• The Sacramento Kings head to New Orleans Friday night to start off a quick two-game roadtrip.  This will be the team’s first visit to New Orleans since the trade of DeMarcus Cousins.

    There will be plenty of discussion surrounding the trade heading into the game, but there are still some interesting playoff implications.  The Kings have been eliminated from contention, but the Pelicans are still fighting for the final spot in the Western Conference.

    Beyond that, it will surely be an interesting game for Cousins, who has never faced the Kings in his career.  Cousins’ time in New Orleans has produced some mixed results to this point, but he has still been able to dominate from time to time.  While his focus will likely be primarily on winning, it certainly won’t be like most games for him.

    Here are some notes heading into the matchup:

    • DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis present huge matchup problems for the Kings, and Cousins is likely a bigger issue than Davis.  Cousins is one of the most physical players in the league, and the Kings don’t have much strength up front to contain him.  Kosta Koufos could prove to be the best option for guarding him, but even then he’s sure to present problems.  Finding the best solution to guarding Cousins early will be a key for the Kings tonight.
    • While Cousins was the highest-profile player in the trade, Buddy Hield will also be facing the team that drafted him for the first time.  Hield has been dramatically better since arriving in Sacramento, and will likely want to flaunt some of that during the game.  The Pelicans are fairly thin on the perimeter, so Hield should have a good chance at a big night.

    While the team was officially eliminated from the playoffs, there is still plenty to play for tonight.  The Pelicans are fighting an uphill battle to try to get into the postseason, and the Kings certainly won’t roll over and make it easy.

Fantasy News

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard expects to play for Team USA during next year's Summer Olympics.

    Lillard skipped this year's World Cup but is planning to play in Tokyo. He should be a late first-round or early second-round fantasy pick this year.

    Source: news.com.au

  • Stephen Curry
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    Warriors guard Stephen Curry expects to play at next year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

    Curry will have a busy year ahead of him. Still, it's no surprise that many potential members of Team USA skipped this year's FIBA World Cup in favor of an Olympics appearance. Curry will be a popular early first-round pick in fantasy drafts.

    Source: ESPN

  • Isaiah Thomas
    PG, Washington Wizards

    Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left thumb.

    This is rough news for the Wizards, who already have John Wall on the shelf. Thomas was a candidate to start at point guard, but instead he'll have to recover from yet another injury. Thomas averaged 8.1 points and 1.9 assists in limited action for the Nuggets last campaign.

    Source: Washington Wizards on Twitter

  • Carmelo Anthony
    PF, Free Agent

    Several Nets players are pushing for the team to sign Carmelo Anthony, according to Ian Begley. However, it's unknown whether Sean Marks and the front office will go forward.

    Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have already been reported as being among Anthony's supporters. Still, Melo could end up with a team other than the Nets or nowhere at all in the NBA. He averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds before the Rockets parted ways with him last November.

    Source: Ian Begley on SNY

  • Justin Anderson
    SG, Washington Wizards

    The Wizards signed guard Justin Anderson.

    The Wizards could use depth, but Anderson's deal is non-guaranteed and he is unlikely to make a major fantasy impact. He averaged 3.7 points last season in limited action for the Hawks.

    Source: Fred Katz on Twitter

  • Isaiah Taylor
    PG, Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have signed guard Isaiah Taylor, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

    It's a partially guaranteed deal for Taylor, who missed last season due to injury. The Celtics, Nuggets, and Suns had also shown interest. Taylor averaged 6.6 points and 1.3 assists in 2017-18 with the Hawks. He's unlikely to put up big numbers with the Raptors.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Darius Miller
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans have applied for a disabled player exception worth $3.625 million, after losing forward Darius Miller for the season with an Achilles injury.

    Miller became a reliable perimeter threat for the Pelicans last year averaging career-highs in points (8.2) and assists (2.5) in 69 games. He then signed a two-year deal worth $14 million early in the summer. Without Miller, the Pelicans will likely give more minutes to Kenrich Williams and Nicolo Melli.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Lonzo Ball
    PG, New Orleans Pelicans

    According to Andrew Lopez, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram have been full participants in voluntary team workouts.

    It's great news for the two former number two picks as they enter their age-22 seasons with a fresh start. Neither Ball nor Ingram has played in 60 games in either of the past two seasons due to injuries. Ingram has never cracked the top 110/170 (8-cat/9-cat), but he could easily beat that in New Orleans with a quick tempo and new role. Ball had a top 60/85 finish in his rookie season, so there's definitely upside here. Lonzo does have a very wide range of possible outcomes, so draft him only if you're feeling risky.

    Source: Andrew Lopez on Twitter

  • Yante Maten
    PF, Miami Heat

    The Celtics are signing F Yante Maten to an Exhibit 10 contract on Tuesday.

    Maten had a strong season with the Skyforce in the G-League last year averaging 23.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. He was also productive in Summer League action with the Heat this summer.

    Source: Adam Himmelsbach on Twitter

  • 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