The Kings finally got a chance to see what Bogdan Bogdanovic can do outside of the preseason.
The rookie guard made his NBA regular-season debut Monday against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena, entering the game with 2:59 left in the first quarter.
A sprained right ankle kept Bogdanovic out since Oct. 12, when he was hurt in a preseason game.
The Kings have been hurt by scoring problems, so adding Bogdanovic is a plus. He was one of the best players in Europe last season.
“He gives us some playmaking, ability to make some shots,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “He’s got poise, he’s got high IQ and can pass and cut, play with the ball on the move, which a lot of our American guys can’t do.”
Oddly enough, Bogdanovic’s debut comes at Phoenix, which drafted him 27th overall in 2014 and traded his draft rights to Sacramento during the 2016 NBA draft. That deal allowed the Suns to move up in the draft and select former Pleasant Grove High School star Marquese Chriss.
Upheaval in Phoenix – Jay Triano took over as interim head coach for the Suns on Sunday. Earl Watson was fired after an 0-3 start that included two blowout losses.
Joerger said he’s gotten to know Triano over the years.
“It’s a small world,” Joerger said. “He’s an incredible basketball mind. I’ve stolen a lot of things form him over the course of the years, especially offensively.”
More on Chriss – In his second season, Chriss is still viewed as a young player with a lot of potential. One area that Chriss can improve in is rebounding.
In three games, Chriss is averaging just 2.7 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game. Chriss started Monday’s game as Triano went to a more “traditional” power forward.
Triano said Chriss’ athleticism should help him become a good rebounder.
“Obviously, learning how to get stronger and where to be and how to react to the ball, it’s going to be something we have to work on,” Triano said. “... He’s a young player and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be the first person to get the ball.”
Instructional time – The second Dave Joerger Coaches Clinic is slated for Saturday at the Kings’ practice facility. The Shingle Springs Rancheria is partnering with the foundation.
Coaches from the NBA, G League and colleges will participate in the session that will take place during a Kings practice.
“The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians is proud to partner with the Dave Joerger Foundation to provide experiences for youth that they may not otherwise have,” said Nicholas Fonseca, the tribe’s chairman. “We are excited to work with coach Joerger to extend our impact in our communities together.”
The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians is a federally recognized tribe in El Dorado County. Joerger has made working with Native Americans a key part of his foundation.