June 19, 2018, 3:43 pm
On the latest episode of the Lowe Post Podcast, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress reported that Luka Doncic has not shared his medical information with the Kings. When asked by host Zach Lowe about Sacramento’s plans with the second pick, Givony had this to say:
“First of all, you have to start off with, ‘who even wants to go to
Sacramento?’ … A lot of the top guys in this draft are openly trying to avoid going there … Jaren Jackson, Mo Bamba, [Luka] Doncic, no medical.”
As the draft gets closer, reports related to the Kings and Doncic have been all across the board. Lowe posited to Givony that the media buzz has been “so loud, and so universal” that Vlade Divac does not like the idea of selecting Doncic with the second pick, and followed up with a series of questions to Givony about whether or not he believed that. “I would be surprised if they took Luka,” said Givony. “It’s not just Vlade but also his staff was very openly criticizing Luka saying he’s not athletic enough, he’s too emotional, he’s not this, he’s not that.”
Earlier today, Carmichael Dave of KHTK 1140 confirmed that he had heard similar things, though Lowe doesn’t sound like he’s reporting but rather sharing a feeling on the media sentiment:
This matches what I’ve heard too. Is it accurate? Don’t know. But that’s the near universal chatter https://t.co/WKDrr1XEba
— Carmichael Dave’s Burner Account (@CarmichaelDave) June 19, 2018
The reports that the Kings aren’t high on Doncic have been gaining steam over the past few weeks, and the thought that Doncic may not want to be in Sacramento could be a contributing factor. Marvin Bagley III, who came to Sacramento for a workout, may be showing more interest than Doncic in being the second overall pick. There’s also a chance that the team was just enamored with what they saw during the workout. Those angles are all speculation at this point.
Despite some recent reports, there is some reason to believe that the Kings may have some level of interest in Doncic. Hoop Ball’s own Aaron Bruski reported on Saturday that Divac “genuinely likes Doncic as a pick”:
After talking with various Kings sources, the one thread that I get is that Vlade genuinely likes Doncic as a pick. Still, they’re in evaluation mode.
— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) June 16, 2018
These reports can be tough to reconcile. It’s also important to keep in mind that all teams factor in a few different voices in the selection process. Bruski noted in May that Brandon Williams may have more influence over the decision than most might expect for an assistant general manager. Owner Vivek Ranadive has also been very involved in decision-making in the past, so it’s possible this is a group decision of some type.
Right now (right now), the sense among folks I talk with is that Brandon Williams has a big voice in what the Kings do, maybe the biggest.
— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) May 17, 2018
It seems that in this case Divac does indeed like Doncic, but other decision-makers may have their eyes set on the perceived star power of players like Bagley and Michael Porter Jr.
More reports are coming in corroborating the group decision-making process in Sacramento. Bruski reported that Divac genuinely likes Doncic as a pick, Amick is reporting that ownership is pushing for Bagley, Carmichael Dave is reporting that he’s hearing there are “multiple influential voices” and Bruski reported back in May that Brandon Williams’ profile in the front office was rising. Even if Vlade makes the call, there are certainly a lot of things going on within the walls.
Per league sources, there is legitimate indecision within the #Kings front office between Marvin Bagley III and Luca Doncic. One league source used the word “torn.” Teams I’ve spoken with are operating under the impression that #Sacramento will select Bagley at two. #NBADraft
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) June 20, 2018
I keep hearing whispers that there are multiple influential voices in the Kings draft room.
Personally, I believe Vlade is 100% making the call.
But if- IF it were proven otherwise, as Pedro Cerrano once said:
“That would be bad.
— Carmichael Dave’s Burner Account (@CarmichaelDave) June 20, 2018
1) Been hearing this for a while.
