Friday night featured one of the craziest series-winning shots I've ever seen. Damian Lillard is nothing short of incredible. When discussing Lillard, it's important to note that he's older than guys like Kawhi Leonard, John Wall, and several other players who are mind-bogglingly great, but Lillard is incredible nonetheless.
But watching Lillard as a Kings fan can sting. After all, the Kings were rumored to be very interested in Lillard, but took Thomas Robinson when he unexpectedly slid down the draft. Robinson, by the way, also had some very nice plays for the Trail Blazers on Friday. So whenever Lillard does something amazing, we're bombarded by comments and thoughts of "what if", but doing so is foolish. It can make you angry, but to what end?
We can't change the past. We did get to change owners, and management, and coaches. We now have an ownership structure that won't ship off a first rounder just for a little extra cash. We have new management making our draft decisions. We have coaches that seem capable of player development (look no further than the dramatic development of Ray McCallum this past season).
But I know that alone isn't enough to get the what-ifs out of our systems. So here is a list of players the Kings could have drafted:
That list is just from the 2009 draft and after. There are a ton of players we'd love to have on the Kings. But there are plenty of other teams that missed on those same guys. And you know what, here are some other players the Kings could have drafted:
And, it's also worth noting that we have a couple guys on this roster that multiple teams passed on. Four teams passed on DeMarcus Cousins. 59 players were taken before Isaiah Thomas.
We can't live and die with every "we could have drafted that guy!" Because there are just as many busts that we could have taken. No team drafts perfectly. The draft is a crap shoot. It involves a lot of luck with the draft order, a lot of luck with the needs of the teams in front of you, and a lot of luck with players developing the way you think they will.
Next month the Kings will make yet another high draft pick. We'll hope they take the best player in the draft, or at least the best player available at their pick. So let's imagine what might be, instead of what might have been.