• 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.

    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.

    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?

    Jake Fitzgibbon

    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.

    Jon Schifferle

    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.

    Nick Avila

    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.

    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

  • Dan Gilbert - Team - Cleveland Cavaliers

    Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert was admitted to the hospital yesterday morning after experiencing stroke-like symptoms.

    “He received immediate medical attention and is currently recovering comfortably,” a Quicken Loans company spokesman said.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Jimmy Butler - G/F - Philadelphia Sixers

    According to Tom Moore, it's a good move for the Sixers to sign Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris to big deals over the summer.

    Moore points out that the move to acquire Butler at the NBA trade deadline was with the intention of keeping him with the team long-term. Butler was one of the more reliable Sixers players in the playoffs and his experience and composure shined through. Both he and Harris are expected to get a lot of suitors come free agency so it will be interesting to see how much the Sixers will be willing to cough up to retain their talented veterans.

    Source: Tom Moore on Twitter

  • Brook Lopez - C - Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks have multiple decisions to make when free agency starts but re-signing Brook Lopez is a priority, according to Malika Andrews.

    The Bucks will likely lock up Khris Middleton first and then will have to decide on Malcolm Brogdon. He is a restricted free agent, but keeping him may vault Milwaukee into the luxury tax. After those two, Lopez is a priority over the other pending free agents such as Nikola Mirotic and George Hill. The Bucks won't have Bird Rights on Brook Lopez meaning they'd only have the mid-level exception to offer him, and if they go into the luxury tax, the mid-level exception drops from about $9 million to about $5 million. He'd almost certainly be taking a discount to stay in Milwaukee, but it's still possible he remains a Buck.

    Source: Malika Andrews on ESPN

  • Nick Nurse - Team - Toronto Raptors

    According to Peter Yannopoulos, Nick Nurse will be the coach of Team Canada this summer at the World Championships in China.

    Nurse will be succeeding Hornets assistant coach Jay Triano, and will be in a similar position that Gregg Popovich has with Team USA. Nurse has had a meteoric rise since being the innovator of the Raptors new offense in 2017-18 as an assistant, to being promoted to head coach, to making the NBA Finals and now being named Team Canada's head coach.

    Source: Peter Yannopoulos on Twitter

  • OG Anunoby - F - Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors are expressing optimism that OG Anunoby will be able to see the floor for their NBA Finals matchup with the Golden State Warriors.

    Anunoby's size and defensive versatility could make for a very valuable weapon against the Warriors' small-ball lineups. That being said, he has been out for nearly a month and a half, and the Raptors' eight man rotation has hit its stride in the crux of this playoff run. It remains to be seen if he will make it back, but in the event that he can, there is no guarantee that he will be able to crack meaningful minutes in Toronto's tight rotation.

    Source: Ryan Wolstat on Twitter

  • Michael Porter Jr. - F - Denver Nuggets

    As a symptom from his back surgeries, Michael Porter Jr. developed drop foot, and will wear to a leg brace to help stabilize it when he makes his professional debut in Summer League according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

    Drop foot makes it hard for one to lift the front part of their foot and is a common symptom of back related ailments, of which Porter Jr. has had two surgeries to address over the last year and a half. Porter Jr. remains an unknown commodity with a laundry list of health concerns as an NBA player. There has been some recent success with young guys being able to bounce back in big ways after suffering year-long injuries, but Porter Jr. will remain a mystery until we see him on the court for his inaugural season.

    Source: The Denver Post

  • Jonas Valanciunas - C - Memphis Grizzlies

    Jonas Valanciunas said that he wants to see who the Memphis Grizzlies hire as their next head coach before deciding on his $17.6 million player option.

    Valanciunas saw his role increase in Memphis after being traded from Toronto, and actually played to compete with the Grizz trying to win enough games to convert their, at the time, low-end lottery pick to Boston. Valanciunas made it clear that he doesn't want to return to Memphis if their plans are to pivot to a rebuild and not compete again next year, saying, "I want to know, how we gonna look in 82 games. I don't want to be a tourist. I want to win.". The Hoop Ball favorite will be hard pressed to find a situation that will give him as much run, and fantasy value, as Memphis did, making this a decision fantasy owners everywhere should monitor.

    Source: Dontas Urbonas on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors

    Kawhi Leonard held Giannis Antetekounmpo to just .353 shooting from the floor with an offensive rating of 89.4 when guarding him in the Eastern Conference Finals.

    This is needed to emphasize just how dominant of a defensive player Leonard really is. For reference, Giannis shot .578 from the floor with an offensive rating of 121 through the regular season. A total swing of nearly 23 percent and 32 less points per 100 possessions is preposterous for any player, especially an MVP caliber offensive juggernaut in Antetokounmpo. Keep these numbers in mind as the debate over Leonard being the league's best player continues to heat up.

    Source: Micha Adams on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors

    Kawhi Leonard posted a monster line in Saturday's 100-94 Game 6 win, scoring 27 points with 17 rebounds, seven assist, two steals, two blocks and six turnovers.

    Leonard put the Raptors on his back and carried them into their first NBA Finals appearance. After losing the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals the Raptors stormed back to take the next four to seal the series. Kawhi has been simply marvelous for this team and found a way to crank it up another notch, averaging almost 30 points per game this series. He was all over the court this game and dominated the Bucks from inside the paint. A 4th quarter dunk over Giannis Antetokounmpo punctuated this dominance and sent the hometown crowd in a frenzy. The Raptors will try to keep their hot streak going as they face the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    While Giannis Antetokounmpo will be eligible for a five-year supermax contract worth over $247 million, ESPN's Malika Andrews is reporting that the 2020 playoff run could swing whether or not Antetokounmpo stays with the Bucks long-term.

    The Bucks have three of their starters and two key bench pieces heading into free agency this summer, so they might have to make some bold choices to keep the necessary parts around while also improving the team on a budget. It's possible that this is the Antetokounmpo camp's way of encouraging Milwaukee to empty the wallet and keep the current group together, but it goes against what Giannis has said publicly about the team and city from day one. The Bucks were eliminated mere hours ago but we're already having this conversation. The NBA news cycle is perpetual.

    Source: ESPN