• 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.

    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.

    Georgios Papagiannis was a curious selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. He went 13th overall, and was a player that virtually no one had heard of. ESPN’s draft analysts’ were caught completely off guard, and so was the rest of the NBA world. Papagiannis spent most of last season in the G-League (formerly the D-League) with Reno, and he only played 18 minutes with the Kings prior to the All-Star break.

    He was undeniably raw, as raw as a player can be but following the departure of DeMarcus Cousins more playing time was available for the rookie and he surprised everyone. He was far from perfect but he displayed some impressive touch around the rim and was a reliable source of rebounds. In 18 games following the All-Star break, Papagiannis posted averages of 6.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.8 blocks in 18.7 minutes per game. He shot a respectable 54.1 percent from the field too.

    He still has many holes to fill in his game, but at just 20 years old he still has lots of time to grow. Will Papagiannis continue his upward trend from last season, or will he struggle to get his feet underneath him during his sophomore campaign?

    Jake Fitzgibbon

    Stat-line Prediction: 6.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.2 steals and 1.2 blocks. 55% FG, 12% 3PT, 68% FT.

    Papagiannis could struggle for minutes early on, and may even take a backseat to Kosta Koufos. But as the season progresses forward, he should work his way into a solid rotational role. Don’t be surprised if he spends more time in Reno too. Spending time in Reno isn’t at all a bad thing either, as it proved highly beneficial for the youngster.

    He’s eventually going to show some improvement across the board. Papagiannis needs to work hard on his defense for him to really make the leap into a reliable option. I still like he has upside and he could be a solid backup center for the Kings but it will take time and patience.

    Nick Avila

    Stat-line Prediction: 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.2 steals and 0.9 blocks. 50% FG, 20% 3PT, 85% FT.

    At 20 years old, Papagiannis is one of the most interesting players on the Kings’ roster. He’s not exactly a stretch big man, but he also doesn’t have the best game around the rim. He is still getting adjusted to the NBA speed and that’ll be something to watch during the upcoming season.

    If Georgios is able to wrap his head around the game, he could have a significant impact with the Kings. He’s shown during practice and on short video clips that he can shoot to an extent, but didn’t utilize it as part of his repertoire last season.

    He’s a liability on defense, but the same could be said about the rest of Sacramento’s big men. His minutes will more than likely range between 10 and 20 on any given night and depending on how he performs, he could see himself squeeze into the same role on the roster that Kosta Koufos has occupied.

    Jon Schifferle

    Stat-line Prediction: 6.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.0 blocks. 53% FG, 0% 3PT, 78% FT.

    Georgios Papagiannis was known to be a project when the Kings used the 13th overall pick on him in the 2016 NBA draft, and there have been definite signs of progress since that selection was made.  Papagiannis has lost quite a bit of weight during the offseason, and he showed some confidence in his game at times towards the end of his rookie season.

    While the progress that he’s made has been great, Papagiannis is still quite a ways away from a regular spot in an NBA rotation. He’ll still get some opportunities to show that he’s ready for a larger role, and showed some decent ability as both a rebounder and shot blocker at times last season, but with Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos both firmly ahead of him in the depth chart, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Papagiannis spend plenty of time with the Kings’ G-League affiliate in Reno.

    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

  • Jakob Poeltl - C - San Antonio Spurs

    Jakob Poeltl shot 4-for-6 from the field for eight points with nine boards, two assists and one block in 28 minutes for a 120-103 win over the Nuggets in Game 6 on Thursday.

    Poeltl was not able to shut down Nikola Jokic (43 points) but it didn't matter, as the Spurs shot 57.1 percent from the field to blow out the Nuggets. The Spurs will head to Denver for a winner-take-all affair in Game 7 on Saturday.

  • Gary Harris - G - Denver Nuggets

    Gary Harris scored 14 points in Game 6 against the Spurs on Thursday night as the Nuggets fell 120-103.

    Harris scored a few points in this one but didn't do a whole lot else. The Nuggets will probably need him to have more of a visible imprint on the game to make major noise.

  • Derrick White - G - San Antonio Spurs

    Derrick White shot 4-for-7 from the floor for 13 points with one rebound, two assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes against the Nuggets on Thursday.

    White wasn't particularly effective on the stat sheet in Game 6, but his grit and solid defense helped the Spurs secure a win on their home floor. He limited his turnovers to just one in this game. White will need to stay efficient in a decisive Game 7 on Saturday in Denver.

  • Paul Millsap - F - Denver Nuggets

    Paul Millsap was almost a non-factor on Thursday night scoring just 12 points and adding four boards in heavy minutes.

    Millsap has to be better for this team to make any major noise deep in the playoffs. He just hasn't been back to his normal self for long stretches this year, so here's to hoping he can find form.

  • Rudy Gay - F - San Antonio Spurs

    Rudy Gay shot 7-for-11 for 19 points with four boards, two assists, two blocks and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes against the Nuggets on Thursday.

    After being a non-factor for much of the series, Gay played extra efficient as a savvy veteran on Thursday night. He led the bench in scoring and helped set the tone to force a Game 7. Gay will need another game like this if the Spurs want any chance of surviving in Denver.

  • DeMar DeRozan - G - San Antonio Spurs

    DeMar DeRozan shot 12-for-16 from the field for 25 points with seven assists and seven boards in 36 minutes to force a Game 7 against the Nuggets on Thursday.

    DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge (26 points and 10 rebounds) took it to the Nuggets for their final home game of the opening round. For a team not making much noise in the regular season, all eyes will be on the Spurs and Nuggets Game 7 on Saturday. Never count out Pop and the Spurs.

  • Jamal Murray - G - Denver Nuggets

    Jamal Murray scored just 16 points (7-of-19 from the floor) on Thursday in the Game 6 loss to the Spurs.

    Murray was quiet in this one as the Nuggets tried to close it out. He did manage six assists but Nikola Jokic is going to need some help from his supporting cast to cement a date with Portland.

  • Nikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets

    Nikola Jokic scored a career-high 43 points and approached a triple-double with 12 rebounds and nine assists in Thursday's Game 6 loss.

    It was a waste of a great performance from Jokic as the Nuggets couldn't close out the Spurs in Game 6. Home cookin' might be just what the doctor ordered.

  • LaMarcus Aldridge - F - San Antonio Spurs

    LaMarcus Aldridge shot 10-for-18 from the field for 26 points with 10 boards, five assists, one block and one 3-pointer in 37 minutes to avoid elimination against the Nuggets on Thursday.

    Aldridge was terrific all night, using home court advantage to play with energy. He took matters into his own hands, forcing a Game 7 on Saturday in Denver. Expect Aldridge to be giving his best effort on a winner-take-all affair.

  • Jeff Hornacek - Team - New York Knicks

    The Kings have interviewed Jeff Hornacek for an assistant coach position.

    The Kings have already hired their head coach, Luke Walton. However, with Walton's status up in the air with the recent allegations made against him, the Kings would do well to hire an assistant with head coaching experience. Hornacek last coached for the Knicks before being fired at the end of the 2017-2018 season. His overall record as head coach for the Knicks and the Suns is 161-216.

    Source: James Ham on Twitter