3) Vivek is involved, as are a lot of owners. Not an endorsement, but that’s the story there. https://t.co/TT2lMPThZQ
— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) June 20, 2018
Sam Amick had some info on 1140. Said he feels Porter is no longer an option. Thinks ownership is pushing for Bagley while fans pushing for Doncic but no one has been able to get a read from Vlade. Bagley camp in the dark but feels good at 2. Doncic camp afraid ownership passes
— VCorradi (@corradiv3) June 20, 2018
USA Today’s Sam Amick since confirmed on Twitter what he said on 1140.
Sacramento: Capital city of NBA intrigue. Marvin Bagley is the CURRENT favorite at No. 2 in the draft, but there are teams in the lottery that think the Kings ultimately can't resist Luka Doncic … and they've been known to be weighing Michael Porter, too. Answers: 24 hours away
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 20, 2018
July 7, 2020, 6:51 pmTaurean PrinceSF, Brooklyn Nets
Taurean Prince has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not participate in the NBA restart, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Nets lose yet another rotation player and will now head to Orlando, and likely the playoffs, without Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, Prince, DeAndre Jordan and Wilson Chandler (as well as Kevin Durant and Nicolas Claxton). Look for Garrett Temple to pick up some extra minutes on the wing, with Justin Anderson and Rodions Kurucs potentially getting into the mix at power forward. Deep bench players like Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Dzanan Musa may also benefit. Joe Harris and Tyler Johnson may log a few extra minutes as a ripple effect, while Caris LeVert's fantasy price keeps going up as the primary scorer by default.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
July 7, 2020, 5:54 pmJayson TatumSF, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum put it all together as the new top dog in Boston, posting top-20/12 value (8/9-cat) in an outstanding season.
A reshuffled roster led to a much clearer pecking order, and Tatum thrived as the primary option. There was a two-month stretch towards the end of the year where he was a comfortable top-10 option. The third-year forward put up career-bests all over the board, including 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.9 blocks and 2.8 3-pointers. Tatum added 3.5 minutes to his nightly average this season but saw an increase of nearly six shots per game as the main beneficiary of Kyrie Irving's departure. While Tatum's percentages actually dipped (from .450 to .448 FG% and .855 to .806 FT%), the volume gains were too great to be dragged down. As Tatum continues to improve, he should be in the group of players that gets selected around the first round turn in fantasy drafts.
July 7, 2020, 5:45 pmJaylen BrownSG, Boston Celtics
Jaylen Brown finished the fantasy regular season as a top-55/70 player (8/9-cat), blossoming with a new-look Celtics roster.
With all of the changes Boston went through last summer, Brown was empowered to carry a larger share of the load and responded in a big way. He averaged 20.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks and 2.1 3-pointers while shooting .490 from the field and .736 from the line — all career-highs besides blocks. Brown took full advantage of an increase in nearly eight minutes per contest and an additional five shots, becoming a vital two-way part both on the court and in the box score. Brown made incremental improvements across the board, and the volume numbers carried his rise in the rankings, but don't sleep on his improved efficiency — particularly at the free throw line, where he had been under 66 percent in each of the previous two seasons. That could be the difference between a top-60 and a top-90 player moving forward, but Brown's new prominent role should secure him at least middle-round value for years to come.
July 7, 2020, 5:21 pmDaniel TheisPF, Boston Celtics
Daniel Theis emerged as a key contributor for the Celtics this season, finishing with top-110/80 value (8/9-cat) thanks to averages of 9.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.3 blocks and 0.4 3-pointers per contest.
An injury to Enes Kanter opened the door and Theis burst right through, never looking back. Theis also made 57 starts in 58 games this year after making just five starts combined over his first two campaigns. He set career-highs across the board, including a .565 mark from the field despite increased volume. A heady defender and versatile offensive threat, Theis was the missing piece at center for Boston between his rim protection and modest floor-spacing ability. Despite a handful of absences, Theis was even better by total value standards with top-90/75 rankings. He rarely wows you, but tends to check multiple boxes on any given nights and should remain a nice depth piece for fantasy purposes moving forward. With extended stretches as a top-75 player, there may still be some untapped upside if Theis can get more than the 23.8 mpg he received this season.
