• The Kings got off to a solid start at the California Classic in Sacramento, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 98-93 on Monday.

    The Kings got off to a sloppy start offensively, but it didn’t take long for the youngsters to get into the swing of things and make some big plays. No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley scored seven quick points out of the gate, including a 3-pointer and this monstrous throwdown:

    Sacramento came back down to earth after that, as the sloppy play returned and the Lakers built a 24-18 lead. Finding a rhythm on offense can take time, especially in summer league, and that was certainly the case with the Kings in the first quarter.

    The Lakers built a 12-point lead early in the second quarter, but the Kings’ offense managed to settle down and make some plays. Defensively they made some adjustments, too, led by former West Virginia product Daxter Miles Jr., who played great defense on Josh Hart.

    The Kings cut the deficit to 54-48 at halftime, and it would have been closer had Hart not hit a buzzer-beating three. Bagley had nine points to lead the Kings, while Harry Giles had seven. Giles displayed some impressive defensive tendencies, both in the post and on the perimeter. His quick feet and long arms allows him to keep smaller players in front of him and that’ll be huge if it translates to the NBA.

    De’Aaron Fox took over on both ends in the third quarter. He was making shots all over the floor and was playing some pesky defense on the other end. His lateral quickness is impressive and it’ll be a real asset come next season.

    Fox had 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals through three quarters, and helped the Kings tie it up at 67 heading into the fourth.

    After a shaky first half, Sacramento settled into the game nicely and looked solid in the second half. They had the superior talent in this game and they were able to take over accordingly. Second-year players Fox and Frank Mason got better as the game went on, and Bagley and Giles had good first outings, too. It wasn’t a comfortable victory by any stretch, but a summer league win will be satisfying for the team regardless.

    Fox finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals on 9-of-15 shooting for Sacramento. As was noted when the California Classic roster was announced, Fox will not play in Las Vegas, so he’ll likely be playing heavy minutes over the next few days.

    Bagley totaled 18 points, six rebounds and three blocks on 6-of-11 shooting (1-of-2 3PT). His biggest knock coming out of college was his defense but he did an admirable job tonight. Blocked shots don’t always signify a good defensive player but he moved his feet well and showed some upside there. Bagley got knocked around when backing down players on offense and that’s slightly concerning, but we’ll take everything as a grain of salt at this stage.

    Giles posted 13 points, three rebounds, one steal and one block in 25 minutes of work. He shot 6-of-10 from the field and hit a 3-pointer, too. He played with energy on both ends and displayed a smooth looking jumper. It’ll be interesting to see how much he actually plays out on the perimeter once the regular season rolls around, but having that in his arsenal would only lead to good things.

    Mason had a great second half to finish with 16 points, two rebounds, nine assists and two steals. He shot 4-of-7 overall and 2-of-3 from deep. Mason’s two 3-pointers both came in the fourth quarter and they were contested looks over much bigger players. They were shots you don’t ideally want him to take, but he made them so you can’t complain too much there. Mason’s nine assists were a game-high, and he turned the ball over just twice.

    Finally, Justin Jackson didn’t have a promising outing for the Kings. He played 32 minutes and scored just five points on 2-of-6 shooting. With a gaping hole at small forward, playing time is up for grabs and nothing is guaranteed for Jackson. There’s nothing stopping the team from bringing in a guy to start at small forward, and they might just do so if Jackson can’t find some consistency.

    Sacramento will be back in action tomorrow night against the Golden State Warriors at 8 pm PST.

Fantasy News

  • Kyrie Irving
    PG, Brooklyn Nets

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Kyrie Irving (right shoulder) could conceivably join his Nets' teammates in Orlando when they return to play later this summer, albeit as an inactive player.

    There was really never much of a possibility that Irving would return to action in 2019-20 unless the season got pushed back severely. After the arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in late February, the Nets tentatively said they expected to have him back in time for preseason workouts in the fall (which will now likely take place in November or later). That still seems like the likely scenario, even given the long pause the league was forced to undergo. Caris LeVert had shown flashes of brilliance again this season after he returned from injury, so he and Spencer Dinwiddie will evidently be shouldering the ball-handling duties when the Nets take the floor in Orlando.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowksi on Twitter

  • Kevin Durant
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    Kevin Durant (right Achilles) confirmed on Friday that he will not take the court for the Nets when they return to play in Orlando in late July and early August when they close out the 2019-20 season.

    Given the extended pause to the current season due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there were many who believed the Nets could plausibly try to bring back both Durant and Kyrie Irving from their respective injuries in order to make a push for a championship later this summer. Evidently, Durant will remain out of the equation for the Nets as they look to close out the season on a high note. "My season is over," Durant said. The Nets currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and will have to maintain that position in order to avoid the planned play-in bracket to decide the eighth seed after the initial eight final "regular season" games. Durant has never seemed likely to play, even with the pandemic disrupting the season, and it seems as though he won't be playing for the Nets in Orlando. Much crazier things have happened, though.

