June 17, 2018, 4:00 pm
Thursday’s draft is rapidly closing in and we’ve had no shortage of rumors. The Kings, with the No. 2 pick, are right in the thick of things and have a lot of weight on their shoulders. What they do with their pick will essentially dictate the rest of the first round.
The overwhelming consensus around the league is that Arizona’s Deandre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns. Anything can happen on draft night itself but it’s looking like a pretty good bet he’ll be off the board when it’s the Kings turn to pick.
Sacramento has been linked to Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley and Michael Porter Jr. to varying degrees; those three are the top names we’ve heard the most about at No. 2. Assuming the Kings stay put, it’s almost certainly going to be one of those three players headed to Sacramento.
Doncic has been the running favorite since the team landed at the second spot, but when Duke’s Marvin Bagley came in for a workout last week his name became more prominent in draft discussion, and on Friday USA Today’s Sam Amick reported that the Kings have strong interest in Porter Jr, despite the injury history. With three names firmly in the mix it’s hard to get a proper sense of what exact direction Sacramento will go.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 16, 2018
It’s been a long time since the Kings have had this much power in a draft. There’s a decent handful of really good options to choose from and all three of the aforementioned players could turn out to be really good. Even if the team decides to trade down, something they’ve done in each of the last two drafts, there’s still some good talent available.
The Kings can’t afford to miss on their pick this year, so you’d have to think staying at No. 2 is in their best interests. Maybe trading out completely for future picks or an established star could be in play, too? Reports surfaced late last week that the Kings could be a suitor for the disgruntled Kawhi Leonard, who is reportedly wanting out of San Antonio. The second pick would obviously have to be included in such a deal, along with a young player or two. It’s a high asking price for a guy who could decide to leave after one season, so making a move like that may not be wise. If they can somehow get confirmation that he’ll re-sign with Sacramento then that completely changes the situation, but that’s incredibly unlikely.
Trading out for an established player seemingly presents less risk than drafting a player. That way, you’d obviously be getting someone who’s already proved themselves in the league and is ready to contribute from day one. That’s a path that will probably get heavy consideration by the Kings, but it’ll depend on the right offer coming along and it’ll have to benefit the team both in the short-term and long-term.
Going back to the draft prospects. Doncic seems like the safest pick of the three players mentioned earlier. He’s the most NBA-ready and has proven that with his numerous accolades in the world’s second best league.
After talking with various Kings sources, the one thread that I get is that Vlade genuinely likes Doncic as a pick. Still, they're in evaluation mode.
— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) June 16, 2018
Bagley’s potential inclusion is interesting. It sounds like Harry Giles will be good to play next season, so that’s one guy who could be in the rotation. Skal Labissiere performed well at the back end of last season and will take up a good chunk of minutes. Willie Cauley-Stein has the starting center spot locked down for now. Kosta Koufos picked up his option and will be back, and Zach Randolph is still around to soak up whatever minutes Dave Joerger feels suitable. So where would Bagley fit in?
The 6-foot-11 big man shot 39.7 percent from three last season on 1.8 attempts per game. He showed enough to make people believe he has a respectable outside jumper, but will that actually carry over to the NBA? That’s still a big question mark, and because of that it restricts him to PF/C for now. The Kings would have to get rid of one or two of their big men for Bagley to get significant minutes in his first season, though, which potentially complicates the situation.
Porter has obvious question marks regarding his back injury, but reports following his second pro-day on Friday were positive. At 6-foot-10 he’s probably more suited as a power forward at the NBA level, but his shot making and scoring ability could allow him to slide to the small forward spot and that would suit the Kings perfectly. There are minutes up for grabs there, and that’s why Porter could make sense. But is he too risky to take second overall? Possibly.
Each potential option comes with varying degrees of baggage, though. Sacramento can go with the safe option in Doncic or by trading out, they can go with Bagley who will be ready to contribute but may cause a minutes crunch, or they could take a risk on the major upside of Porter and potentially fill the hole at small forward. Filling the small forward spot via a trade could tidy up the rotation, too, and it would provide the team with an established talent to build with.
The clock is ticking for the Kings and they have many different scenarios to consider. Thursday will be a big night for the organization.
August 23, 2019, 2:18 pmMarcus DerricksonPF, Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks signed Marcus Derrickson to an Exhibit 10 contract on Friday.
It looks like Derrickson will be a G-League option for the Hawks, so there's nothing to see here. At one point he was competing for the last roster spot on the team. We don't need to keep of track of every computer-generated player.
Source: Chris Vivlamore on Twitter
August 23, 2019, 11:01 amMarreese SpeightsC, Free Agent
Marreese Speights will work out for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopshype.
Speights spent last year playing in China and will attempt his NBA comeback with the Lakers. who are in desperate need of an additional center. He is among three centers the Lakers are looking into, the others being Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah. Of those three, Speights unquestionably has the best floor spacing ability, which would be his strongest bet to eke out those other two for the job.
Source: Alex Kennedy on Twitter
August 23, 2019, 10:15 amTrevor BookerPF, International
Trevor Booker has worked out for the Nuggets and has workouts planned with the Bucks and Clippers, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.
Booker was out of the NBA in 2018-19, spending the season in China after he didn't get any offers in free agency. He did return to the US to undergo a procedure on his foot but is apparently fully recovered. The last time we saw Booker he split 68 games between the Nets, Sixers and Pacers in 2017-18. If he does make a successful comeback he'll have no fantasy relevance.
Source: Alex Kennedy on Twitter
August 23, 2019, 10:01 amJohn HensonPF, Cleveland Cavaliers
In a recent Q & A on Cleveland.com, beat writer Chris Fedor said that the Cavs are "excited" to have a healthy John Henson.
Henson underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist last November and missed the rest of the season. He was limited to 14 games with Milwaukee before getting traded to the Cavs, averaging 5.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 13.4 minutes per game. The Cavs do have a crowded rotation at center with Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. all candidates to see minutes, but Henson gives them an element of rim protection and could factor in. He's a name to remember for deep-league owners hunting blocks.
August 22, 2019, 8:23 pmRobert CovingtonSF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Robert Covington (right knee bone bruise) will reportedly be "good to go" for the start of training camp in October.
Well, this is good news that we didn't hope we would need. Covington played 35 games last year and couldn't get over the bone bruise injury that kept him out for a majority of the year. We expected him to be ready to go, and the fact that we're even discussing this is slightly less than ideal.
Source: Dane Moore on Twitter
August 22, 2019, 3:27 pmKemba WalkerPG, Boston Celtics
Team USA has named Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Donovan Mitchell as captains for the FIBA World Cup.
Congratulations to Mitchell, Walker and Smart on the tremendous honor of being named captains for the USA men's team. This won't have any impact on their upcoming fantasy seasons, but it is a major accomplishment nonetheless. Team USA has an exhibition rematch against Team Australia on Saturday.
August 22, 2019, 12:25 pmIsaiah CanaanPG, International
Isaiah Canaan has signed a contract with the Shangdong Heroes of the Chinese Basketball Association.
The veteran journeyman played for the Suns, Wolves and Bucks last season, appearing in 30 games total. Canaan will be looking at a more prominent role and payday overseas as he attempts to build his value back up before trying to latch on to a team towards the end of the year. Canaan is off the fantasy radar.
Source: Zhang Duo on Twitter
August 22, 2019, 11:58 amPatty MillsPG, San Antonio Spurs
Patty Mills put up 19 points, three assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers in Thursday's international exhibition between Team Australia and Team USA.
The Boomers figure to be one of the chief threats to the Americans in the World Cup and put forth a competitive effort in today's exhibition. Mills has typically been a steady, late-round fantasy option for deep-league play but that may change this season as the Spurs will need to mix in both Derrick White and Dejounte Murray in the backcourt. Chris Goulding tied for the team lead in points, also scoring 19 while hitting four 3-pointers in 22 minutes off the bench.
August 22, 2019, 11:54 amMyles TurnerC, Indiana Pacers
Myles Turner put up 15 points and 14 rebounds in Thursday's exhibition win over Team Australia, shooting 6-of-8 from the floor with a 3-pointer.
Turner didn't get any blocks but we know that last year's league-leader can rack those up in a hurry, whether he's getting them in international competition or not. Look for another early-middle round season out of the talented big man. Kemba Walker led Team USA with 23 points in the 102-86 win.
August 21, 2019, 6:26 pmTrevon BluiettPF, Utah Jazz
Trevon Bluiett and Juwan Morgan sign with the Jazz in the hopes of one day playing in an NBA game.
Bluiett was on a two-way contract with the Pelicans last season while Juwan Morgan played for the Jazz in the 2019 Summer League. They will both compete for a roster spot in training camp but neither is a guarantee to make the final roster. They both have yet to see the court in an NBA game and can be ignored from a fantasy perspective until that day comes.
Source: Tony Jones on Twitter