shot, so the Kings could use another shot-blocking presence inside. Whiteside figures to get plenty of playing time when the Kings begin their five-game summer league schedule Friday in Las Vegas.
"Today was the first day he really practiced hard and showed me he can be that defensive and offensive rebounding guy, run the floor, shot blocker," Jackson said Wednesday. "I told him we need that every day. You can't decide to do that every three, four practices."
Whiteside has spent much of the offseason working out at the Kings' facility, where he said there are "no distractions." He is healthy, which is a key for him. A partially torn tendon in his knee cost him 37 games in 2010-11, and a sprained ankle sidelined him for seven games at the end of last season.
"It set me back, but it kind of helped me, too," Whiteside said. "I was able to sit back and watch everybody, how they play, and just study the game more."
This year, however, is not one for sitting back.
"It's just really to show why the Kings picked me up," Whiteside said. "Just to show why I belong in this organization and the NBA."
Making it official The Kings formally announced they agreed in principle to a new contract with restricted free-agent power forward Jason Thompson.
"I was fortunate to have other options to look at," Thompson said. " I felt this was the best situation."
Basketball president Geoff Petrie said in a news release: "He is a very important young veteran for our team and style of play going forward."
Thompson averaged 9.1 points and 6.9 rebounds last season.
Contract terms were not disclosed. The Bee reported Monday it was believed to be a multiyear deal that will pay Thompson about $6 million in the first season.