Welcome to the Kings Mailbag. Each week I’ll answer questions posted on Twitter with the hashtag #JonesHoldsCourt. This should be fun.
Q: By the all star break, will the Lakers be kicking themselves (over and over) that they chose Lonzo over @swipathefox?
– Marc N, @KingsFan312
A: No. The Lakers wanted Lonzo Ball and they won’t get to the All-Star break regretting that decision. Secondly, there’s no guarantee the Kings would not have taken Ball (or even Josh Jackson) had they had the second pick and not the fifth, where they took De’Aaron Fox. But I’m assuming we’ll have another 10-15 years of this debate because I anticipate both will be All-Stars.
Q: Any advice for those of us who are itching to see @HGizzle1 play in the NBA?
– Patrick from Davis, @PatrickFrmDavis
A: Look forward to the 2018-19 season. When the Kings drafted Harry Giles, the plan was already in place to take it slow with him and monitor his progress in practices and controlled settings. The team is looking forward to January, the two-year anniversary of Giles’ last knee surgery. That’s considered the benchmark to truly determine how strong his knee is. From there, the team will determine what to do with his workload.
The Kings have a lot of medical tracking devices they use on players in practice that assess fatigue and such. These are keys in tracking Giles. They can’t do that in games and there’s no way to predict what might happen should Giles have a surge of adrenaline and try to take off and dunk on someone.
So at this point, wait for the update in January (remembering he’s not had a setback) and plan for next season.
Q: When will it TRULY be Malachi Richardson time in SACRAMENTO! @SacramentoKings -- via a hardcore Syracuse basketball fan
– Paul Andrew Esden Jr., @BoyGreen25
A: When injuries, foul trouble or perhaps a lineup change happen. Richardson is in a tough spot with Justin Jackson starting at small forward and Garrett Temple and Vince Carter able to play minutes there.
Shooting guard isn’t easier between Buddy Hield, Temple or in situations where Fox and George Hill share the backcourt.
Not to mention Bogdan Bogdanovic has missed the first three games. His return will mean less playing opportunities for Richardson. The best he can do, as every coach has ever said, is stay ready.
Q: Skal and Willie both rebounded well in the 1st game. Any chance they can stay aggressive on the boards?
– Blankenship, @BigBlanky
A: They’d better stay aggressive. I know Willie Cauley-Stein is tired of all the questions about his rebounding. The questions that begin something like, “How does a player so athletic not rebound more?” A more focused approach to rebounding (along with some playful ribbing from Ty Lawson) got Cauley-Stein to be more of a rebounder and that should not change. Labissiere is tenacious the moment he steps on the floor. His rebounding numbers might fluctuate based on playing time and just being as strong as his opponent, but there will be no questioning his tenacity.
Q: Do you think Coach Joerger changes the starting lineup game by game depending on matchups?
– Mark Wong, @mwonger72
A: Yes, and Joerger has said as much, based on matchups and nights he might decide to rest a veteran. Joerger is also in a tough spot because part of his job is to develop young players and, realistically, only three rookies figure to get consistent minutes (Bogdanovic, Fox and Jackson) and Hield and Skal Labissiere are the second-year players in the rotation.
The only way to get some other players a better look will be to give a Zach Randolph or George Hill or Carter the night off.
And this week’s bonus (non-Kings) question:
Q: What’s your favorite item on the In-N-Out Menu?
– John, @HeuristicLineup
A: The lemonade. I really like their lemonade. They can keep those fries, though.