• Bogdan Bogdanovic is anything but a conventional rookie.

    A 25-year-old rookie is quite the uncommon occurrence in an NBA so loaded with one-and-done prospects. For example, the first 14 picks in this year’s NBA Draft are all 21 years of age or younger.

    Bogdanovic may not be as athletic as some of the younger players entering the league, but his basketball IQ and skill set makes him one of the most interesting players on an extremely young Kings roster.

    The Serbian-born forward was selected in the 2014 NBA Draft but remained overseas for a few years before joining the Kings this season. Since joining Sacramento, Bogdanovic has been looked at under a different type of microscope than the other rookies on the roster.

    While many have brought up the fact that Bogdanovic can shoot the rock, he’s proven to be much more than just the typical catch-and-shoot player but more so an incredibly well-rounded — almost veteran-like — talent.

    Vince Carter, before the season started, stated that Bogdan was “well-polished.” This has rung true in almost every instance. He doesn’t make typical rookie mistakes.

    Bogdanovic’s crafty style of play and high IQ has helped with his transition to the NBA, a transition some rookies struggle with.

    As the season has progressed, Bogdanovic has only grown more comfortable within the Kings’ offense. Despite missing games with an ankle issue to begin the season, the rookie found a rhythm from the get-go.

    In his first game for the Kings he dropped 12 points in 25 minutes of action whilst posting a plus-15 in a loss, an impressive feat. His first full month of action came in November when he played in 14 games with eight starts. Bogdanovic played just 22 minutes per game and averaged 8.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

    From there, his stats have only trended upwards. In December he averaged 11.0 points, 2.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 28 minutes per game (15 games).

    His best month, although not done, has been January and it’s not even close. Bogdanovic’s minutes have only increased slightly but his production has taken a major leap. In eight games he’s averaging 16.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 30 minutes.

    All this comes while Bogdanovic has increased his offensive rating from 95 in November to 130 in January. And while all of his stats have gone up on the offensive end, his usage percentage has actually gone down, from 19.9 in November to 18.9 this month. 

    Bogdanovic has flourished no matter what role he’s given. Whether that’s as a ball handler operating the pick-and-roll or as a scorer.

    And with coach Dave Joerger stating that 2-to-3 veterans will sit out each night, Bogdanovic could see even more time on the floor.

    One game into the “youth movement” in Sacramento and Bogdanovic is impressing. On Wednesday, he had career highs in points (25) and 3-pointers made (six).

    Bogdanovic has continually been a bright spot for the Kings during an underwhelming season for the team.

    There’s more to Bogdanovic’s game then shows up on the stat sheet, though. His court vision is unique and his IQ is ahead of the curve.

    While the Kings have a ton of talented players with immense amounts of potential, Bogdanovic has placed his name right near the top of the list.

    His best all-around game of the season came against the Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers when he dropped 16 points, eight assists, three rebounds and four steals. It was the type of highlight reel game that exemplifies his abilities. He was creating for his teammates, hitting shots off the dribble and showing the kind of patience that isn’t shown by most rookies.

    Creating:

    Ability to free himself up:

    Waiting for the defenders to ease up:

    But Bogdanovic isn’t like most rookies.

    When second-year man Buddy Hield was asked about Bogdanovic in December, he had nothing but good things to say about his teammate.

    “It’s a selfish game – (the mentality is) I’m trying to get my own. But he’s been one of the few that really helped me to expand my game.”

    That’s not the typical statement from a sophomore player when speaking on behalf of a rookie.

    If there is one negative that Bogdanovic has come under fire for, it’s his hesitancy to shoot at times. However, that may be a factor of him either not trying to do too much or his openness to get others involved. Either way, it’s a minor criticism of an otherwise very comprehensive playing style.

    At 25, Bogdanovic may not be the prototypical rookie in the NBA but he’s a player that fits the bill for Sacramento; a player that looks to vets to understand how to survive in the best basketball league on the planet but with enough insight to give younger players advice as well.

    Bogdanovic is just scratching the surface. The Kings may have found themselves a one of a kind talent.

Fantasy News

  • Stephen Curry
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, the NBA is close to signing off on a secondary bubble location in Chicago for the eight teams left out of the league resumption with a target date of September.

    They went on to say that this bubble would allow those eight teams who were not invited to Orlando to have an opportunity to have mini-training camps as well as games. It has been reported throughout the last few months that the teams that were not invited should have an opportunity to prepare for next season. Many of the teams who were not included would benefit greatly from additional practice time and game reps as most of these teams have young players who need to continue to develop their skills. There will still be a lot of logistics that need to be ironed out so this a situation to monitor as we learn more.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Marvin Bagley III
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    Marvin Bagley confirmed that he is "ready to go" for the NBA restart in Orlando after rehabbing from a left foot sprain.

