First time fanpost.
The KIngs are staying. And it is time for the NBA draft. I am tired of reading about the false relocation attempts and all this litigation stuff that I can barely pretend to understand. It is time to focus on basketball, something I have a much more fun dealing with and discussing.
1. SF- No elaboration necessary. We have needed a small forward for the longest time. We have clamored for a 3pt/defense type guy, but I would be fine with anyone better than Salmons.
2. PF/C- We need a big to pair with Cousins. There was a minute or two where it was thought to be JJ Hickson; that turned out just great. I think Thompson is a good, versatile backup in this league, and his contract pays him accordingly (benchblob). I like Patterson's versatility and Hayes' one on one defense, but I am not sure there are enough minutes to support all those bigs and an incoming rookie.
3. PG- I like both IT and Jimmer a lot, but am not sure if either is capable of starting in the NBA. Jimmer seems like a perfect fit for Tyreke Evans: stand away from the ball at the 3pt line and draw defenders while playing decent team defense and letting Reke pick up any slack on that end. Jimmer improved every single year in college, so I wanna see what he does this year before completely writing him off. He improved his scoring and I liked his more aggressive nature this past season and want to give him another year before we write him off. Thomas on the other hand, is a perfect NBA player. He has the heart and the skills. The talent? I don't know, again I think he needs a third year under a real coach and real management for us to objectively understand his potential. I think worst case scenario he is a very good backup (6-8th best player on the team) who the team can depend on for years, and I would love for him to be on this team for years to come regardless. This is a much lower priority than SF or a big.
Upon my analysis, it looks like the only position the Kings do not need to draft is shooting guard, even though I would be surprised is Thornton plays out his entire contract here.
1. Nerlens Noel- As is often the case, there is one clear top prospect even though he is coming off ACL surgery. It was mostly a freak injury, it doen't make me worry about his durability. Any team that wins the lottery should take Noel. For the Kings, Noel would provide the interior defense we have never had and would be a fantastic complement to Cousins and he can defend to paint on D and Cousin's jump shooting will give him room on offense to develop. I think the Mutombo comparisons are pretty close.
Mutombo only played 11.3 mpg his freshman year but his sophomore stats 13.3/13.0/5.1 versus Noel's: 10.5/9.5/4.4 Stats are slightly lower for Noel, but may even be in Noel's favor when you include the extra year of experience as well as minute disparity. Noel also had a significant more amount of steals 2.1/0.5 as well as better assist and turnover stats. All of this must be taken with a grain of salt however, as Dikembe was one of the greatest shot blockers the NBA has ever seen, and Anthony Davis' numbers also compare well.
2. Otto Porter- A very good all around small forward. I like Porter a lot, the attributes he best brings to the Kings is his rebounding, passing ability, and his movement off of the ball; he doesn't need the ball to be good. He draws comparisons to Tayshaun Prince due to his all around game, but I think Porter is a little bit better. I really like how Porter drastically improved in weak areas of his game, such as scoring, 3pt%, assists, and steals from his freshman to his sophomore year. He may not start from day 1, but would likely be the starter sometime his rookie year for the Kings. Needs to add weight and prove he has enough athleticism for the NBA, but he's the best SF in the draft. My main concern is that I don't see him slipping by the Cavaliers as they are nearly as desperate at the SF slot as we are.
3. Ben McLemore- After the top two players, this becomes a lot tougher for the Kings. The new management may look to move Tyreke to PG while drafting the BPA who would be McLemore. If Tyreke does end up at point, I think we need a point forward who can help keep the offense going, someone like Iguodala. McLemore is compared to Ray Allen, but I think this is because we haven't found a fair comparison; McLemore has issues creating his own shot, something Allen did plenty of when he was a star in the league for that team that no longer exists. In addition, McLemore has much more athleticism than Allen, but I can't find a better comparison.
