• For most Kings fans coaching changes, even surprising mid-season ones, are far from unusual. Starting with the abrupt dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014, the Kings became a franchise defined by their inability to properly handle their head coaching situation.

    Dave Joerger may not have been able to lead the team to many wins during his first two years, but he did provide some consistency that the team desperately needed. Following an 8-7 start to the 2018-19 season, replacing Joerger didn’t even seem like a remote possibility.

    Despite his recent success, a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports just before the Kings’ game in Houston put the team right back in the middle of an unsavory coaching story:

    Replacing Joerger after the team’s better-than-expected start would be a colossal mistake for many different reasons. On the court, a head coaching change could severely impact the development of the team’s young talent, and off the court it would be deflating for a fan base that is finally starting to see the light at the end of a 13-year long tunnel.

    One top of that, the biggest impact would probably be to the team’s reputation around the league. Sacramento will always be at a slight disadvantage when looking to hire top talent just by the virtue of being in a smaller market, but the team has put themselves even further behind in the past with foolish decisions. Their recent success has clearly helped change their reputation, but firing Joerger would be throwing out all of the ethos they’ve gained, plus some.

    With those notes out of the way, it’s worth pointing out that from the very beginning the report didn’t really make much sense:

    There appears to be a substantial disconnect between the Sacramento Kings’ front office and head coach Dave Joerger pertaining to the franchise’s priorities and direction, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    It’s win now vs. development for the future.

    This is not a knock on Chris Haynes’ reporting, it’s a knock on the idea that Joerger is prioritizing winning over development. There is an argument to be made that players like Skal Labissiere, Harry Giles and even Marvin Bagley would have seen more time on the floor this season if the Kings were not winning as many games, but the fact is that the Kings have been led to this start by a breakout season from De’Aaron Fox, and improved play from players like Buddy Hield and Willie Cauley-Stein.  Fewer wins to start the season would not have meant less playing time for veterans, it more likely would have been less playing time for some of the team’s most promising young players.

    This isn’t to say that the there’s no room to nitpick here.  It wouldn’t be surprising to hear that the front office has a few small recommendations that they would like to make, but that’s probably true for most teams.  If the front office is truly ready to move on from Joerger because of what can only be described as minor disagreements regarding the rotations, then there probably isn’t a coach out there that can provide what they’re looking for.

    It’s hard to believe that this is a possibility in the near future, and a statement released by Vlade Divac shortly after the report made it seem even less likely:

    Based on the statement, it would be surprising to see a change in the near future, but the Kings are no strangers to surprising moves.  The team has been able to repair some of the damage that’s been done to their reputation over the last few seasons, but in many ways this report represents their first real test.  If they can handle this report properly and move past it, they should be able to continue on the promising path that they’ve been on this year, but if they can’t put an end to this soon they run the risk of ending up right back where they started.

Fantasy News

  • Alfonzo McKinnie
    SF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Alfonzo McKinnie finished outside the top-350 in both 8- and 9-cat leagues while averaging 4.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 0.7 turnovers in 14.8 mpg across 40 contests with .427/.215/.710 splits.

    McKinnie has proven to be a nice depth piece for three teams in his NBA career after going undrafted in 2015. He has a non-guaranteed contract for next season and is off the fantasy radar outside of the deepest of leagues.

  • Kevin Porter Jr.
    SG-SF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Kevin Porter Jr. impressed many in the fantasy community with his showing from 2019-20 as he posted 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.1 threes and 1.9 turnovers in 23.2 minutes with .442/.335/.723 splits across 50 games.

    Porter even logged three starts in his rookie campaign and returned 208/260 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues. The Cavs have had a glaring hole on the wing ever since LeBron James left in free agency and Kevin Porter Jr. is poised to become their starting small forward in years to come. Similar to most players, his biggest challenge will be his efficiency as he starts to see more minutes and an increase in usage.

