August 25, 2017, 2:20 pm
Hoop Ball Kings is proud to bring you the fourth 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.
Zach Randolph joined the Kings this offseason signing a two-year, $24 million deal. He’s coming off eight very successful seasons in Memphis and was a driving force behind the “Grit and Grind” identity they embraced. He came off the bench for the first time in a long time last season, posting averages of 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game (73 games) on 44.9 percent shooting from the field.
There’s no denying that Randolph can still be productive on the court, as well as an influential voice in the locker room. However, one thing to keep an eye on is that he was arrested in early August for possession of marijuana, but there has yet to be word on any charges or suspensions for the 36-year-old. Will Z-Bo continue his productivity upon his arrival in Sacramento? Or will his age start to get the better of him?
Stat-line Prediction: 13.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.1 blocks. 46% FG, 25% 3PT, 78% FT.
Randolph will likely begin the season as a starter for Sacramento, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he played closer to 30 minutes a night under Dave Joerger. However, this trend won’t continue for the entirety of the season, his minutes will gradually decrease and guys like Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein and even Harry Giles will pick up his minutes. He’ll be the Kings’ primary rebounder so I expect him to average close to a double-double.
It’s possible, almost likely that he slides back to the bench sooner rather than later. This will be dependent on the progress of the younger players and I’m sure Z-Bo knows this already. Randolph is going to surprise some people with his production this season, I think he’ll be somewhat effective and one of the most reliable players for Sacramento.
Stat-line Prediction: 13.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.4 steals and 0.1 blocks. 44% FG, 25% 3PT, 70% FT.
Randolph was asked to transition to a bench role with the Grizzlies last season, and his production spiked as a result. Randolph was a featured option coming off the bench, posting a 29.2% usage rating, the second highest of his career. Randolph was also a major asset on the glass, and managed to stay fairly efficient overall.
With so many talented players in the front court, Randolph will likely find himself playing around 20-25 minutes per game whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him put up very similar numbers to his last year in Memphis.
Stat-line Prediction: 12.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.4 steals and 0.8 blocks. 49% FG, 25% 3PT, 75% FT.
Questions may still linger over the drug charges Randolph is facing, but on the court Randolph is no mystery. He’ll provide a definite inside presence for the Kings and will look to pair with Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere. Randolph had a productive season last year for the Grizzlies and he’ll look to repeat that success under Dave Joerger’s tutelage.
Randolph will also help the young big’s during practice as they’ll have to try and contend with his size. Harry Giles could also get a beneficial experience out of the Randolph signing. It’ll be interesting to see how big of a fixture Randolph is since he turned down playoff contenders’ offers to play for Sacramento.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.