July 7, 2020, 5:09 pmJonathan IsaacPF, Orlando Magic
Although Jonathan Isaac (knee) is at Disney World with the rest of the Magic, he is still rehabbing his injury and GM Jeff Weltman splashed some cold water on the idea that he might play during the restart.
"He's at the stage where he can do a little light court stuff, but that's about it," Weltman said. Isaac was putting together a huge fantasy season and delivering on the high expectations that the Magic have for him before a devastating knee injury took him out of action on January 1. While Orlando is a safe bet for a playoff spot, they will likely err on the side of caution when it comes to Isaac's status. He's too important to the organization's future to bring back for a playoff series against one of the league's elite teams, especially after an eight-month layoff. Keep an eye out for more Isaac updates but don't count on his availability if you'll be playing fantasy games when the NBA starts again.
Source: Josh Robbins on Twitter
July 7, 2020, 5:04 pmRobert Williams IIIC-F, Boston Celtics
Robert Williams had a productive second season in the NBA despite a 37-game absence due to a hip bone edema, finishing with top-195/175 per-game value in 8/9-cat formats.
Williams was actually up close to the top-150 before he returned from his injury to a more limited role behind a resurgent Enes Kanter and a breakout campaign from Daniel Theis. The Time Lord needed just 14.0 mpg to come away with 1.2 blocks and 0.9 steals per contest, while also shooting a sterling .677 from the floor (albeit on low volume). It's clear that Williams already boasts block specialist appeal and if the Celtics reshuffle the frontcourt this offseason then he may make for a nice late-round flier type next year.
July 7, 2020, 4:54 pmGrant WilliamsPF, Boston Celtics
Grant Williams' first fantasy season ended with averages of 3.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.3 3-pointers in 15.5 mpg.
That was good for top-340 value on a per-game basis, and while Williams is not an important offensive cog for the Celtics it's clear that he has all the makings of a glue guy for Brad Stevens and fantasy GMs alike. Williams is the sort of player who does a lot of little things well and can rely on above-average basketball IQ. Boston's depth will be a limiting factor but there's a lot to like about this first viewing of Williams' stat set. He's on the deep-league radar next season and could surprise if he carves out a larger role.
July 7, 2020, 4:50 pmSemi OjeleyePF, Boston Celtics
Semi Ojeleye was only a modest contributor to the Celtics this season, but he did set a pair of career-highs with marks of 89.3% at the free throw line and 36.7% from 3-point range.
Ojeleye only averaged 14.6 minutes per contest, but he remains a trusted defensive option for Brad Stevens even if his offensive game is extremely limited. The fact that he was able to hit his freebies, even at extremely low volume, so efficiently bodes well considering he was around 61% in each of his first two campaigns. Ojeleye ended the fantasy season with top-400/380 value in 8/9-cat leagues and is not a recommended option moving forward.
July 7, 2020, 4:37 pmMarkelle FultzPG, Orlando Magic
An unnamed Magic player has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not with the team at Disney World.
Additionally, Markelle Fultz is not with the team due to a personal matter, while Al-Farouq Aminu remains away to continue rehabbing his knee. Seven of the 22 teams participating in the Orlando restart had to shut down their practice facilities due to COVID-19 positive personnel, and it seems like the league would've had an eighth had the Magic not already left for the "bubble."
Source: Tim Reynolds on Twitter
July 7, 2020, 4:04 pmCarsen EdwardsPG, Boston Celtics
Carsen Edwards made 35 appearances in his rookie season, finishing as a top-430 player in fantasy.
Edwards was always in tough to see substantial value this season given Boston's strong depth in the backcourt. The team remains high on his future but it's unlikely that he comes into any sort of fantasy appeal barring major changes this offseason. The highlight of his season was an 18-point outburst against the Wizards way back in November.