• With the draft just days away, Kings fans have been looking hard for clues to see what the team may be looking to do with the second overall pick. Most reports indicate that the team has settled on a top three – Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley III and Michael Porter Jr. Any of those three would have the potential to be a cornerstone talent for the Kings, but given the importance of the pick, it’s natural for fans to try and figure out who the eventual selection will be.

    Aside from reports, draft history may be the best tool to determine what Vlade Divac, and the rest of the front office, may be looking to do. Divac has just three drafts under his belt as an executive, but his seven first round selections provide plenty of data points to sort through when trying to determine what his philosophy might be.

    Certain trends jump off the page with Divac. The selection of Harry Giles and Skal Labissiere show that he’s willing to look past collegiate struggles to bet on potential later in the first round, and players like Willie Cauley-Stein and De’Aaron Fox show that he may be more comfortable taking a chance on players that are high-level athletes.

    Those seven selections do have some similarities that may provide clues, but the fact that he was able to make seven selections in three years is evidence of his biggest trend to date – a high level of comfort with trading back.

    With the second overall pick in a draft loaded with talent at the top, the Kings may find themselves in a position to trade back and acquire quite a few valuable assets. Discussing the merits of trading back would require knowledge of the types of deals being offered, so it’s impossible to say whether or not this would be a good route to go for the Kings. A scenario similar to the last year’s trade between the Sixers and Celtics would be ideal, but offers that good aren’t always available, and even then it’s important to have some level of confidence that you can still take a player that’s high on your wish list.

    The 37th pick is an entirely different story. After trading back two seasons in a row, the Kings have a wealth of young talent all over their roster. Generally speaking, that’s an enviable position to be in for a young team. The issue is that very few of these players are close to being finished products, and a lack of available minutes can make it difficult to evaluate them. With the player the Kings select second and Harry Giles coming into the fold next season, that problem is only going to get worse.

    Trading away players that are still unfinished products can be difficult. No team wants to be on the wrong end of a lopsided trade of a raw young talent, but the team may not have a better option. Willie Cauley-Stein will be up for an extension this summer, and the team will be in a similar situation with Skal Labissiere, Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic after next season.

    The Kings do have at least some idea of what those players will end up looking like, but they probably don’t have enough information to feel comfortable giving out extensions to most of them. These players are still one or two years away from being free agents, but the team may still have trouble finding minutes for all of them. Handing out bad extensions is a great way to cap your team’s ceiling during a rebuild, and letting go of players in free agency can send your team right back to where they started.

    For that reason, the best choice may be to package some of their young talent with the second round selection to move up.

    As mentioned above, the decision to move up or down should be made primarily based on the opportunities available. Overpaying to move up wouldn’t be wise, even with the team needing to free up minutes, but being aggressive when looking for offers is the right move. Plenty of teams in the first round need to add depth, so trading back with Sacramento may be mutually beneficial.  And for the Kings, the ability to consolidate a few decent assets to free up minutes and add a higher-level prospect could help simplify the rebuilding process.

    Parting with young players that are so far from being finished products can be tough, but the team is going to need to make tough decisions on all of their young players over the next few summers. There may not be an offer worth taking the night of the draft, but the Kings would be wise to take a hard look at the options on the table.

Fantasy News

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    Terry Rozier (left knee soreness) practiced in full on Tuesday.

    Rozier missed the Hornet's final game heading into the All-Star break, but it wasn't considered to be a long-term concern. Feel free to get Rozier back into all lineups ahead of Thursday's game against the Bulls.

    Source: Rod Boone on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Coach Terry Stotts said that he wouldn't put a timetable on when star point guard Damian Lillard (right groin strain) would return, but he is expected to be re-evaluated on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Lillard was given a timetable of 1-2 weeks last Wednesday, as the All-Star break came at an ideal time. Lillard has a shot to avoid any missed time if his re-evaluation shows progress, but owners should prepare for a scenario in which he misses a handful of games. The Blazers have five games remaining in February.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • Dario Saric
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    The Suns expect Dario Saric (left ankle) to be available to play against the Raptors on Friday.

    James Jones said that he expects everyone outside ok Frank Kaminsky to be available for Friday's game, meaning Tyler Johnson will be out there as well. While Saric has been out, Mikal Bridges has seen his role expand while Kelly Oubre Jr. has played a lot of PF. Keep an eye on how the rotation shakes out now that the Suns are healthy shakes out.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Aron Baynes
    C, Phoenix Suns

    James Jones said that he expects Aron Baynes (left hip soreness) to be available for Friday's game against the Raptors.

    Baynes will be joining Deandre Ayton and the rest of the injured Suns' players in returning for this one. Baynes hasn't played in roughly a month and should be seeing a minimal role off the bench down the stretch. He can be left on the waiver wire unless something happens to Ayton.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Deandre Ayton
    C, Phoenix Suns

    James Jones said that he expects Deandre Jordan (left ankle soreness) to be available to play against the Raptors on Friday.

    Ayton missed a few games to close out the first half, but it looks like the second-year big man will be good to go when the Suns return to action. Ayton was putting up top-12/16 per-game value in 9/8 cat leagues in the 13 games before going down, and owners have to be ecstatic to get him back in their lineups. Cheick Diallo will revert to a deep reserve role.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Cody Martin
    PF, Charlotte Hornets

    Cody Martin (concussion protocol) fully participated in Tuesday's practice session.

    Martin found himself in the starting lineup before going down a few weeks ago, as he has started to earn a bigger role in coach James Borrego's rotation. With Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out of the picture, Martin should have a reasonably safe role for the second half of the season.

    Source: Rick Bonnell on Twitter

  • Clint Capela
    C, Atlanta Hawks

    Clint Capela (right heel) did not participate in Tuesday's practice.

    Capela doesn't have a specific target date as he continues to fight the heel issue. With Capela out, Dewayne Dedmon will continue to absorb the bulk of minutes at C with Damian Jones backing him up. Over his past four games, Dedmon has averaged 8.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 3.8 blocks and 1.0 trey in 28.3 minutes per game.

    Source: Chris Kirschner on Twitter

  • Otto Porter Jr.
    SF, Chicago Bulls

    Otto Porter Jr. (left foot fracture) returned to Bulls practice on Tuesday.

    Porter added that he felt good and will return to game action when is 100 percent healthy. It was being reported earlier this week that Porter is eyeing a return before the end of the month, and this would be in line with that projection. It is unclear what type of minutes Porter can handle down the stretch, but his versatile skillset makes for an upside stash in fantasy circles.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Wendell Carter Jr.
    C, Chicago Bulls

    Wendell Carter Jr. (right ankle sprain) resumed practicing on Tuesday as he eyes a return to game action.

    Carter is hopeful of playing when the Bulls return to action against the Hornets on Thursday. The Bulls may take a cautious approach and let him get in a few more practices before clearing him, but Carter's arrow is pointing straight up right now. If he is lingering on your league's waiver wire, go grab him.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Kyrie Irving
    PG, Brooklyn Nets

    Brian Lewis of the New York Post is reporting that Kyrie Irving is expected to see a shoulder specialist as it is still bothering him.

    Irving is currently out with a knee injury, but that is said not to be an issue and is recovering fine, but the shoulder is still causing him problems. This is a glaring red flag as Irving missed 26 games earlier in the year because of the shoulder. Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert would stand to benefit the most should Irving's shoulder forced him to miss additional time.

    Source: Brian Lewis on Twitter