September 3, 2017, 2:40 pm
Hoop Ball Kings is proud to bring you the eighth installment of a brand new series that we are rolling out in the lead up to the 2017-18 NBA season. 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.
Skal Labissiere struggled to even get on the court prior to the All-Star break last season, only playing a total of 52 minutes (eight games). He showed some promising stuff, but still looked very rare on the whole; something that was expected throughout the early stages of his career. However, following the All-Star break and trade of DeMarcus Cousins, there were plenty of minutes on offer for Skal and he certainly took full advantage of it.
In 25 games (12 starts) post All-Star break, Labissiere averaged 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 22.4 minutes per game on 54.1 percent shooting from the field. There were times when he struggled, normal for any rookie, but there were times when he was the best player on the court and could virtually score at will. His tremendous length was on full display as he could pull up for jumpers over defenders with practically no trouble.
His thin frame was a detriment at times, and that’s something he’ll have to work on over time. If he can bulk up and add some more muscle, he could mold into a terrific scoring and defending option in the post. Can he remain productive this season and beyond? Or was his stellar conclusion last season nothing more than a fluke?
Stat-line Prediction: 10.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.3 steals and 1.1 blocks. 52% FG, 26% 3PT, 68% FT.
Skal may begin the 2017-18 campaign by coming off the bench. It’ll all depend on Joerger’s approach heading into the season and whether he wants to go veteran heavy or continue with his youth movement from last season. Labissiere should continue to see some of the success he displayed over March and April but he will encounter speed bumps too.
He’s still quite raw in many aspects of his game and we managed to see some of that first hand during summer league. He’s still got plenty of work to do but learning from a guy like Zach Randolph is the best possible thing that can happen for the 21-year-old. Z-Bo will hopefully help him patch up some of the weaknesses in his game and going toe-to-toe with each other in practice every week will be extremely beneficial for Skal.
His minutes should gradually increase as the season progresses. He may start off at around 20 minutes per night, possibly less, but as everything begins to unfold the younger guys will start to takeover again. Labissiere still projects to be a productive player in the future, but patience will be key with him.
Stat-line Prediction: 13.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.1 blocks. 51% FG, 32% 3PT, 71% FT.
Labissiere only played in 33 games as a rookie last season, but he shined in his limited role. In 18 minutes per game, he averaged just under nine points and almost five rebounds (that would make his per-36 about 18 points and 10 rebounds. Not too shabby.
This season, Skal will have a more prolific role in the Kings’ offense and will be looked at as one of the top scoring options behind Buddy Hield and George Hill. Skal didn’t shoot from beyond the arc much last season (just eight times in his 33 games), but he proved he could knock them down every once in a while as he made 37.5% of his attempts.
I’d expect him to open up his three-point game a little more this year considering he’ll likely be on the court at the same time as players such as Willie Cauley-Stein and Zach Randolph, who are predominantly inside players. If Labissiere improves on his game from last year, he could explode past the predictions I’ve placed on him. At just 21 years old, the sky very well could be the limit for this kid.
Stat-line Prediction: 14.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.1 blocks. 52% FG, 35% 3PT, 70% FT
Labissiere showed flashes of sky-high potential following the DeMarcus Cousins trade, and while he still remains a fairly raw player overall, he has plenty of skills to lean on while he progresses. Skal showed an ability to score from all over the court, and his energy and athleticism made him an asset on the glass.
While the team did add Zach Randolph and Harry Giles during the offseason, Labissiere isn’t going to struggle much to find minutes early on. He finished last season playing around 25 minutes per game, and should have every opportunity to finish this season even higher.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.
July 21, 2019, 10:09 amAnthony DavisPF, Los Angeles Lakers
When asked by Chicago Tribune reporter K.C Johnson on how he'd feel about wearing a Bulls jersey someday, Anthony Davis said that "If the opportunity ever presents itself and when that time comes, I’d definitely consider it.”
