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Kings sign forward Skal Labissiere to a one-year contract

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Sacramento Kings sign forward Skal Labissiere to a one-year contract
USA Today Network

The Sacramento Kings are signing forward Skal Labissiere to a one-year, partially guaranteed deal, according to sources. Labissiere, 27, was selected 28th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2016 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky. The 6-foot-10 wing was then immediately traded to Sacramento.

Labissiere hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2019-20 season. The Kentucky product spent his first three seasons (2016-19) with the Kings. During his rookie 2016-17 season, the forward averaged career highs of 8.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in 12 starts and 33 appearances.

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In Sacramento’s 107-101 win over the Suns on March 15, 2017, Labissiere recorded a career-high 32 points, 11 rebounds, and two steals in 30 minutes off the bench. He finished 11-of-15 (73.3%) shooting from the floor. This was his first career double-double.

The Haiti native became the first rookie from the 2016 draft class to score at least 30 points in a game. Also, he became the youngest Kings player (20 years, 362 days) to post 30 points and 10 rebounds in a single game and the fourth player to do it off the bench since the 1984-85 season.

Skal Labissiere scored the most points by a Sacramento rookie since Ben McLemore logged 31 in 2013-14. He became only the 41st player in NBA history to score at least 32 points while age 20 or younger as well. Tyreke Evans was the only other player to accomplish this feat in franchise history.

Skal Labissiere returns to the Sacramento Kings on a one-year, partially guaranteed contract, could play fourth season with team entering fifth NBA season

In Labissiere’s sophomore 2017-18 season with the Kings, the forward averaged 8.7 points, 4.8 boards, 1.2 assists, and a career-high 20.7 minutes per game while shooting 44.8% from the field and 35.3% beyond the arc.

In February 2019, the Kings traded Labissiere to the Portland Trail Blazers for Caleb Swanigan. The wing made one start in 33 games with Portland in the 2019-20 season. He averaged 5.8 points and career highs of 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 55.1% from the floor.

However, his time was cut short with the Trail Blazers. In February 2020, Portland traded Labissiere and $1.7 million cash to the Atlanta Hawks for a 2024 second-round draft pick.

Although the forward signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the New York Knicks on Dec. 9, 2020, Labissiere was waived two days later. With the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate, he averaged 5.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 11.8 minutes per game.

Additionally, Labissiere played international basketball in the 2022-23 season with the Cangrejeros de Santurce of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional and G League contender Capitanes de Ciudad de Mexico.

While with the Capitanes, the forward averaged 8.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, a career-high 1.9 blocks, and 23.7 minutes per game while shooting 49.3% from the field.

Labissiere will now spend most of his time with Sacramento’s G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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