The Kings have four players on their roster who didn’t begin the season with them.
They also have little practice time with their upcoming schedule that includes four road games in five nights next week.
That’s going to make getting new players acclimated more difficult. Kings coach Michael Malone plans to use every opportunity to keep the three newest Kings – Rudy Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy – caught up on the Kings’ philosophies.
They practiced with the Kings for the first time Thursday after joining the team following a trade with Toronto.
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Derrick Williams has been a King for eight games, which puts him well ahead of the trio that arrived this week.
Malone said coaches would use film, timeouts and any other opportunity possible to pass along information.
That also means using morning shoot-arounds the day of games to get in extra work and not simply as review and preparation sessions.
“When you don’t have practice time, you must use your shoot-around almost like a practice to get drill work in and to get these guys caught up to speed with all your terminology,” Malone said.
Gay joked that the extra time in shoot-around didn’t make him, Gray or Acy more popular with their new teammates.
“I think the team is a little mad at (us) because shoot-around was a little longer than it was supposed to be,” Gay said.
Coaching endorsements – Gray was already familiar with Malone from his time in New Orleans, where Malone was an assistant coach.
That wasn’t the case for Gay or Acy.
Gay, however, wasn’t worried about getting along with his new coach after two of the best guards in the NBA spoke highly of Malone.
“He’s great,” Gay said of Malone. “Even before I got here, Chris Paul texted me and told me he loved Coach. And Steph Curry did the same thing.
“When you have those people vouching for you, it’s hard for me to think any different of you.”
Paul was with Malone in New Orleans before he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. Curry was with Malone the past two seasons with the Warriors.
Familiar setting – The last game Toronto played before the trade was against the Phoenix Suns last Friday.
Gay was pulled from the starting lineup last Sunday in Los Angeles before the Raptors played the Lakers once the trade was agreed upon.
Gay was asked if it was weird that his last game as a Raptor and first as a King would be in the same building.
“Nothing’s weird when you’re in the NBA,” Gay said.