• The Sacramento Kings will be playing in one of their toughest games of the season Friday night when they square off with the Golden State Warriors in Oakland.  The Warriors will be without Kevin Durant, but the team still has plenty of talent on their roster.

    Sacramento is no longer much of a threat as a playoff contender, but the team won’t use that as an excuse to back down in a game like this.  A win over a team like the Warriors would be a tremendous confidence boost for the rookies, and should give them plenty of learning opportunities regardless.

    The Warriors have struggled, at least by their standards, since losing Kevin Durant, but the team has been playing better in recent games.  The team will come into Friday night’s matchup having won their last five games, and appear to be out of the mini-slump that they were in.

    Here are some notes heading into the matchup:

    • The Warriors play small and fast, often times operating without a true center on the floor, so the Kings will need to try and take advantage of their size whenever possible.  Georgios Papagiannis could be a matchup nightmare for the Warriors in short bursts, but he will need to keep up with them defensively to make that happen.  Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissisere should both be able to handle the up-and-down style, and may end up being the best tandem for the Kings tonight.
    • Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere have had some great games offensively over since the trade deadline, but both will be facing off against tremendous defenders.  Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will make it incredibly difficult for the rookies to to get their offense going, so both will need to choose their spots wisely.

    Sacramento may not be able to keep this game close, let alone win, but neither would be impossible by any stretch.  Golden State doesn’t make many mistakes on either end of the floor, so the Kings will need to be on top of their game to make it happen.

Fantasy News

  • 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

  • Jordan Murphy
    PF, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Forward Jordan Murphy will be in training camp with the Wolves after signing an Exhibit 10 deal, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

    Murphy averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds for the University of Minnesota last season. Murphy could join the Iowa Wolves of the G-League if he does not crack the NBA roster.

    Source: Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic on Twitter

  • Semi Ojeleye
    PF, Boston Celtics

    Semi Ojeleye could compete with Grant Williams for more minutes at forward for the Celtics, according to Jay King of The Athletic.

    Ojeleye only played 10 minutes per game for the Celtics last season but improved his field-goal shooting to 42 percent. He has shown some defensive prowess but could use more consistency in his perimeter shooting. Ojeleye is unlikely to contribute much for standard league owners.

    Source: Jay King of The Athletic

  • Mohamed Bamba
    C, Orlando Magic

    The Magic exercised their team option on Mo Bamba, signing him through 2020-21.

    Bamba averaged 1.4 blocked shots during his rookie season in just 16 minutes per game. However, the #6 overall pick in 2018 is firmly behind starting center Nikola Vucevic on the Magic's depth chart.

    Source: Orlando Magic PR on Twitter

  • Jonathan Isaac
    PF, Orlando Magic

    The Magic exercised their team option on Jonathan Isaac, signing him through 2020-21.

    Isaac started 64 games in his second season, scoring 9.6 points per game to go with 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Isaac also improved his free-throw shooting, finishing at 81.5 percent. He certainly has the potential to do even more going forward if he can stay healthy.

    Source: Magic PR on Twitter

  • James Ennis III
    SF, Philadelphia Sixers

    James Ennis should be the first wing off the bench for the Sixers, according to Rich Hofmann of The Athletic.

    Ennis, who averaged 6.7 points in 21 minutes per game last season, will provide depth behind Tobias Harris. His fantasy value isn't terribly high, but head coach Brett Brown trusts his defensive game. This report could mean a slight uptick in playing time for Ennis.

    Source: Rich Hofmann of The Athletic

  • Markelle Fultz
    PG, Orlando Magic

    The Magic have exercised their team option on Markelle Fultz.

    That will keep Fultz under control through the 2020-21 season. While Fultz is a former No. 1 overall pick, this was not a slam-dunk decision for the Magic given his health record and all the mystery that's clouded the first couple years of his career. With current starter D.J. Augustin set to hit free agency following the upcoming season, Orlando could be preparing to hand Fultz the reins. We want to know that he's healthy before endorsing him as a fantasy selection but the upside is enough to at least consider a deep-league flier.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter