With the Sacramento Kings still in the hunt for a playoff spot, we would like to see them have an opportunity to make it for the first time since 2006.
If the league lets things stand as is, the Kings will have a lottery pick. Most mock drafts are operating under the assumption Sacramento will be picking No. 12.
B/R’s pick: PF Precious Achiuwa - Memphis
Achiuwa benefitted from the loss of Memphis teammate James Wiseman, who is projected to be a top 5 pick himself in the upcoming draft. Achiuwa is a 6’9, 225 pound freshman who put up 15.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
His athleticism jumps out immediately. Achiuwa is good in the pick-and-roll and plays above the rim, which allows him to be a good offensive rebounder and create second-chance points. He is also effective at running the floor and finishing on the break. He averaged 1.9 blocks per game and has the tools to be a player who can switch off screens and hold his own against quicker guards.
Achiuwa still has work to do on his shooting. He hit 32.5% of his 3-point attempts and shot below 60% from the free throw line. His release looks smooth, but he battled inconsistency throughout the shortened season with the Tigers. Another knock on Achiuwa is his basketball IQ. Watching video on him shows that he is out of position on the defensive end, which hinders his ability as a rim protector.
Achiuwa’s fit on the Kings is also questionable. With Richaun Holmes, Alex Len and Harry Giles on the roster for now, it remains to be seen if Sacramento does re-sign Len and Giles in the offseason. If not, Achiuwa makes sense. He projects to be a rotational player with some upside to be a starter if he develops, especially on the defensive end.
SLAM’s pick: F Isaac Okoro - Auburn
The 6’6, 225 pound freshman averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2 assists per game, while shooting 51.9% from the field. Where Okoro stands out is the defensive end. He has the ability to grow into an All-NBA defender with his wingspan, athleticism and explosiveness being top-notch. Okoro has the potential to guard every position with his strength and quickness allowing him to be taken advantage of in switching situations. These characteristics give him the potential to grow into an offensive contributor. Okoro played a variety of positions under Bruce Pearl and is a great finisher around the rim, hitting on 76.6% of his attempts from inside.
Okoro has to improve his shooting, hitting only 29% of his 3-pointers. He went 11-for-45 on catch-and-shoot attempts per Synergy Sports and his mechanics need to get better. He doesn’t create his own shot, or setup teammates for open looks too often.
Okoro has a ton of upside. Some draft pundits have compared him to Andre Iguodala and Josh Richardson. Sacramento has Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield and Bogdon Bogdonavic on the wing, but Okoro’s skillset could fit in well due to him not needing the ball in his hands often on the offensive end. He would give the Kings a defender who can lockdown the opponents best player.
Who do you like better as a potential fit on the Kings roster out of Achiuwa and Okoro? Or is there another prospect you like?
Onto some more links:
The Kings are in the hunt for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. With the longest playoff drought in the league, CBS Sports ranks Sacramento highly compared to other franchises who are trying to make it back to the postseason.
Buddy Hield has been talked about a lot since signing his extension last year. Bleacher Report says the guard hasn’t earned the hype.
Speaking of Hield, who is the defending NBA 3-point champion, he apparently wants to face-off against Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in a 3-point competition. (NBC Sports)