• 2017-18 averages: 73 G | 60 GS | 27.8 MP | 11.6 PTS | 2.8 REB | 4.4 AST | 1.0 STL | 0.3 BLK | 2.4 TOV | 41.2 FG% | 30.7 3P% | 72.3 FT% |

    De’Aaron Fox was considered somewhat of a project out of Kentucky – his elite speed and ability to handle the ball could theoretically give him an early edge in the NBA, but he still had plenty to learn as a shooter and his body was undeveloped.  Despite all of that, being the first player selected by the Kings after trading DeMarcus Cousins gave Fox plenty of expectations to live up to early in his career.

    His first few performances gave fans plenty to be optimistic about. Fox regularly caused problems with his speed, and flashes of electric ball handling skills, as well as a seemingly workable jumper, showed exactly what he might be capable of in time.  After a strong opening to his career, Fox seemed to hit a wall in November. This wasn’t far outside of what could be reasonably expected for a rookie point guard, but it was slightly concerning to see so early in the season.

    Not long after going through the first prolonged slump of his professional career, Fox was forced to deal with his first injury.  In a mid-December game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Fox was forced to exit in the first quarter after running into Karl-Anthony Towns and did not return to the game. A few days later it was announced that he would miss at least two weeks with a partial tear of his right quad.

    Early season injuries are never easy to deal with, but the time off did seem to breathe new life into his game.  He showed off more shooting ability than most would have expected heading into the All-Star break, and possibly more importantly he began to build a reputation as a player who could get a basket when his team needed it most.

    His season would continue to be up-and-down from there on out, but there was still development in his game.  Offensively, Fox did a great job of developing his jumper as the season went along.  Shooting just over 30 percent from behind the arc certainly isn’t the long-term goal for him, but there’s no doubt that this number was better than expected.

    Not only did he impress with his percentages, but his shot became noticeably smoother as the season went on as well.  One of the more impressive performances for him this season was in April against the Spurs.  He ended up going 3-for-5 from behind the arc, and even more encouraging was his confidence:

    You can see in the video above that not only did he feel comfortable taking that shot, he was actually seeking it out.  Fox was clearly viewing his 3-point shot as a weapon at times later in the season, and his development as a shooter was what made that possible.  He continually worked to simplify his shooting form and speed up his release, allowing him to become a threat off the dribble as well as in catch and shoot situations.

    The other part of his game where this was apparent was late in games.  Fox unexpectedly developed a reputation as a clutch player this season after hitting shot after shot in close games throughout the season.  Stepping up when the team needs it most requires a certain mental toughness, but his athleticism gives him another edge in these situations.

    Ultimately, he may have been even more threatening when he was creating these looks for himself. According to NBA stats, Fox shot 31 percent on pull up 3-pointers this season, a higher number than both Donovan Mitchell and Kyle Kuzma. He still needs to work on his touch, but his body control and ability to elevate already make him a threat off the dribble.

    There was plenty to be excited about with Fox this season, but he’s still learning the nuances of the game on offense and needs to take advantage of his tools on a more regular basis. In half-court settings, Fox settled far too often for mid-range jumpers and didn’t do a good enough job of finding open looks for his teammates. Without being much of a threat to shoot, Fox will have to work harder than most to find his way to the rim, but being more patient in these situations would help tremendously.

    Defense was also an issue for Fox at times, something that most probably wouldn’t have expected after watching him at Kentucky. His effort was lacking a bit at times, but his lack of instincts on that end seemed to be an even bigger issue for him. Fox was regularly caught going the wrong direction when guarding on ball, and his lack of strength made it difficult for him to defend with physicality.

    The good news with Fox is that he appears to have a relatively clear path to major improvements. Adding strength should make him a better finisher at the rim, and it should also clear up some of his issues on defense. Adding strength doesn’t happen overnight – or over an offseason – but it’s reasonable to assume that he has plenty of room to grow at just 20 years old.

    Generally speaking, resilience was the most prevalent theme for Fox this season. It didn’t matter what slump he was in, what injury he had been dealing with or how big the situation was, Fox was always able to bring effort and focus when his team needed it most. His improvement over the year was encouraging, but it’s the maturity he showed that could eventually allow him to unlock his sky-high potential.

Fantasy News

  • Shabazz Napier
    PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Shabazz Napier (right hamstring strain) is probable for Monday's game.

    Napier had a nice game on Sunday despite only playing for 15 minutes. His role prevents him from being particularly valuable in standard leagues, though.

    Source: Timberwolves PR on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Updating a previous report, Kawhi Leonard (knee maintenance) has officially been ruled out of Monday's game vs. the Pacers.

    This was the expectation all along. The only surprise here is how many rhetorical acrobatics the Clippers have performed with his injury designation, from "load management" to "knee soreness" and now "knee maintenance." The truth is that the Clippers' brass acquired Kawhi Leonard's services on the condition that he alone could dictate his availability for regular season games and Kawhi has understandably taken advantage of his leverage. He's annoying to have in fantasy, but he's earned the right as one of the best players on the planet and he hasn't even met his upside this season, sporting a career-low 44% field goal shooting. When that number returns to the mean, watch out.

    Source: NBA Injury Repot

  • JA Morant
    PG, Memphis Grizzlies

    Ja Morant will play on Monday after missing over a week with back spasms.

    Morant has returned quickly given his initial week-to-week status and will not be on a minutes limit. Tyus Jones carries minimal fantasy value as long as Morant stays healthy.

    Source: Grizzlies PR on Twitter

  • Jae Crowder
    PF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Jae Crowder is considered questionable for Monday's game against the Warriors due to illness.

    Grayson Allen and Solomon Hill would need to step up if Crowder is unable to play. Crowder has averaged 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds so far this season, but his value could dip when Kyle Anderson is ready to return.

    Source: Grizzlies PR on Twitter

  • Marvin Bagley III
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    Marvin Bagley has a chance to return from his thumb fracture on Monday against the Rockets and is being listed as questionable.

    He's been participating in full contact practice for a week now and the "questionable " has followed him around for each of the last two games, which he missed. This would not be an ideal matchup for Bagley to return, but there's a chance. Upon his return, he'll immediately benefit from the usage vacuum created by De'Aaron Fox's injury, but he'll also lose center minutes to an emergent Richaun Holmes. And deservedly so, as Holmes has been the Kings' most valuable player during the past injury-riddled month. Check back in closer to tipoff for a final update on his status.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Fred VanVleet
    PG, Toronto Raptors

    Fred VanVleet (right knee contusion) is being listed as questionable against the Bulls on Monday after leaving Sunday's game.

    Even if he doesn't play tonight, it's still a relief to hear that the injury wasn't serious after he was ruled out within minutes of suffering the injury on Sunday. VanVleet has been a top 10 contributor in both assists and steals this season, two categories which don't figure to be negatively impacted by the Lowry's return to the lineup given their symbiotic roles on this Raptors squad. His current top 20 pace isn't sustainable, but he's positioning himself as one of the best draft day steals of the season.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Dario Saric
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    Dario Saric (lower back soreness) and Mikal Bridges (left finger sprain) are both listed as probable for Monday's game against the Wolves.

    We're listing them together here because there's never too much to read into when it comes to injury reports out of Phoenix. The team tends to overuse their "probable" tags. Both of these players played in the last one and the more immediate concerns with their value are the Suns' big men returning to the lineup in the near future. Aron Baynes' and Deandre Ayton's insertions into the lineup would mean fewer small lineups with Oubre at PF, which would close down opportunities on the wing and in the middle for Bridges and Saric, respectively. The clocks are ticking on their standard leagues relevance.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Damion Lee
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Damion Lee, who has missed the last month with a fracture in his left hand, is listed as probably on Monday vs. the Grizzlies.

    Outside of Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, the Warriors inching closer to full health. There's really no takeaway here except that Lee is perhaps yet another young Warriors' wing you should have on your radar. Glenn Robinson and Alex Burks have stepped up in his absence, but where the value will come from in this rotation is impossible to predict on a night-to-night basis.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Marcus Smart
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Updating a previous report, Marcus Smart (eye infection) is not listed on the injury report for Monday's game against the Cavs.

    This is a quick turnaround. Smart went from possibly out to off the injury report entirely in the span of a few hours. Check back in closer to tipoff in case this was a mistake, but the latest signs point to Smart being active despite dealing with a litany of injuries and illnesses in the past few weeks.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Malcolm Brogdon
    PG, Indiana Pacers

    Malcolm Brogdon (sore right hand) participated in all of the drills during Monday's practice and is likely to play Monday night against the Clippers.

    His injury was never too serious and they exercised caution last night against a weak Knicks team. He'll be back against much stiffer competition tonight vs. the Clippers, who should remain competitive even without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup. Brogdon's cooled down a bit after his hot start, due in part to a litany of injuries, but he was never going to fall too far down the rankings since his hot start included a career-low FG% which he has since corrected. Fire him up to night and don't fret too much about Victor Oladipo's eventual return. Brogdon is set up to continue to be the Pacers' best player for the duration of the season, barring injury.

    Source: Jeremiah Johnson on Twitter