• JaKarr Sampson may never be an NBA All-Star. He may never be a full-time starter. But he can definitely be of value to a team trying to find their identity like the Kings.

    Over the final 25 games of the 2017-18 season, the Kings need to take a hard look at the 24-year-old who makes up one of their two-way contracts. Sampson has proven to be a valuable commodity when on the court for Sacramento, albeit in a limited amount of time.

    The Kings are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA and Sampson’s main task with the team has been to defend. In the short amount of time on the floor, he’s done just that.

    While the Kings have the third worst defensive rating in the NBA at 111.9 per Basketball Reference, they allow even more points when Sampson is off the floor. The 18-39 Kings allow their opponents a 112.8 offensive rating when he’s off the floor. When Sampson’s out there the team allows a 107.1 offensive rating.

    As previously mentioned Sampson hasn’t played a ton of minutes (he’s been on the floor for the Kings just 186 minutes compared to 2555 minutes off), but he’s had an effect on the game when given the opportunity.

    That’s not the only statistic to back up the claim on Sampson being a proven defensive integer; Sampson and company boast an 11.5 block percentage with him on the court. That number significantly dips to just 5.1 percent when he’s on the bench or not with the team.

    When it comes to blocking in the NBA when almost all players are bouncing like they’re playing on Slamball trampolines, it requires an amount of not only resilience, but disregard for embarrassment.

    Well-known shot-blockers like Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo didn’t back down after being dunked on, and after Zach LaVine ferociously dunked on Sampson, he didn’t let it affect his confidence.

    That’s the style of play a team like Sacramento needs to have.

    “I don’t care about getting dunked on,” Sampson said. “I just care about making the right play and sacrificing my body for the team.” Sampson told Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.

    Sampson’s per-36 average of 1.7 blocks leads the Kings. The next highest would be Skal Labissiere with a 1.3 average per-36.

    The issue with Sampson getting extended playing time comes with the amount of time he can actually remain with the team. The two-way contracts only allow a player to be up with the team for 45 days of the season. Sampson, who appeared in just seven games stretching from October-to-January, played in six contests for the Kings in just two weeks of February.

    The good thing for Sacramento is that they opened a roster spot when they let go of Georgios Papagiannis. Now the decision is what to do with that roster spot. The Kings, who have been playing with just one true point guard since trading George Hill, may be waiting to see if Frank Mason returns from his heel injury and is able to go.

    Or, they could be content with Bogdan Bogdanovic, who averaged 5.1 assists per game in February as the designated backup point guard, handling the ball in the meantime.

    If the Kings are willing to play the remaining set of games with just one or two point guards, the roster spot would definitely be best used on Sampson. Every team needs a type of junkyard dog with a do-it-all, no-questions-asked attitude and that’s exactly what JaKarr Sampson could be for Sacramento.

Fantasy News

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    The Hornets are the latest team to re-open their facilities, with the Novant Health Training Center set to open up on Tuesday.

    With this, there are only eight teams left to open their practice courts back up, though nobody has been able to engage in any sort of team work yet. Individual workouts are better than no workouts, however, and the league appears to be getting its ducks in a row in terms of returning to play. There's still no firm timelines but things do appear to be heading in the right direction.

    Source: Charlotte Hornets

  • Jon Leuer
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    Jon Leuer has announced his retirement from basketball.

    Injuries completely destroyed Leuer's career, as he played in a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons with zero appearances in the 2019-20 campaign. Leuer's high point came with the Suns, where he averaged 8.5 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and a 38.2 mark from deep. His eight-year career comes to an end, with Leuer saying that his body simply won't let him play at a high level anymore.

    Source: Jon Leuer on Instagram

  • Kyrie Irving
    PG, Brooklyn Nets

    Following Governor Andrew Cuomo's greenlight from earlier on Sunday, the Nets will reopen their practice facilities on Tuesday.

    The team will open its doors to voluntary player workouts. The team's statement went on to elaborate that they would strictly follow NBA and infectious disease expert protocols as they resume activities. It's another small step in the right direction as the NBA continues its climb towards trying to play actual games.

    Source: Malika Andrews on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Kemba Walker feels that his left knee hampered him earlier this year because of all of the basketball he's played over the course of his career.

    The knee pain has been a constant this season, and Walker has missed eight games due to the injury overall. He should be fully recovered for when the season does resume at this point, and if he is able to get enough practice reps in he'll be able to avoid any restrictions whenever the league-wide shutdown is lifted.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Ante Zizic
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    If Ante Zizic chooses to leave the NBA when he hits free agency this offseason, he could draw interest from Maccabi Tel Aviv.

    Zizic had a lot of success in 2016-17 when he was last in the Euro League with Darussafaka, averaging 9 points and 6.7 rebounds in under 21 minutes per game. In comparison, he's been an afterthought for the Cavs this season, only averaging 10 minutes per game. Moreover, the Cavs declined to pick up his player option for next season, and they already have plenty of options for the frontcourt between Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., and possibly DeAndre Drummond (player option). Maccabi will have to see how much salary flexibility they have this offseason as ticket sales are likely to take a hit in Israel next year.

    Source: Euro Hoops

  • Kevin Durant
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    On Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that professional sports teams based in New York may resume operations immediately.

    With Governor Cuomo's green light in place the Knicks and Nets are now just waiting for Adam Silver's seal of approval on getting back into there facilities. The majority of the league now has state approval to access their practice facilities and the NBA is slowly ramping up activities in hopes of resuming games in July.

    Source: Andrew Cuomo on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported that the NBA has entered "exploratory conversations" with Disney on restarting the season at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

    NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said the NBA and NBPA have discussed with Disney on restarting the season in late July. Marc Stein reported on Friday that it is looking increasingly likely that games will resume in July, and it appears that the stage for the rest of the 2019-20 season is likely to be Orlando.

    Source: ESPN

  • LaMelo Ball
    PG, International

    The Knicks have LaMelo Ball as their top-rated point guard for the 2020 NBA Draft.

    The Knicks have a need at point guard and Ball is considered the point guard with the highest upside in this draft. He had poor shooting numbers in his 12 games in the NBL this past season, shooting .250 from deep and .375 from the field. He is a gifted passer though and averaged 6.8 assists per game in 31.3 minutes, adding 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals. If Ball was drafted by the Knicks, he could help younger players RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson get easier looks. Ball will likely be given an opportunity to run the offense by the team that drafts him and he could put up big assists numbers. He also has an impressive steal rate in limited play in Australia, but his shooting percentages are a big concern.

    Source: SNY

  • Bradley Beal
    SG, Washington Wizards

    Bradley Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said “There are no Beal Sweepstakes and that’s why he re-signed with the Wizards.”

    Bartelstein continued to say “Brad re-signed with the Wizards because he wanted to stay in Washington and the Wizards wanted to keep him there.” Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported earlier in the week that the Nets had internal discussions with the Wizards for Beal. A trade out of Washington would likely hurt Beal’s fantasy value, but it’s not worth putting too much stock into trade rumors for Beal in dynasty leagues.

    Source: Forbes

  • Jonathan Isaac
    PF, Orlando Magic

    Jonathan Isaac, who sustained a serious left knee injury in January, said his knee is "feeling strong" and that he has been squatting increasingly more weight recently.

    Isaac also said recently that he's open to returning if and when the NBA season is resumed and as long as the Magic organization is on-board with it. He has been running on an anti-gravity treadmill and indicated that his knee feels "110 percent" after more than four months of rehab. Isaac is a huge part of the Magic's future and it remains to be seen whether or not they will take the risk.

    Source: John Denton on Twitter