I know this article will illicit 2 major comments…
1. Way to Piggy Back Scoop Jackson’s Article (http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/10560303/jackson-creighton-doug-mcdermott-worthy-top-draft-pick)
2. There is no way we are passing up on Embid, Wiggins, Parker, Exum, Randle, Smart, Ennis, or Gordon
Let me lay out the crux of my position (no point in witty diatribes)…
We have one opportunity to make a significant impact with this draft. The current roster is not in need of a boom or bust player. This current roster is in need of a player that understands the game of basketball. Kings fans often moan about the fact that we are always fielding a roster of players that needs to learn to how to play as a team. Why not draft a guy who knows how to:
1. Be a teammate
2. Score the ball efficiently
3. Create easy opportunities for his teammates
Here is how I feel about the so-called top 6 or 8 players.
1. The only players that play defense in the top 7 are Gordon and Embid . Frankly, they are both so limited offensively that they are liabilities on the offensive end. And while both may grow into solid offensive players, I believe we are tired of waiting for players to develop. In addition, Embid’s current injury scares me. Back problems are not a good sign for a 19 year old big man.
2. Wiggins will be the biggest wildcard of the draft. If you pass him up in the draft, and he excels you will kick yourself. However when you draft him, he will most likely not provide much more than highlights for the first few seasons. He does not score at an elite level (49% on 2pt att./ 76% FT/ 36% 3pt), and he does not create easy baskets for his teammates (only 9.7% of his teams assists). I could be crazy, but in my opinion if you cant dominate on a nightly basis in college, you rarely dominate on a nightly basis in the pros. While his play of late has garnered serious attention, his body of work is not deserving of the top overall pick.
3. Parker is a fantastic player. He is going to play in the NBA for as long as his body allows. I have no major issues with his offensive game. He reminds me of Glen Robinson, and that’s no slight, however it’s not necessarily a compliment either. The Bottom line for me is that I do not see Parker complimenting DMC, and I don’t see him as a player that can space the floor, something we desperately need.
4. Julius Randle has a grown mans game. He has post moves, he rebounds extremely well, and he has shown an ability to play with other high usage players. My argument against the kings drafting Randle is as follows: We currently have a bevy of frontcourt players who are under contract. Reggie Evans, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, Quincy Acy, DMC, Derrick Williams. Yes, Julius Randle is most likely going to be a better pro than any not named Demarcus on the list, but who knows. As the current roster is constructed, there is no reason to add more frontcourt players when more suitable options are available.
5. Right now there are 3 potential targets at point guard. Exum, Smart, and Ennis. All 3 bring size, talent, and top-flight traits to a roster in need of such attributes. My concerns for each are as follows: Ennis does not score effectively at all on his 2pt attempts (42%). A PG that cannot effectively score will usually not lead a team very far. Smart cannot shoot the 3 well at all, and his shot does not seem to be getting better with practice. Heading into the season he told us his shot was fixed, and against Memphis in the opener it looked amazing. For the season he is shooting 27% on 124 shots from 3-point range (at time of data collection). Exum is a mystery to me. He could be the next Goran Dragic, or he could be the next Kendall Marshall. He has such limited experience against top-flight talent that I believe he is far too risky to pick with a top 8 pick.
The top 6-8 players are all going to be drafted based on potential. Pretend we are going to look at McDermott through the same looking glass.
22.9 points per game
63% shooting on 2pt attempts
49% shooting on 3pt attempts
80% Free Throw shooter
22.2 points per game
50% shooting on 2pt attempts
34% shooting on 3pt attempts
71% Free Throw Shooter
10 Rebounds/ game
2.2 Turnovers/ game
19.5 points per game
60% shooting on 2pt attempts
57% shooting on 3pt attempts
75% Free throw shooter
8.3 rebounds/ game
2.6 turnovers/ game
Player B is Carmelo Anthony in his lone season at Syracuse
Player C is Derrick Williams sophomore season (Arizona)
Player A is Doug McDermott’s sophomore season (Creighton)
Based off of potential I would argue that Doug McDermott’s play warrants the same draft position as either player (2 and 4 respectively). Doug McDermott may be older than his draft peers, but he is also more accomplished. He may not be considered an elite athlete, neither are many of the young marquee players (Sullinger, Love, Curry) in our game today. He may not be considered a good defender, beyond about 20 guys in the league, who is? So what is the real fear in drafting McDermott?
I am very interested to read a a solid argument as to why McDermott should not be drafted by the Kings without being bombarded by words such as "Potential", "Ceiling", or "upside". There are lots of good players in this draft, many of whom may become superstars, many of whom may become busts. For every Durant, there is an Oden, for every Blake there is a Candy Man, and for every Tim Duncan there is a Kwame Brown.
The Sacramento Kings need a solid player. We don’t need an AAU kid who only thrives when he is the center of world. We don’t need a player who will feel entitled to minutes before he has ever even practiced. And we certainly don’t need a player who will follow the lead of our current hot heads. We are the most undisciplined team in the league by a long shot. A dose of maturity and hard work would do this roster some good. What we need are players who can step in and contribute with an elite skill and a couple of above average skills right away. As we head into the off season, ask yourself…Do we want more potential, or do we want a player who is ready to contribute right away?
Thanks for taking the time to read!