SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Kings will be heading into the NBA All-Star break with at least 30 wins and the possibility of securing a playoff spot in a tough Western Conference for the first time since 2006.
While many Kings players will be enjoying the midseason break coming up this weekend, four players will be traveling to Charlotte, N.C., to represent Sacramento during NBA All-Star Weekend.
The NBA All-Star Game tips off Sunday, Feb. 17, at the Spectrum Center, but there will be several events to watch leading up to the NBA's annual showcase.
For the second straight year, De'Aaron Fox and fellow Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic have been tapped to participate in the NBA's Rising Stars game. Kings rookie forward Marvin Bagley III will be joining Fox and Bogdanovic in the game that features the best rookies and second-year players from around the NBA.
Bagley III, who missed 11 games with a bone bruise in his left knee earlier this season, is averaging 13 points and seven rebounds coming off the bench for the Kings.
Bogdanovic, who won the Rising Stars MVP awards in 2018, will be a member of Team World along with the likes of Mavericks star Luka Doncic and reigning Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons.
Fox and Bagley III will play against their Kings teammate as members of Team U.S., joining Utah's Donovan Mitchell and Celtics star Jayson Tatum in the showcase. You can catch these three young Sacramento Kings players in the Rising Stars game on Friday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. on TNT.
Buddy Hield participated in the Rising Stars game in both of his first two NBA seasons, in addition to representing Sacramento in the 2018 Skills Challenge. This year the third-year guard will be putting his shooting skills to the test in the 3-Point Contest.
Hield, who has earned the nickname "Buddy Buckets," already set a Kings franchise record for three-point shots made through the first 40 games with 131. He leads the Kings in scoring, averaging 20 points per game, and the 26-year-old is currently fourth in the NBA in three-pointers made this season with a career-high 193.
Hield will be competing against nine of the league's best long-distance shooters, including reigning champion Devin Booker and 2015 champion Stephen Curry. Buddy becomes just the fifth Sacramento Kings player to participate in the NBA's 3-Point Contest, the first since two-time contest champion Peja Stojakovic in 2004.
In 2018, Hield became just the second Sacramento Kings player to participate in the NBA's Skills Challenge. DeMarcus Cousins was the first Kings player to participate in the Skills Challenge, doing so in both 2016 and 2017.
This year in Charlotte, Kings guard De'Aaron Fox will be showing off his ball handling, shooting, passing ability, and speed on All-Star Saturday Night. Fox, who was taken fifth overall by the Kings in the 2017 NBA Draft, is the odds-on favorite to win this year's Skills Challenge, which will not feature reigning champion Spencer Dinwiddie.
The 21-year-old speedster will be competing against seven of the league's most skilled players including All-Stars Nikola Jokic and Nikola Vucevic.
You can catch two Fox and Hield putting their skills to the test on All-Star Saturday Night beginning at 5 p.m. on TNT. Fox will take the floor in the first event, the NBA Skills Challenge, followed by the 3-Point Contest. The night ends with the Slam Dunk Contest which will feature Charlotte's own Miles Bridges and second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr.
There have only been four Kings players to appear in the NBA's Slam Dunk contest, the most recent being Ben McLemore in 2014.
Cousins was the last Sacramento Kings player to be named to an All-Star roster after three straight selections from 2015-2017. As the Kings front office continues building what it hopes will be a playoff contender to end a 12-season-long postseason drought, players like Bagley III and Fox are looking to become the next All-Stars to represent the 916 on the NBA's biggest stage.
Go inside the locker room and get more Kings coverage on our ABC10 YouTube channel. Follow the conversation with Lina Washington on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can e-mail Lina at LWashington@abc10.com.