September 7, 2017, 9:11 pm
Hoop Ball Kings is proud to bring you the tenth 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.
After two full seasons with the Kings, Kosta Koufos has been steady and reliable production wise. In 71 games last season (62 starts), Koufos averaged 6.6 points and 5.7 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game on 55.1 percent shooting from the field. He’s performed exactly as advertised through his two years in Sacramento, which is more so a good thing than bad.
He has exceptional touch around the rim and plays hard on defense; tools he’ll certainly be able to teach the younger guys on the roster. This is the final year of his current contract with the Kings, he then has a player option for $8.7 million the following season but it’s hard to say now whether he will pick that up or not. Either way, he’s a solid player to have on the roster and is an appealing trade chip to use come the trade deadline, or even prior to the start of this season.
He started over 60 games last season, so will we see the same trend this season despite the team’s decision to go young? Or will Koufos spend more time on the bench acting as a mentor for the youngsters?
Stat-line Prediction: 5.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.5 blocks. 56% FG, 0% 3PT, 65% FT.
I have this weird feeling that Koufos may begin the season as a starter, and I can’t decide if that’ll be a good or bad thing. He’s a solid, reliable player so having him as a starter won’t be a bad thing at all. But the Kings are rebuilding, so it would be wise to start the younger guys ahead of players such as Koufos and Randolph.
Whether he starts or comes off the bench, I think he’ll hover around 20 minutes per game; at least for the early portion of the season. Similar to last year, he’ll fade as the season progresses and he may even end up being traded at some stage too. Overall, Koufos’ production should be about the same as his career averages.
Stat-line Prediction: 6.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks. 52% FG, 0% 3PT, 62% FT.
With the expectations on young bigs so high for the Kings, it’ll be interesting to see if Koufos is able to get the same 20 minutes per game he’s gotten with Sacramento the past two seasons. If Randolph must face any type of repercussions for his drug possession, Koufos could see some extended minutes at the beginning of the season.
But, aside from that, I’d expect Koufos to see about 15-18 minutes per game. He brings what he always has to the table: an inside presence with a floater that’s not always on the money. He is at times a decent defender, but he’s a bit of a liability against stretch big men.
Coach Joerger and Koufos go back to their Memphis days, however, so it’d be surprising if he doesn’t see some consistent minutes at least from the get-go
Stat-line Prediction: 7.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.0 blocks. 53% FG, 0% 3PT, 61% FT.
Kosta Koufos is one of the more reliable veterans on the Kings’ roster, and his value to the team primarily relies on his consistency and experience. Koufos will probably see his role with the team expand next season, but it may not be in the categories that people tend to expect.
Dave Joerger prefers bigs that can run the offense, to some degree, much like Marc Gasol was asked to in Memphis. Koufos isn’t likely to be asked to take on a larger role as a scoring threat, but he may be asked to run the offense more often than he has been in the past. This should result in a slight uptick in overall production.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.
April 25, 2019, 11:00 pmJakob 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.
April 25, 2019, 10:54 pmGary 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.
April 25, 2019, 10:53 pmDerrick 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.
April 25, 2019, 10:49 pmPaul 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.
April 25, 2019, 10:49 pmRudy 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.
April 25, 2019, 10:43 pmDeMar 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.
April 25, 2019, 10:42 pmJamal 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.
April 25, 2019, 10:37 pmNikola 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.
April 25, 2019, 10:34 pmLaMarcus 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.
April 25, 2019, 5:58 pmJeff 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