• Hoop Ball Kings’ brand new series that we are rolling out in the lead up to the 2017-18 NBA season continues. Over the next two months we will be doing a roundtable series which involves all three of our writers here at Hoop Ball Kings. We’ll be discussing various topics including season projections for each player on the Kings roster, record predictions and more.

    First and foremost, we will run through every player currently on the Kings roster and provide our personal predictions for their output this season.

    Join the conversation: Want to make your own projections and predictions? Feel free to leave them in the comments below or tweet them to us @HoopBallKings on Twitter, or Hoop Ball Kings on Facebook.

    Malachi Richardson worked his way into a small rotation role near the back-end of January last season. He was playing well in limited minutes, and had earned the trust of coach Dave Joerger. But all that momentum came to a screeching halt in the final game before the All-Star break. He suffered a partially torn hamstring and would be shut down for the remainder of the season.

    In 22 games prior to the injury, Richardson averaged 3.6 points in 9.0 minutes per game. He shot 41.2 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three. The numbers don’t seem spectacular, but he certainly passed the eye test with his ability to create his own shot and spot up from three. His defense was an issue at times but he has the frame and build to be a reliable defender down the road.

    Coming off a season ending injury, he’ll have a lot to prove. His Summer League outing was cut short too due to injury so the Kings will be weary of the 21-year-old. Richardson is currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the rotation, a rotation that will be tough to crack with the depth on the wings.

    Will Malachi crack the rotation to begin the 2017-18 campaign? Or will he be spending most of his time on the bench this season?

    Jake Fitzgibbon

    Stat-line Prediction: 4.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.0 blocks. 42% FG, 36% 3PT, 81% FT.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see Richardson in the rotation to begin the season. He’ll have to earn that through hard work in training camp and by staying ready in case injuries occur. It could end up unfolding like last season did, a whole bunch of DNP-CDs to start off, and then an opportunity near the mid-to-late stages of the season.

    One thing that was quite evident during Summer League was that he has bulked up significantly. This will help him defensively and will help compliment his long arms which gives him even more upside on that end.

    Malachi has a great work ethic so we already know that he’ll answer the call when the time comes. But it may not be for another couple of months.

    Nick Avila

    Stat-line Prediction: 6.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.3 blocks. 44% FG, 33% 3PT, 74% FT.

    Richardson showed a ton of poise when he stepped into a small role for the Kings before suffering his injury.

    Towards the end of January into the middle of February, Richardson saw an increase in minutes and made the most of them. He only saw double-digit minutes six times, but in those games, he averaged about five points per game, which is why I see him hovering a little higher this season.

    About 10-to-15 minutes per game is what I see Richardson getting in his second season and if he does, I expect him to add a decent boost to the Kings offense. He’s still a bit undersized when it comes to weight, but he doesn’t lack confidence and isn’t afraid to get in the mix of things.

    Jon Schifferle

    Stat-line Prediction: 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.1 blocks. 42% FG, 35% 3PT, 78% FT.

    Malachi Richardson’s production in his second season will mostly be tied to his ability to stay healthy. While his injury history is not yet extensive, his early departure from the Las Vegas Summer League is at least somewhat concerning.

    If Richardson can stay healthy, he should find himself with plenty of opportunity to prove that he can be a small forward for the Kings. At 6’6” with a 7’ wingspan, Richardson should be able to play small forward at the NBA level.

    The team will value his shot creating and floor spacing abilities, but he will need to prove that he can stay healthy before he gets regular minutes in the rotation.

    Join the conversation: Want to make your own projections and predictions? Feel free to leave them in the comments below or tweet them to us @HoopBallKings on Twitter, or Hoop Ball Kings on Facebook.

    Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.

Fantasy News

  • Andre Roberson - G/F - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Billy Donovan said that Andre Roberson (left patellar tendon) is healing well.

    "The healing has been good from what I’ve been told." Roberson missed the entire season after sustaining a setback while attempting to return from last year's awful injury. Another full summer of recovery should do the trick, so hopefully we see OKC's defensive stopper return to the court by opening night.

    Source: Maddie Lee on Twitter

  • Lou Williams - G - Los Angeles Clippers

    Lou Williams went off for 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting in a 129-121 win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.

    Williams went 1-of-2 from deep and 8-of-9 from the stripe. He also contributed four rebounds and 10 assists to the stat sheet. When the Clippers were down 118-117 with under two minutes left, Williams hit a 4-point play to go up three points. After that play, he made two more buckets to widen the gap to 125-118. Williams iced the game for the Clippers and he is one of the cogs that keeps the team successful when he is on his game.

  • Patrick Beverley - G - Los Angeles Clippers

    Patrick Beverley put up 17 points with 14 rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.

    He shot 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-11 from 3-point territory. His attitude and energy provide the young Clippers much-needed confidence. His defense and toughness have helped the Clippers push this series to six games and possibly further, which is something many people would have counted out before the playoffs started.

  • Danilo Gallinari - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    Danilo Gallinari put up 26 points on 9-of-22 shooting in a team-high 42 minutes as the Clippers beat the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday to avoid elimination.

    He did not shoot the ball well from beyond the arc as he went 3-of-11, but he did shoot 5-of-6 from the stripe. He also contributed seven rebounds, two assists and one steal to the box score. Gallinari has not been efficient during this series, and it is quite disappointing to see him taking a dip from his high level of production in the regular season. Gallinari will need to bring another performance like this one if the Clippers hope to force a Game 7.

  • Montrezl Harrell - F/C - Los Angeles Clippers

    Montrezl Harrell played well in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday as he had 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting in 27 minutes of action.

    He added five rebounds, two assists and one block while shooting a perfect 2-of-2 from the line. Harrell provided energy and paint dominance for the Clippers throughout this game, which lifted them to a win to force a Game 6. Harrell's only block came late in the fourth quarter on a Kevon Looney dunk attempt, which shifted momentum in the Clippers' favor.

  • JaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    JaMychal Green started in Game 5 and scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three triples in 27 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors on Wednesday.

    Green was guarding Kevin Durant for much of his court time during Game 4, and Game 5 was no different. Durant is unguardable, so the 45 points that he scored is not Green's fault. He has been playing well in the starting lineup and there is no reason to believe that his role will change for Game 6.

  • Stephen Curry - G - Golden State Warriors

    Steph Curry scored 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc in Game 5 as the Warriors lost to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    The Warriors are still up by one game in the series, but it would have been nice to end it on their home court. Curry added three rebounds, four assists, and one block to the box score while shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. Curry has had a phenomenal series thus far, which is seemingly inevitable with the Warriors' stars. The rest of the roster will need to step up in order to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.

  • Klay Thompson - G - Golden State Warriors

    Klay Thompson followed up his 32-point performance in Game 4 with a 22-point outing in Game 5 on 9-of-20 shooting in a loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    He made four triples while adding three rebounds and two assists to the box score. Thompson is having a solid series with averages of 18.3 points and 2.5 triples per game in the first four games, The Warriors will have another chance to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Kevin Durant put up 45 points on 14-of-26 shooting with six rebounds and six assists in a Game 5 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    The Warriors had a chance to end the series tonight but could not capitalize as they got absolutely torched by Lou Williams down the stretch. Durant added two steals, one block and five 3-pointers to the box score. He was their main scoring option down the stretch and really kept them in the game, but Williams got the best of him and pulled out the win.

  • Chris Paul - G - Houston Rockets

    Chris Paul got it done in Wednesday night's win over the Jazz, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and three turnovers.

    Paul finished this series scoring 17.4 points on 46 percent shooting, both above his regular season averages. He has a habit of increasing his production in the post season and should continue to be a linchpin for the Houston offense as long as he stays healthy.