Well, we missed out on Anthony Davis and the #1 pick but we did not drop, as we will be selecting 5th in this month's draft. Unless GP has a plan to trade the pick for a better price (for someone like...John Salmons...), we must assess the probable players that will be available when the Kings name is called on draft day. We have a young nucleus in DeMarcus Cousins, Marcus Thornton, Isaiah Thomas and Tyreke Evans, meaning we need either a Small Forward or a Power Forward to propel this team going forward. With players like Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis likely taken off the board by the time the Kings name is called, we must decide what player will be best for the Kings at #5.
Here are the players who could likely be in the running at #5:
- Andre Drummond
- Perry Jones III
- Bradley Beal
- Harrison Barnes
- Tyler Zeller
You might be thinking, "TYLER ZELLER!??!!!?! F%#K THAT" but I'll explain after the jump.
1. Andre Drummond
Measurements: 6'11 (Height) | 9'1 (Standing Reach) | 7'5 (Wingspan)
Stats: 10 pts | 7.6 reb | 2.7 blk | 2.2 foul per game| 54% FG | 30% FT
I have a sneaking suspicion that Andre Drummond will be picked by the Kings come draft day and surprisingly, I am okay with it. Drummond is raw by all means, but it doesn’t mean that he isn't the ideal pick for the Kings moving forward. While his offensive game is horrible and needs to improve, there is no question that his defense is NBA ready. Defensively, Drummond can make an immediate impact for the Kings - altering shots at an excellent rate (6th in NCAA), is a monster on the glass (3.4 offensive rebounds a game), and has superior athleticism. Drummond could prove to be a great compliment to DeMarcus Cousins, especially on the defensive end. His high upside has NBA scouts believing his best case scenario is Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum, but he must first develop an offensive game - as well as develop a better stroke at the free-throw line. He shot 30% for the season and 18% the last 12 games of the season. YIKES. His lack of offense could be helpful for a team with trigger happy players in Sacramento, as he won’t be relied on to score OR to take away possessions from DeMarcus Cousins, but he needs to improve his free-throw shooting significantly to prevent being a liability in late game situations. The fact that he only averaged 2.2 fouls a game intrigues me, because he was able to be an impact defensively without being called for fouls. I believe that the Kings should make Drummond the 5th pick of the draft because he immediately addresses some of the Kings needs.
2. Perry Jones III
Measurements: 6'11 (Height) | 7'2 (Wingspan)
Stats: 13.5 pts | 7.6 reb | 0.6 stl | 50% FG | 30% 3PG | 70% FT
Perry Jones III has had a lot of hype here on Sactown Royalty and I see why. Standing at 6'11, Jones can play both the Small Forward and Power Forward positions, but I ask: Which position do you prefer he play? Assuming he takes over the Power Forward role I don’t like the fit that he brings to the Kings, but if he can play the Small Forward then I will be more than happy to take him. He is long and lanky with great athleticism and could potentially be a capable defender. Offensively, Jones is a versatile scorer who won't demand many possessions; he will need to improve both his post game as well as his jump shot in order to be more effective. Perry Jones III won’t have to worry about being the go to guy on this team, but he will need to knock down open shots at a consistent rate, which is something he struggled with in college. His ability to handle the ball and his quickness are important to note due to his size. Jones can finish the ball with either hand and has decent range for a guy his size; however he is not a great rebounder. I feel like he can be too passive at times and will be pushed around a lot by opposing big men. His inconsistency is the biggest concern in drafting him. While he did score 15+ in 15/33 games last season, he only scored single digits in 12/33 and 5 points or less in 5 of those 12. His inconsistency, as well as his lack of go-to moves should scare you a bit.
3. Bradley Beal
Measurements: 6'5 (Height) | 8'3 (Standing Reach) | 6'8 (Wingspan)
Stats: 14.8 pts | 6.7 reb | 1.4 stl| 45% FG | 34% 3PG | 77% FT
Drafting Beal would mean that either Marcus Thornton will be moved to the 6th man role, or Tyreke Evans is going to be traded - at least in my opinion. The Kings Point guards were not great last season, but selecting Beal at five means that GP picked the BPA rather than need, which is fine by me. Bradley Beal is rumored to have amazing work ethic and a three point shot similar to that of Ray Allen. Beal is a pure shooter and a combo guard with a high basketball IQ and is an amazing rebounder for the guard position. He has a solid frame and possesses an ability to create for both himself, as well as others easily. While he can be inconsistent at times, he possesses terrific time as well as an all-around approach to his game. He has very nice anticipation skills on defense, both in the passing lanes and blocking shots. I don't see Beal being available at #5 but if he is, GP needs to give him an honest look.
4. Harrison Barnes
Measurements: 6'8 (Height) | 8'7 (Standing Reach) | 6'11 (Wingspan)
Stats: 17.1 pts |5.2 reb | 1.1 ast| 44% FG | 36% 3PG | 72% FT
Harrison Barnes could have easily been the #1 pick of the draft had he declared last season, but now he is looking like a realistic prospect for the Kings at #5. Called "the next Kobe" coming out of high school, Barnes has shown to be a decent college basketball player. Known for his midrange game and jump shot, Barnes could be the catch and shoot player the Kings desperately need. He possesses a pump fake and puts it to good use, as it helps free him for jumpers and lanes to the basket. He has an extremely high basketball IQ and is extremely mature on and off the court. He can be a capable defensive player in the NBA, using his size, length and strength to his advantage. He does have many weaknesses that prevent me from wanting him in a Kings uniform. Harrison Barnes needs the ball in his hands to be effective - as noted in his 1.1 assist average. With a wide-eyed trigger happy team like the Kings, having a guy like Barnes could continue to Kings trend of stopping ball movement for long stretches of the game. Barnes is also a streaky shooter, especially from behind the arc and often settles for jumpers. This is often due to his lack of explosiveness, especially off his initial step. Overall, while Harrison Barnes could be a good draft choice for the Kings, it could easily be the most regrettable one too.
5. Tyler Zeller
Measurements: 7'0 (Height)
Stats: 16.3 pts | 9.6 reb | 1.5 blk | 55% FG | 80% FT
Okay, hear me out. I do not believe Zeller is worthy of being drafted #5, but if none of the other prospects work out, Zeller could be a helpful pickup for Sacramento in the event they move down in the draft...again. In a nutshell, Zeller is perhaps the quickest big man in the draft in transition and one of the best transition scorers - connecting on 79% of his shots. He has an exceptionally high motor and nice soft hand that enable him to be more effective. He is a solid midrange game and a soft touch to his free throws, connecting on 80% of them last season (topping this list), and can finish in the post with either hand. One part of the game where Zeller excels is his ability to seal off his man to establish position. While he isn't exactly going to ever be an imposing rim protector, Zeller has the ability to be more than a capable defender, due to his ability to establish position and willingness to take charges. He possesses the knowledge and instinct to be in the right position both on and off the ball, which could help out this Kings team. Zeller has shown the ability and willingness to improve his game, as he increased his FG, points, rebounds and blocks every season. Tyler Zeller isn't a good passer out of the post and lacks athleticism and size to guard bigger NBA bodies, so building strength is a must. I think a guy like Zeller could excel for this Kings team.