Since the Sacramento Kings have decided not to tank and have greatly lessened their chances on a high lottery pick, they now need to look for the players many people have been sleeping on. One of those players is Duke’s Adrian “AJ” Griffin Jr.
#AJGriffin 18 PTS, 3 REB, 1 BLK Highlights vs Arkansas | Elite Eight #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/ahenZp9XlC— DukeLights (@duke_lights) March 27, 2022
The 6’6 222 lbs. freshman from New York brings two things that would greatly benefit the Kings. Shooting, and having been coached by the legendary coach K.
In his only collegiate year, Griffin averaged 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists. Nothing crazy but nothing to sneeze about either having been on such a loaded roster. His most impressive statistic is his efficiency from deep. Griffin shot 44.7% while averaging just over four three point shot attempts per game. The Kings are a team that often drives to the paint and tries to score from inside. Having Griffin would not only spread the floor, but add another option to kick the ball to when the defense collapses on the paint.
Having spent a year under the wing of coach K and all of the historic Duke basketball alumni, Griffin has something very important. What it takes to be successful. No matter if you like him or not, there is one thing every basketball fan has to admit to, Coach K knows success. He has more wisdom than most every other coach in the entirety of the sporting world. The wisdom he passed on to Griffin is priceless. If he really bought in to the culture at Duke, there are many lessons and words of advice and he can bring with him to help out the Kings.
Potential spot in the roster:
#AJGriffin 11 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST Highlights vs Texas Tech | Sweet Sixteen #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/kNJ5KjvGmG— DukeLights (@duke_lights) March 25, 2022
Griffin likely wouldn’t start on the Kings initially unless some moves happen regarding Harrison Barnes. A great place for him to start, as it is for most rookies, would either at shooting guard or small forward coming off the bench.
A common comparison frequently made to Griffin is Jimmy Butler. Though the defense is not there, Butler was not always as good on defense as he is now. Once he is used to league play and has a more polished game Griffin could become a high level player on both ends of the floor.
Right now Griffin is mocked to go between picks 6-10. Since the Kings are likely going to land in that range, Griffin should absolutely be on their big board.