The chances of that time coming is more likely for 2025 than 2020, but still, until Davis is firmly committed to the Lakers long-term speculation of his future will remain. It's nice to know if you're a Bulls fan that he imagines playing for his home town at some point, but don't expect him bolting LA for them after one season.
Source: Chicago Tribune
July 20, 2019, 6:42 pmKenny WootenPF, New York Knicks
The Knicks have signed Kenny Wooten to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Wooten posted 10 blocks in only 52 minutes during Summer League and possesses some serious leaping ability. He will spend most of his time in the G-League and should not be on the radar in drafts.
Source: Marc Berman of The New York Post
July 20, 2019, 3:09 pmOshae BrissettSG-SF, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Brissett, a Toronto native, went undrafted after two seasons at Syracuse and played with the Clippers at Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 17.6 minutes a night across five games. This puts Toronto's roster at 20 for the time being, so barring any further transactions the Raptors have their camp group set.
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 2:32 pmJordan McLaughlinG, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves have inked point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.
McLaughlin went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year USC career where he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season. After his strong play for the G-League's Long Island Nets last season, he earned a spot on this years Wolves summer league roster where he continued to impress, leading his team to a 6-1 record. He is unlikely to get many NBA minutes this season with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace on the roster.
Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 1:26 pmEmmanuel MudiayPG, Utah Jazz
The Jazz have officially announced the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green and Ed Davis.
All three project to come off the bench this season with Green and Davis part of the frontcourt second string while it is unclear if Mudiay or Dante Exum will assume the backup point guard duties. Davis is coming off a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game in only 17.9 minutes last season while Mudiay enjoyed his best year as a pro with the Knicks but all three players can be left undrafted in standard leagues for the time being.
July 20, 2019, 12:59 pmCJ McCollumSG, Trail Blazers
C.J. McCollum has withdrawn his name from the Team USA training camp and 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Following the trend, McCollumn is the fourth player to withdraw his name this week in order to focus on the upcoming season. The original 20 invites are now down to 16 with the final 12-man roster expected to be announced on August 17.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 12:51 pmFrank MasonPG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have agreed on a two-way contract with Frank Mason III.
Mason did not get much opportunity with the Kings last year and sat out all of Summer League with a sore hip. He projects to spend most of his time in the G-League and called up only if Eric Bledsoe or George Hill need to miss time. The Bucks recently signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal and still have Bonzie Colson on one from last season so they are one over the limit. They still have an empty roster spot even after signing Kyle Korver so maybe one of their two-ways gets a standard deal instead. Otherwise, one of them will need to be waived.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 12:25 pmKyle KorverSF, Milwaukee Bucks
Kyle Korver has agreed to a one-year deal with the Bucks per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This is not the worst landing spot for Korver but he will strictly be a backup and entering his 17th season, he should not be relevant in standard leagues. He was able to knock down 2.1 triples per game in only 20.1 minutes last season so he may have value as a specialist in super-deep leagues however.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 11:49 amChris PaulPG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Chris Paul has reportedly settled on the idea of starting the season for the Thunder.
Although Oklahoma City and Miami did not have formal discussions regarding a Chris Paul trade according to Brian Windhorst, the Thunder were willing to discuss giving back the Heat some picks but the Heat would have also wanted Paul to decline his $44 million player option in 2021-2022, which is not going to happen. The Heat want to remain flexible in the next big free agent class of 2021 and adding Paul on his current deal would take that away. Paul's usage rate will likely increase on the Thunder but keep in mind that he has missed at least 21 games in each of the three seasons before drafting him as the 9-time All-Star enters his 15th season in the league.
July 20, 2019, 11:20 amEric GordonSG, Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon withdraws from Team USA training camp for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Gordon is the third player to withdraw this week after James Harden and Anthony Davis. The original training camp list of 20 is now down to 17 and the official 12-team roster will be announced on August 17.
Source: Shams Charanis on Twitter