The NBA Draft is one of my favorite days of the year, but the time leading up to it can be exhausting. So many rumors are thrown around as teams try to obscure their true intentions and agents try to hype their clients that it’s hard to figure out what’s real and what isn’t. This is especially true when it comes to De’Aaron Fox.
Fox is the big name in Sacramento right now, with fans salivating over the possibility of the athletic young guard pairing up with Buddy Hield in the backcourt. The Kings seem to like him too, interviewing him in Chicago and bringing him in for a private visit over the last couple days. It does seem highly probable that if Fox should manage to last till the 5th pick, he’ll be the guy the Kings choose.
But it’s not certain that he will last to 5, with recent reports suggesting he can go as high as 2nd to the Lakers, with both the 76ers and Suns (who have the 3rd and 4th picks respectively) also showing interest. Chad Ford, smokescreen connoisseur, has indicated in his latest mock draft that the Kings might like Fox enough to move up to take him if he doesn’t fall to them.
There's talk inside the organization about combining picks Nos. 5 and 10 to move up in the draft to secure Fox. But if they found a taker, that would be a high price to pay to move up two to three spots.
Whether Ford is right or not about the Kings even considering such a move, he’s definitely right that it’s a high price to pay. It’s too high of a price, especially when Fox is an unknown quantity in the NBA and might not even pan out.
For a team like the Kings that needs talent above all else, two cracks at landing a star in the lottery is far better than one, especially when there should be some serious talent at both 5 and 10. Lottery picks are among the most coveted assets in the league, and using them only to move up a couple spots doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense unless you’re going all the way to the 1st pick for someone you think is going to be a bonafide superstar (and in that case, it’s unlikely the team with the 1st pick would give it up, especially this year with the Celtics not needing any more youth).
Now another possibility that’d be worth considering if the Kings do want to move up for Fox is potentially using their cap space to take on a bad contract and another pick (like say Evan Turner and one of Portland’s three first rounders for Arron Afflalo’s unguaranteed deal) and moving that non-lottery pick with the 5th pick to move up. That would be a far more acceptable and prudent course of action.
Last year the Kings did a great job of turning one asset (the 8th pick) into many. They shouldn’t do the reverse this year.