6. Beno Udrih – Slovenia
Beno Udrih enjoyed what were easily the best years of his career while he was a Sacramento King. He arrived as a free agent in 2007, and was primarily signed to act as a fill-in for injured starting point guard Mike Bibby. Udrih took it as an audition, and he got the part: in February of 2008, the Kings traded Bibby and crowned Udrih as the new starter.
He did not disappoint. Udrih’s four-year averages with the Kings saw him 4+ points and 1+ assists better than his career marks. During the 2010-’11 season, he averaged a career-high 13.7 points and was the fourth-leading scorer behind Cousins, Evans, and Marcus Thornton.
He was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on draft night 2011.
Stats with Kings: 296 games, 32.3 minutes, 12.6 points, 4.7 assists
5. Hedo Turkoglu – Turkey
Hedo Turkoglu will forever hold a spot in the hearts of Kings fans despite his best days coming long after his time in Sacramento. He was the first Turkish-born NBA player after being selected by the Kings in the 2000 NBA Draft. Turkoglu arrived just as the team was hitting it’s stride, and he was given big minutes on a contending team right off the bat.
In his second season, Turkoglu finished with a handful of Sixth Man of the Year votes, finishing in seventh while his teammate Bobby Jackson came in second place. He did make the All-Rookie second team.
He showed marked improvement that year, nearly doubling his scoring average in eight more minutes per game. The signing of Jim Jackson for the 2002-’03 season pushed Turkoglu a bit farther down in the rotation, and he saw him numbers dip in what was his last season in Sacramento.
Turkoglu would go on to play for the Orlando Magic where he enjoyed his best seasons, including the 2007-’08 season in which he won Most Improved Player of the Year.
Stats with Kings: 221 games, 19.9 minutes, 7.5 points, 3.4 assists
4. Bogdan Bogdanovic – Serbia
Another one of the players on the current roster is Bogdan Bogdanovic. He is many fan’s favorite player, and there are also those who believe that trading him would improve the team. He is fun-loving yet ultra competitive and plays with a passion that we can all appreciate. His knowledge of the game and basketball IQ give the Kings an extra coach on the floor, and he isn’t afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve.
He owns what is a top-3 buzzer beater in Sacramento Kings history when he downed the Lakers in 2018, and has a handful of other clutch shots on his resume.
One sign of Bogdanovic’s value and importance is the surge in victories that the team enjoyed when he was moved in to the starting lineup during the second half of the 2019-’20 season. The team struggled for much of the season up to that point, and had won 13 of their previous 20 games before the league shut down.
Bogdanovic is due a big contract this summer, and it will be interesting to see how the Kings handle the situation.
Stats with Kings: 201 games, 28 minutes, 13.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists
3. Vlade Divac – Serbia
Why is Vlade Divac ahead of Bogdanovic is the latter has the better numbers? Adjusted for inflation, Vlade scored 11.8 percent of his team’s points in 2000-’01 while Bogdanovic scored 12.2 percent of his in 2018-’19, making them nearly equal in value on the offensive end.
But those early 2000s teams would have struggled mightlity without having Divac as the man in the middle. Would the current Kings survive without Bogdanovic? Are they surviving with him?
Divac arrived in Sacramento as a free agent in 1999 and The Greatest Show On Court was born. He was tasked with guarding and trying to score on one of the most immovable objects in NBA history in Shaquille O’Neal, something that he actually did a respectable job at. He made his lone all-star appearance in 2001. He was one of the best passing big men of the generation, and maybe of all-time.
His legeacy has been clouded by his underwhelming stint as the Kings general manager for the past 5 years, but front office days do not play in to this list for the Sacramento lifer.
Stats with Kings: 454 games, 30.1 minutes, 11.4 points, 7.8 rebounds