By Madisen Carter
Kessler Edwards has been adjusting seamlessly with the Sacramento Kings after being traded from the Brooklyn Nets before the 2023 trade deadline. Edwards was the 44th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, and played on both the Nets’ team and their G-League team.
Edwards joined the Sacramento Kings on February 7th after spending nearly two seasons with the Nets. In his rookie season, Edwards played in 48 games and averaged 5.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game. With the Nets’ G-League Team, the Long Island Nets, Edwards played in 7 games and averaged 15 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. This current season with the Nets, he was averaging 1.6 points, 1.4 assists and 0.3 rebounds.
“It was a bit of a surprise at first [being traded,] it was something that I wasn't expecting. But you know, It all happened so fast. I can't believe how fast it happened but I'm glad to be here in Sac. It's my first day here at the facility and everybody seems cool, so I think I'm going to like it here,” Edwards told FOX40 News reporters back on February 9th.
Now with the Sacramento Kings, Edwards has suited up for seven games so far. He was a game changer on Saturday when the Kings took home a win against the Phoenix Suns 128-119. With under 50 seconds left in the game, Edwards pulled up a three-pointer to give the Kings a six-point lead with a score 124-118. Edwards put up 12 points and had seven assists, one steal and one rebound, earning him the Defensive Player of the Game Chain.
During the post game interview, Edwards told NBC Sports California's reporters Morgan Ragan and Kyle Draper that he was nervous throughout the game, but was glad that his coaches trusted him throughout his time on the court. During the game, Edwards had the task of guarding Suns’ shooting guard Devin Booker. When Ragan and Draper asked Edwards about that challenge, he answered that he knew it was coming.
“I knew if I was gonna be out there, I was gonna have to provide that for the team defensively so I just did the best I could, guarding him very tough for a guard and kept my confidence with that three-point shot,” Edwards said in the post game interview.
Edwards teammate Chimezie Metu said in his post game interview alongside Edwards that it was great to see what he did against the Suns and Booker that night.
"Obviously, he played them last time, he was guarding [Booker] and he did a great job on him,” Metu told reporters. “So I think the coaching staff just felt like he was the best option to guard him out there tonight and he did a great job frustrating him a little bit and making him take a lot of tough shots."
In seven games with the Kings, Edwards has a total of 29 points, 19 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals, Although he has only been on the Kings team for about a month now, he told Ragan and Draper that right when he joined the team he could tell that the culture was different and explained that the players on the team play unselfishly on the court.
The Kings officially have their best record since 2006 with a record of 42-27 after their 101-96 win against Edwards' former team, the Brooklyn Nets, on Thursday. They are currently the third seed in the Western Conference behind the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies, and Edwards told Ragan and Draper he is excited for the playoffs.
Coach Packie Turner has been working with Edwards throughout the year, and a few times already since he has been in Sacramento. He was excited to see the impact Edwards has made so far after joining the team, and can't wait to see how he ends the year with the team.
Jones posted to her Instagram account on Monday, “Thankful for my years at stanford. Thankful for my people, without you I wouldn't be who I am. Thank you for continuing to keep me grounded and hungry. Ready for the next chapter.”
“First off, it's an honor… [to] go out there and compete in that and then obviously to be my first one as well was really cool. Growing up going to All-Star Games and watching to now [being] a part of it was pretty surreal,” Williams said.