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When Sacramento fell from the first pick to the fourth pick after the 2009 draft lottery, morale was low among the fanbase and optimism was as scarce as a Dasani water bottle in the middle of the Sahara. But it turned out quite favorably for the Kings.
Yes, they missed out on the would be All-Star Blake Griffin, but they did steal the Rookie of the Year with the fourth pick. With the exception of a few, the lottery picks have by in large turned out to be relatively weak. Hasheem Thabeet has spent countless months in the D-League, Ricky Rubio hasn't left his Spanish club, Jordan Hill and Terrence Williams have already been traded from the clubs that drafted them and Jonny Flynn has been a major disappointment.
A year ago, the Kings were expecting to hold the third pick and instead landed the fifth. Sac ended up with one of the most talented players in the draft in DeMarcus Cousins and a young man who put together a promising rookie campaign. Three players drafted ahead of DMC all disappointed in their rookie years, in Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson and Derrick Favors.
The moral of the story of course is Geoff Petrie is like the wise old sage that peruses an auction and comes away with the diamonds in the rough. Almost always. This year, the Kings are banking on a similar twist of fate.
The draft lottery again did no favors for the Kings. They were slated to pick fifth but have slid to seventh for the 2011 Draft. There is a major need at point guard, and there are a number of viable candidates whom the Kings are looking at. The majority of mock drafts have Kemba Walker landing in Sacramento.
This draft is considered to be fairly weak, so snatching the Final Four MVP with the seventh pick is nothing to complain about. But in my eyes, the Kings have a Kemba Walker clone in Marcus Thornton on the roster already. The makeup of the starting lineup is such that whoever plays point guard needs to set the table more than score himself. Cousins and Evans are going to dominate the ball, and Thornton is going to get his lion's share of the shots, so that doesn't leave a great deal of scoring opportunity.
This is why I am very high on Jimmer Fredette. He would immediately add to a team that was 25th in 3 pointers made per game and 26th in 3 point field goal percentage. He is obviously known for his impressive shooting, but his ball handling and high basketball IQ should be taken into account. A Jimmer/Tyreke Evans backcourt would thrive because Evans could still be the primary ball handler and Jimmer would adequately space the floor creating driving opportunities. This isn't a guy that's limited to just sitting in the corner and being a spot shooter, either. Fredette is capable of creating his own shot, a trait that every team obviously covets.
With the infinite amount of media coverage he receives, Fredette has an enormous bulls eye square on his back. But this kid has star potential. He'll be a more well rounded JJ Reddick. In fact, I think the player he'll emulate most will be Stephen Curry, a player that wowed Geoff Petrie tremendously during his workout in Sacramento in the summer of 2009.
You heard it here first, Jimmer Fredette to the Sacramento Kings at #7.