The Kings announced today that all three of their first-round draft picks this year, Georgios Papagiannis (13th), Malachi Richardson (22nd) and Skal Labissiere (28th), would be assigned to their D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns. This comes as no surprise to many but it does mark the first time the Kings have ever assigned one of their lottery picks to the D-League and one of the few times they’ve even assigned any first-round picks.
With the addition of a multitude of veteran talent on the Kings, the opportunity for playing time for these rookies just isn’t there right now for the rookies. Playing in Reno is the best chance they’ll have of getting actual in-game experience, which will be far more useful for their future development than sitting on the bench. With the Kings recently taking over full control of the Bighorns, I expect that all three of these rookies will play major minutes for the Bighorns under new Reno head coach (and former Sacramento King) Darrick Martin.
The Bighorns season starts on Nov. 13th against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Most Bighorns games will be broadcast on Facebook Live, so for those of you interested in watching Sacramento’s rookies play, you’ll have your chance.