Sacramento Kings: If the Kings Don't Get Lucky in the Draft Lottery, Then What?
"Never Nervous Pervis" only played one season for the Kings. That year, he missed 48 of 82 games due to injuries.
Despite being one of the worst teams in the NBA the past three seasons, the Kings have not won the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery. In the 2009 draft, the Kings finished with the worst record in the NBA, but got the No. 4 pick in the draft. The Los Angeles Clippers picked Blake Griffin No. 1 overall and the Kings selected Tyreke Evans.
The Kings finished the 2009-10 season with the third worst record in the NBA, but once again got unlucky in the draft lottery. They ended up with the No. 5 pick in the draft, which they used to select center DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins, if he can continue to improve, is a franchise-quality player.
In last year's draft lottery, the Kings received the No. 7 pick in the draft, despite posting the fifth-worst record in the NBA. Instead of picking Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight, the Kings traded for the draft rights of Jimmer Fredette in a three-team deal with the Charlotte Bobcats and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Notice the trend here?
The Kings cannot afford to be unlucky again in this year's draft lottery. Other than Cousins, and to a degree Isaiah Thomas, the Kings severely lack any promising talent. Evans may be traded in the offseason. Fredette is a role player at best. Jason Thompson is who he is at this point. Marcus Thornton is a nice piece, but if he's your third-best player, then you're routinely going to be one of the worst teams in the NBA.
The Kings are in a desperate need for another blue-chip player to play alongside Cousins. They will likely finish the season with one of the five-worst records in the NBA. The chances of getting one of the top-three picks will be high.
But, as history has shown for the Kings, just because your chances to win the draft lottery are good doesn't mean you'll actually strike gold.
If the Kings are unlucky and get, say, the No. 6 pick in the draft, then who do they draft?
None of those players are game-changers, which the Kings drastically need.
For the Kings' sake, hopefully this will be their year. A Cousins/Anthony Davis or Cousins/Michael Kidd-Gilchrist pairing would be vicious. But if not, this could be another draft where the Kings pick a good player who could or could not turn out instead of a game-changing player.
Rebuilding in the draft takes some luck—something the Kings have not had in a long time.
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