We have guys who can score. Fox, Bogi, Buddy, Bagley, Barnes are there to score. We need to fill the roster with dudes who can flat out guard and be switchy. Derrick Jones Jr is worthy of 8 million a year from us because he can guard 1-4. Jakarr Sampson is someone we have had in our system before who fits the mold of an elite hustle player who can defend 1-5 at times and would be worth of 5-6 million per year. Josh Reaves and DeAnthony Melton are two restricted free agents who I would consider offering contracts in the ballpark of 4-5 million to help fill out the bench with solid role players who can really defend.
Tyler Bey should get a legit look from us because he can guard 1-4. Devin Vassell, Okoro can guard 1-3 and would be ideal if they slip to us. Naji Marshall can guard 1-4 and should be in play in the mid second round. I think RJ Hampton could guard 1-2, some 3s. I understand the appeal of Kira Lewis, I am extremely high on him as a prospect, but the Kings do not need to prioritize offensive production. That is why I prefer specifically for the Kings, both Malachi Flynn and Desmond Bane to Kira Lewis even though I do agree Kira might be a better over prospect with a higher ceiling although I do think it is debatable. Flynn and Bane are two of my favorite prospects in this draft with such high floors and would be able to contribute on both ends very early on for the Kings. When we play fast and utilize Buddy Hield correctly we can score with the best of them. Holmes is so good defensively to catch some mistakes but we need a defensive stopper and a few people who make things happen on the defensive end. Paul Reed and Xavier Tillman are bigs who could slip to 35, both are extremely skilled defensively and would be nice depth additions to the big rotation. To be frank, if there is significant reservation that the player we draft is going to struggle on the defensive end, to me, it probably is not the right pick.
if Hampton,Okoro, Vassell are not there at 12, you gotta trade back to a team like the Celtics for 26 and 30 and take a look at Malachi Flynn, Bane, Tyler Bey, Jalen Smith, Josh Green who can immediately contribute and be solid role players.
Or roll with Bane at 12, and look to move Buddy to get another pick in that 20ish range to select Malachi Flynn or Tyler Bey.
While BPA is the best strategy to optimize draft assets, I do think fit and need in a weird way does factor into that. The Kings are a higher risk franchise for high upside picks and until we can prove that we can develop, I much more inclined to prefer a high floor player in the draft. Especially if we believe in the top on end ceiling for Fox, Bogi, Buddy, Bagley. Moreover, there should be a premium on defense and switchability because I think that, IQ and pure shooting are the three best metrics to determine success in the NBA. For instance, Flynn is a top 20 prospect in the draft because he is close to elite in those categories, same with Bane. For this reason, I am lower on Avdija, Nesmith, Patrick Williams, Kira Lewis specifically for the Kings though. A team like the Heat, Raptors, Warriors, Lakers, Spurs to me are more likely to turn those players into starting caliber players.
The fact is that playing time is earned on the defensive end for most rookies unless they are elite offensively. Coaches need to trust players to hold their own on the defensive side and also make sound decisions with the ball in their hands. And for the Kings, we should be looking at the 6th seed as the goal. Drafting from a pool of defensively versatile players RJ,Vassell, Okoro, Tyler Bey, Malachi, Flynn, Desmond Bane Xavier Tillman, Paul Reed, Naji Marshall to me will be the key to a successful draft.
To me an elite draft outcome is the following
Bane at 12 given that Okoro, Vassell, and Hampton are gone
Trade Buddy and future 2nds for Horford and #20 and with that pick select Malachi Flynn
At 35 go Tillman or Paul Reed
at 43 Naji Marshall
at 52 roll with Mason Jones (elite offensive player who will need a few years to work on athleticism and defense though)
And in free agency let's say we grab DJJ on a slight overpay, Jakarr on a modest contract, resign Bazemore, and get Josh Reaves.
Fox, Flynn, Joseph
Bogi, Bane, Josh Reaves
Barnes, Bazemore, DJJ, Naji Marshall, Mason Jones, Daquan Jeffries
Bagely, Bjelica, Jakarr, DJJ
Horford, Holmes, Reed/Tillman
This is a team that would be in a position to play fast, and have a ton of depth, especially in the wing with guys who can guard a ton of versatile players. Tillman/PaulReed, Marshall, Mason Jones, Jeffries, Reaves are all going to be spending a ton of time in the g league early on but ultimately should be able to contribute in the rotation, especially with injuries and fatigue down the stretch. I also think this team is ready to win with the veteran presence of Barnes and Horford. Corey Brewer is another veteran depth pickup as well as someone like a Jared Dudley who would make sense to add to the locker room.