Beno Udrih: From Trade Bait to Starting Point Guard

Udrih has re-invigorated his career in Sacramento, and the Kings’ coaching staff couldn’t be happier. From the Bee: “A year ago, it seemed as if Beno Udrih’s days in Sacramento were coming to an end. The Kings had drafted Tyreke Evans. Kevin Martin was back and healthy. And if the Kings needed a backup point guard, there was the cheaper and flashier Sergio Rodríguez on the squad. All the Kings needed was a team willing to trade for Udrih, who was in the second year of a contract with more than $27 million guaranteed left on it. Entering the 2010-11 season training camp next Tuesday, Udrih is hardly expendable. Udrih showed his worth backing up Evans, and eventually became a starter after Martin and Rodríguez were traded in February … Along the way, he impressed the new coaching staff with his smarts and with how well he played alongside Evans. ‘He made a good case for being a starter (this season), and looking at the makeup of our roster now, that’s how I view him,’ Kings coach Paul Westphal said. The Evans-Udrih situation had the potential to be difficult. Udrih didn’t play in the season opener, and it was obvious the Kings were quickly becoming Evans’ team. By the end of the season, Udrih had established himself as a leader. ‘Everyone’s always on trial in the NBA,’ Westphal said. ‘Instead of pouting about it, he accepted the challenge and carved out a nice niche for himself.'”