The Kings plan to make the most of their NBA Development League team, the Reno Bighorns.
Backup center Hamady Ndiaye was assigned to the Bighorns for Friday’s game against the Santa Cruz Warriors in Santa Cruz and was back in Sacramento for Saturday night’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Sleep Train Arena.
Ndiaye started for Reno and had six points, five rebounds, three blocked shots and one steal in 32 minutes in a 95-85 loss to the Warriors.
Coach Michael Malone said the Kings having Friday off made for a perfect opportunity to send Ndiaye to the Bighorns. It was the second time this season Ndiaye played for Reno one night and rejoined the Kings the next night.
Ndiaye played for the Bighorns in Reno on Dec. 6 and met the Kings in Utah for a game Dec. 7.
“To ‘H’s’ credit, he’s all for it,” Malone said. “He goes down there and tries to do the best that he can.”
There isn’t much playing time for Ndiaye with the Kings since Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy were acquired from Toronto with Rudy Gay in December.
Entering Saturday’s game, Ndiaye appeared in 14 games, averaging 5.3 minutes. Ndiaye’s last appearance was for a minute against Atlanta on Dec. 18.
A lack of playing time figures to be the reason rookie guard Ray McCallum could play for the Bighorns again this season. Malone is happy with the job Jimmer Fredette is doing as Isaiah Thomas’ backup at point guard, leaving no time for McCallum.
“I’m sure Ray will probably get another stint in the D-League,” Malone said. “... Ray’s obviously not getting a chance to play right now. At some point in the season, he will. We need to see what he can do up here in the NBA. But at the same time, we don’t want him not playing for long stretches, so I’m sure he’ll see the D-League at some point in the future.”
McCallum has appeared in six games , averaging 2.5 minutes. His last appearance was for five minutes at the end of a blowout loss at Miami on Dec. 20.
Down to one – Thomas officially has one technical foul, which was called during Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Thomas has had two technicals rescinded by the NBA. He is the only King to have a technical rescinded.
DeMarcus Cousins hoped to have at least one technical rescinded, but it was not. Cousins leads the NBA with 10 technicals.