• The Kings are currently riding a season-long eight game losing streak, the longest losing streak since 2015 when Ty Corbin was coach. Things aren’t going well for Sacramento since the All-Star break, as they own a 1-8 record. However, there has been some positives during this rough stretch. They have shown effort in most if not all the nine games but they just lack any consistency across the board and it really hinders their ability to compete with other teams.

    Sacramento has been presented with a mixed bag as far as their schedule goes this week. Orlando and Phoenix are both near the bottom in their respective conferences, while Oklahoma City and San Antonio are near the top. The two games earlier in the week are obviously the Kings’ best chance at winning as the chances of them beating either the Thunder or Spurs are close to zero. Playoffs are out of the picture now, that’s clear, so the Kings need to put an emphasis on developing their young players and getting them as many reps as possible.

    Monday, March 13 – vs. Orlando Magic (24-43)

    Orlando comes into town with the second worst record in the Eastern Conference. Like Sacramento, their season hasn’t gone to plan at all and are on their way to another lottery selection. Despite their record, they will be no easy beat. They managed to beat the Kings in Orlando earlier in the season so they can match up with the Kings rather well.

    Nikola Vucevic will be a tough match up for the Kings. He is one of the more skilled centers offensively in the league and seems to always give the Kings everything they can handle. Evan Fournier is another guy who lights up the Kings on almost every occasion they meet. You can almost book him for at least 20 points and multiple threes. This is probably the most winnable game of the week but if Sacramento can’t get past the Magic, their losing steak could enter double-digits by the end of the week.

    Wednesday, March 15 – @ Phoenix Suns (22-45)

    The Suns have had all kinds of problems this season. They are second to last in the Western Conference, but have been playing some solid basketball of late with a record of 4-6 in their last 10 games. They are starting to show some consistency and they have some very talented young players that will give the Kings some problems.

    Eric Bledsoe is always a handful for any team he faces. The Kings have undersized point guards so he will be tough to keep out of the paint. The key here may be to have Garrett Temple guard him most of the night but who knows what Dave Joerger will come out with. Alan Williams, Tyler Ulis and Marquese Chriss have all been playing well lately too. Again, this is a winnable game for Sacramento but they have to be consistent and take care of the ball, unlike last time the two teams met.

    Saturday, March 18 – @ Oklahoma City Thunder (37-29)

    This will be the third and final meeting between the two teams this season. The season series is currently tied at one a piece so this one will be the decider. Shutting down Russell Westbrook will be the absolute key. The triple-double machine and MVP candidate has tormented any team in his path and the young Kings could struggle to contain him.

    Garrett Temple will (hopefully) be called upon to guard Westbrook. It’s the most logical move but we have come to learn that Joerger doesn’t always make the logical move. This is the first night of a back-to-back so Tyreke Evans could potentially be rested which makes the Kings’ job even tougher.

    Sunday, March 19 – @ San Antonio Spurs (51-14)

    Whenever the Kings meet the Spurs things haven’t been pretty. The Spurs have a 3-0 lead on Sacramento as far as the season series goes. The Kings had a great chance to beat the Spurs last week, leading by as many as 28, but they blew the lead and the Spurs went on to win the game by double-digits.

    Last time San Antonio rested Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge among others so it will be interesting to see if they use that same tactic again. Aldridge is out for an extended period of time so he has already been ruled out. Based on how the last meeting went it would be no surprise to see Pop rest his veterans and top-tier players again.

    Notes:

    • Malachi Richardson (hamstring) is nearing a return and could return in the next week or so. It is possible that he makes an appearance this week but it’s a long shot. A more likely return date will be in the following week. As a side note, this will only add to the Kings’ massive log-jam at shooting guard so it will be interesting to see how he fits back in.
    • The Kings are currently projected to have the sixth and eighth picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. If this holds it will be a near perfect situation for the Kings as they will land two top-10 draft picks in a loaded draft class. There is some serious talent available at the top of the draft so the Kings can certainly cash in.
    • March Madness begins this week. We all know where the Kings stand at the moment so it’s probably worth paying attention to this years College Basketball festivities. Especially considering the point from above that the Kings potentially have two high draft picks. Even through all the tough times this season, seeing that gives Kings’ fans hope for the future.

    Injury Report:

    Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) – out for the season

    Malachi Richardson (partially torn hamstring) – could return in the next week or so

Fantasy News

  • Kevin Knox
    SF, New York Knicks

    Coach Fizdale told the Knicks players that no starters have been determined and players had to earn their minutes.

    Kevin Knox will battle with veteran Marcus Morris for the starting small forward spot. Knox has been working on getting his body stronger to be able to take on more contact on drives to the basket. Last season as a rookie, he averaged 12.8 points on a putrid 37 percent from the field. Knox will look to get more looks closer to the basket and increase his field goal percentage to more respectable levels. Knox provided little else outside of points and rebounds last season and will need to improve his shooting and defense to be considered a standard-league player.

    Source: New York Post

  • Bol Bol
    C, Denver Nuggets

    According to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic, Bol Bol could spend his entire rookie season in the G-League.

    Bol Bol was not drafted to be an immediate impact player, but just fell too late fore the Nuggets liking. The 44th overall pick needs to bulk up and show that he could take the bumps and bruises before having his chance on the big stage.

    Source: Nick Kosmider of The Athletic

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    After speaking with Doc Rivers and Lawrence Frank, Dan Woike's takeaway is that Kawhi Leonard's "load management" will not be as strict as it was last year.

    It was reported in July that Kawhi said he wants to play all next season fully and approach load management on a game-to-game basis so this is further confirmation that he will most likely play more than the 60 games he played last year but surely won't play all 82 either. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports speculates that this could be for several reasons. One could be that Leonard can take on more now that he is a little healthier while he believes the Clippers might also limit his per-game minutes to help him play more games. The other idea is that because the Western Conference is so deep, the Clippers will not be able to get a good seed if Leonard sits too many games. Fantasy wise, Leonard finished last season seventh in per game value but 18th in total value since he played only 60 games. Near the top of the second round would be a great place to snag him if he plays around 70 games this season.

    Source: Dan Woike on Twitter

  • Malik Beasley
    SG, Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets want to extend Malik Beasley and Juan Hernagomez before the October 21 deadline.

    The Nuggets already locked up one of their 2016 first-round picks (Jamal Murray) to a long-term deal and now want to do the same with their other two 2016 first-round picks, Hernangomez and Beasley. If not, the two will likely become restricted free-agents at the end of the season. Both players saw stretches of big minutes last season due to injuries but at full health, Beasley was around 20 minutes per game while Hernangomez was at around 10. Fantasy wise, neither player puts up big defensive stats but Beasley is a very efficient shooter with low turnovers, knocking down 2.0 triples per game last year, putting him near top-150 value at only 23.2 minutes per game. Hernangomez is a decent rebounder and knocked down 0.9 triples per game but he would need closer to 30 minutes per game to be a factor in standard leagues.

    Source: Denver Post

  • OG Anunoby
    SF, Toronto Raptors

    Coach Nick Nurse intends to put OG Anunoby "back out there in a primary role."

    With Kawhi Leonard vacating the starting small forward spot, Anunoby is the leading candidate to take the role. Before the arrival of Leonard, Anunoby started 62 games in his rookie season. Last season he started 6 out of 67 games, and missed the entire playoffs due to an emergency appendectomy. He averaged 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks over 20.2 minutes per game, while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor, 33.2 percent from 3-point range and 58.1 percent from the free-throw line. He can be picked up as a late round flier in drafts.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Daryl Macon
    PG, Miami Heat

    The Heat have signed Daryl Macon.

    Macon getting picked up by another NBA squad after a solid Summer League campaign is not a shocker. If he were to crack the rotation he would post a nice assist rate, but it is unlikely Macon will be getting playing time unless something goes terribly wrong for the Heat this season.

    Source: NBA

  • Tahjere McCall
    F, Atlanta Hawks

    The Hawks signed Tahjere McCall from their Summer League team.

    This is just a depth signing for the Hawks. He shouldn't see much court time on the NBA floor if he makes the main roster out of camp

    Source: Kevin Chouinard on Twitter

  • Thabo Sefolosha
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Marc Stein is reporting that the Rockets will sign Thabo Sefolosha.

    Sefolosha was among the names at a recent mini camp, and he should make for a nice fit as a defensive stopper off the bench. The Rockets have a pretty thin group of reserves so we'd expect Sefolosha to be a regular rotation player, which puts him on the board as a steals specialist in deep leagues.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Tyler Zeller
    C, Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets have signed C Tyler Zeller to the training camp roster on Thursday.

    Zeller played all of six games last season with the Hawks and Grizzlies. Zeller will try to latch on as a third-string C for the Nuggets' deep frontcourt. Zeller is off the fantasy radar.

    Source: Chris Dempsey on Twitter

  • Luke Kennard
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey said that he is not sure if he will start Luke Kennard or have him run a lot of the second-team offense.

    In addition, Casey mentioned that Kennard dealt with some knee tendinitis earlier this summer. Kennard is likely competing with Bruce Brown Jr. for the starting two-guard spot. We'll see how the rotation starts to shape in the preseason, but both players will get minutes either way.

    Source: NBA