The Sacramento Kings may have lost out on the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft, even a top 3 but they have a chance to possibly have the best draft in 2017. With the Kings picking 5th and 10th it’s fair to say they can address their top needs for the future. With the departure of DeMarcus Cousins during the All-Star Weekend, the Kings basically hit the reset button. However, the right picks could change all that.
The Kings are starving for talent. Their PG situation was solid in terms of production with Darren Collison and Ty Lawson. Collison averaged 13 points and 5 assists while Lawson chipped in with 10 points and 5 assists. Buddy Hield came along in the Cousins trade and another year under his belt to improve on his 2016 numbers of 15 points and 43 percent shooting from beyond the three-point line will only work in his and the Kings favor. The PF position is manned by Willie Cauley-Stein who struggled for much of the year behind Cousins. But when Cousins was moved to New Orleans, Stein showed his worth with 19 double-digit scoring games and 8 double-doubles.
The C position is one of concern with young talents such as Kosta Koufos and Georgious Papagiannis. While both players provide a little something of everything, neither is the dominate rebounder and defender the Kings need. Here is where they must make a move. The NBA Draft does not have a franchise-like player in the post. What the Kings could do is make a move for a cheaper player or hope that Pap and Koufos can improve on their combined 13 points and 10 rebounds.
But it’s the draft that has everyone excited. Sure, they had to give up their top 3 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers but thanks to the Cousins trade they managed to get two in the Lottery.
Vlade Divac has a chance to put the bad press behind him if he can manage to grab PG Dennis Smith Jr and SF Josh Jackson. De’Aaron Fox will be gone by the 5th pick, most likely to the 76ers. Smith is the attacking, big bruising PG the Kings need anyway. With scoring being an area of concern for the team in 2016, Smith will take control with his ball-handling and nice perimeter game. With Rudy Gay moving on, there is a huge void left in the frontcourt. Josh Jackson is a Rudy Gay-like clone.
Fox is a scorer but the Kings need their PG to be both. Smith is a Russell Westbrook clone and pairing the speedy, high-flying PG with the likes of Hield in the backcourt would give the Kings a deadly combination. Jackson is the stud here. Jackson averaged 16 points for Kansas but it was his defense and rebounding the Kings should crave for. If Jackson can come in and be the player many are hoping he could be then the Kings and Divac will have a winner on their hands in the next 2-3 seasons.
With a team this young, it takes time but the rebuilding didn’t start the moment Cousins departed, it starts now with their two Lottery picks.