• A poor third quarter was enough to sink the Kings at home on Saturday night, falling to the Lakers 113-108 behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s season-high 34 points. Tonight’s loss marked Sacramento’s third straight, however, they remain in 13th place in the Western Conference thanks to the struggling Mavericks and Suns.

    Three straight losses are one thing, but the Kings have now lost eight of their last nine games at home; a concerning streak considering the number of home games remaining for Sacramento. Six of the team’s next seven games will be at home.

    The Kings were somewhat in control after the first half, leading 58-50 at halftime. However, Caldwell-Pope scored 17 of his 34 points in the third quarter alone, including an incredible five 3-pointers over a five-minute span. The eight 3-pointers he hit tonight tied a career-high, and his explosion was a big reason why the Lakers were able to hold on for a victory on the road.

    Former King Isaiah Thomas, playing in just his fifth game for the Lakers since being traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers, scored 17 points off the bench with three 3-pointers. He only shot 4-of-11 from the field, but he managed to control the pace of the game for Los Angeles which helped give them an edge as the game progressed.

    The Kings managed to keep themselves within striking distance in the final seconds of the game, getting as close as 109-108, but they just couldn’t pull through falling in another close game.

    Bogdan Bogdanovic turned in a solid performance tonight, posting 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block on 8-of-16 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from three. Bogdanovic figures to be a focal point on offense through the remainder of the season and rightfully so. He’s a natural-born scorer and has a great grasp on the pace of the game, so you can expect to see more plays run for him moving forward.

    Buddy Hield added 21 points off the bench with eight rebounds, shooting 8-of-17 from the field and 5-of-10 from three. Hield’s minutes have proven to be inconsistent over recent games, but he played 31 minutes tonight which was second highest on the team. He’s a guy that needs consistent minutes on a regular basis to really be effective and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t be the case over the final 20 or so games of the season.

    Willie Cauley-Stein reeled in a season-high 15 rebounds tonight. He also had 18 points, one assist, two steals and two blocks on 6-of-14 shooting from the field. Cauley-Stein played a team-high 37 minutes while reserve center Kosta Koufos only played 14 minutes, so maybe it’s a sign of things to come as far as the center rotation is concerned. The more minutes Cauley-Stein gets the better at this point in the season.

    The miserable third quarter was the only real difference in this one as most team stats were fairly even across the board. The Kings shot a superior 52.0 percent from three compared to the Lakers’ 44.7 percent, but Los Angeles managed to hit four more 3-pointers which can be a difference maker.

    Sacramento just couldn’t tighten the screws when the needed to on defense. If they had of turned in a respectable third quarter then this was their game to win. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be and now the team will prepare for a duel with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, a Wolves squad missing All-Star Jimmy Butler who has a torn meniscus in his right knee. Despite his absence, the Wolves will be no easy beat and they have plenty to play for, currently sitting third in the Western Conference.

Fantasy News

  • Paul Millsap
    PF, Denver Nuggets

    Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are all candidates for "load management" next season, according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic

    This is pure speculation by Kosmider, but this does hold some weight after the Nuggets' playoff run last season and the league-wide popularity of resting players. Millsap would seem to be at the most significant risk to get rested due to his age and quality of depth behind him. Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee would be the biggest beneficiaries should Jokic or Millsap miss time.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Thabo Sefolosha
    SF, Utah Jazz

    Thabo Sefolosha is among the attendees at Rockets minicamp in Las Vegas with a host of other notable free agents this week.

    Sefolosha will be joined by the likes of Nick Young, Luc Mbah a Moute, Raymond Felton, Terrence Jones and Corey Brewer. The odds of someone making the Rockets' roster increased with Iman Shumpert declining an offer sheet from the team.

    Source: Kelly Iko on Twitter

  • Iman Shumpert
    SG, Free Agent

    Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Iman Shumpert has decided to decline the contract offer from the Rockets and will not attend team minicamp in Las Vegas this week.

    It'll be back to the drawing board for Shumpert. It's unsure exactly where he'll end up now, or if he and the Rockets will come to a new agreement in the future. Shump can get steals and threes, but otherwise isn't much of a fantasy asset, unless he finds himself in an ideal situation.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    After an extraordinary summer of 2019, which saw a cavalcade of stars change teams, executives around the league expect that this year’s transaction wires will be dominated by the trade market.

    “We’ve been getting calls all summer,” one general manager said. “I think if you look at the market, there is going to be a very robust trade market this winter for a few reasons.” The big driver figures to be the open, empty crater that the 2020 free-agent class has become. Teams hoping to make significant changes in their direction won’t have free agency to lean on and trades will be the only way to go. If you enjoyed the twist and turns that came with the very busy NBA free-agency period this summer, then buckle up as the trade market means more could be on the way this season.

    Source: Sean Deveney on Twitter

  • Michael Beasley
    PF, Free Agent

    The Shanxi Loongs of the Chinese Basketball Association are trying to bring Michael Beasley back to China.

    Beasley agreed to terms with the Pistons last month but he never officially signed with them as the team opted to go with Joe Johnson instead. Beasley has already played in China with Shanghai, Shandong and last year with Guangdong averaging 22.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

    Source: Sportando

  • Justin Simon
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Former St. John’s guard Justin Simon has signed an Exhibit-10 contract with the Bulls.

    Simon is 6’5” and went undrafted out of St. John’s, where he averaged 10.4 points and 5.1 rebounds last season, while also being named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year. The Bulls currently have 14 players on guaranteed contracts with guard Shaquille Harrison all but locked in to the 15th and final one, so that means Simon is likely headed to the Windy City Bulls of the G League.

    Source: Adam Zagora on Twitter

  • Mychal Mulder
    PG, Miami Heat

    The Heat have announced the signing of guard Mychal Mulder.

    Mulder played last season with the Windy City Bulls of the G-League and averaged 8.8 points in Summer League this year. He has good range but is unlikely to contribute much at the NBA level in 2019-20.

    Source: Miami Heat

  • Vincent Poirier
    C, Boston Celtics

    Nicolas Batum praised the play of Celtics center Vincent Poirier at the FIBA World Cup.

    According to Batum, Poirier "is a center that can block shots and control the paint." A native of France, Poirier has performed well over six seasons in Europe. Nevertheless, he should only be a depth option for the Celtics with Enes Kanter starting.

    Source: NBC Sports Boston

  • Zach LaVine
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Zach LaVine has been fine tuning his playmaking skills in the offseason, according to an interview with FanSided.

    LaVine enjoyed the best field goal percentage of his career for the Bulls last season. He also scored a career best 23.7 points per game. However, LaVine averaged 3.4 turnovers and his fantasy value will increase if he can take better care of the ball.

    Source: FanSided

  • Tyler Herro
    PG, Miami Heat

    According to Ira Winderman, rookie Tyler Herro is unlikely to start for the Heat at the beginning of the season.

    The Heat drafted Herro out of Kentucky with the 13th pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. Dion Waiters should be the primary shooting guard at the outset. However, expect Herro to get plenty of opportunities to contribute.

    Source: Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel