September 20, 2017, 5:51 pm
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.
October 15, 2019, 1:30 amDamion LeeSG, Golden State Warriors
Damion Lee scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting with nine boards, two assists and three steals in Monday's preseason game against the Lakers.
Lee had a solid game and should find himself into some rotational minutes, but Jordan Poole (eight points, one rebound, three assists and two triples) is a more intriguing prospect while both are irrelevant in fantasy.
October 15, 2019, 1:04 amDwight HowardC, Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard double-doubled with 12 points and 13 rebounds to go with six assists, four steals and a block in Monday's 104-98 win over the Warriors.
He went 2-for-4 from the field and a solid 8-for-10 at the line. Howard outplayed JaVale McGee (11 points, one 3-pointer, five rebounds, one assist and three blocks) tonight and with DeMarcus Cousins (ACL) out for the season, we expect a timeshare at the center position. McGee is the more attractive option due to his high block rate, but Howard makes for a good rebounding specialist for fantasy owners.
October 15, 2019, 1:03 amZach NorvellPG, Los Angeles Lakers
Zach Norvell scored 22 points on 6-of-13 shooting with three triples, four rebounds, an assist and a steal in Monday's game against the Warriors.
Norvell looked great tonight, shooting without hesitation and scoring efficiently. It's still difficult to envision him playing consistent and meaningful minutes, but performances like tonight can't hurt.
October 15, 2019, 1:03 amMarquese ChrissPF, Golden State Warriors
Marquese Chriss scored 14 points with 11 rebounds, four assists, a steal and three blocks in Monday's game against the Lakers.
Warriors players and coaches have been voicing their admiration for Chriss and his game this preseason and it actually looks like he has a solid chance to make the final roster. There are still plenty of things getting in the way of Chriss being a strong fantasy asset and we've seen this hype train plenty of times so for now he's a guy to watch.
October 15, 2019, 1:02 amStephen CurryPG, Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry scored 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting with three 3-pointers, a rebound, three assists, two steals and two blocks in Monday's preseason game against the Lakers.
Curry didn't shoot the ball well, but we're not worried at all about him. He dropped 40 points a few nights ago and the Warriors are going to let their MVP run wild this year.
October 15, 2019, 12:31 amFrank KaminskyPF, Phoenix Suns
Frank Kaminsky led the Suns in scoring with 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting to go with two triples, six boards, three assists and a block in Monday's 102-107 loss to the Nuggets.
Kaminsky won't beat out Deandre Ayton (14 points, four rebounds, one assist and a block) but if the Suns are willing to play him at power forward, he might be a fringe standard-league guy.
October 15, 2019, 12:31 amKelly Oubre Jr.SF, Phoenix Suns
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting with four rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block on Monday.
Oubre Jr. went 3-for-11 from the field but 5-for-6 at the line. He's not going to be an efficient shooter from the field, but he gets to the line frequently and puts up counting stats which makes him an appealing fantasy option.
October 15, 2019, 12:31 amMichael Porter Jr.PF, Denver Nuggets
Michael Porter Jr. scored 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting with five rebounds, a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer against the Suns on Monday.
Porter Jr. looks great out there and right now the only real fear is whether or not he can stay healthy. Nuggets fans have waited a while, but Porter has looked fluid and athletic during the preseason as a forward that can do a little bit of everything. He's definitely someone you'll want to watch closely.
October 15, 2019, 12:30 amJamal MurrayPG, Denver Nuggets
Jamal Murray scored 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting with eight rebounds, six assists and two triples in Monday's game against the Suns.
Murray is the clear No. 2 guy in Denver behind Nikola Jokic (four points, four rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block) and leads a high powered Nuggets offense which has given him a clear green light. Gary Harris (18 points, two triples, two rebounds, two assists and a steal) is going to have to battle his way into production as the Nuggets have plenty of guards that can play.
October 15, 2019, 12:30 amJerami GrantSF, Denver Nuggets
Jerami Grant scored 22 points on 6-of-8 shooting with two triples, two rebounds and three steals in Monday's preseason game against the Suns.
Grant got the starting nod with Paul Millsap (DNP-CD) sitting out and should contribute solid minutes to a deep Nuggets team. There's too much depth on the team for him to make a fantasy dent like he did last year, but if Millsap misses time. Grant should post standard-league value as a fill-in.