Well, that certainly didn't take long.
This is uncharted territory for the Kings. The lottery is often considered a necessity, their reward for another disappointing season. Their attempt to trade out of eighth implies they're looking to win now, not slog through another rebuilding season.
Trying to land a veteran impact player would be consistent with last season's activity. The Kings rolled the dice by trading for Rudy Gay, and in February, Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears revealed they tried acquiring All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics for a draft pick, Ben McLemore and Isaiah Thomas.
Shopping the eighth pick is an extension of that interest, of their longstanding attempt to escape the lottery. They haven't made the playoffs since 2006, leaving them to dwell among the league's bottom feeders for the last—ironically—eight years.
The contract situations of Gay (player option) and Thomas (restricted free agent) will complicate things, but if the Kings are able to scrounge up an offer similar to what they dangled in front of the Celtics, they have an opportunity to make a big splash.
If they're unable to broker a suitable trade, they can find comfort in knowing this draft's crop of talent is alive with options, as Sactown Royalty's Greg Wissinger reminds us:
This marks the 8th straight year where the lottery gods failed to smile on Sacramento. During that run, the Kings have either held their position or fallen in the draft every year. It's a disappointment, to be sure, but Kings fans can take solace in the knowledge that this is a very deep draft and there promises to still be talented players available once the Kings are on the clock.
Based off the latest mock draft from Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman, the Kings will have the opportunity to look at prospects such as Marcus Smart, Nik Stauskas, James Young and Dario Saric, among others, at No. 8. There's plenty of talent and potential there.
No matter what the Kings do with their pick, no matter whom they select or trade away, the goal remains the same: Make sure they're not in an identical situation next year.
"We were in the playoffs the last three years in Denver," current Kings general manager and former Nuggets vice president Pete D'Alessandro said in April, per Cowbell Kingdom's James Ham. "I woke up that first day after the season. I literally was like, I'm missing something. I felt like something was missing."
Something is missing.
Whatever it is, the Kings are hoping they find it this summer.
*Contract information courtesy of ShamSports.
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