Malone has taken notice of Lockett

10/18/2013 12:00 AM

10/18/2013 12:00 PM

Kings coach Michael Malone believes Trent Lockett is a perfect fit for the new culture in Sacramento. And he'd like him to be around in some form.

"(Lockett) has a chance to make the team," Malone said. "And if he doesn't make the team, obviously we would love for him to be in our D-League system so we could continue to monitor his progress as he continues to mature and get better."

The rookie guard was the only holdover among undrafted players from the Kings' summer league roster.

The Kings hosted Lockett for a predraft workout before adding him to the summer league team, too. Lockett (6-foot-5, 210 pounds) averaged seven points for the Kings this summer.

Lockett played his first three seasons of college basketball at Arizona State before transferring to Marquette to be closer to his mother, Judy, who had been diagnosed with cancer.

Lockett had already earned his degree in business communication from Arizona State.

Lockett has fit in with the Kings since July because of his smarts and work ethic.

"It's been a great experience," Lockett said. "I've been with the team and coaches since summer league. I think even back then you could really tell they were putting an emphasis on the culture and really changing things around here. It's been enjoyable."

Malone said Lockett could develop into a quality defender, and his offense will improve as his shot becomes more consistent. There just isn't much playing time available for Lockett in the preseason behind Marcus Thornton, Ben McLemore and Jimmer Fredette.

But from practices, Malone is already a fan of Lockett's intangibles.

"He loves a challenge," Malone said. "I always quiz our guys and ask them questions, and Trent is always right on point and understands exactly what we're doing and the terminology, in our belief system, in our core philosophy. He's a bright kid, and I think he'll have a chance to play in the league in the future."

Lockett would welcome the opportunity to be a part of the Kings in some form in the future.

"I love the staff," Lockett said. "I think we have a great group of guys and I would love to be a part of it. God willing, everything works out."

Et cetera – The Kings used a fourth different starting lineup for Thursday's preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Sleep Train Arena.

Center DeMarcus Cousins is the only player to start every game. Travis Outlaw and Patrick Patterson started at forward, and the guards were Greivis Vasquez and Jimmer Fredette.

Malone plans to use the final two to three preseason games to go with his regular starting lineup and rotation for the regular season.

Luc Mbah a Moute (patella tendinitis) missed his third consecutive game. He's eyeing next week to return to the court.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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