• When the youth movement began for the Kings, coach Dave Joerger said all of the young guys would get adequate looks in the upcoming games. However, the math just didn’t add up. Then came the news that the Kings are looking at trade options for Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere.

    It’s not really a question of potential, the Kings just likely feel they have more attractive options at those positions.

    Richardson has been a question mark during his brief tenure in Sacramento. He’s been an off-and-on scorer for the Kings but this season he’s only dropped double-digit points on two occasions. The issue with Richardson has been his inability to see minutes on the floor. He’s played more than 20 minutes in just two games this season and in those two games he shot a combined 3-of-14.

    While getting onto the floor has been a challenge for Richardson (he’s averaging just 3.6 points in 11.0 minutes per game this year), it’s not his only limiting factor. The second-year man out of Syracuse found a nice rhythm for the Kings last season before an injury to his hamstring cut his season short.

    Since his injury, Richardson hasn’t been able to show the confidence he had once displayed. The Kings’ investment in Buddy Hield has also caused Richardson to slide to the three-spot, a position which he hasn’t quite been able to perfect during his limited time there.

    It also didn’t help that Sacramento added two rookie small forwards to the mix in Justin Jackson and Bogdan Bogdanovic. When it comes to Richardson, it’s not to say the Kings don’t have confidence in him, it’s more so an understanding that there simply aren’t enough minutes to go around.

    Labissiere’s situation is slightly different to that of Richardson.

    Labissiere has been a player that analysts and fans have clamored over — and for good reason. He’s shown an ability to hit half-hooks, stretch the floor with his outside shot and has upside defensively. He may not have been in Joerger’s ‘dog house’ earlier in the season but he was definitely outside on the porch.

    Labissiere’s second-year averages almost mirror his output from last season. Not exactly what you’d want to see but not the end of the world. Especially when you consider Skal’s per-36 minute stats of 16.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

    However, it’s been the way Labissiere has looked on the floor that may be the telltale sign of why Joerger doesn’t have confidence in him. The 21-year-old Haitian is often a step slow on defense and has shown impatience in the post.

    The Kings don’t really have anyone else who can slide into power forward immediately – aside from Zach Randolph – but they do have a promising big man waiting for his opportunity.

    Harry Giles won’t play this season due to rehab reasons. He’s held in high regard by many around the team but it’s hard to gauge how he is as a player without seeing him playing minutes in a game – even in college Giles was incredibly limited.

    Giles is just 19 years old and is rehabbing his knees. It would be a risky proposition to bank your future on a guy who’s yet to play a single minute in the NBA, but it could be a factor in the decision to make Labissiere available.

    In the case of Labissiere, with all of the minutes that are available, it wouldn’t make sense for the Kings to move him mid-season before seeing what he’s really capable of.

    The Kings understand that only five players can be on the floor at a time and there are limited minutes to offer, but at the same time the Kings can’t go around trading first-round picks just because they want to get rid of an ugly contract.

    The Kings are in rebuilding mode no matter what they want to believe and holding onto young talent is of the utmost importance. It’s make or break time for the Kings. One ill advised move could set them back a few years.

Fantasy News

  • Mikal Bridges
    SF, Phoenix Suns

    Mikal Bridges led all Suns reserves in minutes (36) on Thursday and put up 14 points on 3-of-7 shooting, to go with six rebounds, three assists and three steals.

    He's simply outplaying Dario Saric (five points, five rebounds, one trey, one steal, 16 minutes) right now and the extra run on the floor is paying off dividends for managers who held onto Bridges during those lean games. Pick him up if he's been dropped in your league.

  • Devin Booker
    SG, Phoenix Suns

    Devin Booker was relatively quiet on Thursday, recording 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting with five rebounds, seven assists, two treys and six turnovers in 37 minutes.

    The turnovers were a stinger for his owners in 9-cat leagues and you can credit the Pelicans' feisty defense for more than a few of those. Count it as an off-night for Booker and move on. He should bounce-back to his top-30 form in no time.

  • Tyler Johnson
    PG-SG, Phoenix Suns

    Tyler Johnson started for Ricky Rubio (back) on Thursday and chipped in across the board with six points, five rebounds, four dimes, one trey, two steals and two blocks.

    It was a DFS gem coming from the low-end veteran guard. He is worth streaming while Rubio remains out, but that's the ceiling of his upside in fantasy at this stage of his career.

  • Kelly Oubre Jr.
    SF, Phoenix Suns

    Kelly Oubre Jr. produced a team-high 25 points on 7-of-17 shooting from the field and 9-of-9 shooting from the line with six boards, two 3s and four assists in Thursday's loss to the Pelicans.

    Oubre is holding steady as a top-70 play in 9-cat so far this season. His ceiling is somewhere within top-50 value, but as a hot commodity, may cost you an arm and a foot for his services.

  • Jrue Holiday
    PG, New Orleans Pelicans

    Jrue Holiday was one assist shy of a double-double on Thursday as he tallied 23 points (10-of-19 shooting), four rebounds, nine assists, one 3-pointer, three steals and one block.

    His ability to stuff the stat sheet is at the core of Holiday's fantasy appeal. It appears he's turned the corner from a slow start. Both he and Brandon Ingram are playing well right now, but Zion Williamson could throw a wrench into the vibe once he's back on the court. Now would be an ideal time to sell-high on Holiday if you want to exit your position.

  • E'Twaun Moore
    SG, New Orleans Pelicans

    E'Twaun Moore chipped in 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting with five rebounds, three 3s and two assists in 26 minutes in Thursday's win over the Suns.

    Moore has been on the radar in 14-team leagues or deeper for his scoring and 3-point shooting as of late. He will fade as the Pelicans get healthier, but feel free to ride out his run while it lasts.

  • JJ Redick
    SG, New Orleans Pelicans

    J.J. Redick caught fire in Thursday's win over the Suns, knocking down 5-of-8 shots from deep en route to his 26 points (10-of-14 shooting) with five rebounds, two assists and one steal.

    Redick definitely has some gas left in his tank, scoring 20 points or more in four of his last five games. He's been a top-120 play in 9-cat over the season, so consider selling high now.

  • Brandon Ingram
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Brandon Ingram shook off a slow start in Thursday's 124-121 win over the Suns to finish with 28 points (9-of-19 shooting), eight rebounds, five assists, three 3s, one steal and two blocks in 33 minutes.

    Ingram is back to his early-season form and delivering across the board in impressive fashion. He appears on track to sustain his production, as is, but a returning Zion Williamson could muddle things for sure.

  • Lonzo Ball
    PG, New Orleans Pelicans

    Lonzo Ball (right adductor strain) played 19 minutes off the bench in his return to action on Thursday, posting eight points on 3-of-9 shooting with two 3s, one rebound and five assists.

    Considering it was Ball's first game back in over two weeks, it was not a bad showing. He should eventually return to the starting lineup and see his minutes restriction eased and then later lifted as he gets his legs back. For now, you can bench him until he's back at full strength. Good news is the wait might not be too long.

  • Skal Labissiere
    PF, Portland Trail Blazers

    Skal Labissiere had a huge night on Thursday with a season-high 22 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and five blocks as the Blazers lost 137-129 against the Bucks.

    Labissiere was huge partially due to Hassan Whiteside's absence, but we have to give him a lot of credit. Not only was it a season high in points for Skal, but also in rebounds and blocks. Additionally, he hit his first two 3-pointers of the season. It was an all-around gem from him and he should really be on radars going forward because of the lack of depth up front for the Blazers even when Whiteside is healthy.