As things stand right now, the Sacramento Kings would be in the lottery if the 2019-20 NBA season doesn’t continue.
Sacramento would need some serious lottery lock to get the No. 1 pick, having just a 1.3% chance to win it.
The Kings have had a lot of misses at the draft over the years, failing to land a true superstar to help lead the team back to the postseason.
Alex Didion of NBC Sports came up with a list of his top five lottery picks by Sacramento since 1990.
Here is how Didion ranked the picks:
5) Jason Thompson No. 12 pick in 2008
4) Jason Williams No. 7 pick in 1998
3) Tyreke Evans No. 4 pick in 2009
2) De’Aaron Fox No. 5 pick in 2017
1) DeMarcus Cousins No. 5 pick in 2010
Looking at Didion’s list, I think there is a good chance Fox will take over the No. 1 spot from Cousins in the coming years. Fox is continuing to evolve his game and looks to be a player who can develop into a perennial All-Star, although a stronger supporting cast will help with that.
If you redrafted the 2017 class, Fox would be one of the top two picks in my opinion. Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics has had a nice start to his career, but to me, it’s a toss up between the two. Tatum has played on the better team, which has given him more of a chance to shine by playing in the playoffs.
Geoff Petrie got great value out of picking Thompson at No. 12 in the 2008 NBA Draft. Thompson played 541 games with the Kings, and as Didion points out, that makes him the longest tenured King since the team moved to Sacramento. Looking at some of the players picked after Thompson, the only one who had a nice run with the team that picked him was two-time NBA All-Star Roy Hibbert, who played seven seasons with the Indiana Pacers. Although, taking Hibbert didn’t make sense at the time because the Kings had taken big man Spencer Hawes one year earlier.
White Chocolate was definitely one of the most entertaining players in franchise history, but missing out on Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce obviously hurts. Williams was eventually traded to the Grizzlies for fellow point guard Mike Bibby, who played seven seasons with Sacramento, and helped the Kings on their most successful run in franchise history.
The Evans picked looked great initially with him winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award, but he never played more than 65 games over his last three seasons in Sacramento due to various injuries. The Evans, Cousins, Isiah Thomas core had some promise, but never developed into what Kings fans were hoping for. Sacramento, like five other teams before them, passed up on Steph Curry.
What are your thoughts on Didion’s list?