Photo credit: NBAE/Getty
By Charlie O. Mallonee
Last night was the NBA Draft Lottery where dreams are made or dashed by a combination of numbered ping pong balls. If the teams drafted based on their win-loss records alone, the Sacramento Kings would draft seventh. After adding in the lottery factor, the Kings will draft eighth in the 2014 NBA Draft. This is the fifth time the Kings have fallen one spot from its pre-lottery position.
The 2014 draft class is very solid and deep. There will be star quality players available for eighth pick in the draft, but the Kings may never use the pick.
According to a story by Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, the Kings are going to put their number eight pick on the trading blocking as of today. Per Howard-Cooper, the Kings are looking to add a veteran impact player in exchange for the number eight selection.
The idea of trading the pick is a plausible one. The Kings could use additional veteran talent to reduce the amount of time it will take to become playoff contenders. The addition of Rudy Gay had a major positive impact on the club last season. The addition of an impact small forward or shooting guard would help the Kings improve their win-loss record in 2014-15.
If the Kings choose to keep the pick or unable to find an acceptable trading partner, the mock draft experts think Sacramento will wind up with a power forward or point guard. Gary Parish of cbssports.com believes the Kings will select Arizona power forward Aaron Gordon at number eight. Parrish’s colleague Matt Moore concurs. Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com believes the Kings would select point guard Marcus Smart from Oklahoma. InsideHoops.com sees the Kings selecting power forward Noah Vonleh out of Indiana.
A power forward pick would provide some insurance in case the Kings cannot sign Rudy Gay to a long term deal. A young player could learn much from the veteran Gay.
Choosing a point guard would allow the Kings to keep Isaiah Thomas and use him as a sixth-man off the bench. The Kings could also choose not to resign Thomas and save up to $10-million to use on a small forward or shooting guard.
One thing is for sure. The number eight pick will change the landscape for the Kings’ 2014-15 season.