The excitement from the NBA Draft was short-lived for the first-year members of the squad, as now, the enthusiasm shifts to the annual Las Vegas Summer League.
On Monday, the newest Kings took the court for the first time as teammates.
The roster consists of all four of Sacramento’s draftees; De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles, and Frank Mason III, sophomores; Buddy Hield, Georgios Papagiannis, Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere, as well as other notable NBA talents such as JaKarr Sampson and Reggie Hearn.
Fox, the No. 5 overall pick from this Draft class, shared what he expects when he steps onto the floor on Friday in Las Vegas against the Phoenix Suns.
“I’m extremely excited. It’ll be my NBA debut – something I’ve been dreaming about my entire life,” said Fox. “I know I’ll be nervous just like everyone else. I’m just trying to go in and try not to do too much and win the game.”
When asked about the matchup most fans have circled on their calendars – Monday’s tilt against Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers – Fox stays the course.
“I know about the rivalry that the Kings and the Lakers had and I guess it’s starting right back up in the Summer League,” Fox said. “I look forward to every game. You’re playing against the best players in the world so you just have to bring your A game every game.
While the rookies are getting acclimated, second-year players like Labissiere are also utilizing this time to focus on improving individually, while also meshing with the four newbies for the upcoming season.
“Watching [the rookies] a little bit, I remember being there and how fast things were for me and now things have slowed down a little bit for me,” said Labissiere. “It’s all about team bonding for us and getting comfortable with each other. We have to use this experience for training camp coming up in the fall. That’s really the main focus of this Summer League is working on things as a team and taking it to training camp next season.”
The mini-camp is set to run for four days this week leading up to Sactown’s first matchup on Friday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
For more information on the Summer League roster and schedule, please click here.