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San Antonio Spurs to get extensive look at Kings’ variety of rookies

By Rob Wolkenbrod
TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 11: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings poses for a photo during the 2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot at MSG training center on August 11, 2017 in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Brian Babineau/Getty Images)
TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 11: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings poses for a photo during the 2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot at MSG training center on August 11, 2017 in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Brian Babineau/Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs will get a first look at the future of the Sacramento Kings over two games.

On Monday, the San Antonio Spurs will open the 2017 preseason against the Sacramento Kings. It’s the first game for both teams, as they get ready for the 2017-18 regular season. It will take place at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA.

That’s not the only time the Spurs and Kings will go head-to-head in the preseason. They’ll play on Friday, Oct. 6 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. After that, these teams won’t meet until Dec. 23.

The Spurs will enter this game with a younger roster, but so will the Kings. They selected five players in the 2017 NBA Draft, all of whom could make an impact in their rookie seasons. These players may all receive an ample opportunity at playing time in both preseason games against the Spurs.

Who are these five players? Let’s preview them and what the Spurs will potentially face in these exhibitions.

De’Aaron Fox

The prized rookie of the Kings’ 2017 class, De’Aaron Fox went No. 5 overall in June’s NBA Draft. He’s a one-year point guard from Kentucky, who boasts upside as an athletic playmaker that can wreak havoc on the defensive end.

The starting point guard won’t be clear for Fox, as he battles offseason signing George Hill for minutes. These two could split time, depending on how the 19-year-old plays to open the season. It’s possible this is on display for both preseason games, as Kings coaching staff decides how to shape the playing time.

Bogdan Bogdanovic

Bogdan Bogdanovic makes his NBA debut three years after being selected No. 27 by the Phoenix Suns. He played for Partizan and Fenerbache for the past seven years, before arriving to the NBA for the 2017-18 season.

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The Kings acquired the Serbian shooting guard in a 2016 trade. He’s known for stretching the floor, with his 43 percent 3-point shooting in the last EuroLeague season. Buddy Hield might be ahead of him in the rotation, but these two can stroke it from deep in a potential three-guard lineup. Look for this on at least one occasion over the two games.

Harry Giles

Once one of the top prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft, Harry Giles’ knee issues dropped his stock. The Kings still made him a first-round pick, but nothing close to the potential top-10 selection he could have been.

Giles will likely get worked along slowly, especially with a crowded big man group already in place. Look for him to play in spurts during the preseason, but as only a sign of the limited time he’ll get in the regular season.

Frank Mason III

Frank Mason was a star at Kansas in his four seasons, as he worked with some of the nation’s top one-and-done players but developed into a workhorse and earned Player of the Year nods. His 20.9 points and 5.2 assists on 49 percent shooting and 47 percent from 3-point range were among the best in the nation.

It will be a tough road ahead for Mason to get playing time, with Hill and Fox in front of him. It slides him to the back of the rotation, which means a G-League stint (or two) could be in his future.

As James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area notes, don’t count Mason out just yet, even with Fox ahead of him. Let’s see what happens when an opportunity presents itself.

Justin Jackson

Justin Jackson is the smallest name of the five Kings rookies, but could be the readiest to join the starting lineup, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. He’s apparently picking up the system well, so could that result in quick playing time?

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Jackson doesn’t have the position battle at forward that the centers have. That should benefit him toward preseason playing time and a potential marquee role in the Opening Night rotation. Let’s see how he performs against one of the toughest defenses in the league for the Spurs games.

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