SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento Kings open the 2022-23 season Wednesday when they welcome the Portland Trail Blazers led by Oakland native Damian Lillard.
It was a busy offseason for the Kings, who hired Mike Brown as head coach on May 9 and made acquisitions in the free agent and trade market.
The Kings are looking to improve from last season’s record of 30-52, which had them miss the playoffs for the 16th consecutive season. The Kings’ playoff drought is the longest in NBA history and the current longest drought in major professional sports in North America.
The Kings’ offseason includes the signing of free agent Malik Monk and the trade acquisition of Kevin Huerter. In June, Sacramento drafted Iowa’s Keegan Murray as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft.
The rookie made an early impression during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The Iowa product was named MVP of Summer League after averaging 23.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 50% from the field and 40% from three-point range in four games.
The Kings went 3-2 in Vegas this summer.
Murray played in two games during the preseason, scoring 16 points in both games.
Murray was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Saturday and returned to team Wednesday. He will not play in the season opener, but did participate in shootaround.
“We want him to come back the right way,” Brown told reporters on Monday. “We play 82 games and if he misses one or misses two, he’ll be fine, there’s no pressure there. We just want him to go through protocol the right way and make sure he’s concentrating on relaxing and getting his rest and getting his mind right before even coming back.”
The Kings previously played the Trail Blazers in the preseason, defeating them 126-94 at the Golden 1 Center. Sacramento went 4-0 during the preseason
Wednesday’s game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. and doors open at 5:30 p.m. at the Golden 1 Center.
The Ying Yang Twins will perform at halftime of the season-opening game and a pregame studio session will be held by them for local youth and mentors.
Former Kings players Metta World Peace and Brad Miller will also be at Wednesday’s game.