General manager Monte McNair and his staff have brought in several prospects for pre-draft workouts as they narrow down their choices.
Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reports Tennesse guard Keon Johnson confirmed he met with team representatives and did some on-court work as well. Johnson says he has also worked out with the Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Kings have two building blocks in place with De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton and hope to add another young piece to their core.
Johnson — who’s listed at 6-4, 185 pounds — put up 11.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists during his lone season with Tennessee. Draft experts believe Johnson projects to be an excellent defender at the pro level, something Sacramento desperately needs after finishing last in defensive rating.
Here is the NBADraftRoom.com’s scouting report on Johnson:
“Johnson will need some time to refine his ball-handling, shooting and playmaking skills but his elite athleticism and rock solid frame give him a nice NBA ceiling. … In some ways he plays like a young Ron Artest, being physical in the paint, rebounding the heck out of the ball and also initiating the offense as a point forward. Another player Johnson reminds me of is Jaylen Brown, with his physical driving style and high end athleticism. It’s too early to say if he’ll be as good as those two players but the tools are there.”
If the Kings can land a player similar to Jaylen Brown at No. 9, it will go a long way in helping to speed up the rebuild. Sacramento hung around the play-in race for much of the regular season and should be fighting for one of the top 10 spots in the Western Conference again during the 2021-22 campaign.
Along with Johnson, the Kings have also reportedly held workouts with Duke’s Jalen Johnson, Moses Moody of Arkansas, Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert, Texas big man Kai Jones and Turkish prospect Alperen Sengun.