The Sacramento Kings really feel like the largest wildcard within the NBA Draft on an annual foundation. It’s no coincidence that the Kings are additionally most likely the worst run franchise within the league during the last twenty years.
The Kings haven’t made the NBA Playoffs since 2006. Poor drafting isn’t the one purpose the group continues to stink — dangerous possession and dangerous teaching is equally accountable — but it surely’s actually one of many largest causes for Sacramento’s continued struggles. The Kings have made some good picks over that point — largely notably taking DeMarcus Cousins at No. 5 general in 2010, and deciding on Tyrese Haliburton at No. 12 general in 2020 — however there have been way more misses than hits. The baffling number of Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic in 2018 neatly summarizes the Kings’ ineptitude within the draft, however Nik Stauskas, Ben McLemore, Thomas Robinson, and Georgios Papagiannis had been all lottery picks that flamed out simply as rapidly.
The Kings had been one of many large winners of the 2022 NBA Draft lottery, leaping up a number of spots to land the No. 4 general decide. This ought to be a serious celebration contemplating there are 4 Tier 1 prospects on this draft (no less than in accordance with us), however after all issues are by no means that simple for Sacramento. Final season’s deadline deal that despatched out Haliburton for Domantas Sabonis solely appeared to compound the Kings’ roster-building points after the group went 10-17 following the deal.
Whereas nothing is for certain this far out earlier than the draft, it seems likely the Magic will choose Jabari Smith Jr. at No. 1, the Thunder will take Chet Holmgren at No. 2, and the Rockets will take Paolo Banchero at No. 3. What Sacramento does at No. 4 might decide the best way the remainder of the draft breaks. Listed below are their choices.
Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
Why the Kings might take him at No. 4: If the draft goes in accordance with plan, Ivey will clearly be the highest prospect on the board when the Kings come on the clock. The Purdue guard is an electrical athlete who can break the primary line of protection along with his blazing first step and elite pace within the open ground. He additionally made important strides as a three-point shooter this 12 months, exhibiting a pleasant step-back off the dribble whereas bettering 10 proportion factors from deep from his freshman to sophomore seasons. Greater than something, the Kings want a star to construct round, and Ivey has extra star-power than anybody else out there assuming Banchero and Holmgren are already off the board. Read our comprehensive scouting report on Ivey here featuring more than 3,000 words and 20+ clips on his game.
Why the Kings might move on him: The Kings selected to construct round De’Aaron Fox once they swapped Haliburton for Sabonis ultimately 12 months’s commerce deadline. Ivey is one of the best prospect on the board, however his ability set is fairly just like Fox’s. Each are ultra-fast 6’4 guards who aren’t knockdown shooters on spot-ups and infrequently wrestle to defend larger and stronger backcourt gamers. Ivey would have been a greater and cheaper match alongside Haliburton versus Fox, however that ship has sailed. It feels just like the Kings can be overthinking it by passing on Ivey, however the match issues with Fox are actual. If the Purdue guard is the decide, there might be one other large commerce within the subsequent 12 months or two.
Keegan Murray, F, Iowa
Why the Kings might take him at No. 4: Murray looks as if an incredible match with the Kings’ present roster. Sacramento wants large forwards who can stretch the ground and be competent on protection, and Murray checks each of these containers. He might slide in between Harrison Barnes and Sabonis in Sacramento’s beginning lineup and supply versatile capturing, a lift in transition scoring, and stable instincts as a rotational defender. At 6’8, 225 kilos with a close to 7-foot wingspan and a contemporary ability set, Iowa sophomore appears like one of many most secure gamers on this class. The query if a group as hopeless as Sacramento ought to actually go together with a high-floor choice over a high-ceiling one.
Why the Kings might move on him: Positive, Murray is an effective match with what the Kings have proper now … however ought to Sacramento actually be involved with a gift day repair when the group simply completed 30-52? Murray might be going to be a stable participant within the league for a very long time, however I’m skeptical he has sufficient upside to warrant the fourth general decide. Murray isn’t a plus passer and he doesn’t really feel like a plus athlete, both. Whereas his group protection is spectacular, I’m much less bullish on his level of assault protection, notably when you think about the kinds of gamers he’ll probably be guarding. If the Kings need to hit a double, Murray is a stable choice, however this can be a franchise that deserves to take a much bigger swing.
Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky
Why the Kings might take him at No. 4: Sharpe shares lots of the attributes the NBA’s finest capturing guards possess. He has good dimension at 6’5 with a 7-foot wingspan. He’s an explosive athlete who could make performs above the rim at each ends of the ground. He has spectacular flashes of pull-up capturing with NBA vary throughout his highschool tape. He has the instruments to be a plus defensively. After all, all the things with Sharpe is theoretical as a result of he didn’t play a sport at Kentucky after enrolling midseason as the highest recruit in his class. If fortune favors the daring, the Kings might hit it large by betting on Sharpe.
Why the Kings might move on him: Sharpe appears like one of many riskier choices on this draft, largely as a result of he won’t have performed a aggressive sport in additional than a 12 months when he makes his NBA debut. With no tape or statistics to go off of on the faculty stage, Sharpe quantities to an enormous gamble for no matter group takes him, and that’s notably the case at No. 4 general. Even when Sharpe had gone again to Kentucky subsequent 12 months, there would have been some severe questions on his ability set. How constantly can he generate paint touches as a driver? How properly does he see the ground as a passer? Can he translate his bodily instruments into defensive manufacturing? The Kings have struck out within the NBA so many instances earlier than to place themselves on this place, and Sharpe actually might be an all-or-nothing swing.
A commerce again
The Kings ought to have loads of groups calling about their decide if Ivey remains to be on the board at No. 4 as anticipated. We listed the Pacers (with the No. 6 decide) Wizards (No. 10 decide) and the Knicks (No. 11 decide) as groups who might make a transfer up for Ivey, however that’s simply the beginning of the checklist. If the Kings do commerce down, who might they be concentrating on outdoors of Murray and Sharpe?
- Jalen Duren, C, Memphis: Duren just isn’t a pure match with Sabonis inside, however he’s our No. 5 general prospect. The youngest American prospect within the draft, Duren is a man-child large man with overwhelming quantities of size, energy, and vertical explosiveness. We like him for his capacity to play any kind of pick-and-coverage whereas possessing a lot uncooked energy across the basket. Selecting Duren appears unlikely as a result of Sabonis is already on the roster, however he’d be an incredible choice in a commerce down.
- Bennedict Mathurin, G, Arizona: Mathurin is an explosive athlete and an excellent shooter, which makes him really feel like somebody the Kings might fall in love with. No. 4 feels a contact excessive for him as a result of his protection and passing are query marks, and he lacks nice dimension for his place. I’ve a humorous feeling the Kings would possibly like him if they’ll discover a commerce down associate.
- AJ Griffin, G, Duke: Griffin is among the youngest prospects on this class, has an incredible bodily profile for a wing, and may shoot the hell out of the ball from deep. The primary concern about him may be his long-term well being after a protracted historical past of knee points. The accidents appear to have sapped some north-south explosion from Griffin’s sport as a driver and restricted him a bit in display navigation defensively. We don’t know the place Griffin will go on draft night time, but it surely’s potential he can nonetheless be on the board with the Wizards or Knicks decide if Sacramento trades down.
- Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin: Davis may be one of the best two-way guard prospect on this class. The 6’6 sophomore was spectacular as some extent of attacker defender this previous season with the quickness and tenacity to include ball handlers on the perimeter. He was additionally a nasty one-on-one scorer with the Badgers, overcoming poor spacing to common practically 20 factors per sport on a weight-reduction plan of powerful pull-ups, put up strikes, and artful finishes across the rim. Davis solely hit 30 p.c of his threes this previous season, however ought to be a greater shooter when he doesn’t have to hold such an enormous offensive burden. He’d be a great match subsequent to Fox if Sacramento decides he has sufficient offensive firepower to be their man.
What ought to the Kings do at No. 4 general?
Draft Jaden Ivey. He has a greater probability to show right into a star than anybody else anticipated to be on the board. That’s what the Kings really want. If Sacramento has to maneuver off Fox down the highway to make it work, so be it.
The 2022 NBA Draft takes is June 23 in Brooklyn. Try our newest draft work under.