• One of the most interesting questions surrounding the Kings this offseason has been what Dave Joerger would do to distribute minutes.  He has a reputation for overplaying his veterans — something he does not agree with — and was handed about 75 minutes of George Hill, Vince Carter and Zach Randolph to go with a bevy of young players that all need playing time.

    Trying to project who gets what minutes and who starts and who plays with who is a bit of an exercise, but it’s also the most important aspect of the season for the Kings.  Hill, Randolph and Carter aren’t going to be around much longer than a year or two, and figuring out which of the rookies to invest in over the long-term is the obvious operative question.

    Yes, the Kings will develop the young guys this year.  The question of how they get developed is what people in Sacramento and around the league are going to care about.

    The way players are deployed on the floor is going to carry as much, if not more weight than how many minutes they get.  And the combination of players, how they share the ball and how they mesh overall will determine what type of experience the young players have.

    That said, one can’t solve a puzzle without first trying to figure out some of the big pieces and that all comes back to minutes.  So getting Joerger’s insights on media day is square one and it’ll be three short weeks before the games matter.

    And that’s interesting because …

    “Usually after you get through the first 20 games, it looks a little bit different.”

    We’ve seen similar talk lfrom Joerger last year.  This is probably the amount of leash he’s willing to give the guys who win the bulk of the minutes on Opening Night.

    “There’s going to be nights where sometimes a healthy guy might be asked to step aside. It might be young guys, it might be an older guy.  I’m committed to playing 10 guys and I think that split shouldn’t be 24/24 because (in that scenario) then I’m just trying to keep people happy.  But I also don’t think it should be 35/13. I think as guys earn their minutes that somebody is going to be at 26-30 and somebody could be (around) 18.  I think that’s how we can evaluate our players.  I think we can develop our players better that way, and also throughout the course of a long season, everybody knows that they’re going to be counted on and I think that responsibility will help our team, too.”

    The 10-man rotation isn’t surprising given the group he has, but it’s good to know there’s a clear effort being made to expand the rotation.  We also get to see that he’s not going to go with even timeshares, but rather trending toward a starter/reserve dichotomy.

    On rookie Justin Jackson:

    “Justin’s a really solid player. He’s the kind of guy that can play with older guys, because he complements whoever he plays with, whether that be a young talented group or an older talented group or an older group or a smart group — he just complements them. He knows how to play, he knows to get out of the way, he knows when to go try to make a play.  I think he comes from a system so I don’t have any problem with being able to play him with a young group or an older group. I’m excited to coach him.”

    That sounds like a guy ready to play Justin Jackson.

    On Justin Jackson needing time to develop:

    “No, I think he fits in right away as a rotation guy.” 

    Well that answers that. With Vince Carter likely to get 14-20 mpg, especially early on, the glut of shooting guards on the team might be fighting for even less available minutes.

    There was an interesting response when asked if Vince Carter would play the four, which was more interesting because it offered an insight as to how Joerger views the shooting guards’ ability to play the three.

    “There’s not really anybody at the two spot that can play the three.  We’ll play Malachi there. But yet then there’s times through the course of the game — if I can and it matches up then — to slide a shooting guard to play the small forward slot.”

    The league plays very small nowadays so it’s possible that Joerger has the chance to go smaller more than he implies in this quote.  The quote itself could also be benign — after all — it’s talking about Vince Carter playing the four during the end of a scrum on media day.

    What about that Bogdan Bogdanovic guy?

    “He’s a guy I haven’t had a chance to get my hands on at all and coach him.  I’m going to stress to him to be patient. Things are going a hundred miles an hour for him. This is his dream too so he has every shot at being as good as he wants to be and I want to help him, but sometimes things are different as far as ‘just got here two days ago.’  He speaks pretty good English, which is good for him, but I need to learn his strengths. Can he play in pick and roll? Does he come off catch-and-shoots? Is he better guarding a bigger guy, or a smaller guy or a quicker guy.  All of these things I have to learn about him too and a lot of the rest of our team, too.”

    It sure sounds like Bogdanovic will be the odd man out early on, which is interesting, because he appears to have the inside track at being one of the Kings’ best players this season.  Joerger said he did not talk with De’Aaron Fox about playing time yet, but he’s almost certain to be relegated to mostly backup minutes early on.  Buddy Hield, Garrett Temple and Bogdanovic fitting into mostly just shooting guard minutes is going to be a tight squeeze and there might be a guy held out of the rotation.  The new guy who just got there seems like where this could be heading.

    On the old guy vs. young guy balance:

    “You want your older guys — if they’re going to lose minutes — they should be beaten out. The sophomore on a varsity team should have to beat the senior out, or work harder or just be better.  So you want to give those older guys their due, their respect and their credibility.  And then also they have to be able to have their voice, and just stepping aside and not playing — they’re not going to have a voice.”

     

     

Fantasy News

  • JaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    JaMychal Green will remain in the starting lineup in Game 5 on Wednesday.

    Green logged 22 minutes in the same role in Game 4, though it's not surprising that the Clippers will stick with the same group considering Ivica Zubac's tough fit in this matchup and Montrezl Harrell's fit in his current role.

    Source: Andrew Greif on Twitter

  • Nate Tibbets - Team - Trail Blazers

    The Suns have been given permission to interview Blazers assistants Nate Tibbets and David Vanterpool for their vacant head coaching position.

    The Cavs have already been connected to the duo from Portland, and Tibbets interviewed for the Hawks' gig last summer. The Suns reportedly fired Igor Kokoskov so they could make Philadelphia assistant Monty Williams their top target before the Lakers got too deep into talks, but Phoenix will be looking at multiple candidates. It's a nice roster to work with but we can't imagine anyone will be too eager to work with the team's ownership group.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Draymond Green - F - Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green admitted that his right wrist has been hurt for "a while."

    Green added that he got hit there in Game 4 and "it pissed it off" and said that he's going to play through any pain in the postseason. It's not like teams weren't sagging off Green on the perimeter already, but if his wrist continues to hamper him in any way we may see opponents get very aggressive in their defensive efforts on Golden State's other players. Green is going to have lots of open jumpers presented to him for the rest of the postseason.

    Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter

  • Jarrett Allen - C - Brooklyn Nets

    Jarrett Allen will work on extending his range to the 3-point line this summer.

    Him and every other big man. Allen went 6-for-45 on 3-pointers this season, so he's got some work to do. He's a quality young player who can protect the rim, but Allen isn't quite strong enough to crash and bang with the league's true behemoths and not quite gifted enough offensively to be anything more than a threat on the roll. It's a great base from which to work, however, and it's good to know that Allen is going to be putting in the work to make himself more of a weapon as the Nets look to build on a nice campaign.

    Source: Bryan Fonseca on Twitter

  • Marcus Smart - G - Boston Celtics

    On Wednesday Brad Stevens said that Marcus Smart (torn oblique) is "doing great."

    That's nice, but it's not much of an update. Smart was able to do some light shooting and treadmill work yesterday but we're still not expecting to see him until the tail end of the second round at the earliest. His tenacity and perimeter defense will be missed dearly in Boston's matchup with the Bucks.

    Source: Jay King on Twitter

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Kyle Lowry suffered a dislocated finger on his right hand in the first half of Tuesday's Game 5 but was able to pop it back in and return to the game.

    Lowry swiped at the ball and ended up hitting Evan Fournier's leg with his hand, which caused the injury The fact that he was able to return to the game, even in a blowout, bodes well for his status for the second round. It may affect his shooting to some degree but Lowry has been playing facilitator more often anyway, and we wouldn't expect his performance to suffer. After a scoreless Game 1, Lowry was all over the floor for the Raptors as they locked in and simply outclassed Orlando.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Jeff Hornacek - Team - Sacramento Kings

    Sam Amick of the Athletic is reporting that former Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had an interview with the Kings for the lead assistant coach job.

    Sacramento has already hired Luke Walton to be their new coach but the news about the sexual assault allegations he faces might put his status in danger. Walton should be able to assemble his coaching staff once he is out of the woods but we should know more once the NBA concludes with their investigation of the matter.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Luke Walton - Team - Sacramento Kings

    Sam Amick of the Athletic is reporting that Luke Walton still has the Kings’ support, despite the sexual assault allegations the newly-hired coach is facing.

    The Kings are working with the NBA to investigate allegations made against Walton by his former colleague at Time Warner Cable, Kelli Tennant. The report adds that the two sides are moving forward with their working relationship and there doesn’t appear to be any momentum toward firing Walton, who was hired earlier this month just three days after he parted ways with the Lakers. The Kings confirmed that they were not aware of the accusations until TMZ reported the news and that they will wait for the facts before making a decision on Walton’s future. The investigation has been delayed because all parties haven’t been able to access Tennant’s lawsuit so more information should merge soon.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Jaren Jackson Jr. - F/C - Memphis Grizzlies

    Jaren Jackson Jr. said that he wants to improve his "motor," his ball-handling skills and his shooting mechanics entering year two and he hopes to work with Kevin Garnett over the coming months.

    Jackson and Garnett spent time together last summer and again in February when Garnett visited Memphis to feature Jackson’s game for his segment on TNT. "He has a work ethic that is a throwback that I'm very appreciative of," Garnett said in the segment. "I love working with him. He is the future. I look forward to him becoming the leader of Memphis." The rookie had an impressive season before getting shut down due to a bruised thigh, averaging 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 blocks, 0.9 steals and 0.9 triples per contest. He has tremendous upside and owners in dynasty leagues should feel great about him.

    Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal

  • Ivan Rabb - F - Memphis Grizzlies

    Ivan Rabb plans to spend much of his offseason in the weight room as he tries to bulk up and show that he has NBA-level defense to pair with his expanding offensive game.

    For all the charm of Rabb's smooth offensive repertoire, he knows his defense needs to improve. It was especially evident in an April 3 loss at Portland when Enes Kanter torched Rabb and the Grizzlies in the post for 21 points and 15 rebounds. Rabb posted almost identical statistics this season to those he posted in 36 games as a rookie, but the second-year post player knocked down 37 percent of his 3-pointers in the G League, showing a comfort level from beyond the arc previously missing from his game. Rabb's deal is non-guaranteed, so the Grizzlies could move on from him if they want but he is only 22 years old and has shown enough potential to likely warrant another season at the relatively low price tag of $1.6 million. Keep him in your radar as he might have an important role next season in what might be a rebuilding year for the Grizzlies.

    Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal