• The Kings headed to Minnesota Sunday night looking to start their three game roadtrip with a big win, but the team was unable to pull off the upset.

    The first quarter started off well for Sacramento thanks in large part to a hot start from De’Aaron Fox. Fox contributed seven of the team’s first nine points, finishing the quarter with 14 points on just five shots.

    The Wolves struggled to get into a rhythm offensively, but Karl-Anthony Towns steadied the team when he was on the floor. The Wolves repeatedly went to Towns in the post when they needed a basket, and the Kings struggled to do much to stop it.

    The Kings continued to play aggressively to start the second quarter and it paid off. The Kings continued to get good looks in transition, and the pressure that they applied on defense helped force plenty of turnovers. One of the biggest reasons for Sacramento’s success early in the second quarter was the play of Buddy Hield, who ended the quarter with 11 points and two steals.

    Sacramento was well on their way towards a big halftime lead, but turnover issues and poor shot selection allowed the Wolves to make a run and eventually take the lead.

    The Kings came back from halftime with the same intensity that they brought in the first half, but they were able avoid some of their mistakes that let the Wolves back into the game. Sacramento outscored Minnesota 26-19 in the third and built a five-point lead heading into the final quarter.

    Defense was mostly a positive for Sacramento early in the fourth quarter, but they struggled to keep the Wolves from getting to the free throw line. Minnesota finished with 15 more free throws than the Kings.

    Sacramento stuck with Minnesota until the very end, but the Wolves just couldn’t be stopped late. A big three from Buddy Hield with ten seconds left brought the Kings to within two points, but a steal by Jimmy Butler sealed the 111-106 victory for Minnesota.

    Sacramento will now head to Dallas where they should have a good opportunity to even up their record on the roadtrip against the Mavericks.

    GAME NOTES

    • Bruno Caboclo did not make his debut for the Kings against the Wolves, and it was mentioned during the broadcast that the team does not plan to play any of their new players until after the All-Star break. Iman Shumpert is currently dealing with a foot injury as well, so he may be out for an extended period.
    • De’Aaron Fox was active on both ends of the floor tonight, leading the Kings in scoring with 23 points while also getting three steals. Fox did a great job of using his speed to blow past his defender, but his ability to hit jumpers off the dribble made him particularly effective.
    • Sacramento was clearly looking to push the pace against the Wolves, and while that did lead to some great plays in transition it also led to quite a few turnovers. The team will get better as they get more comfortable running the floor, but it will be tough to win with 18 turnovers and just 17 assists.
    • JaKarr Sampson saw some time on the court in Minnesota, and while there were a few mistakes he was able to make a big difference with his effort and energy. Sampson is much more comfortable playing as a power forward, but he had been seeing quite a bit of time on the perimeter in recent weeks. Sampson should have a good chance to see some extra time on the floor with the team looking to play it’s younger players, and he could make a nice impact as a high energy stretch four.

Fantasy News

  • Meyers Leonard
    C, Miami Heat

    Talking to the Miami Herald, Meyers Leonard said that his ankle has healed correctly and he is ready to play in Orlando and make a case for his next contract in the NBA.

    Leonard, who started the first 49 games of the season before the injury, averaged 6.1 points while shooting 52 percent from the field and 42.9 from the 3-point line. He is an impending free agent, and even though he wants to remain in Miami, he is expected to have plenty of suitors after a productive year with the Heat.

    Source: Miami Herald

  • Gordon Hayward
    SF, Boston Celtics

    After two years in which he struggled to return to his old form, Gordon Hayward looked fresh and healthy averaging 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.6 triples and 0. 8 steals while shooting .502/.392/.847 splits and returning 51/44 value in 8/9-cat scoring formats.

    The versatile forward had a tremendous start to the season before missing a few games with a left foot injury that is reportedly still bothering him. Regardless, he still managed to play 33.4 minutes in 45 games and he should continue to be the wild card for a Celtics team that is looking to make some noise in Orlando next month. Hayward can opt out of the max contract that he signed with the Celtics a few years ago and it will be interesting to see if he feels like testing the open market.

  • Brad Wanamaker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Brad Wanamaker averaged 6.6 points, 1.4 triples, 2.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 19.3 minutes off the bench, returning 241/245 value in 8/9-cat scoring formats.

    With Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart missing time due to various injuries, the Celtics had to turn to Wanamaker for some much-needed help at the point guard position and the veteran delivered. His percentages though were ugly and he doesn’t really have a diverse fantasy game but Wanamaker proved to be a nice option in deeper formats. He is a free agent at the end of the season and he should be able to generate some interest around the league as a scoring guard who can hit the triple.

  • Enes Kanter
    C, Boston Celtics

    After signing with the Celtics as a free agent last year, Enes Kanter lost the starting job to Daniel Theis and played just 17.5 minutes in 51 games, good for 187/181 in 8/9-cat scoring formats.

    Kanter failed to score in double-digits for the first time since 2013, but he collected 7.7 rebounds and blocked a career-high 0.7 shots per game. His lack of defensive efficiency was what forced Brad Stevens to move him to the bench and it looks likely that he continues to battle Robert Williams for the backup center minutes in Boston. He has a player option for next year and it will be interesting to see if he chooses to look for a better deal in the open market.

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Kemba Walker’s numbers fell slightly in his first year in Boston, but he still managed to return top-50 value in just 50 games, ending up ranked as 43/42 in 8/9-cat scoring formats.

    Playing with a much more talented group, the charismatic guard ended up averaging 21.2 points, 3.3 triples, 4.9 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 0.9 steals while shooting .421 from the field, .377 from behind the 3-point arc and .867 from the charity line. Health was the main issue for Walker who had to miss some time due to knee soreness but the recent break probably worked in his favor and he should be ready for the Orlando bubble.

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Dwight Howard has decided to play for the resumption of the season in July.

    His status was up in the air at first, but he has now decided to play. This was a big redemption year for Howard and it's his best shot at a title since he was on the Orlando Magic so it isn't surprising to see him take advantage of this opportunity.

    Source: Shams on Twitter

  • Kyrie Irving
    PG, Brooklyn Nets

    Kyrie Irving's 2019-20 was marred by injuries, limiting him to play just 20 games, but the guard still impressed based on per-game averages, ending the season ranked 6/5 in 8/9-cat scoring formats.

    Irving came into 2019-20 with chip on his shoulder, failing to deliver as a leader for the Celtics, both on and off the court. Unfortunately, a myriad of injuries kept him on the sidelines for majority of the season. Out of all them, it was his nagging right shoulder injury that was his biggest bane. It even forced him to undergo season-ending arthroscopic surgery to address it. That said, expect that aforementioned chip on his shoulder to still be there next season. We should see more of his improved production from 2019-20 with averages of 27.8 PPG, 2.8 3PG, 5.2 RPG and 6.4 APG on a new career-high shooting of 47.8 percent from the field. Both he and Kevin Durant will be big question marks for the 2020-21, especially when it comes to their health history.

  • Joe Harris
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    Joe Harris had a solid fourth year as a pro in 2019-20, averaging 13.9 PPG, 2.4 3PG and 2.1 RPG on .471 shooting from the field, to finish the season with ranked at 137/140 in 8/9-cat per game value.

    Harris saw a slight slide from his 2018-19 production, but it wasn't too bad as he still was able to be a standard-league value player, thanks to his efficient shooting percentages from the field and the line and his respectable 1.5 turnovers per game. Harris remains one of the league's best sources of 3-point shooting without putting fantasy teams' field goal percentage at risk. His role should remain steady in 2020-21, though he could slide below the 30-minute per game mark.

  • Taurean Prince
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    A trade to the Nets in 2019-20 allowed Taurean Prince to bounce back from a disappointing 2018-19 campaign and provide top-150/178 in 8/9-cat per game value.

    It wasn't all popcorn and cotton candy for Prince, who, despite being handed the starting PF job, failed to take full advantage of his opportunity to shine. He struggled with a lack of consistency and struggled with his shot, hitting at a dismal .376 clip from the field. In his 29.0 minutes per game, Prince was able to post averages of 12.1 PPG, 2.3 3PG, 6.0 RPG and 0.9 SPG. Sadly, the eventual return of Kevin Durant will surely dampen Prince's outlook for the 2020-21 season.

  • Garrett Temple
    SG, Brooklyn Nets

    Thanks to his 186/177 8/9-cat per game value and 186/176 value by totals, Garrett Temple was one of the better streaming options in fantasy in 2019-20.

    Temple proved to be a sneaky option for many fantasy teams, averaging 28.1 minutes per game and delivering a diverse stat line. He was able to offer up averages of 10.3 points, 2.0 3s, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 0.8 steals per game. It wasn't all good though, as Temple did hurt teams' field goal percentages with .378 shooting from the field on 9.5 attempts per game. At 34 years of age, this was likely a brave late-career hurrah for the veteran, who should see his role slightly diminished once the Nets are all healthy and playing steady minutes.