Throughout the season, Jason Jones answers readers’ questions about the team in a weekly Twitter mailbag. Tweet your questions with the hashtag #JonesHoldsCourt.
Q: Is there someone in the draft that you like that the kings may be able too use next season that the kings could use? (I know it’s still a ways off till draft but wanted too get your thought)
– Jes Wolven, @Xargon_83
A: There are several. When your team is at the bottom of the standings, that’s no time to simply draft based on need at a position. I’m a big fan of Duke forward Marvin Bagley’s game. Some of the Kings’ brass are big fans of swingman Luka Doncic from Slovenia, believing he’s the prospect most ready to help an NBA team. The prospect I found most intriguing is out for the season, Missouri forward Michael Porter.
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But yes, it’s still very early. A lot can happen between now and June.
Q: Have you seen Giles practice? If so what is his potential and are you optimistic he can get close to reaching it?
– Ron, @LRonToro
A: There have been very brief glimpses of Harry Giles in practice for the media. Those around the team rave about his potential as he’s shown athleticism and shooting range in controlled settings. Giles is also proving to be very studious and picking up all he can from film sessions and working with assistant coaches away from the court.
The good news is his knees are fine and the team has no worries in that area. Now it’s about getting Giles in the physical condition to play competitively again. He hasn’t played much in the last year and coming off injuries, the Kings want to make sure he builds up the strength in his legs, core, etc., to withstand playing NBA basketball.
Q: Which current players on rookie contracts do you expect the Kings to keep for the long haul? Are we close to the point of seeing a lot more minutes given to the youth?
– David F-W, @LowBrassDude93
A: It depends on what you define as the long haul. If you mean beyond their rookie deals, Willie Cauley-Stein, De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield seem to be locks. But a lot can change, based on development, trades, etc. That leads to your second question.
The only way to figure that out is by seeing how the young players look in games. Like last season, you’ll see more of that as the season progresses, especially after the All-Star break. The plan was for the veterans to play more and help the young players along and fade to the background as the season progressed.
The danger in that is young players putting up numbers in meaningless games between franchises more concerned about draft position is the quality of play. Some of those games look like summer-league contests, which is not the best assessment of the players’ progress.
Q: Do you think the kings make a move before the Deadline to get a 1st round pick?
– CondorGrecFR, @DemarcusDivac
A: The only way that happens is if a team thinks a player like George Hill can put them in title contention and is willing to give up a late first-round pick for him. Still, that would require some roster manipulation given Hill’s salary and the Kings having no open roster spots.
Someone would certainly give up a first rounder for a player like Fox, but he’s not available. So there aren’t many realistic scenarios to add a first-round pick for 2018.
This will be more of an issue in 2019, when the Kings do not have a first-round pick. The Kings might be able to parlay a vet or couple of young players for a late first-round pick at that point.
And for laughs, this week’s non-Kings question comes from a familiar Twitter account:
Q: Upon you reaching the pearly gates. You are offered dinner with one Laker Legends, who would you pick? A) Magic B) Kareem C) Kobe D) Kupchak
– Bob in East Sac, @BobNEastSac
A: That’s easy, Magic Johnson all day.