• Hoop Ball Kings’ brand new series that we are rolling out in the lead up to the 2017-18 NBA season has reached it’s final chapter. We now predict how many games we think the Kings will win this season.

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

    Sacramento were somewhat in the hunt for a playoff spot as the All-Star break neared last season, they were at least in the conversation. Despite that, it was going to be an uphill battle for the DeMarcus Cousins led Kings, a battle Vlade Divac and the front office chose not to take part in.

    The trade of Cousins to New Orleans signalled the beginning of a full scale rebuild in Sacramento. The team would produce an 8-17 record post-trade which wasn’t too bad with everything considered.

    Now, armed with more young talent and some well-respected veterans, the Kings continue their rebuild as they look towards the future of Kings basketball.

    The Western Conference is loaded with talent. Sacramento are easily on the outside looking in this season, so how will the fair? Will they shock us all and win over 40 games? Or will wins be hard to come by for the young Kings roster?

    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.

    Jake Fitzgibbon

    Record Prediction: 30-52

    The West is far too stacked this season and it will be hard for the Kings to gain any traction.

    The veteran additions were solid, but they weren’t added in an attempt to push for the playoffs. Guys like George Hill and Zach Randolph genuinely make this team better but unfortunately it won’t be enough to match up with teams like the Warriors, Rockets, Spurs, Clippers and so forth.

    If everyone plays at their peak, this team could add another 5-10 wins but things would have to go tremendously well, and pretty bad for one or two powerhouses in the West.

    The health of the veterans is another factor that could sway the win-loss record either way. The loss of a few key players for an extended period of time could sink the ship fairly quickly as the stability would be lost; lets hope that doesn’t happen.

    With the recent changes to the NBA Lottery, the incentive to tank has reduced drastically. I don’t see the Kings attempting it anyway especially under Dave Joerger, but you can certainly expect them to play hard each night.

    By my prediction, I see the Kings finishing 13th in the West, but they could very easily finish last. The Lakers and Suns will be bad too but will they be worse than Sacramento? As of now, I think they are.

    Building a winning culture takes time, so this season may be a long, ambiguous one. At the very least it should be entertaining and fun watching the youngsters grow.

    Jon Schifferle 

    Record Prediction: 33-49

    Many experts have predicted the Kings to be one of the worst teams in the league, with some even expecting the them to end up with the worst record when it’s all said and done.

    Sacramento certainly took a step back last February when they traded DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, but the team still won eight of their last 25 games which would shake out to around 26 wins over a full 82-game season.

    There is plenty of reason to think that this year’s roster is much better than the one that Sacramento finished last season with. Zach Randolph and Vince Carter give the Kings some stability, something that the team evidently lacked during the second half last season, and George Hill instantly became the best player on the team when he was signed in July.

    Sacramento also struggled with a crippling lack of depth at times last season, which forced them to give significant minutes to players like Tyreke Evans, Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo. The team will now enter the season with more players than they know what to do with at both guard spots, and the competition at those positions should give Dave Joerger a good opportunity to find valuable contributors.

    The Kings will have a wide range of outcomes next season with much of their success or failure dependent on the readiness of their younger players, particularly Skal Labissiere and Buddy Hield.  Both took big steps forward to close out last season, and further development from the two of them this offseason could vault this team to 35-plus wins.

    With that said, many second-year players don’t build on the success that they have in their first season, so it will be tough to predict how effective either will be with much certainty.

    Health will also be a factor adding to the uncertainty involved in projecting the team’s record. Hill has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and Malachi Richardson and Garrett Temple both dealt with hamstring issues last season that forced them to miss significant time.

    The Kings’ lack of experience will likely cause them to lose a few games that they should be able to win, but overall the talent on this roster should give the team a fighting chance in 40-45 games next season.

    There’s a case to be made for a higher win total, but much of that depends on the development of the team’s young players and the health of George Hill.

    Nick Avila

    Record Prediction: 35-47

    With the veteran additions, as well as the highly touted rookie class, this season will be a growing experience.

    The Kings and coach Dave Joerger don’t have the highest of expectations on them, but will look to make strides to relevancy. The West added a ton of talent to rosters this year with teams like the Rockets and Wolves adding All-Stars, so winning won’t be easy.

    However, if the Kings can compete with some of the stacked rosters, the fan base and front office should feel comforted.

    If the team can create a defensive presence this year, they’ll have a decent shot at competing – and upsetting – some teams and that’s all anyone can ask for out of a young group.

    Joerger’s history of getting the most out of his teams and the addition of veterans like George Hill and Zach Randolph, who still have plenty to offer, should help in the development of the young roster.

    Still, with all the additions it’ll take time for Sacramento to get on the same page and a month of training camp can only do so much. Expect the Kings to start the season slow and progressively improve as the year goes on.

    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

  • Enes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers

    The Blazers, Lakers and Celtics are among the teams that will be interested in free agent Enes Kanter, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

    Portland knows Kanter well and would surely like to have him back after his admirable work filling in for an injured Jusuf Nurkic, while playing through his own serious ailments, in the playoffs. The Celtics could use a ferocious rebounder to replace Aron Baynes and are barren at the center spot with Al Horford's departure, while the Lakers are lining up cost-effective depth with their roster almost completely empty. Kanter might not replicate his Knicks numbers, but he'll be a standard-league asset no matter where he lands.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Cheick Diallo - PF - New Orleans Pelicans

    Cheick Diallo will be an unrestricted free agent after the Pelicans decided not to extend him a qualifying offer.

    Diallo has solid per-minute output but the playing time has never been there for him in New Orleans. He's got talent and good work ethic, but the league is flooded with available big men at the moment. Hopefully Diallo lands in a spot where he can continue his development.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Nikola Mirotic - PF - Milwaukee Bucks

    Nikola Mirotic is another player on the Mavs' list of free agent targets, per Brad Townsend of the Dallas News.

    Mirotic is not as high on the list as Patrick Beverley, but the Mavs see the stretch forward as a potential fit. While Mirotic ended the postseason out of the rotation for Milwaukee, he's going to be a hot commodity given his floor-spacing and should hold solid standard-league value no matter where he ends up.

    Source: Dallas News

  • Tobias Harris - SF - Philadelphia Sixers

    The Clippers, Mavs, Nets, Nuggets, Wolves, Kings, Grizzlies and Pelicans are expected to be interested in Tobias Harris once free agency opens.

    The Clippers are the most surprising team on the list, but only because they dealt Harris unexpectedly last season. Even so, the team and player had success together and the relationship wasn't necessarily damaged by the deal. Harris is one of the top second-tier free agents available and should have his pick of competitive offers. The Sixers are said to be confident about re-signing him, but they won't be able to do so without a fight.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Julius Randle - PF - New Orleans Pelicans

    The Bulls are expected to indicate "early interest" in Julius Randle, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

    Randle is coming off a career year and is looking to cash in. The Bulls have plenty of space available and won't be in the mix for max players, so there's definitely a fit salary-wise if Chicago can get in on Randle before other teams pivot off the top players. It would be a pain for fantasy players however, as Randle joining a frontcourt that already features Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. would put a cap on each player. The Knicks and Nets are also interested in Randle, and we'll hear about more suitors in the coming days.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson - SF - Brooklyn Nets

    Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that the Wolves, Rockets and Suns are among the teams that are interested in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

    Hollis-Jefferson had a brutal season, injuring his groin in a charity game last summer and never catching up. He fell out of the rotation at times, just one year after emerging as a potential long-term solution at power forward. RHJ is a worthwhile reclamation project for any team and is not that far removed from top-100 fantasy output. He's not someone to forget on draft day, depending on where he lands.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Cory Joseph - PG - Indiana Pacers

    The Suns, Wizards, Kings and Bulls are among the teams that have shown interest in Cory Joseph, per Shams Charania.

    Point-guard-needy teams should be all over Joseph, as he can be a cost-effective backup and acceptable fill-in starter to help any young players learn the ropes. CoJo figures to get more interest as the top guards on the market sign on, as his game fits with just about any team — from rebuilds to contenders.

    Source: The Athletic

  • D'Angelo Russell - PG - Brooklyn Nets

    Shams Charania is reporting that the Lakers' interest in D'Angelo Russell is "real," and that the team likes that he is familiar to the organization.

    Reports of L.A.'s interest in Russell continue to roll in, and if they do pursue him it would mean that they're passing up on adding a third superstar. The Nets have the right to match any offers coming Russell's way, and with the Lakers likely to have between $24 and $28 million available, Brooklyn would have quite a decision to make if they don't get Kyrie Irving as rumored.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Terry Rozier - PG - Boston Celtics

    The Knicks are expected to be one of Terry Rozier's suitors in free agency, per Shams Charania.

    Rozier will be an understandable option if the Knicks miss out on their top point guard acquisitions, which seems likely to happen based on current speculation. New York would rather give short-term deals to players like Rozier than lavish huge contracts on second or third-tier free agents. A starting spot would put Rozier on the standard-league map, though his fantasy stat set is not without serious holes.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Marc Gasol - C - Toronto Raptors

    Marc Gasol has exercised his $25.6 million player option for next season and will remain with the Raptors.

    Gasol seemed unlikely to test the open market at his age, and given the success of the core of Toronto's roster it's a good fit for him to stay with a competitive team as well. It's been speculated that Toronto's other players will decide to stay or go based on Kawhi Leonard's decision, so if you really want to read into this then you can take that angle — though between his age and the number of available centers, this seemed like a safe bet either way. Gasol made a lot of sacrifices upon joining the Raptors and finished the year with a top-100 stretch, but we'll need to wait on Kawhi before declaring Gasol a late-middle round option or an early-round guy once again.

    Source: Ryan Wolstat on Twitter