June 5, 2018, 1:18 pm
On July 21, the Kings will find themselves in as prime of a draft position as they’ve been in in recent memory.
At the Draft Lottery they jumped from a projected seventh pick to the No. 2 spot in the upcoming draft and it opened up a window of opportunity, while it also left fans hoping that the team cashes in on their fortuitous climb.
Enter Vlade Divac: the man who’s done enough wheeling and dealing in recent NBA drafts to make Ric Flair proud. He has a sureshot opportunity to snag a team-changing player if he makes the right choice.
Luka Doncic is the name that many envision Adam Silver announcing when that time comes in a couple weeks. He’s a tall, point-forward style player that has proven himself overseas. But — and it’s a big but — it leaves to wonder if his play will translate.
Some think it would, but with little tape that he has out there, some see defensive and athletic limitations. Others see the basketball IQ of someone way older than 19 and a skill set that can compete in basketball’s highest level of play.
Then, there’s Deandre Ayton, a monster of a man from Arizona who could be the No. 1 pick if the Phoenix Suns so choose. Ayton has a dominating prowess in the post, but can also stretch his defender with his outside shot. He can work off the dribble or catch a lob with the best of them.
Another option for Sacramento is Marvin Bagley III. Bagley was a standout at Duke and, though not 7-foot 1 like Ayton, has some size himself at 6-foot 11. He also showed the ability to take over games, like the previously mentioned prospects.
So, with talent like that, there’s no way the Kings give up their pick… right? Well, Divac has proven in back-to-back drafts that he’s willing to part with a pick — if, of course, he’s able to receive adequate compensation.
Two years ago, Divac and the Kings selected local kid Marquese Chriss and fans around Sacramento cheered. Only he would never play a game for the Kings and was gone minutes later. He was traded to the Suns for the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic and the 13th and 28th pick in that year’s draft.
Last season, the Kings once again traded down and selected Zach Collins for the Portland Trail Blazers, receiving the 15th and 20th picks in the draft as well.
This season, though, the Kings may not look to deal for just picks. The Kings need more veterans on a roster that is filled with players under-25.
With Vince Carter being a free agent, Zach Randolph receiving minimal playing time down the stretch and the Kings sending George Hill away mid-season, the three veteran additions Sacramento added last offseason could all be gone by the time next season rolls around.
So, what could the team do? They could trade down to receive some veteran help, while also getting themselves in prime position for a couple of talented rookies (possibly this year and in the future) as well.
The first player they could trade down for is Michael Porter Jr.
Porter was once looked at as the top player in the upcoming draft; out of high school, he was highly renowned. However a back injury hampered his collegiate career and he played just 53 minutes all season. Porter told reporters he feels he’s the best player in the draft, and that he could prove to be if he’s healthy and can return to his dominance he showed in high school.
Many mock drafts have him winding up in Orlando with the Magic. However, the Kings could attempt to snag someone like Nikola Vucevic from the Magic while sending their pick for Orlando’s sixth. HoopsHype mentioned Vucevic’s name last season as a possible player on the move.
Or the Kings could look to a big like Mo Bamba, who is a little more of a project but could have defensive upside to the moon and back if he can establish himself as an interior force; not to mention if he can add some weight to his slim frame.
Bamba is projected to go anywhere between fourth and seventh at this stage. The Kings could swap picks with a team like the Mavericks in the five spot and snag Mo Bamba, and they could also have the opportunity to get a player like Wesley Matthews in the deal. His contract is large and he’s already 31 years old, but he could temporarily fill the small forward void the Kings have. After a down year with the Mavs, though, the jury is out as to whether Matthews can be a competent player in the league again.
It’s important to remember that just like in everything else, there are winners and losers, and it’s very easy to land on either side of that win-loss column.
Just last season the Boston Celtics showed just how well trading down can go when they swapped their No. 1 overall pick for the Philadelphia 76ers third pick. The Celtics got Jayson Tatum and a future first rounder from Philly and the Sixers got Markelle Fultz in the deal.
On the other end of the spectrum, last season the Nuggets traded down from the 13th pick in the draft and missed out on Donovan MItchell. They received the 24th pick and a two-year veteran at the time in Trey Lyles during that swap.
The Kings know there are needs for a team that hasn’t touched 40 wins in 10 years and they have built a roster that’s loaded with potential. That potential, however, hasn’t translated into wins for the team with the longest playoff drought in the NBA. There’s plenty of options for the Kings and everything should be on the table for Sacramento.
August 17, 2019, 2:10 pmTyler DorseySG, International
Tyler Dorsey has signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C. of Israel.
