August 4, 2017, 11:14 pm
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton released his annual NBA record projections on Thursday and the Kings unsurprisingly sit near the bottom; second to last in the entire league to be exact.
The projections peg the Kings at just 27.4 wins next season, which would place them 15th in the Western Conference. The Phoenix Suns sit above them in 14th with 30.3 projected wins.
The Atlanta Hawks are the lone team that sit below Sacramento but only by a very slim margin. The Hawks coming in at 27.0 wins next season.
The projected win total for the Kings seems fair considering they have eight players on rookie scale contracts and an additional rookie in Bogdan Bogdanovic (three-years, $27 million). Here’s Pelton’s reasoning behind why Sacramento sits so low:
“Despite adding veterans Vince Carter, George Hill and Zach Randolph as free agents, the Kings are projected as the league’s second-worst offensive attack by RPM. Although this isn’t part of the projection, few teams will have more incentive to improve their draft pick, as Sacramento won’t have its first-rounder in 2019 due to trade.”
Next season isn’t going to be pretty, but it will be fun. Watching this young roster grow will be a blast and it feels satisfying to know that the Kings finally have a sense of direction. Winning isn’t a high priority – at least not for the near future – so projections like these are a formality.
May 24, 2019, 11:45 amNeil Olshey - Team - Trail Blazers
According to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington, the Wizards have shown interest in Blazers’ President Neil Olshey becoming the new President of Basketball Operations for the Wizards.
Ted Leonsis has yet to request permission to interview Olshey, who has spent the last seven years with the Blazers and is under contract through the 2020-21 season. Masai Ujiri’s name has also been thrown around as a possible candidate and the Wizards would obviously be willing to wait until the end of playoffs before rushing to a decision.
May 24, 2019, 11:32 amNikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic said he plans to play for his home country Serbia during the 2019 FIBA World Cup this Summer.
“I am very pleased with everything I did in the NBA this season, I had a great year in which I performed at the All-Star Game and was selected in the NBA All-Star Five. For me, the cherry on top of this whole season would be a medal with the national team. I am fully prepared to do my best to achieve this goal”, said Jokic, confirming his participation. He will have a little bit of time to rest up, but Serbia is expected to compete against Angola, the Philippines and Italy starting on August 31. The miles will be a test for the big man, but one he has aced before.
May 23, 2019, 11:49 pmKhris Middleton - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton really struggled in Thursday's Game 5, scoring six points (2-of-9 shooting) and pulling down 10 boards as the Bucks fell 105-99 at home.
Middleton's disappearing act offensively was the difference for the Bucks who really need their second best offensive option to demand the ball and produce more. The airball late in the game was a microcosm of the outing for Middleton. He'll need to take more than nine shots (less than any other Bucks starter) for the team to have a good shot at a Game 6 win in Toronto.
May 23, 2019, 11:46 pmBrook Lopez - C - Milwaukee Bucks
Brook Lopez scored 16 points and pulled down eight boards on Thursday night in a Game 6 loss.
Lopez was fine in general and wasn't really a liability, but he also didn't provide as much as needed on the defensive side or from long range. For what it's worth, he has generally outplayed his counterpart Marc Gasol in this series and tonight was no different.
May 23, 2019, 11:44 pmMalcolm Brogdon - G - Milwaukee Bucks
Malcolm Brogdon reentered the starting lineup on Thursday night and put in a solid performance, scoring 18 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
It was a better sight to see than the disastrous four points in Game 4, but it wasn't enough as his absence from the bench really sucked the offense out of the bench group as the second unit scored a whopping 15 points. A repeat performance from Brogdon and more from Khris Middleton is a potentially winning formula for Game 6.
May 23, 2019, 11:39 pmEric Bledsoe - G - Milwaukee Bucks
Eric Bledsoe showed signs of life on Thursday night, scoring 20 points, but it wasn't enough for the Bucks to overcome the Raptors in Game 5 at home.
Bledsoe was worlds better than he was on Tuesday, but the Bucks didn't have an answer to Kawhi Leonard and lost hold of the game late in the fourth quarter. A dialed in Bledsoe would really help the cause in Game 6.
May 23, 2019, 11:35 pmGiannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 points with six rebounds and six assists on Thursday as the Bucks fell to the Raptors in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Antetokounmpo continued to struggle from the free throw line, hitting just four of nine free throw attempts. It seemed like he really got beat up trying to take the ball to the basket late in the game. Even more puzzling, GA wasn't in the game for some key moments late in the game. He'll need to lead from the front for the Bucks to bring this back to Milwaukee.
May 23, 2019, 11:30 pmPascal Siakam - F - Toronto Raptors
Pascal Siakam played 36 minutes, scoring 14 points (on 15 field goal attempts) with 13 rebounds and four defensive counters on Thursday night.
Siakam wasn't efficient on the offensive side including a sequence of three missed 3-pointers on the same possession during the Raptors' sluggish start. He was pivotal to the fourth quarter defensive effort especially when protecting the rim against Giannis late in the game.
May 23, 2019, 11:25 pmFred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors
Fred VanVleet was on fire again in Thursday's Game 5, scoring 21 points with all his points coming from seven 3-pointers.
The distance shooting was huge for the Raptors as VanVleet outscored the Bucks' bench by six by himself. VanVleet could definitely be the key to the Raps' efforts to close this series out on Saturday. We'll see if he can keep finding his shooting stroke.
May 23, 2019, 11:19 pmKyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry played 39 minutes on Thursday, scoring 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists.
Lowry has been dealing with a thumb injury which may be part of the reason he's struggled with his shot at times in the postseason. Still, most guys are banged up at this point in the season and he's just going to continue to tough it out with the NBA Finals on the horizon.