August 29, 2017, 12:31 am
Hoop Ball Kings is proud to bring you the sixth 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.
The Kings were thrilled when De’Aaron Fox fell to them at No. 5 during the 2017 NBA Draft. Fans openly embraced Fox in the leadup to June’s draft and got their wish come on draft night when the former Kentucky product fell right into Sacramento’s lap. He’s already been touted as the point guard of the future for the Kings and rightfully so. The selection was praised not only by local media and fans, but by national media too; a rare occurrence in recent times.
Fox compiled averages of 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.5 steals in 29.6 minutes per game (36 games) on 47.8 percent shooting from the field (24.6 percent from three). His shooting woes are well-known, and we caught a glimpse of that during summer league but his jump shot is mechanically sound and the potential is there to be a reliable outside shooter. He’s going to need to add some more muscle too, but this will all develop over time and it’s why George Hill was brought in to help groom Fox into the point guard he’s projected to be.
Will Fox make an instant impact for the Kings, or will he take time to fully develop into a reliable NBA player?
Stat-line Prediction: 11.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.1 blocks. 43.2% FG, 32% 3PT, 71% FT.
Fox will come off the bench to start the season, that’s almost a given. However, I think it’s likely that Fox and Hill play next to each other regularly as the season rolls on. It’ll likely depend on match ups and I’m sure Joerger will be open to experimenting with the two point guards playing next to each other (as he’s done in the past). Fox will encounter speed bumps throughout the season, just like any rookie does, but having someone like Hill there to mentor him and guide him along the way is going to be extremely beneficial.
His outside shooting is going to be a struggle all year-long and I don’t expect to see major strides in that department this season. His free throw shooting is another concern, particularly after what I saw during summer league. Defensively, he’s going to be a pest and that’s going to work well against guys like Steph Curry and Chris Paul; it’s something that the Kings haven’t had in a while from the point guard spot.
Minutes wise I think he will hover around 20-25 minutes, especially early on in the season and that may gradually increase month to month. On the whole, I think he will be fairly productive for the Kings and will be in the conversation for Rookie of the Year, but with such a loaded draft class it will be hard to crack the top spot.
Stat-line Prediction: 12.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.3 blocks. 44% FG, 32% 3PT, 73% FT.
Fox is a bit of a mystery since he hasn’t had any regular season experience as an incoming rookie. What’s almost guaranteed from him is a tough-minded defensive presence and a bench leader from the start. Fox will be a catalyst of the second unit and is expected to be a vocal leader.
As the Kings’ first of three first-round picks, Fox has high expectations. When he was drafted, everyone assumed he’d immediately be the starter; that was until the Kings signed George Hill to a deal worth $57 million over three years.
If all goes well for Fox and he forces the Kings to make him a starter earlier than expected, his minutes could significantly increase along with his production. It’s an interesting story line to follow as the Kings obviously see Fox as the starter but have a large sum of money invested in Hill for the next couple years.
Stat-line Prediction: 10.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.1 blocks. 42% FG, 30.5% 3PT, 72% FT.
While George Hill figures to take up most of the minutes at point guard early in the season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team find plenty of opportunities for Fox. Hill has a decent history of injuries, and the Kings showed last season that they’re willing to rest their veterans in order to keep them fresh.
Fox may struggle somewhat with his field goal percentage, but his three-point percentage figures to be much better than it was during his only season at Kentucky. Fox should also be able to make an impact on the fast break, and having so many big men who run the floor will be a big boost for him. While many aspects of his game are still raw, Fox has enough present skill to potentially earn around 20-25 minutes per game.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.
February 26, 2020, 3:07 pmMike ConleyPG, Utah Jazz
Mike Conley is expected to come off the bench starting on Wednesday against the Celtics.
He'll be replaced in the starting lineup by Royce O'Neale. Conley will still play significant minutes, but he has disappointed this season while O'Neale is renowned for his defense.
Source: The Athletic
February 26, 2020, 2:59 pmDamian LillardPG, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard (right groin strain) will not travel with the Blazers to face the Pacers on Thursday.
This isn't a major surprise, as he was already expected to miss the next couple of games. However, he could rejoin the team later on the road trip. C.J. McCollum owners should have some big numbers on the way while Lillard is out.
Source: Casey Holdahl on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 2:28 pmMalik MonkSG, Charlotte Hornets
Malik Monk has been suspended indefinitely for violating the league's anti-drug program.
Monk's suspension will last until he is deemed to be in "full compliance." Monk had been on a nice run in February, but this news certainly clouds his status going forward. His absence could provide an opportunity for Cody Martin to step up.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 1:47 pmDario SaricPF, Phoenix Suns
Dario Saric will start Wednesday's game due to the injury to Kelly Oubre Jr.
Saric scored 14 points in only 16 minutes on Monday. Sporadic usage has really hurt his fantasy value, but he could be a decent DFS play against the Clippers.
Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 1:44 pmNorvel PelleC, Philadelphia Sixers
Norvel Pelle will miss Wednesday's game due to illness.
It's an upper respiratory ailment. Pelle has rebounding and shot blocking ability but simply doesn't play enough to hold fantasy value.
Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 1:42 pmEric GordonSG, Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon (bruised right knee) will not play during Wednesday's game.
Gordon was forced to leave Monday's game early. Ben McLemore should be the primary beneficiary of his absence.
Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 1:39 pmAndre DrummondC, Cleveland Cavaliers
Andre Drummond (left calf strain) has been ruled out of Wednesday's game.
It has not been a smooth transition for Drummond after being traded to the Cavs.
Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and Larry Nance Jr. could each receive a small bump in playing time against the Sixers. Cedi Osman will likely be relied upon more as well.
Source: NBA Injury Report
February 26, 2020, 1:31 pmDraymond GreenPF, Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green (right pelvic contusion) is expected to play during Thursday's game against the Lakers.
His return could mean fewer minutes for Kevon Looney and Eric Paschall. The Warriors have been very conservative with Green this season but he's worth owning for the rebounds, assists, and steals.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
February 26, 2020, 1:17 pmEdmond SumnerPG, Indiana Pacers
Edmond Sumner (sore left hip) is considered questionable for Thursday's game against the Blazers.
Sumner hasn't played since February 8. He's not worth owning in fantasy.
Source: Jamie Goldberg on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 1:08 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo (sore lower back) is listed as questionable for Thursday's game.
Oladipo hasn't played since leaving Friday's game but hopefully won't be out for much longer. He has struggled with his shot so far, but that can be expected after missing so much time. Aaron Holiday played 30 minutes on Tuesday in his absence.
Source: Jamie Goldberg on Twitter