Kings' power forward escapes jail time after plea deal for resisting arrest

Kings big Zach Randolph had his felony marijuana-distribution charge reduced to a misdemeanor - ending the threat of an National Basketball Association ban, which would have been automatically triggered by a felony marijuana-distribution conviction.

However, his lawyer maintains he was innocent of all charges and only took the deal to move on with his life. Earlier, Randolph's camp denied the charge of felony possession with intent to sell marijuana, saying it was "false and misleading".

He added that the player wanted to "avoid the time and distraction to his teammates" that would have come from trying to clear his name.

Randolph, a 16-year National Basketball Association veteran, spent eight seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies before signing with the Kings in July. According TMZ, potential drug charges were dropped in exchange for the no contest plea on Wednesday.

With his no-contest plea, the 36-year-old Randolph had the charge against him reduced to delaying an officer. Last season, two-time All-Star Randolph averaged 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds.

He will provide the Kings with frontcourt depth as he plays alongside young big men Willie Cauley-Stein, Kosta Koufos and Skal Labissiere.

Vanessa Coleman