• 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

  • Maxi Kleber
    PF, Dallas Mavericks

    Maxi Kleber continues to improve in an increased role with Dallas, ranking 153/123 in 8/9-cat leagues.

    Kleber was the beneficiary of a Dwight Powell Achillies injury and Kristaps Porzingis' inability to take part in the second half of back-to-backs this season. The available minutes allowed Kleber to stay around the top-150 and score 9.2 points per game with 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks a night. The combination of blocks and the occasional three (1.6 per game) with decent percentages (46% FG, 86% FT) made him a viable bench option. His numbers have progressed each year of his career and next year he could end up being a late round draft pick.

  • Willie Cauley-Stein
    C, Dallas Mavericks

    Willie Cauley-Stein held a top-150 ranking in both 8/9-cat formats despite not playing substantial minutes in Dallas.

    Willie Cauley-Stein was a decent back-end fantasy big man in his time with Golden State, averaging 7.9 points and 6.5 rebounds on 56% shooting. A mid-season trade to Dallas completely wiped away any value he may have had as he was unable to secure consistent minutes with the team. In 13 appearances with the Mavs he averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game. With a player option on his contract this off season it is unclear where WCS will end up but he will need to find a squad that will allow him to play consistent minutes if he is going to have any fantasy relevance.

  • Tim Hardaway Jr.
    SF, Dallas Mavericks

    Tim Hardaway Jr. posted career-best shooting numbers on his way to top-150 value in both 8/9-cat formats.

    It has been a roller coaster career so far for THJ but he seems to have found his niche in Dallas as a secondary play maker a three-point specialist. Playing alongside ball-dominant offensive talents such as Luka and KP, Hardaway Jr. is not expected to be the focal point of the offense and had his lowest minutes and FGA numbers since 2016-17. The lower volume of shots clearly helped his efficiency as he shot a career-best 40% from deep on 7.2 attempts per game. He does not do much of anything else as far as fantasy value, with 3.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists a night, but is a consistent scoring threat and always has the ability to help a roster in need of 3's and points. Finishing the season ranked 146/127 in 8/9-cat formats is on par with what most owners expected out of him with an ADP of 140 and we do not expect much different heading forward.

  • Kristaps Porzingis
    PF-C, Dallas Mavericks

    Kristaps Porzingis returned to form in 2019-20 and held 36/23 rankings in 8/9-cat formats by averaging 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.

    After going almost 20 months without playing in an NBA game due to a knee injury, Porzingis picked up right where he left off and held third-round value all season long. While some nights were boom or bust on the offensive end for KP, low turnovers, above average rebounds and top-tier blocks kept his value consistent. He closed the season as the third ranked 8-cat player, scoring 23 points per game while grabbing 11.1 rebounds and swatting 3 shots a night over the final month of the year. We would like to see Porzingis play closer to the rim to get easier buckets and more free throw attempts. The 7'3" forward launched a career-high 7.1 threes per game in addition to a career-low 8.8 attempts inside the arc. The high volume of threes took a toll on his field goal percentage, 42%, and held him back from being a top-20 player. Hopefully by next season he can stay on the floor consistently and turn his unique combination of size and skill into becoming a second-round value player.

  • Luka Doncic
    PG-SF, Dallas Mavericks

    Luka Doncic received MVP consideration and top-25 8/9-cat standing by stuffing the stat sheet on a nightly basis.

    The 21-year-old Doncic took the league by storm right out of the gate and continued to post gaudy numbers throughout the season all while battling wrist, thumb and ankle injuries. The league leader in triple-doubles, with 14, dropped 28.7 points a night, to go along with 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists. In addition to the ridiculous combination of PTS/REB/AST, Doncic is also near the top of the league in turnovers with 4.2 per game, dropping his 9-cat ranking to 24 in comparison to his 8-cat ranking of 12. The high turnover rate is not shocking for such a young player with a usage rate as high as Luka's (35.4, 2nd in the NBA) but future owners will surely hope to see those numbers decrease. His percentages (46% FG, 75% FT) slightly dropped his overall value but the scoring volume is a worthy consolation for owners. After a mid-second round ADP this season expect Luka to be a first-round pick next year as he is on the cusp of becoming an elite fantasy option.

  • Andre Drummond
    C, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Andre Drummond had a rocky transition after moving to the Cavs in 2019-20, but not before putting up a solid first half of season with the Pistons as top-20 player in 8-cat and a top-30 player in 9-cat per-game value, thanks to his 15.2 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.6 blocks per game on .532 shooting.

    Drummond, as expected, saw a significant slip in value after moving to the Cavs at the trade deadline. The presence of big men Tristan Thompon, Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. provided Drummond with ample competition for minutes. Aside from that, Drummond also dealt with a left calf strain that didn't do his fantasy value any favors. He's already stated that he intends to exercise his player option for the next season, but given the Cavs' developmental shift in direction, he's someone you can expect to see with a lot of valuation volatility heading into 2020-21.

  • Michael Beasley
    PF, Free Agent

    According to Shams Charania, Michael Beasley could be making a return to the NBA after moving closer to a deal with the Nets.

    The Nets are sorely undermanned given the high number of their players who have tested positive for the Coronavirus. Beasley last played in the league for the Pistons in 2019 and could provide some limited, albeit versatile production off the bench.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Ante Zizic
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Ante Zizic finishes the season outside the top-350 in 8/9-cat formats with averages of 4.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 0.2 BPG in just 10.0 MPG across 22 games.

    Sadly, there weren't many minutes left for Zizic to snack on in 2019-20, with Tristan Thompson playing rejuvenated basketball and Kevin Love being nominally healthy. Also, Larry Nance Jr. was being groomed as a developmental project by the team. All of this resulted in Zizic becoming the odd man out of the equation. He's drawn interest from Turkish Airlines Euroleague ten Maccabi Tel Aviv, so an off-season departure is not completely out of the question.

  • Jordan Bell
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Jordan Bell's 2019-20 was marred by a right shoulder injury that couldn't get over, causing him to be non-factor in fantasy, tossed around four teams like a hot potato.

    Bell's second year in the league was a fantasy flop. He landed a two-year deal with the Cavs over the hiatus after passing through the Wolves, Rockets and Grizzlies this season. A nagging shoulder sprain limited Bell to averaging just 8.8 minutes per game with averages of 3.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 0.3 BPG on .522 shooting from the field. This resulted in Bell ranking at 418/433 on per-game value and 398/401 on total value. The Cavs are currently still stacked with players in their frontcourt, so there's still big question mark as to what kind of role Bell will fill moving forward.

  • Dante Exum
    PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Oft-injured Aussie guard Dante Exum was unable to shake the injury bug in 2019-20, leaving him to play just 35 games on the season and finishing at 366/380 in 8/9-cat Per-Game value.

    Sadly, 2019-20 wasn't too kind to Exum, who still couldn't stay on the floor for an extended period of time. It also didn't help his cause that the Cavs have a young crop of players who are hungry for minutes at Exum's position. To his credit, Exum was able to record a new career-high with 28 points in early January, but for the most part, he lacked any sort of consistency to be counted on in fantasy. He ends 2019-20 with averages of 4.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG and 1.0 APG in 13.9 MPG on .471 shooting from the field.