August 14, 2017, 10:55 pm
A player who has never touched NBA hardwood in a regular season game, two second-year talents and the most-tenured player on the roster who has been in Sacramento for two seasons. Those are the Kings choices for being the face of the franchise; a franchise that hasn’t seen a 40-win season since 2006, by the way.
However, there’s a ton of upside for the Kings, who last season finished with the 12th best record in the Western Conference. That was proven when ESPN mentioned Sacramento as being a potential super-team in the future. The article explains that the Kings followed the Warriors steps to success by building through the draft.
The Kings have stacked a ton of young potential by drafting well and loading up on draft picks the past two seasons. Three of those have been first-round picks and they added a first-round draft pick in Hield via trade.
When it comes to Fox, he made it clear from the get-go that he wants to be the leader on a Kings team that hadn’t bet on a franchise point guard since Mike Bibby. Fox’s speed will make him a tough defend for even the best defensive guards and while he only played one season at Kentucky, he proved to be a leader on a team filled with NBA talent.
In 36 games with the Wildcats, Fox averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists as a score-first playmaking point guard. The transition to the NBA, though, is an obvious mystery at this point in time.
Hield was a first-round selection for the Pelicans just two picks prior to the Kings drafting Marquese Chriss, whom they traded for two selections, Georgios Papagiannis and Bogdan Bogdanovic. He was the main trade-chip in the deal that sent DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans during the All-Star break last season, so it’s obvious he’d be in the conversation as the face of the franchise.
In 25 games with the Kings, Hield averaged 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in just under 30 minutes per game. He showed tremendous shooting ability as he knocked down more than two 3-pointers per game on 42.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Labissiere was a surprise for some Kings fans. Through 57 games, the Haitian had only made appearances in seven contests and only one of those times did he play more than 10 minutes. So when Labissiere, who fell to the Kings at the No. 28 slot in the 2016 draft finally got a chance to play, he made the most of it.
Though Labissiere’s plus/minus is a drastic difference in games where he was a reserve (+1.4) or starter (-8.3), there’s such a small sample-size that it’s almost unfair to critique. To those who watched many Kings games, Labissiere’s ability to make plays on offense and defense while utilizing his athleticism and extended reach was a sight for sore eyes.
In his short season with Sacramento, his most impressive statistical lines came in games where he played 20-29 minutes, according to Basketball Reference. In six games (two starts) where he played that amount of time, he averaged 14.5 points, nine rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes per game. He also had a plus-minus of +6.8 and his lowest defensive rating of 105.
As for Cauley-Stein, he has the biggest shoes to fill as he was slotted in the starting center role when three-time All-Star Cousins was traded midseason. He may very well have the most untapped of potential among the four. His first start of the 2016-17 season came seven days after Cousins was traded and he started 20 of the last 22 games remaining in the season.
As a starter, Cauley-Stein averaged 13 points and just under nine rebounds in 31 minutes per game. He also averaged just under a block per game, which is something he’d have to improve on as the team’s starting big. Offensively, he showed signs of improvement from his rookie year and on Feb. 23, just days removed from the Cousins trade, he exploded for a career-high 29 points. However, his career night was followed by a two-point game just two days later.
In addition to the prospective upside the team has come a multitude of what-ifs. Of the top-four paid players with the Kings, three will more than likely not be on the roster in two years. The fourth, Bogdanovic, hasn’t played even a Summer League game in the NBA.
While the Kings’ direction has become more clear in the past couple of years, it will be interesting to see which of these players is the guy the franchise attaches itself to the most.
May 22, 2019, 9:28 pmKristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks
Knicks president Steve Mills claimed that Kristaps Porzingis threatened to return to Europe had the Knicks not completed a trade elsewhere according to Kurt Heln of NBC Sports
The tense history between Porzingis and the Knicks front office has been well documented, which makes a startling headline like this one not all that surprising. It's safe to assume that Dallas' front office will not be hearing such requests, as they represent an opportunity for optimism for both Porzingis and their franchise as a whole.
Source: NBC Sports
May 22, 2019, 6:28 pmTacko Fall - C - College
Tacko Fall of UCF, Marques Bolden of Duke, Nick Weiler-Babb of Iowa State, Jalen Hudson of Florida, Amir Hinton of Shaw University and Myles Powell of Seton Hall will all be participants of the Kings pre-draft workout.
All of the players that will be working out for the Kings are not projected to be drafted next month. The Kings are looking at guys for their second round selections as they have three picks in that round. Unfortunately, those are the only picks they have this year as their first round selection is owned by the Celtics. Expect the Kings to continue to look at players with high ceilings like Tacko Fall. Fall, a 7’7″ center has a 10’2″ standing reach and an 8’2″ wingspan. These measurements are why Fall will get to the NBA at some point. The question of how big of an impact he will make remains to be seen. Perhaps the Kings will draft the large center with one of their three second round picks.
