The Sacramento Kings have been a punchline for some time now. Agents have notoriously steered their clients away from the Kings in recent years, especially in the predraft process. But it seems that tide is shifting, thanks in large part to the addition of Scott Perry to the front office. James Ham has a fantastic report that shows the positive impact Perry is already having.
Not only did Markelle Fultz, the player most believe will go with the top overall pick, sit down with the Kings brass, Sacramento got the first crack at an interview with the guard from Washington. Perry, the team’s new executive vice president of basketball operations has ties to the Fultz camp, which is usually the way this all works.
We’ve seen recent reports in the Sacramento Bee that the Kings were returning to stability and respectability in the front office, but it was easy to dismiss those as puff pieces. They lacked anything specific other than the Kings presenting themselves as being finally stable. And we had those reports partnered with negative insights. In a recent post for ESPN (Insider), Chad Ford shared the following:
"It would be malpractice to let my clients play for them," one longtime agent said. "I've had clients there. It's still the most dysfunctional front office in the league, by a mile. How can you trust those guys with one of your players? It's going to take a long time to build that trust."
But what really makes Ham’s report stand out is the specifics he was able to get on record, specifics that run completely opposite of what any unnamed agent or agents told Ford.
“We have as a company (CAA), four or five guys that are going in the top 20,” agent Aaron Mintz told NBC Sports California. “They will all be going to Sacramento and we are very hopeful that the Kings will take one if not two of them.”
CAA is one of the power agencies in the NBA. That they aren’t steering clients away from Sacramento is huge news. And they weren’t alone. Ham also got similar commitment from former NBA player B.J. Armstrong, who represents Kansas’ Josh Jackson, a player many consider to be a top-5 prospect.
“If other people see problems, we see enormous opportunity,” Armstrong told NBC Sports California about Sacramento.
It seems that Perry’s extensive network of relationships is already doing wonders for the Kings and their perception around the league. You may recall that before last year’s draft, the only top-15 prospect to visit Sacramento was Wade Baldwin. All other top prospects avoided the Kings.
The Kings will have a long road ahead in the rebuilding process, but it will be a much easier process if the Kings are no longer the pariahs of the league.