Kings news: Colby Jones makes NBA history, California Classic, two-way contracts

Colby Jones speaks with the media during the NBA Draft Combine at the Wintrust Arena on May 17, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Colby Jones speaks with the media during the NBA Draft Combine at the Wintrust Arena on May 17, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings had their quietest day of free agency on Sunday, yet there were still significantly notable events.

Rookie guard Colby Jones makes NBA history

Colby Jones, who was selected with the 34th pick of the 2023 NBA draft after the Sacramento Kings traded up to pick in place of the Celtics, made NBA history Sunday. The Kings announced multiple official signings Sunday, one of them being Jones’ contract. Colby Jones was signed to a four-year, $8.76 million contract with a team option for the final year.

Jones was the first player in NBA history to be signed under the Second Round Pick Exception, an addition to the NBA with the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). This new exception was added so teams could pay their rookies drafted in the second round more than the rookie minimums or sign for longer than two years without having to use cap space or the mid-level exception. First-round pick contracts are determined by pick position and automatically signed for four years.

According to the CBA, second-round players can sign for four years for a maximum amount equal to the three-year veteran’s minimum.

California Classic begins Monday

The California Classic begins Monday, with the Sacramento Kings being this year’s hosts. Golden 1 Center will see three games played tomorrow.

The Miami Heat will take on the Los Angeles Lakers at 3 p.m. PST.

The San Antonio Spurs will take on the Charlotte Hornets at 5 p.m. PST.

The Sacramento Kings will take on the Golden State Warriors at 7 p.m. PST.

The California Classic will not see the debut of San Antonio Spurs’ number-one pick Victor Wembanyama after he decided to not play, but rather wait until later in the summer league to debut. We will however see the debut of Charlotte Hornets’ number-two pick Brandon Miller, who was controversially picked over the Portland Trailblazers’ Scoot Henderson.

This is a great chance to see how the Kings’ new players adapt to an NBA setting. The Sacramento Kings summer league team will be headlined by Keegan Murray, who decided to play a second year after he won MVP of the 2022 summer league.

Keon Ellis and Jalen Slawson signed two-way contracts

After being offered a new two-way contract last week, guard Keon Ellis officially signed a new deal to continue with the Kings on Sunday. Ellis, 23, went undrafted in 2022 and signed with the Kings following the draft. He averaged 16 points, along with 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Stockton Kings last season and looks to get a larger shot in the NBA next season after getting the opportunity to play in only 16 NBA games.

Rookie Jalen Slawson, who was selected by the Kings with the 54th pick of the 2023 NBA draft, also signed a two-way deal Sunday. Slawson is a 6-foot-7 forward who averaged 15.6 points,7.1 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game last season with Furman. He also averaged 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals. Slawson, 23, was the 2023 SoCon player of the year after a dominant year and will be tested against better competition as he tries to adapt to a much faster-paced environment.