    Source: The Undefeated

  • Kelly Oubre Jr.
    SF, Phoenix Suns

    Kelly Oubre Jr. (torn right meniscus) will be able to take the floor for the Suns when the NBA returns to play in Orlando on July 31, the team's owner Robert Sarver said on Friday.

    This is phenomenal news for the Suns, as Oubre had really been having a breakout season for the Suns (18.7 PTS, 6.4 REB, 1.5 AST, 1.3 STL, 0.7 BLK and 1.9 threes per game in 34.5 minutes) prior to going down with a torn meniscus in late February. He was originally expected to miss the rest of the 2019-20 season, but due to the pandemic he has recovered and will evidently be fully functional for a team that currently sits in 13th place in the Western Conference. They will have quite the uphill battle to force their way into the playoff field in August, as there will only be eight regular season games played before the playoffs are set.

    Source: Arizona Sports

  • Jonathan Isaac
    PF, Orlando Magic

    The President of Basketball Operations for the Magic, Jeff Weltman, said Friday that the team does not expect Jonathan Isaac (left knee) to return when league play resumes, but that they will also be letting his rehab program dictate his timetable.

    Isaac has been sidelined since the beginning of January after a serious injury to his left knee.
    He was scheduled to be re-evaluated in 8-10 weeks but the impact of the coronavirus has muddled things up with many players, Isaac included. The Magic don't want to risk Isaac's immediate future, as he is under contract for one more season and is eligible for a qualifying offer prior to the 2021-22 season. With the Magic sitting in eighth place in the East and looking a (potential) fight for the right to face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs as the eighth seed in August, the Magic brass may opt to keep Isaac out until the beginning of next season. That seems likely, at least.

    Source: 96.9 The Game on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Marc Stein is reporting that the NBPA has agreed to continue negotiations with the league for a 22-team restart to the season.

    Stein also noted that not everything is settled at this point, and more items need to be agreed upon before the NBPA is ready to sign and proceed forward with the resumption of games. It sounds like we're still on a path to an agreement, but the NBPA still has a few points to clarify before it is all said and done. Stay tuned.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Shams Charania is reporting that the NBPA informed players that they will be tested on a nightly basis for COVID-19 and a positive test will result in quarantine for a minimum of seven days.

    The resumption of play will also include 2-3 preseason games and a bubble of 1600 total people. Players will not have tracking devices on them but they are expected to stay in the bubble for the entire period. Everything is gradually coming together and the schedule for the return to play is becoming more and more clear for all parties.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Nikola Jokic
    C, Denver Nuggets

    According to head coach Mike Malone, Nikola Jokic has been staying in great shape during the lockout.

    Jokic has never been known for staying in shape, especially during the offseason, and it will be a legitimate surprise if he returns lighter than he was at the stoppage in play. He started the year on the slower side and was clearly looking behind out of the gate, but he was back to his usual first-round value by the time games came to a stop. He should be ready for action when the lockout comes to an end. His teammate Jamal Murray is claiming that Jokic now has a "little four pack".

    Source: The Athletic

  • Dejounte Murray
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    The Spurs were dealing with injuries to LaMarcus Aldridge, Dejounte Murray, Jakob Poeltl and Lonnie Walker IV before the season was halted, but all four are expected to be "good to go" when the NBA resumes action.

    Poeltl (MCL sprain) was dealing with the most significant injury of the bunch, and if he's ready then everyone else will be as well. Aldridge was day-to-day with a shoulder strain, while Murray and his strained calf were the biggest headache for fantasy GMs before the season stopped. Initially given no timetable for return, he's ready to go and will split the PG work with Derrick White as the Spurs try to extend their playoff streak.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Darius Bazley
    PF, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Darius Bazley has recovered from a right knee bone bruise that he suffered in February.

    We're going to say that he's healthy after he was spotted playing pickup games this past week. Bazley was set to be re-evaluated 4-6 weeks after sustaining the injury and is good to go. He's not a lock to receive minutes in the postseason but more depth options never hurt anybody.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Andre Roberson
    SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Andre Roberson (left knee) may be able to play in the NBA's eight-game regular season, per The Athletic's Erik Horne.

    Roberson has been out since January of 2018 thanks to a ruptured patellar tendon and some subsequent setbacks, but he said back in April that he's past the rehab stage of his recovery. It would be tough to envision the Thunder granting Roberson a big role considering the severity of his injury and the length of his layoff, but there's a chance that the defensive stopper can make some impact for the team down the stretch. Either way, it will be great to see him back on the floor again.

    Source: The Athletic