Dorsey played 21 games for the Grizzlies last year after being acquired midseason from the Hawks via trade. He played well over that span with 9.8 points in 21.3 minutes but will take his talents overseas where, "He'll have a chance to showcase what great things he can do," according to his new head coach. Maccabi has signed several former NBA players this offseason as Dorsey will be joining Omri Casspi, Nate Wolters, Quincy Acy and Tarik Black.
Source: Macabi Tel Aviv on Twitter
August 17, 2019, 12:57 pmRayjon TuckerPG, Milwaukee Bucks
Rayjon Tucker will be signing with the Bucks on a partially guaranteed deal.
Tucker is a little older than most rookies and will be 22 before the start of the season but he played well enough at Little Rock last year to deserve a look, scoring 20.3 points per game and knocking down 2.4 triples per game at a 41.1 percent clip. He rounds out the Bucks 20-man training camp roster but since they already have 15 guaranteed contracts and both two-way spots occupied, he is very unlikely to make the team and could very well end up in the G-League.
Source: Darren Wolfson on Twitter
August 17, 2019, 12:45 pmDe'Aaron FoxPG, Sacramento Kings
Per Chris Hayes of Yahoo, De'Aaron Fox will be withdrawing from the FIBA World Cup in order to focus on the upcoming season.
Fox follows the trend set by many other players that have withdrawn for the same reason. Maybe this is related to him only playing six minutes in the exhibition against Spain on Friday but either way, he should be in line to improve last year's huge leap in production and could even be in the All-Star conversation. Derrick White is much more likely to make the final roster now with Fox out.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
August 17, 2019, 11:39 amKemba WalkerPG, Boston Celtics
Kemba Walker leads US in 90-81 victory over Spain on Friday.
Walker impressed in the exhibition with 11 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and two steals in 22 minutes with Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and Khris Middleton also playing well as his co-stars. Four Celtics are expected to be on the final roster which will serve as a great opportunity for Walker to develop a good rapport with his new teammates ahead of training camp. Marc Gasol was the top scorer for Spain with 19 points, four rebounds, three assists, a steal and two blocks while Ricky Rubio finished with 16 points, seven assists and five steals.
August 17, 2019, 9:05 amKhem BirchC, Orlando Magic
Khem Birch led all scorers with 18 points as Canada lost to Australia in the second game of their mini-series exhibition.
Birch also chipped in four rebounds, two steals and a block in 23 minutes. He recently signed a two-year extension with the Magic but he currently sits as their third string center so he is off the fantasy map for now. For Australia, captain Joe Ingles put up eight points on 2-of-10 shooting with six assists and three steals in 31 minutes while Jonah Bolden chipped in 12 points, five rebounds, a steal and two triples in 18 minutes off the bench.
August 17, 2019, 8:24 amJuancho HernangomezPF, Denver Nuggets
Juan Hernangomez was back in action on Friday after undergoing core surgery in May.
Hernangomez did not do much in his 20 minutes of action in Spain's exhibition against the US on Friday but at least he has recovered from his surgery. He is entering a contract year but it will be difficult for him to get much playing time with the Nuggets at full health. He played only 8.4 minutes per game over the last two months of last season.
Source: Nick Kosmider on Twitter
August 17, 2019, 8:03 amJayson TatumSF, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum's intent is to increase his scoring this season according to Keith Smith.
Tatum has been working on being stronger with the ball, drawing fouls and finishing through contact which should result in an increase in free throws, points and efficiency. He was already a top-60 player in only his second year in the league by providing a little bit of everything from a fantasy perspective and should only continue to grow going into his third season.
Source: Keith Smith on Twitter
August 17, 2019, 7:36 amDaulton HommesSF, San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have signed rookie Daulton Hommes.
This is likely a camp deal for Hommes as the Spurs already have 15 guaranteed contracts on their roster. The NABC Division II Player of the Year averaged 8.4 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.4 triples and 1.0 threes in in 17.7 minutes for the Bucks in summer league action. He is unlikely to play in the NBA this season.
Source: Jeff Garcia on Twitter
August 17, 2019, 12:01 amMarcus SmartPG, Boston Celtics
In the NBATV broadcast on Friday night, Marcus Smart said he is "100% confident" that his health won't be an issue to start the World Cup.
With the news of PJ Tucker having to drop out due to an ankle injury, it's good to see Smart won't have to do the same. His presence will be a key factor on defense for Team USA.
Source: Jay King on Twitter
August 16, 2019, 9:31 pmPatty MillsPG, San Antonio Spurs
Patty Mills scored 20 points along with three rebounds, four assists and four treys in 24 minutes in Australia's 70-90 loss to Canada in Friday's World Cup exhibition game.
Mills lead Australia in scoring in their first World Cup exhibition game. With Dejounte Murray returning this coming season from injury and Derrick White's rise, Mills is only a deep-league player at best in 2019-20. Fellow countryman Joe Ingles scored 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal.