No pokes, no dents…. We need a crater.
We need the crust of the Earth scarred from the Kings blasting into the sky.
In a few hours, the Sacramento Kings will select a prospect to join their roster with the #2 overall draft choice. It’s absolutely crucial that they select the player with the highest impact in terms of winning basketball in the immediate.
Kings fans cannot afford to watch Luka Dončić struggle to adapt to the NBA while Marvin Bagley averages a double-double for a surging Hawks team - just as they can’t afford to watch Marvin Bagley channel Derrick Williams while Dončić is the resurgens of Pete Maravich in The Gate City.
Michael Porter Jr. could light the nets up his first year - or he’s the scoliosis interpretation of Adam Morrison.
Watching De’Aaron Fox hit clutch shot after clutch shot was fun - we know he has that DNA, that ‘clutch’ intangible that can only be measured in real time. Watching Damian Lillard drop 50 on his head through three quarters reminded us that he’s a rookie - he has time to grow into the modern NBA.
The conversation will forever be focused on Fox and his assumed counterpart, Lonzo Ball. It’s better to contrast him to Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell blasted off in the 2017-18 Season for the Utah Jazz, leading them to a first round victory against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. It’s hard to imagine De’Aaron going toe-to-toe with Russ for an entire playoff series, though that’s the hope. Mitchell blasted the Jazz into another atmosphere - they weren’t beating the Thunder without him, and they probably weren’t making the playoffs.
And that’s my point. The selection today should blast a crater into the court. There is no time, no room, and -most important for the business of basketball- no patience for more hope. The Kings need to be the team whose rookie is the talk of the league - and they need to pick the player that will have that impact.
We’re not talking about the “face of the franchise” - this NBA does not care. Besides, the Kings have the makings of a face - Bogdan Bogdanovic brings the glare and both De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield bring smiles. The Kings need that player that brings a scowl and a roar. A true enigma for the NBA.
As far as your resident photojournalist is concerned, I have no clue which prospect will have the most impact. What I do know is that the Kings have a high likelihood of getting it wrong - that’s the nature of the NBA. I won’t join the ranks of calling for people to lose their jobs over the handling of the NBA draft.
My opinion will always hold that footwork is one of the most important aspects of basketball - on that note, my picks are Dončić and Jaren Jackson Jr. for immediate high impact players.
Be it Dončić, Bagley, Porter, Jackson, a trade, or another Papagiannis scenario (please, Vlade, no) - the choice today is the fulcrum of the future. We’ve seen and survived about worst basketball performances a professional league could offer. Let’s have this selection provide one of the best experiences a pro league can offer - true ascension.
Let’s not see the Kings dig any deeper of a hole - it’s hard to fit all these fans. We need a crater.