Assuming things stay as they are, the Sacramento Kings will have the No. 5 pick when the 2012 NBA draft begins in a couple of hours. However, the Houston Rockets seem to have other ideas.
As reported by ESPN's Marc Stein and Chad Ford, Houston has engaged Sacramento in talks about that selection, offering up point guard Kyle Lowry and multiple first-round picks in return. However, as good as the trade is for them, chances are the Kings will walk away should Kansas forward Thomas Robinson be available by the time their turn comes around.
Yet, regardless of who is available at No. 5, the Kings simply have to make this deal. I hate to say it, but there's no way that Robinson will be available once it's their turn. On top of that, their biggest need is bench scoring and between gambling on a prospect with a lottery pick and having a veteran in Lowry, the former Villanova Wildcat is the better option. Nothing against incumbent Kings point man Isaiah Thomas, but he's a bit undersized at 5'9", 185 pounds and has a score-first mentality.
Lowry, on the other hand, is just what the Kings need. He can simply do it all from passing to scoring to playing solid defense. Last year, he balanced his skills out in averaging 14.3 points, 6.6 assists and even 1.6 steals. He also shot 37 percent from long range.
More importantly, Lowry already has the makings of a great leader at age 26. On a roster where all but two players are under 30, he would bring a solid veteran presence to the table in doing all he could to build relationships with the team's stars, specifically Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins.
If the team can start playing well together with Lowry getting them the ball, then the Kings will finally start looking like the team they were a decade ago, one of dominance and consistency that just missed out on trips to the NBA Finals.
Should the Kings hold onto their draft pick, all that they'll be doing is prolonging their rebuilding period. Given the uncertain future of the team in Sacramento, they need to bring in a solid veteran who can help usher in a new era regardless of home city.
Given Lowry's overall skills, Kings general manager Geoff Petrie would be silly to not pull the trigger on this deal now.
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