• Vlade Divac has told multiple outlets that he is open to the idea of re-signing Rajon Rondo.

    We’re not sure what basketball other folks were watching out there but what we saw for the Kings was some of the worst offensive basketball we’ve seen out of a high-utilization player in years.

    Yes, some of that was tied to George Karl’s hair-brained offensive system, but at times we felt like Karl’s system was also being mangled by Rondo’s demands on the offense.

    Chiefly, in the halfcourt he demands that he gets to survey the court, set up what he likes and then it becomes a game of what he can actually develop.  Because teams go under on every screen against him and generally know what he can and can’t do, a very common result is over-penetrating forays into the paint or forced actions that yield bad shots for teammates.

    Beyond that he does hit the occasional home run play and if the defense falls asleep he is adept at taking advantage of it.  The part that absolutely brutalized the Kings, however, was the frantic and out-of-control pace he played at.  The team typically looked rattled with him at the helm, as he constantly forced bad passes and a lack of organization prevailed.  They rarely went to their best options or best matchups.

    Ultimately, because he demands to have such a large imprint on the team and handles the ball so much, he might have had the largest negative impact that a player had on a team outside of Kobe Bryant last year.  And though the Kings offense was middle of the pack (15th ORtg), it was actually a point lower with Rondo on the floor and it was 10 points higher with Darren Collison on the floor.

    Though Rondo’s defensive rating (107) was middle of the pack for this Kings team and Collison’s was 112, watching Rondo ignore the defensive end of the floor was sort of awe-inspiring considering he was going full bore on offense and pushing the pace at every opportunity.  To say he was gunning for stats would not get you laughed out of a room.

    The pace of play both got the Kings easy buckets and also contributed to the 28th worst turnover percentage in the league.  It also contributed to their terrible defense and got them out of quality matchups or key advantages they had with one of the league’s best post players in DeMarcus Cousins.  Because teams did not respect Rondo’s jump shot he had a hard time making simple entry passes, which may have contributed to Rondo’s choice to deploy him more in the pick-and-pop.

    If Karl was trying to make Cousins into a shooting guard Rondo was right there with him.  He also influenced Cousins to continue battling with the referees, which is a loaded topic and also a battle that may never be won (at least until the Kings are winning).

    There have been a lot of media that declared Rondo as having a ‘bounce back’ season and some that have written or said that he has had a great season, so there is a split in perception among folks about how wise bringing him back would be.  Some believe the Kings and the Nets, presumably his only option because he does not want to be a backup, would get into a bidding war for his services.  Team sources have said that this won’t be the case but they’re clearly stopping short of saying that they’re moving on.

    The Kings have no single more important decision than this one.  You can only go ‘full Rondo.’  There is no other way.  He’s the coach, he’s the dominant voice, he’s the everything at that point for your ball club.  And he’s going to run things his way.

    Now Vlade and Co. need to decide if he can change the way he does that.

Fantasy News

  • Luke Kornet
    PF-C, Chicago Bulls

    The Bulls have officially announced the signings of Luke Kornet and Shaquille Harrison.

    Kornet can provide threes and blocks as a backup big for the Bulls. He is currently behind Lauri Markkanen, Thaddeus Young and Wendell Carter Jr. but may be able to carve out some minutes for deep-league owners. Harrison will be fighting for minutes with the Bulls' plethora of point guards at the moment. If he can find some minutes during the season, he can be a source of steals as a player to stream or for deep leagues.

    Source: Bulls.com

  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
    SF, Toronto Raptors

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Raptors.

    Hollis-Jefferson's deal was originally reported as a minimum contract however it is now a $2.5 million contract which comes out of the Raptors' non-taxpayer mid-level. He will likely play some minutes behind Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. He is capable of defending multiple positions and might be able to provide some deep-league value in rebounds, steals and blocks.

    Source: Jeff Siegel on Twitter

  • Mike Muscala
    PF, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Mike Muscala has signed with the Thunder on a two-year, $4.31 million deal with a player option.

    Muscala could step in with the Thunder to be their stretch four behind Danilo Gallinari or back up Steven Adams. He could potentially earn some minutes especially with Jeremi Grant no longer on the team. He averaged around 20 mpg in his last two seasons with the Lakers and Hawks, providing threes and blocks that were useful to deep-league owners.

    Source: OKC Thunder Wire

  • Russell Westbrook
    PG, Houston Rockets

    Mike D'Antoni "would be disappointed" if Russell Westbrook didn't improve his 3-point percentage this season.

    D'Antoni added, "I think we can do that. I think that just by knowing that that's kind of how we play and him having the green light to (shoot) and not worry about it." Westbrook shot just 29.0 percent from deep last season and has been under 30.0 percent in four of his last five campaigns, so there is definite room for improvement. It's possible that Westbrook will find more catch-and-shoot looks available next to James Harden, and moving away from pull-up threes could help him improve his efficiency, but we won't be able to tell for sure until we see the duo take the court in preseason. Improving his deep shooting would definitely help, but there are serious questions about the rest of Westbrook's stat set. Rebounds and assists may not be as available in a system that isn't specifically tailored to him, and free throws and turnovers still look like problem areas. It's not a bad on-court fit but Westbrook seems unlikely to return to his former top-30 glory.

    Source: Salman Ali on Twitter

  • J.J. Barea
    PG, Dallas Mavericks

    J.J. Barea (torn right Achilles) will be cautious in his recovery and will not play for Puerto Rico at the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

    Barea expects to be ready for September's training camp but has decided that rushing back to play high-level international hoops would be a step too far. The tournament opens less than eight months after Barea sustained the injury, and he will instead focus his attention on getting ready for another season in Dallas. With the additions of Delon Wright and Seth Curry, it's unlikely that Barea plays enough to be worth your time in fantasy.

    Source: Tim MacMahon on Twitter

  • Matt Thomas
    PG, Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have officially signed shooting guard Matt Thomas.

    Thomas will join the Raptors on a three-year deal after emerging as one of Europe's top shooters with Valencia last season. The Iowa State product hit 48.5 percent of his 3-pointers last season and is at a clean 47 percent in his two seasons in Spain. He should factor into the shooting guard rotation with Danny Green gone and is someone to monitor in deeper formats for his 3-point potential.

    Source: Toronto Raptors

  • Tyson Chandler
    C, Houston Rockets

    The Rockets have announced the signing of Tyson Chandler.

    Chandler is looking like the backup to Clint Capela and could be called on more in certain matchups, though he doesn't figure to play enough to support any worthwhile fantasy value. It's possible that Chandler holds appeal in deeper leagues as a rebounding specialist but that should be about it.

    Source: Houston Rockets

  • Kostas Antetokounmpo
    PF, Dallas Mavericks

    The Raptors are planning to claim Kostas Antetokounmpo off waivers, per Eurohoops' Nikos Varlas.

    Blake Murphy of The Athletic reports that the Raptors were interested in adding Antetokounmpo last season, but had their plans dashed when Dallas took Antetokounmpo with the final pick in the draft. He's incredibly raw still, but has the physical build that the Raptors seem to love in their developmental projects.

    Source: Nikos Varlas on Twitter

  • B.J. Johnson
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    The Kings have waived B.J. Johnson.

    Johnson had a decent showing in Summer League but never seemed likely to last in Sacramento given the team's depth at forward. After making seven appearances on a pair of 10-day contracts with the Hawks last season, Johnson will look to find more concrete footing in the league this season.

    Source: Jason Jones on Twitter

  • Kostas Antetokounmpo
    PF, Dallas Mavericks

    The Mavs have waived Kostas Antetokounmpo, per Shams Charania.

    The youngest Antetokounmpo was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2018 draft but only appeared in two games with the Mavs last season. Dallas opens up a two-way contract slot and will likely find a more NBA-ready player on the market, while Antetokounmpo will look to latch on with another team for camp. Perhaps the 21-year-old can make it a family affair, with both of his older brothers playing in Milwaukee.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter