NEW ORLEANS -- The Kings are making the most of their ownership of their NBA Development League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns.
“We have a detailed player development (plan) outlined for each one of our players and then when we send a guy down, we tell (Reno coach) Joel (Abelson) these are the certain areas he really needs to work on,” Kings coach Michael Malone said. “They work with us and that’s one of the reasons we bought that team.”
That’s beneficial in the case of Kings rookie guard Ray McCallum, who was recalled from the Bighorns in time for Tuesday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans at New Orleans Arena.
McCallum averaged 18.5 points, 4.8 assists, 2.5 steals, 2.3 rebounds and 34.3 minutes in four games with Reno. He shot 46.9 percent from the field, including 46.7 percent from 3-point range.
“For him to go down there and get minutes was well needed,” Malone said. “And I think if there’s an opportunity for him to play during the rest of the season, he definitely will.”
With Kings director of player personnel Shareef Abdur-Rahim serving as Reno’s general manager and Kings basketball operations coordinator Chris Gilbert serving as Reno’s assistant general manager, Malone said there is plenty of communication on how McCallum played.
Abelson also attended the Kings’ training camp to pick up the team’s practice drills and terminology to use with the Bighorns.
“It’s really a smooth transition for Ray to go down and then come back up and he was able to get great experience,” Malone said.
This was McCallum’s second stint with Reno. The second-round draft pick has appeared in nine games with the Kings after going scoreless while playing the final 1:34 in Tuesday’s 114-97 win.
Technical difficulties – DeMarcus Cousins was called for his 11th technical foul of the season with 5:09 left in the second quarter after protesting a foul call.
He’s tied with Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin for the league lead.
Jason Thompson picked up his fifth technical foul of the season when he yelled after being called for a foul with 3:47 left in the third quarter.
Isaiah Thomas was assessed a technical foul with 24.1 seconds left in the second quarter, his third this season, for complaining about not getting a foul call.
No time – Carl Landry didn’t play against the Pelicans, the second game he was available after returning from a torn hip flexor.
Malone didn’t want to put Landry in a game that hadn’t been decided in the fourth quarter as he’s still coming back from the injury.
When Landry played Sunday at Oklahoma City, the game was already out of reach for the Kings.
Malone said he would like to play Landry tonight against Houston.