General manager Monte McNair will make his first big move since taking over the job and with the season scheduled to begin a little less than six weeks from now, he won’t have much time to put together the roster.
Sacramento has multiple needs going into the draft. McNair could look to add a 3-and-D wing or look for another playmaking point guard to complement De’Aaron Fox. This year’s draft might not be filled with big names, but it is deep and teams picking late in the lottery should be able to find a player who can step in and contribute in their first season.
Here is a roundup of who some of the major media outlets have the Kings taking with the No. 12 pick.
ESPN has the Kings taking Killian Hayes
Hayes has one of the wider draft ranges of any of the players in this tier of prospects, as he’s getting looks from as high as Chicago (No. 4) and Detroit (No. 7). The glut of guards might push him down the board to Sacramento, which could use a solidly sized combo guard who can play alongside De’Aaron Fox while taking over the backup point guard minutes.
CBS Sports has the Kings taking Aaron Nesmith
The Kings are a talented team — but just average from beyond the arc. So adding Aaron Nesmith, arguably the best shooter available in this draft, could provide instant improvement.
Bleacher Report has the Kings taking Killian Hayes
Hayes is receiving top-10 looks with the Detroit Pistons serving as a possible suitor. He could fall to No. 12 if the Pistons and New York Knicks pass. Sources say the Kings are valuing analytics over needs. At 6’5”, Hayes could give them a second playmaker and a more natural passer than De’Aaron Fox.
Yahoo has the Kings taking Saddiq Bey
Trade options: Take Bey or TRADE UP for Patrick Williams.
Villanova has produced solid pros the last few years, and Bey is no exception. He is a great outside shooter for his size and excellent in pick-and-pop situations. De’Aaron Fox is blossoming as one of the best point guards in the West, and Bey could be a great addition to the Kings offense.
If the Kings value a high ceiling over an older, experienced player, they could trade up for Williams.
USA TODAY has the Kings taking Aaron Nesmith
Nesmith could blossom into something special soon. He was already considered one of the best 3-point shooters in the NCAA ranks last season (52.2%). His 2019-20 season, in which he averaged 23 points, was cut short after 14 games due to a right foot injury.
The Athletic has the Kings taking Devin Vassell
The Kings are another wild card on draft night, as new general manager Monte McNair is putting together a draft room that hasn’t yet made a pick for Sacramento. It’s unclear what direction they’ll turn. Having said that, there is a thought that the wing position is said to interest the Kings. Vassell is about as perfect a fit for this roster as you can imagine, given his defensive versatility and ability to cover multiple gaps. They need more wings for roster balance, and they need defenders. On top of it, they could use someone like Vassell who would be more comfortable with a limited offensive role. It’s kind of a perfect fit. I will also note that I wouldn’t be surprised if an analytics-conscious general manager like McNair found interest in Aleksej Pokusevski and decided to swing for the fences on upside.
Out of all of these picks, I prefer The Athletic’s John Hollinger’s selection. Vassell has a lot of the skills Sacramento needs. Vassell projects to be one of the best wing defenders in the draft and will immediately upgrade the outside shooting. He also provides an insurance policy if Buddy Hield is moved during the season, especially now that Bogdan Bogdanovic is in Milwaukee.
Who do you think would be the ideal pick for the Kings?