    It was previously reported in early July that the Kings' training staff believed that Bagley would be available for game action soon and this report confirms that Bagley will in fact be available for the league resumption. Bagley has yet to live up to the hype of the second overall pick in 2018 as he has only been able to play in 75 out of a possible 146 games (51.3 percent). It is unclear what role Bagley will have in Orlando but it appears that his injury woes are behind him and we will learn more about his ability during the league resumption. Bagley's return would likely cut into the playing time of Nemanja Bjelica, Harry Giles, Jabari Parker and Harrison Barnes.

    Source: Sean Cunningham on Twitter

  • Jusuf Nurkic
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    In a conference call with Portland media, Terry Stotts revealed that Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are likely to return to their starting jobs and won't be under minutes restrictions when the NBA resumes.

    It should be a huge defensive lift for a Blazers squad that gave up points like crazy, though this will throw a wrench into plans for DFS players. Stotts mentioned that he's considered starting Nurkic next to current starter Hassan Whiteside, though that fit would likely only be tenable in certain matchups. This, plus news of Trevor Ariza's absence during the restart, also has big effects on the wing rotation, where it sounds like Carmelo Anthony and Gary Trent Jr. are competing to start with Nassir Little and Mario Hezonja also in the mix off the bench. This is a big blow to Hassan Whiteside's fantasy appeal — a top-15 player in 31.3 mpg this year– as his minutes should sink into the mid twenties. Anyone participating in a short league that covers the restart may want to view Whiteside as more of a middle-round, blocks specialist type, though this all obviously hinges on how Nurkic and Collins look when games begin.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Devin Booker
    SG, Phoenix Suns

    Monty Williams said that he wants to play Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio less than their typical minute allotment when the NBA resumes in Orlando.

    The Suns have extremely slim playoff hopes and Williams doesn't want to risk one of the team's starting guards sustaining an injury in what amounts to a meaningless game. Expect similar moves from plenty of teams who realistically have no shot at the playoffs, even if they don't declare as much publicly. Anyone playing fantasy games for the eight-game restart should familiarize themselves with the depth charts on such teams and maybe downgrade some of the bigger names in case their minutes are limited.

    Source: Valley Tales

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Out of 344 players tested between June 24-29, nine have tested positive for COVID-19.

    That brings the NBA up to 25 positive cases among players since June 23 testing began, a positive rate of 7.1%. 10 out of 884 staff members have also tested positive. How the NBA handles any potential spread of the virus inside the Orlando bubble will make or break their entire plan.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Jontay Porter
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said that rookie Jontay Porter may be available for games in the Orlando bubble.

    Porter missed the entire 2018-19 college season after suffering a knee injury and hasn't suited up as a pro, so if he accompanies the Grizzlies to Orlando it'll be more for the experience than actual playing time. His college numbers were intriguing but Porter is only of consequence in deep dynasty formats for now.

    Source: Daily Memphian

  • Grayson Allen
    SG, Memphis Grizzlies

    Grayson Allen (left hip) may be able to play when the NBA season resumes in Orlando.

    Allen has been sidelined with left hip soreness since leaving a game in late January, and his ailment would've ended his season had things finished as scheduled. While he hasn't received the all-clear yet, the Grizzlies will evaluate him after he gets through some practices in the Orlando bubble. He's unlikely to play much even if he can, as the Grizzlies currently boast a fully healthy roster.

    Source: Daily Memphian

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported that Dwight Howard remains in his Atlanta-area home and the Lakers hope he will eventually join them in Orlando.

    The Lakers do not plan to replace Howard on the roster. They are being patient with Howard, but if he decides to not play in Orlando the Lakers will likely look to sign another center.

    Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter

  • Luc Mbah a Moute
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Shams Charania reported that the Houston Rockets plan to sign Luc Mbah a Moute for the Orlando restart.

    Thabo Sefolosha announced on Wednesday that he will not participate in the Orlando restart, leaving the Rockets with a need for an additional three-and-D wing. Mbah a Moute played 61 games for the Rockets in 2017-18 and averaged 25.6 minutes per game, so he is familiar with their system. Mbah a Moute will be a low-usage player that the Rockets can plug in at the end of their rotation and will provide them more depth, which could be imperative for teams given the COVID-19 concerns surrounding this Orlando restart.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Dwight Powell
    PF, Dallas Mavericks

    Dwight Powell has advanced in his rehab from a torn Achilles as he has been able to do some light shooting, agility work, and has been able to do some jogging on the treadmill.

    Powell suffered a torn Achilles in January and has no chance of participating in Orlando's restart. However, it is always good news to hear a player reach a milestone in terms of their rehab. Powell may not play an NBA game until the 2021-22 season as he continues to recover from one of the toughest injuries in basketball. This is a situation that will continue to evolve over the next year or so.

    Source: Callie Caplan on Twitter