• Rudy Gay has informed the Sacramento Kings that he’ll exercise his player option and probably won’t return to Sacramento next offseason. That is, of course, assuming he isn’t traded beforehand.

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical has the scoop, wherein Sacramento apparently has no intentions of accepting a discounted package for the Villanova product.

    There’s a couple ways to read this, but the major takeaway is that Rudy Gay really wants to get out of Sacramento. It’s not particularly surprising that he won’t return to the Kings, but him letting them know this far in advance should kickstart their search for a dance partner on the trade market.

    Despite ownership’s misgivings about trading a player of Gay’s caliber, particularly in a season where they’re trying to compete in a new barn, it really would serve the franchise best of Vivek and company bite the bullet. Holding onto Gay for the entire season will leave a massive hole in the roster when he eventually departs and leave the Kings with their thumbs up their noses in a scenario that Gay literally told them was going to happen.

    They might also find things more difficult the longer they wait into the season as teams firm up their cap sheets. With less balls in the air right now it’d be easier for a potential trade partner to clear up the space needed to bring in a guy like Gay. There’s also the aspect of teams wanting Gay’s Bird Rights (so they can go over the cap to re-sign him if necessary) affecting potential trades; teams are already hesitant to bring in a flow-altering rental and would probably like some kind of commitment from Gay if possible.

    Again, he really wants to leave- he’s not even going to pit Sacramento and his Bird Rights against other bidders in free agency. That alone should be enough to show Vivek that he won’t be able to persuade Gay into staying, but only time will tell.

    There’s also this interesting note:

    “Gay had been encouraged by the appearance of stability under former GM Pete D’Alessandro and coach Michael Malone, but that confidence in the franchise waned with the turnover that ensued.”

    Not a shocking revelation, but what a horrendous mistake Malone’s dismissal was. Conversely, D’Alessandro wasn’t necessarily a stabilizing force during his tenure so that’s an interesting tidbit from Woj (or whoever he’s talking to).

    Rudy Gay simply has to be traded, lest the Kings look like court jesters once again.

Fantasy News

  • LaMarcus Aldridge
    PF, San Antonio Spurs

    LaMarcus Aldridge will not play Monday against the Bulls due to a sprained right thumb.

    This is a new injury for Aldridge and may partly explain his poor performance from Sunday. Knowing coach Gregg Popovich, however, he's likely resting his veteran big man on the second night of a back-to-back. No need for Aldridge owners to worry just yet, as he's been cruising as a top-20 value in his age 24 season.

    Source: Tom Orsborn on Twitter

  • Josh Jackson
    SF, Memphis Grizzlies

    The Grizzlies have recalled Josh Jackson from their G League affiliate.

    The former 4th overall pick from 2017 was promoted shortly after Grayson Allen was ruled out indefinitely with a hip injury. Jackson has lit up the G League, with per-game averages of 20.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and a combined 2.9 defensive stats on 44% shooting. We know he can be this dynamic in the big league as well, but with the Grizzlies in the playoff chase, they won't (and shouldn't) completely turn to the youth deep in their bench just yet.

    Source: Grizzlies PR on Twitter

  • Richaun Holmes
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    Richaun Holmes (right shoulder strain) will miss his 9th consecutive game on Monday against the Wolves.

    We haven't gotten much of an update on Holmes' condition since he came down with a shoulder sprain. We've received vague reports about his potential availability this week and that still seems like a possibility despite tonight's absence. In his stead, Dewayne Dedmon and Harry Giles will need to step up, but neither are in consideration in standard leagues.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Grayson Allen
    SG, Memphis Grizzlies

    Grayson Allen (left hip soreness) has been ruled out indefinitely.

    Allen has improved as a shooter this year, but has been sidelines with both ankle and hip injuries for the majority of the season. The youth movement has continued with out him. He's off the fantasy radar.

    Source: Chris Herrington on Twitter

  • Lauri Markkanen
    PF, Chicago Bulls

    Lauri Markkanen (right hip stress reaction) shared that his hip had only recently begun to bother him before being shut down for over a month.

    This can be interpreted in two ways. One could understand the fact that Markkanen thought the hip problem was just "normal soreness" as positive, since it's unrelated to issues he's had with his oblique, elbow and ankle this season. On the other hand, this might just be further proof of just how brittle Markkanen has been throughout his young career, averaging about 24 missed games per season if this newest timetable holds true. Thaddeus Young has held top-30 value in his absence and is the type of pick-up that could propel you into the postseason.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Malik Monk
    SG, Charlotte Hornets

    Malik Monk expressed surprise at his name popping up in trade rumors and shared his commitment to the Hornets.

    Monk was responding to a report about the Knicks being interested in trading for him. He responded with the typical, cookie-cutter non-answer. Monk has been playing his best basketball as of late, emerging as a spark plug off the bench, and the truth is that Charlotte should probably be testing the market to see what they can get for the inconsistent 21-year-old. Monk's not a stash per se, given that he's not likely to start wherever he gets traded, but he'd be a speculative add if trade rumors prove true.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Willie Cauley-Stein
    C, Dallas Mavericks

    Willie Cauley-Stein has yet to practice with the Mavericks and is uncertain to play on Monday against the Thunder, according to Rick Carlisle.

    The report continues to say that Cauley-Stein may not be activated in time for Tuesday's game either. We're not sure why WCS' Mavs debut has to be delayed. In the piece, Carlisle describes him as a "rim-protector" and "rim-roller," two roles to which additional practice time would not necessarily contribute one way or the other. In any case, if you picked up the Mavs big man hoping for four games this week, you'll likely get less than a full slate of games from him.

    Source: Dallas News

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard was unstoppable while leading the Blazers to a 139-129 victory over the Pacers on Sunday, totaling 50 points (14-of-23 FG, 14-of-16 FT), 13 assists, six rebounds, eight 3-pointers and one steal.

    This will go down as one of the best fantasy lines of the entire season. Lillard has gone for 61, 47 and now 50 points over his last three games. Despite C.J. McCollum returning to help lighten his load, Lillard still dominated over 38 minutes. He just keeps getting better, and if he can do this all season he is going to be in the conversation for a top-5 selection next year.

  • Jeremy Lamb
    SG, Indiana Pacers

    Jeremy Lamb woke up from his recent stupor of mediocrity in Sunday's loss to the Blazers, notching a team-high 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting and a full line.

    Lamb rounded out his line for the night with two rebounds, one assist, two 3s, two steals and one block. He combined for 31 points over the last four games prior to tonight's gem. After this rampage on the stat sheet, you can consider his buy-low window officially slammed shut.

  • Hassan Whiteside
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    Hassan Whiteside was fantastic vs. the Pacers on Sunday, registering 21 points (9-of-11 FG), 14 rebounds and six blocks.

    This was a high scoring affair, and it will be interesting to see if Whiteside can continue averaging 15 points a game alongside a fully healthy roster now that C.J. McCollum returned to the lineup. Either way, Whiteside is indispensable as long as Jusuf Nurkic (leg) remains out. Until Nurkic is back in action Whiteside is going to keep beasting with early-round value.