Fantasy Basketball Notes: The Mess in Sacramento and More

I'm trying to remember the last time the Kings made a basketball decision that made sense to me. I'm drawing a blank. Geoff Petrie's choices haven't been all bad... but they all seem to have down sides. I liked his acquisition of Jimmer Fredette in the 2011 draft, and Tyreke Evans is one of the more promising off-guards in the league. But to acquire Jimmer, they had to take on John Salmons... and they wasted much of Evans' early career trying to turn him into a point guard.

This week's dismissal of Paul Westphal as head coach is just the latest example. Sure, Westhpal needed to go, that was fairly obvious to anyone that's watched a Kings game this season. But they wasted far too much time letting that situation play out, which has been cited as one reason Sam Dalembert was unwilling to return to Sacramento. Then Westphal trashed DeMarcus Cousins to the media, creating the league-wide impression that ol' Boogie - who came out of Kentucky with the reputation of being an immature head-case - was up to his old tricks. Now they've got to repair their relationship with an excellent young big and break in a new coach.

Speaking of new coaches - handing the reins to Keith Smart seems like a good call, but it's hard to say how much of an impact he'll have in the short term. This season's lockout-shortened schedule leaves practically no time for prep and practice - the Miami Heat are having their first full practice of the season today. Westphal has drawn tons of criticism for running an overly-simplistic offense; I'm sure Smart will look to fix that, but don't expect miracles. And as several people have pointed out, while Smart has a good reputation as an X-and-O guy, he also drove Warriors fans crazy by playing Acie Law ahead of Steph Curry for much of Curry's rookie season.

Speaking of Curry... I'm sure I'm not the only one who was wondering why the Warriors had any interest in Nate Robinson. But the buzz surrounding Curry's ankle injury explains Robinson's arrival. I'm no Nate fan, but Alan Hahn - one of the best writers covering the Knicks - has suggested that Mark Jackson is exactly the type of coach Robinson needs. And Jax has suggested that Robinson will get significant minutes right away. I'll be monitoring this situation closely.

Some other fantasy notes:
  • Jason Kidd left last night's game with back spasms. Get your claims on Rodrigue Beaubois right away.
  • Has anyone had a worse season than Chuck Hayes? His contract was voided by the Kings due to some sort of phantom heart trouble. He got an all clear, returned to Sacto... and now he's out indefinitely with a dislocated shoulder. JJ Hickson stands to benefit most.
  • Norris Cole continues to impress, but for now he's being held to around 20 minutes per game. Don't be surprised if he supplants Mario Chalmers in the starting lineup before this season is over. (Yes, Chalmers scored 29 last night. It was a triple-overtime game, and both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were sidelined due to minor injuries.)
  • Marshon Brooks is getting about as many shot attempts per game as Kevin Durant, though that says as much about the Nets as it does about Brooks' ability.
  • Gary Neal is back from the D-League, and it appears he'll be a starter until Manu Ginobili returns.
  • With the Knicks falling behind early in their last two games, Mike D'Antoni could move Iman Shumpert - a high-energy player - into the starting lineup as soon as tonight. The rookie could replace Landry Fields, who continues to struggle.


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