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Vegas Win Total Projection: 31.5 (VegasInsider.com)
A once terrible outlook has turned better. With the additions of Rajon Rondo, Seth Curry, Krista Koufos, and Willy Cauley-Stein, they've got boom or bust all over them. I'm one that believes in George Karl and Rondo working, as well as Cousins buying in as long as the team is winning. Winning cures everything and if this team gets off to a hot start, I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the playoffs this year. If they don't, we may be looking at that Vegas win total. I expect this team to come out with a little chip on their shoulder and get somewhere between 40 and 45 wins. Karl is a coach I've always liked, he uses a lot of run and gun along with tough defending, to grind out results.
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The hot-head, but also great center, DeMarcus Cousins is this teams best chance of making the post-season. If he plays up to snuff, this team should have a good chance of making the postseason (baring injuries and setbacks). At 25 years old, he's approaching what should be the prime of his career. One of the best fantasy players in recent time, Cousins averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Along with these great statistics, his player efficiency rating is one of the leagues' best at 25.29. If George Karl can get this team and DeMarcus bought in, then he'll have a good shot to be this teams fantasy pick night-in and night-out. Last season, he averaged 34.1 minutes per game, which is certainly good enough, but I would expect that number to grow slightly as he was facing injuries multiple times throughout. If he can stay healthy look for his minutes to be around 35, points to be around 25, 12 to 13 boards, with 2 to 3 blocks a night. Those are monster numbers and if he has a favorable match-up, he'll be worth every penny of the price you pay for him.
Willie Cauley-Stein is a player I really like, but don't know where he fits in this team. I have my reservations on a rookie center who offensively has his trouble and defensively has great ability. When a player is really defensively gifted, it doesn't provide as much fantasy value as if he had a polished offensive game. He looks in line to start alongside Boobie Cousins, but I have a feeling that even with starting, his offensive game will only provide so much value. Therefore I would stray away from picking Cauley-Stein in games until his offensive game proves better. I see him being a higher price then what you'll get, especially being a Kentucky, high lottery pick player. His summer league showing was certainly strong but I reserve any numbers put up in summer league, until proven in the regular season.
Seth Curry, the younger brother of MVP Stephen Curry, has finally shown what he can do. Being signed to the Kings roster, after performing well in summer league, he certainly looked a different player. Still, he has some growing to do and has to prove that he can play like that in the regular season, but I think George Karl will groom him into a rotation role. George Karl has a history of playing guys who want to hustle, work hard, and "grind it out". Seth Curry didn't really have this coming into the league, but you could certainly see this in summer play. He's got a chip on his shoulder and he's streaky, but I think he can provide some excellent fantasy value down the road. Look out for Curry as a player to possibly break out.
They were woeful in 2014, 28th in the league in defense and 26th in the league in assists. George Karl came in and had a mess to deal with, so I put an asterisk next to last seasons' totals for the Kings. Although those two stat categories were below par, they did have a good team offense averaging almost 101.3 points per game. Along with a half-way decent offense, their team rebounding was also good (shocker, considering they have one of the best centers in the league). George Karl will hopefully help with the defensive woes, but don't expect a huge increase. In his time with the Nuggets, Karl adapted and made his Nuggets team 11th in the league in total defense, in the 2012/13 campaign. That's an indication that he can get his teams to play defense when running a "run and gun" type offense. Overall, I see this team winning 40 or so games, picking up pace and playing a hard-nosed style of basketball. I expect to see the Kings play better as a team and could make a late push for a playoff spot if everything falls right. I like George Karl, I like the addition of Rondo, and they have one of the best centers in the league. They should be in every game this season at very least, but expect to see them in the 8 through 10 seed in the west.