Kings land free agents Randolph, Hill Former IHSAA stars head to Sacramento together.
The Sacramento Kings added veteran help to their young roster on Tuesday by agreeing to free-agent contracts with forward Zach Randolph and point guard George Hill.
Randolph, a former Indiana Mr. Basketball out of Marion High School, left Memphis for a $24 million, two-year deal to reunite with former Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger in Sacramento, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be signed until Thursday.
ESPN first reported the agreement.
Hill, a former Broad Ripple High School and IUPUI standout, announced on Twitter that he was coming to Sacramento. Yahoo Sports first reported the deal, saying Hill would get $57 million over three years.
The Kings started free agency with just two players on the roster who are not on their rookie contracts – guard Garrett Temple and center Kosta Koufos – and were seeking some proven players to provide stability. Sacramento went 30-52 last season, Joerger’s first year, and has not made the playoffs since 2006.
The Kings hope the additions of Randolph and Hill will help change that.
After a rocky start to his career in Portland and New York, Randolph found himself in Memphis. He spent eight years with the Grizzlies, emerging as one of the central figures of the team’s “grit and grind” mantra.
He helped Memphis make the playoffs the past seven years, including a trip to the conference final in 2013 when Joerger was an assistant. Joerger took over as head coach the following year and had three years with Randolph, including a trip to the second round in 2015.
Randolph, who turns 36 later this month, averaged 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season and is still considered one of the better post players in the game.
He is expected to be a mentor for young big men like Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Harry Giles, one of the team’s three first-round picks last month.
It’s quite a reversal for Randolph, who was considered a malcontent in need of mentoring when he arrived in Memphis in 2009 after failed tenures in Portland, New York and with the Los Angeles Clippers.
But he grew into a leadership role with the Grizzlies and became a trusted veteran.
Hill will be expected to provide similar traits in Sacramento, while grooming rookie point guards De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason III. The 31-year-old has spent nine years in the NBA with San Antonio, Indiana and Utah.
He averaged a career-high 16.9 points per game last season for the Jazz, helping them make the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2010. He also averaged 4.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds. He played only 49 games in the regular season because of various injuries.
After going into the draft last month with no point guards on the roster, the Kings have invested heavily in the position the past two weeks. They took Fox fifth overall and then used their second-round pick on Mason.
Fox is extremely quick and a skilled ball handler who showed the ability to get to the basket in his one season at Kentucky. He averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.
Mason was a four-year player at Kansas and won numerous player-of-the-year awards last season, including from The Associated Press. He averaged 20.9 points and 5.2 assists per game as a senior and finished sixth all-time at Kansas in both points (1,885) and assists (576).