  • Larry Nance Jr.
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Larry Nance Jr. produced 102/82 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues while averaging 10.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 threes and 1.1 turnovers in 26.3 mpg with .531/.352/.676 splits.

    Nance played in 56 out of a possible 65 games in 2019-20 and was in the starting lineup in 10 contests. His fantasy arrow appears to be pointing up as Tristan Thompson is a free agent which should allow more opportunity for the legacy heading into next season. From January 20 on, Nance was a 6th/4th round per-game value and will likely find himself inside the top-100 next season with top-60 upside.

  • Brandon Clarke
    PF, Memphis Grizzlies

    In an interview with Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Brandon Clarke confirmed that he has recovered from his right quad injury by stating, "over these past five to six weeks, I've gotten back to the player that I was. I feel like I'm pretty much the same health that I was pre-injury."

    All of the news coming out of the Grizzlies' camp is positive with a fully healthy squad heading to Orlando. Clarke had an excellent rookie season prior to the injury as he posted 104/80 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues and will likely improve upon those numbers as he continues to hone his craft.

    Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal

  • Malcolm Brogdon
    PG, Indiana Pacers

    On his twitter account, Malcolm Brogdon (COVID-19) announced to fans that "I'm feeling well. and I'm ready for Orlando."

    Brogdon's positive test result was reported on June 24 so he has had 14 days to recover from the virus. It appears that the Pacers will have Brogdon available for the resumption season and he should continue to see an increased workload with Victor Oladipo sidelined.

    Source: Malcolm Brogdon on Twitter

  • Pau Gasol
    C, Free Agent

    Varlas Nikos of Eurohoops.net reported that Pau Gasol is expected to sign a one-year deal with FC Barcelona as he prepares for his final Olympics in 2021.

    Gasol has had a storied career in the NBA, making six all-star games and winning two NBA championships with the Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant but his days playing NBA basketball are in the rearview. It will be exciting to see the Gasol brothers play for their native country one last time before Pau retires from basketball entirely.

    Source: Varlas Nikos on Twitter

  • Isaiah Roby
    PF, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Isaiah Roby will sit out the restart of the NBA season in Orlando after having a minor procedure on his right plantar fascia.

    Roby played 11 minutes total across three games for the Thunder so far this season. This news doesn't impact the fantasy or reality landscape of the resumption season.

    Source: The Oklahoman

  • Kevin Love
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    After only playing in 22 out of 82 contests in 2018-19, Kevin Love was able to suit up for 56 out of 65 games this season and produced 49/58 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues.

    For the first time since the 2015-16 season, Love's total fantasy value exceeded his per-game value due to several injuries he had incurred over the last four years. He posted 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.6 threes and 2.5 turnovers in 31.8 mpg with .450/.374/.854 splits. Love can continue to produce standard league value moving forward with the caveat that he has a tendency to miss more than the 13.8 percent of games that he missed in 2019-20.

  • Matthew Dellavedova
    PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

    In his first complete season with the Cavs since winning a championship for them in 2015-16, Matthew Dellavedova saw 14.4 mpg across 57 games including four starts.

    Delly was outside the top-350 in per-game value for 8/9-cat leagues. The tenacious defender struggled mightily with his efficiency with .354/.231/.865 splits and can be left off fantasy radars heading into the 2020-21 campaign. It is even possible that he doesn't find a way back onto an NBA roster next season as he is now an unrestricted free agent.

  • Tristan Thompson
    C, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Tristan Thompson was able to hang on to 134/158 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues after a strong start to the year and finished the season averaging 12.0 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.8 turnovers while shooting .512 from the field and .615 from the charity stripe in 30.2 mpg.

    Thompson was a great player to select at the ends of drafts as he was able to produce top-95 value in 8/9-cat leagues in the first 19 games of the season. He is an unrestricted free agent and it would be surprising to see the Cavs bring him back as they already have Kevin Love, Larry Nance and Andre Drummond ($28.75 player option) signed in the frontcourt.