4. Victor Oladipo- Again, if the Kings draft him I think it creates a backcourt jam. I see Oladipo as strictly a shooting guard, meaning we would need to look at moving Reke to the point. Oladipo has fantastic defensive potential and shot an incredibly efficient rate from the floor at 59.9% from the field and 44.1% from downtown. However, his usage rate was low for a potential top 5 pick at 18.1%. A boom or bust type prospect, he could be a Luol Deng, Tony Allen, Thabo Sefolosha type player.
5. Trey Burke- He burst onto the scene during the Big 10 conference and NCAA tournaments, but was a good player all year. He is a traditional point guard, able to run the pick n roll and is a good passer and dribbler. He improved in nearly every category this past year and seems to be a very savvy player. Reminds me a bit of Steph Curry with his ability to hit deep threes and his quickness. Again, if the Kings end up with him, look for IT or Jimmer to get traded.
6. Cody Zeller- A big with upside, Zeller had a good career at Indiana. His stock dropped a bit with his NCAA tournament play and his lack of tenacity when the tough got going. He improved his rebounding last year, but is still only decent on the boards. However he has good athleticism and can score in a variety of ways. He would be an okay complement to Cousins, but the Kings need a rebounding/defensive big more than anything else, I fear he would only take the Kings to a mediocre-caliber level and not a championship level.
7. Shabazz Muhammad- I don't want to see Muhammad on the Kings. He needs the ball in his hands to be successful, but even then some of his scoring rates are really bad. He is the Harrison Barnes of this years draft, a player who dropped on a lot of boards after college for not living up to high school expectations. He also has some red flags between lying about his age and not celebrating his teammate's buzzer beater win. He also lacks defensive tenacity. With all that being said, if drafted he may start at SF from day 1 and still likely improve the team.
8. Anthony Bennett- I am not a big fan of Bennett's game. I like me some undersized power forwards, but I don't see him complementing Cousins at all, and he needs the ball in his hands to be good, similar to Muhammad. He reminds me of Derrick Williams (both remind me of Antoine Walker-light who I always thought was overrated). I would rather trade for Williams and his 2 years of NBA experience than draft the same player in the top 8.
9. CJ McCollum- A combo guard with lots of skill playing at a small school. Considered a high character person by his coaches. Could be compared to Steph Curry, Jimmer, or Damian Lillard. He kinda reminds me of a bigger Isaiah Thomas, but the big question is if he can play point guard in the NBA. He doesn't display natural pg skills, and seems a step slower than Lillard or Curry, which may mean 6th man material. Either way I don't really see how he fits in with the Kings.
It is impossible for the Kings to finish with worst than the 9th pick, and extremely unlikely they finish with worst than the 7th pick. I don't see any other players in this draft jumping into the top 9 of the King's board but there are some players later in the round who are very intriguing and I call my mid-late round steals.
1. Giannis Adetokunbo- Shades of Durant can't be bad, could be the 2nd best player in the draft, but as raw as Biyombo.
2. Jamaal Franklin- Great all around player, a bit of a homer pick for me (SDSU) but he was 4th(!!!!) in NCAA in defensive rebounding at 6'5 and led the team in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Turnover machine but much of those came from trying to do too much for an Aztecs team incapable of producing offense. If he can develop an outside jumper, he should be a very good starter in the NBA.
3. Kentavious Caldwell Pope- good size for a sg at 6'6. Good scoring ability and good rebounder. I have a feeling he rises in or near the top 10, as he is a very good all around player. Averaged 7.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.
Or some second rounders
1. Mike Muscala- Small school senior player, but put up great numbers. Looks to have a long wingspan and possesses good footwork down low. Needs to put on weight.
2. Myck Kabongo- Never lived up to expectations in college but may be worth a 2nd rounder.
3. Andre Roberson- A big who can rebound well and play defense.
4. Any international player over cash considerations
5. Carrick Felix- Already 22, but great size and length for a shooting guard. Already has his Masters degree and was first team Pac 12 defense and conference scholar-athlete player of the year. Intriguing prospect but seems likely to go undrafted.