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Kings shutting down Malachi Richardson for the season

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The Kings are taking the cautious approach with their rookie guard.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Sacramento Kings Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve seen the last of Malachi Richardson this season.

This news came out during the Kings-Clippers game on Sunday when Kayte Christensen told the broadcast team that Richardson suffered a setback. While Richardson might be able to be cleared in early April, at that point the Kings would only have a few games left and they’re going to just play it safe with him so he’s fully healthy to train this summer.

Richardson tore his hamstring in the final game before the All-Star break in the last minute of a blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors. He was the only rookie at the time to be getting rotation minutes and he was showing promise as a slasher and scorer.

It’s a shame Richardson got injured when he did because he likely would have been slated for a major role in the post-Cousins Kings rotation. Even though Buddy Hield has solidly won the starting SG spot, I suspect the Kings would have given Malachi a shot at starting Small Forward. We’ll have to wait until next season to see how the Kings play these two together, and that’s not even taking into account that they’ll also be bringing over Bogdan Bogdanovic, another Shooting Guard.

The next time we’ll see Richardson in action will likely be Las Vegas Summer League, in which the Kings could have almost half their actual roster on the team.