For a small-market team like the Sacramento Kings, capitalizing on your draft picks is becoming increasingly important. In the case of the Kings, they've done a nice job supplementing their squad through the NBA draft over the years.
But what's important to remember about the draft is that not all picks are equal. When selecting at the top of the board, finding an impact player is much easier. Therefore, it's often a team's ability to find diamonds in the rough that sustains it over the years. Sacramento has done both—get players through the lottery and further down the line.
But before we get to the list, let's go over a few parameters used in compiling it.
First, only players in the Sacramento era were considered. This leaves out a few of the franchise's all-time greats, including its best player, Oscar Robertson. Yet the draft has evolved over the years (draft lottery; less time in college for prospects), and the sample size involved was too big, so to go with only the somewhat recent past gives us a more accurate depiction.
Secondly, only a player's value with the Kings is considered. So if a player ended up having a long, prosperous career, but many of those years happened after he left Sacramento, then he wasn't included. That makes it more difficult for players like Hedo Turkoglu or Brian Grant to qualify.
Thirdly, and this seems obvious, but we'll mention it anyway: Only players drafted by the Kings are considered. A player that was acquired via trade, either during draft night or shortly thereafter, isn't examined.
Finally, a player's value relative to his draft position, and those selected after him, is part of the equation. So a player that may have more overall value, but was selected high in the draft, might be rated lower than a diamond in the rough taken later in the process.
Also, win shares and win shares per 48 minutes are the metrics used to compile the list. They provide a meaningful context and make it so comparing players from different time periods is feasible. Both also show short-term and long-term value.