• 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

  • Kevin Porter Jr. - PG-SG - Cleveland Cavaliers

    The Cleveland Cavaliers have announced that they have officially acquired the draft rights to Kevin Porter Jr.

    This trade was confirmed on draft night but it has now officially gone through. Porter Jr. figures to see opportunities off the bench as a score first guard for a Cleveland team in desperate need of bench production in his first season. He'll get his first look with his new team in Summer League.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Stanley Johnson - SF - New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans have opted to not extend a qualifying offer to Stanley Johnson, making him an unrestricted free agent according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.

    This doesn't come as much of a surprise. Johnson struggled to make much of an impact both in Detroit and in New Orleans this season, despite possessing defensive upside that has been mired by his inconsistencies elsewhere throughout his career. He's still 23, and should find an offer elsewhere for next season. Wherever that may be, he will have a long way to go before he will become fantasy relevant.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Derrick Favors - PF - Utah Jazz

    According to Shams Charania of the Athletic, Derrick Favors will field calls from several interested teams and act as if he will be an unrestricted FA, a sign that he doesn't expect the Jazz to pick up his team option.

    Favors has gone on the record indicating that he'd love to return to Utah, but it appears that they are interested in allocating the 17 million he would have made, elsewhere. Favors has always struggled to maximize his fantasy potential playing next to Rudy Gobert, and perhaps a situation with a less clogged paint could do more for his value.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Thomas Bryant - C - Washington Wizards

    Thomas Bryant has been given a qualifying offer from the Wizards, making him a restricted free agent.

    Bryant surprised last season, coming from obscurity to finish with top-125/100 value (8/9-cat). That despite Scott Brooks toying with his minutes. If the Wizards can keep Bryant around last season's workload he'll easily be a steal in fantasy leagues, though we're obviously hoping he takes hold of the starting job.

    Source: Fred Katz on Twitter

  • Romeo Langford - PG - Boston Celtics

    The Celtics start Summer League practice this weekend but first-round pick Romeo Langford will not be cleared for full contact.

    Langford is recovering from right thumb surgery, which is not expected to have any significant long-term effects. This is just the Celtics taking it easy on their new rookie. Hopefully he's cleared before Summer League ends, otherwise we'll get our first look at him in preseason.

    Source: Adam Himmelsbach on Twitter

  • Enes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers

    The Blazers, Lakers and Celtics are among the teams that will be interested in free agent Enes Kanter, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

    Portland knows Kanter well and would surely like to have him back after his admirable work filling in for an injured Jusuf Nurkic, while playing through his own serious ailments, in the playoffs. The Celtics could use a ferocious rebounder to replace Aron Baynes and are barren at the center spot with Al Horford's departure, while the Lakers are lining up cost-effective depth with their roster almost completely empty. Kanter might not replicate his Knicks numbers, but he'll be a standard-league asset no matter where he lands.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Cheick Diallo - PF - New Orleans Pelicans

    Cheick Diallo will be an unrestricted free agent after the Pelicans decided not to extend him a qualifying offer.

    Diallo has solid per-minute output but the playing time has never been there for him in New Orleans. He's got talent and good work ethic, but the league is flooded with available big men at the moment. Hopefully Diallo lands in a spot where he can continue his development.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Nikola Mirotic - PF - Milwaukee Bucks

    Nikola Mirotic is another player on the Mavs' list of free agent targets, per Brad Townsend of the Dallas News.

    Mirotic is not as high on the list as Patrick Beverley, but the Mavs see the stretch forward as a potential fit. While Mirotic ended the postseason out of the rotation for Milwaukee, he's going to be a hot commodity given his floor-spacing and should hold solid standard-league value no matter where he ends up.

    Source: Dallas News

  • Tobias Harris - SF - Philadelphia Sixers

    The Clippers, Mavs, Nets, Nuggets, Wolves, Kings, Grizzlies and Pelicans are expected to be interested in Tobias Harris once free agency opens.

    The Clippers are the most surprising team on the list, but only because they dealt Harris unexpectedly last season. Even so, the team and player had success together and the relationship wasn't necessarily damaged by the deal. Harris is one of the top second-tier free agents available and should have his pick of competitive offers. The Sixers are said to be confident about re-signing him, but they won't be able to do so without a fight.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Julius Randle - PF - New Orleans Pelicans

    The Bulls are expected to indicate "early interest" in Julius Randle, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

    Randle is coming off a career year and is looking to cash in. The Bulls have plenty of space available and won't be in the mix for max players, so there's definitely a fit salary-wise if Chicago can get in on Randle before other teams pivot off the top players. It would be a pain for fantasy players however, as Randle joining a frontcourt that already features Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. would put a cap on each player. The Knicks and Nets are also interested in Randle, and we'll hear about more suitors in the coming days.

    Source: The Athletic