The Kings announced Tuesday they have picked up the fourth-year contract option on center Willie Cauley-Stein and third-year options on Buddy Hield, Georgios Papagiannis, Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere, keeping them under contract through the 2018-19 season.
Tuesday was the deadline to pick up the options on players signed to their rookie deals.
Cauley-Stein has become the Kings’ starting center in his third season. He was the sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft and is averaging 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds this season.
Hield was acquired in February from New Orleans in the DeMarcus Cousins trade and was an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection. He’s averaging 11.3 points this season as the starting shooting guard.
Papagiannis, Richardson and Labissiere were all drafted in 2016 by the Kings. Of the trio, only Labissiere has become a regular in the rotation this season. He’s averaging 11.8 points and 5.0 rebounds. He was acquired, along with Papagiannis (13th overall), as part of the deal with Phoenix that brought Bogdan Bogdanovic to Sacramento.
Richardson (20th overall) is averaging 6.0 points in three games this season. He’s been buried on the bench because the Kings have an abundance of players at shooting guard and small forward.
Papagiannis has appeared in just one game this season, Sunday’s blowout loss to Washington. He could be in line for a bigger role next season as a backup if Kosta Koufos opts for free agency.
More rest – Garrett Temple is latest King to sit out a game with rest as the reason. Zach Randolph and George Hill sat out Sunday’s loss to Washington.
Rather than wait until the end of the season, the Kings are sitting veterans now to give opportunities to young players and look at different lineups.
Sitting Temple means the best perimeter defender the Kings have will be on the bench, and that’s been a problem area this season.