Source: Deuce Mason on Twitter
May 22, 2019, 5:37 pmPatrick McCaw - SG/SF - Toronto Raptors
Patrick McCaw (personal reasons) will remain sidelined for Thursday's Game 5 vs. the Bucks.
McCaw has missed the entire ECF thus far due to personal reasons. The basketball community hopes the best for the youngster. Even if he were to come back, he wouldn't be in line for many minutes as Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet have established themselves as part of the team's shortened eight man rotation.
Source: NBA Injury Report
May 22, 2019, 5:09 pmOG Anunoby - F - Toronto Raptors
Head coach Nick Nurse told the media that OG Anunoby (appendectomy) is still without a timetable to return but said that he's doing more every day.
Anunoby has missed the entire playoffs after suffering an emergency appendectomy. Now that Game 6 is necessary and there is a greater likelihood that there will be a Game 7, the chances improve that we see Anunoby return to the court to face the Bucks. The Raptors could use another long versatile defender to throw at the Greek Freak and his teammates. Continue to stay tuned to how Anunoby continues to progress on the court to see if he will be able to return this series.
Source: Michael Grange on Twitter
May 22, 2019, 11:41 amKawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors
Danny Green never believed Kawhi Leonard was anything but legitimately hurt last year and back-to-back brilliant performances the last two games reinforces how serious the injury was.
“He’s playing through pain,” Danny Green said to a handful of reporters, long after Leonard left the locker room. “He can’t even celebrate baskets because of how painful it is.” For the last couple games Kawhi has dragged around his right leg like there was a nail hammered into it while the Raptors won’t admit there is a problem. Toronto’s bench was brilliant yesterday carrying the team to a victory and with Game 5 set to take place on Thursday Leonard won’t have much time to rest.
Source: Sports Illustrated
May 22, 2019, 9:49 amPau Gasol - C/F - Milwaukee Bucks
Pau Gasol made it official by confirming that he won’t be playing for Spain at the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup due to his foot fracture.
“I would have loved playing with Spain, with my teammates. It has been always important playing for my National Team”, Gasol said. The big man added that he would love to end his international career by playing in the Olympics in Tokyo but after finishing the worst statistical season of his NBA career we have to wonder whether injuries will allow him to continue competing at the highest level.
May 22, 2019, 9:32 amKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
Brian Windhorst of ESPN is reporting that Kyrie Irving is open to joining the Lakers but they aren’t as high on his list as a few other teams.
Irving will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st and he has the Celtics, the Knicks and the Nets all ahead of the Lakers as potential destinations. Joining the Lakers would mean reuniting with LeBron James, his former teammate with the Cavs. Kyrie and LeBron overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors to win the championship in 2016 but their relationship went south leading to Irving’s trade to the Celtics last year.
May 22, 2019, 9:22 amKevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors
Warriors star Kevin Durant has not made a decision on where he’s taking his talents next season, according to his manager Rich Kleiman.
“Kevin is 100 percent undecided,” Kleiman told the Wall Street Journal. “He really doesn’t know, and I really don’t know.” KD has strongly been linked to the Knicks, while the Clippers and the Nets seem to have increased their odds as well, but it’s hard to know what Durant really has in his mind.
Source: Wall Street Journal
May 22, 2019, 9:07 amAnthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans
FS1’s Chris Broussard suggested that the Nets could be a dark horse when it comes to landing Anthony Davis.
Brooklyn could offer the Pelicans a package that includes D’Angelo Russell (as part of a sign-and-trade), big man Jarrett Allen and their two first-round picks in the June 20 NBA Draft, the No. 17 and No. 27 overall selections. The Nets’ hope is to bring both AD and free agent-to-be Kyrie Irving to Brooklyn as Sean Marks seems determined to build a contender. AD and his agent Rich Paul are expected to meet with David Griffin in Los Angeles soon, so we should know more about the All-Star’s’ future once this meeting finally takes place.
Source: FOX Sports
May 22, 2019, 8:52 amTobias Harris - F - Philadelphia Sixers
Keith Pompey of the Phily Inquirer is reporting that Tobias Harris will be on the radar of at least five teams, including the Kings, the Mavs, the Jazz, the Nets and the Pacers, all of which have room to add a maximum-salary free agent.
The Sixers will have a full plate this offseason as they have three starters headed toward unrestricted free agency this summer in Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick. Philadelphia owns Harris’ Bird rights, meaning they can offer him the most-lucrative deal, a five-year, $188 million pact while the most another team could offer would be a four-year deal at $141 million. Harris will soon be turning 27 and entering his prime and his services will absolutely be in demand even thought he averaged just 15.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in 12 playoff games this year.
Source: Phily Inquirer