Sacramento Kings: An Intriguing Draft to Say the Least
This past Thursday marked another questionable day for the Kings organization. Of the players I had preferred the Kings pick, Jimmer Fredette wasn't one of them.
And I sincerely hope I am wrong for those sentiments.
While he is a great shooter, hard worker and was a fantastic PR move, I still feel there were players with higher ceilings and better natural ability.
This pick had Petrie written all over it though. Solid shooter, high basketball IQ, not a defender, and less athletic than you would prefer from a player at that position. Seems about on par with plenty of other Petrie picks (see: Peja Stojakovic, Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia, Quincy Douby, Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompson, Omri Casspi, Jon Brockman).
Either way, lets dissect what the Kings did to (hopefully) improve their team.
Trading Down, Twice
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Like I said in the first slide, I sincerely hope I am wrong with my guarded optimism/pessimism related to draft.
The Kings traded down from No. 7 to No. 10, landing them Jimmer Fredette in the process. While I am OK with the getting the BYU sensation, I am less than excited for the second tenure of swingman John Salmons.
Across the board the Udrih-Salmons swamp makes little to no sense.
While Beno had been improving each season with the Kings and arguably had his best year yet this past season, Salmons is coming off a subpar year and the worst he has had in the past four years.
The Kings took on a longer, bloated contract and a player that is older. Can someone tell me why they pulled the trigger on this one?
This isn't a knock against Salmons, one of the first articles I wrote on this site was an argument in support of Salmons starting over Francisco Garcia.
But this is three years later and he appears to be a different player.
Hopefully Salmons can bring his defense, versatility and shooting ability without the bitching and moaning that has followed him to each city he has played in. Odds are that pattern will continue though.
No. 10 (Via Milwaukee Bucks): Jimmer Fredette
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Fredette was arguably the best fit right away for the Kings with their current roster. They needed someone who could space the floor and can create at times. Jimmer offers both of these qualities.
In terms of potential down the road someone like Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight may have been a better pick. Plus, those two may fit in better with DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans. Walker and Evans workout together, same with Knight and Evans. I believe that Cousins and Knight are also friends outside of the court too.
While picking players that are best friends does not correlate to more wins, these other two seemed to fit in more with the Kings personel already. This does not mean that Fredette and Evans can't co-exist though.
They have different games, Fredette a shooter and Evans an attacker, while both players have good handles and are decent passers. Fredette isn't a bad pick, but three years later I have a feeling I will think otherwise.
At this very moment though, there hasn't been more national attention surrounding a Kings draft pick, ever. Fredette has a rabid following of fans along with those from the Mormon congregation. If the intent of this pick was to sell tickets, the Maloofs sure hit a homerun here.
However, if Fredette does not pan out this publicity stunt will backfires miserably. Thankfully Fredette has a lot of talent and may use the negativity to motivate him, as he is noted as a hard worker.
Everyone that has followed basketball knows what Fredette can do, now lets look at the other picks.
No. 35: Tyler Honeycutt
J. Meric/Getty Images
The UCLA product, Tyler Honeycutt, is a very versatile athlete with a developing offensive game along with size to guard three positions.
Honeycutt could become a solid rotation player for the Kings and maybe even start. A high basketball IQ with a passing ability that appears to be improving?
At the age of 20 he has plenty of room to grow and several tools that will certainly help.
No. 60: Isaiah Thomas
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Out of Washington, Isaiah Thomas could end up being a steal of the draft at No. 60.
A tough, hard-nosed player with a killer instinct is the just the shot the doctor ordered. He was a big time player for the Huskies, a true playmaker despite his small stature.
Best case scenario: a J.J. Barea/Nate Robinson style player. A nice chance to take at the last pick in the draft.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Both Geoff Petrie and Paul Westphal stated in their post-draft press conferences that this trade will not be the last move the Kings will make this summer. Even being the first of many moves.
As I noted in my last article, the top priorities for the Kings should be resigning Thornton and Dalembert. It would have to take a near max contract for the Kings to not match any offer Thornton if offered. Dalembert was a huge defensive presence for Sacramento and one they still desperately need.
He was a bit salty at the end of the season, and teams like Miami and New York are beating down his door to sign him. Hopefully Dalembert can be convinced to stick around, and with the hope of a new CBA coming, the thought is it could help out the Kings situation substantially.
If not, Hassan Whiteside will have to mature quickly after a less than promising first year. Or, the Kings could get lucky and land a diamond in the rough or an already established player for a reasonable price. Some combination of all the above would be fantastic though.