The NBA is closing in on finalizing a plan that will see the 2020-21 season tipoff on Dec. 22. Teams are expected to kick off training camp on Dec. 1, meaning new general manager Monte McNair has less than a month to put his fingerprints on the roster.
One of the first things on the to-do list for McNair is figuring out what to do with the No. 12 pick at the 2020 NBA Draft. The Kings could go several ways with the selection, and it will be interesting to see which position McNair addresses.
With Kent Bazemore slated to be an unrestricted free agent when the offseason begins, Sacramento could look to add a wing at the draft. Some of the options available when the Kings are on the clock include Aaron Nesmith, Devin Vassell and Isaac Okoro.
Nesmith and Vassell are two of the best pure shooters in the draft. They will bring a scoring punch off the bench for head coach Luke Walton. Nesmith can fill it up on the offensive end. He averaged 23.0 points per game while shooting an impressive 52.2% from beyond-the-arc. Vassell shot 41.7% from the 3-point line and averaged 12.7 points per game in head coach Leonard Hamilton’s offense at Florida State.
Hamilton had some high praise when I asked him which NBA player Vassell reminds him of.
“I always said I thought he was more like Klay Thompson. Thompson shot, close to 40% as a junior, I believe in Washington State. Well, Devin shot 40% as a freshman and a sophomore at Florida State. And he has a lot of those qualities where he knows the ball is suppose to go going to the basket. He’s extremely confident, he always anxious to take big shots.”
Both players come with defensive deficiencies. Nesmith is strong for his size but lacks the quickness you would like to see from a player who will be switching onto elite NBA guards. Vassell has the opposite issue. He is rail-thin at 6’7 and 200 pounds, so adding some bulk early in his career will go a long way in helping Vassell against bigger wings. He has good lateral quickness, and his 6’10 wingspan gives him the length to matchup against multiple positions.
Okoro is more of a polished prospect who lacks the upside of Vassell. Okoro’s defensive skill can’t be understated. He is an excellent on-ball defender who has the lateral quickness to keep up with opposing point guards. He would bring an immediate tenacity to Sacramento, something the Kings need on the defensive end.
The 19-year-old’s shooting needs work. Okoro only hit on 28.9% of his 3-point attempts during his lone year at Auburn. His offensive game needs a lot of work, especially if he wants to be a good fit next to a playmaker like De’Aaon Fox.
McNair has some options, but it depends on which type of skill set he prefers when choosing a wing.
Which wing would you like to see the Kings draft if they choose one at the draft?
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On to some links:
With Richaun Holmes the only true center on the roster, McNair could look to add some size at the draft. Jason Jones of The Athletic does a deep dive on the center position heading into the start of the offseason.
Will McNair pull a trigger on a trade before training camp begins? Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report went over the best players who could be traded over the next month and one current King makes his list.
The NBA and Players Union’ are expected to reach a deal soon finalizing the plans for next season. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe have the details.