• Hoop Ball Kings is proud to bring you the seventh 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.

    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.

    Garrett Temple signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Kings prior to last season and rewarded Sacramento by posting career-high numbers in points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, minutes and free throw percentage. In 65 games with the Kings last season, Temple compiled averages of 7.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 26.6 minutes per game on 42.4 percent shooting from the field (37.3 percent from three).

    Whenever he was on the floor for Sacramento, he was one of the best players out there. His defense was superb, and he was incredibly unlucky to miss out on All-Defensive team honors. The Kings haven’t had a defender of his capacity in a long time and it’s a big reason why he played a solid dosage of minutes last season. He’s now 31 years old but he’s still got lots of good basketball left in him.

    With Sacramento’s depth at guard, will Garrett Temple get lost in the rotation? Or will he prevail again and led the way for the Kings at the two-guard spot?

    Jake Fitzgibbon

    Stat-line Prediction: 8.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.3 blocks. 43.2% FG, 39% 3PT, 76% FT.

    Don’t be surprised if Temple is the starting shooting guard to open the season. Joerger loves guys like Temple and if last season was any indication, we should see Temple get lots of minutes; especially in late-game situations. I project a slight uptick in production despite the depth at shooting guard. We could see Temple spend some time at small forward too but it would depend on matchups as bigger wing players sometimes get the best of him.

    His offensive statistics aren’t too much of a concern for me. He’s an asset because of his defense and that’s practically what he’s out there for. A defensive tandem of Temple and De’Aaron Fox should be really effective so it’ll be interesting to see how often they play together; offense from a lineup like that would be the only concern. Overall, Temple will impact a lot of games for the Kings and he should hover around 25-28 minutes like he did in 2016-17.

    Nick Avila

    Stat-line Prediction: 7.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.3 blocks. 44% FG, 36% 3PT, 76% FT.

    Temple is being overlooked as we head into the 2017-18 season. He missed some time last season due to injuries, but played a solid backup point guard role when he was in the lineup. The Kings did cash out on George Hill and draft De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason III, but even with those additions, Temple should get a decent opportunity to prove he does deserve minutes.

    With his defensive capabilities and Dave Joerger being a defensive-minded coach, he shouldn’t have a problem getting time on the court. Temple brings a veteran presence to the lineup and as Fox eases into the NBA’s pace, Temple could help fill the immediate void at backup behind Hill.

    Jon Schifferle

    Stat-line Prediction: 7.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.3 blocks. 42% FG, 37% 3PT, 75% FT.

    Temple may not find his way into the starting lineup much this season, but he is still likely looking at 25-30 minutes per game early on. The Kings will have quite a few options at both guard spots next season, but Temple’s versatility and defense should make him an easy player to find minutes for.

    While many of the veterans should expect decent spikes in production, Temple won’t see too big of an uptick in any major statistical categories this season. Temple isn’t a player that looks to create his own shot, and the team probably isn’t looking to make him a larger part of the offense.

    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

  • Jeff Hornacek - Team - Sacramento Kings

    Sam Amick of the Athletic is reporting that former Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had an interview with the Kings for the lead assistant coach job.

    Sacramento has already hired Luke Walton to be their new coach but the news about the sexual assault allegations he faces might put his status in danger. Walton should be able to assemble his coaching staff once he is out of the woods but we should know more once the NBA concludes with their investigation of the matter.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Luke Walton - Team - Sacramento Kings

    Sam Amico of the Athletic is reporting that Luke Walton still has the Kings' support, despite the sexual assault allegations the newly-hired coach is facing.

    The Kings are working with the NBA to investigate allegations made against Walton by his former colleague at Time Warner Cable, Kelli Tennant. The report adds that the two sides are moving forward with their working relationship and there doesn't appear to be any momentum toward firing Walton, who was hired earlier this month just three days after he parted ways with the Lakers. The Kings confirmed that they were not aware of the accusations until TMZ reported the news and that they will wait for the facts before making a decision on Walton's future. The investigation has been delayed because all parties haven't been able to access Tennant's lawsuit so more information should merge soon.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Jaren Jackson Jr. - F/C - Memphis Grizzlies

    Jaren Jackson Jr. said that he wants to improve his "motor", his ball-handling skills and his shooting mechanics entering year two and he hopes to work with Kevin Garnett over the coming months.

    Jackson and Garnett spent time together last summer and again in February when Garnett visited Memphis to feature Jackson’s game for his segment on TNT. "He has a work ethic that is a throwback that I'm very appreciative of," Garnett said in the segment. "I love working with him. He is the future. I look forward to him becoming the leader of Memphis." The rookie had an impressive season before getting shut down due to a bruised thigh, averaging 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 blocks, 0.9 steals and 0.9 triples per contest. He has tremendous upside and owners in dynasty leagues should feel great about him.

    Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal

  • Ivan Rabb - F - Memphis Grizzlies

    Ivan Rabb plans to spend much of his offseason in the weight room as he tries to bulk up and show that he has NBA-level defense to pair with his expanding offensive game.

    For all the charm of Rabb's smooth offensive repertoire, he knows his defense needs to improve. It was especially evident in an April 3 loss at Portland when Enes Kanter torched Rabb and the Grizzlies in the post for 21 points and 15 rebounds. Rabb posted almost identical statistics this season to those he posted in 36 games as a rookie, but the second-year post player knocked down 37 percent of his 3-pointers in the G League, showing a comfort level from beyond the arc previously missing from his game. Rabb's deal is non-guaranteed, so the Grizzlies could move on from him if they want but he is only 22 years old and has shown enough potential to likely warrant another season at the relatively low price tag of $1.6 million. Keep him in your radar as he might have an important role next season in what might be a rebuilding year for the Grizzlies.

    Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    The Rockets hope that Clint Capela has benefited from two more days of treatment for the virus that has sapped his energy through much of their first-round matchup against the Jazz.

    Since opening the series with 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting, Capela has averaged just 7.3 points on 47.4 percent over the past three games. He was 1-of-6 with seven rebounds on Monday while the Rockets got outscored by 20 points when he was on the floor. "He's trying to battle through it," Mike D'Antoni said. "I think he's been great because he's been able to play. Each day that passes, the virus passes and he'll feel better. Hopefully next game, he's back to almost 100 percent.” The Rockets will try to close out the series on Wednesday night in Houston and they are going to need their starting center to show some signs of life.

    Source: Houston Chronicle

  • Jason Kidd - Team - Los Angeles Lakers

    Bill Plaschke of the LA Times is reporting that the Lakers interviewed Jason Kidd only as a favor to his agent, Jeff Schwartz, who is also the agent for Lakers forward Brandon Ingram.

    Kidd doesn’t really seem to have a chance at the gig and the fact that he lobbied for the job even while Luke Walton held it is a tremendously bad look for the former All-Star guard. Jeannie Buss looks like she has no plans, at least not yet, to support current GM Rob Pelinka with bright, young personnel as he instead is being assisted in this coaching search by Kurt Rambis. The Lakers continue to target Monty Williams, Ty Lue and Juwan Howard and the list doesn’t seem likely to expand.

    Source: LA Times

  • Enes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers

    Enes Kanter suffered a separated left shoulder in the first quarter of Game 5 on Tuesday night, but he received an injection at halftime and gutted his way through despite clearly being pain at times.

    “I just tried to play through it," Kanter said afterward. "We'll see what happens in the future." The Blazers will have at least through Saturday off as they await the winner of the Nuggets-Spurs series. Kanter’s teammates and coaches were impressed with his ability to play with pain but this looks like a serious injury and it remains to be seen if the Turkish big will be forced to miss any time.

    Source: ESPN

  • Damian Lillard - G - Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard put up an instant classic performance featuring a game-winning deep three, 10 total triples and a 50-spot in Tuesday's 118-115 closeout win over the Thunder in Portland.

    Lillard started off Game 5 with 34 first-half points while playing all 24 minutes. He finished with seven boards, six dimes, three steals and a block while shooting 17-for-33 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line. Despite a big second-half Thunder run, Lillard kept it going all the way until the buzzer as his shot from near the logo fell, giving him an even 50 and a series win as he waved goodbye to the Thunder.

  • CJ McCollum - G - Trail Blazers

    CJ McCollum put up 17 points (8-of-19 FGs), two rebounds, two assists, one triple and two blocks in 32 minutes in Tuesday's closeout win over the Thunder.

    McCollum sat a little more than usual in the first half after getting his third foul early, though he also ended with three fouls in another example of why coaches should just leave players in until they get their fourth or fifth. McCollum had been on fire in this series, averaging over 26 points per game coming into tonight's game. He and the Blazers now wait to see if they'll get the Nuggets or the Spurs in the next round.

  • Enes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers

    Enes Kanter toughed out a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double over 32 minutes in Tuesday's Game 5 victory over the Thunder.

    Kanter also had four assists and a block while shooting 6-for-9 from the floor tonight. He got pretty banged up in the first half, injuring his shoulder which was heavily wrapped after the game. Kanter averaged over 13 points and 10 rebounds in under 30 minutes for the series and he looks like one of the best mid-season signings in the league at this point.