Rumor: Kings have a Fox crush; willing to trade two #1 picks to move up in draft

by Charlie O. Mallonee

fox

According to a report from Chad Ford of ESPN, the Sacramento Kings really see De’Aaron Fox of Kentucky as their point guard of the future. The Kings have been looking for a point guard they can build around since trading away Isaiah Thomas in 2014 (the Thomas trade was made by the previous basketball operations management).

Fox – a “one and done” star point guard – was a standout at Kentucky for John Calapari averaging 16.7 points per game and 4.6 assists per game. He is a 52-percent shooter from 2-point range but just a 25-percent shooter form 3-point land. To his credit, Fox’s 3-point shooting did improve considerably late in the season and during the NCAA Tournament.

Because of his talent and speed, Fox is most often compared to Kentucky basketball great John Wall now of the Washington Wizards. Who wouldn’t want the next John Wall on your team? However, how many championships has John Wall won? That would be none. He has helped lead his team into the playoffs but the goal is also a ring and a banner.

What is Fox worth?

fox detail

The real question is – how much is too much to give up for a player like Fox? Two number one draft picks is too much for a team like the Kings. They have so many needs and having two lottery picks in the most talented draft in decade is not a situation to be squandered. Sacramento needs depth and they have the chance to add young talent that they can have under team control for years to come.

There are two top rated point guards that will be available when the Kings select at number five if Fox is gone. Dennis Smith out of North Carolina State who averaged 18.1 ppg and 6.2 apg will almost certainly be there, and maybe the most intriguing player in the draft will also be there as well.

18-year old point guard Frank Ntilikina who plays in France and who is the “darling of Europe” will be available. Ntilikina is 6-foot-5 “pass first” point guard. He was the European junior player of the year. At just 18, Ntilikina is not considered NBA ready and he is seen as a high risk/high reward selection, but who doesn’t want a 6-foot-5 point guard?

In order to take one of these two point guards, the Kings might need to select them a little higher than they are currently ranked. There is no problem with that. Sometimes, you have to draft for need instead of just drafting the next best player available. That type of creative thinking would allow the Kings to keep both of their lottery picks.

Why are the Kings so concerned?

fox cal

The Kings are getting nervous because the Lakers are making noise about not taking Ball (would you want to deal with his father?), Philly really needs to think backcourt players, Phoenix has interest in Fox (why they would draft another guard would a mystery but they are the Suns).

The danger for the Kings is they are about to become the Chicago Bears of the NBA Draft. Every team would like to have two lottery picks and might be willing to entertain a deal. Sports professionals everywhere are laughing at the Bears because the 49ers snookered them out of an extra draft pick for nothing. The Kings need to be very careful not to make the very same mistake.

Who can the Kings get with the number 10 pick?

markkanen

The Kings are projected to have some very interesting possible selections at the number 10 spot. Arizona power forward Lauri Markkanen has been projected to be there. He has been labeled as a Ryan Anderson type player. Center/power forward Zach Collins from Gonzaga is seen as a 10 pick. The very talented small forward Justin Jackson from North Carolina could be there at number 10. If Rudy Gay opts out, the Kings will need someone at the three spot. Jonathan Issac out of Florida State is also a possibility.

On June 22, the Sacramento Kings have the opportunity to change the fortunes of the franchise for the next decade. The brain trust in the basketball operations department led by Vlade Divac cannot afford to take a swing and miss. They must hit a home run with both of their lottery draft selections on that franchise changing night.

UNBELIEVABLE! Kings will pick at 5 & 10 but it could have been at number 3 & 10

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Right at the top of this story – let me say that it is time for the NBA Lottery to go away. Yes, it creates some interesting discussions during the playoffs for the fans of non-playoff teams, but the purpose of the inverse draft is to allow the worst teams in your league to obtain top talent to become competitive again. 

The National Basketball Association is a worldwide marketing behemoth that is spreading its brand across the globe at a lighting pace. The NBA no longer needs gimmicks like the Draft Lottery when they have Steph Curry, James Harden, LeBron, Russell Westbrook and the 3-point shot to captivate fans for 48 minutes per game. The game itself is enough to market to the fans. No gimmicks are needed at this time.

The Kings got lucky and then got ******!

sixers logo

The problem with the whole scenario is the Kings did this to themselves. The Kings made a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers to trade number one picks if the Kings selection was a better pick than the Sixers pick in 2017 as a part of a salary dump trade in 2015. That trade also cost Sacramento their 2014 first-round pick shooting guard Nik Stauskas. And if that is not enough, the Sixers get the Kings first-pick unprotected in 2019 now that Chicago can no longer receive a first-round selection from Sacramento.

reich

Confused? Nate Silverman and former Secretary of Labor Dr. Robert Reich will be holding a seminar at UC-Berkeley on Wednesday to sort the situation out for “die-hard NBA fans” (that’s not true).

The Kings came into the lottery with the eighth worst record in the NBA. Sacramento has never been particularly lucky when it comes to the ping-pong balls on Lottery Night. On Tuesday night, the Kings jumped from number eight to number three. For a brief moment, Sacramento became the luckiest team in the lottery. Then the Philadelphia 76ers raised their hand and said we’ll take that pick.

The Kings immediately fell back to number five in lottery order. They still made a major move from number eight to number five, but the fact is that for “one shining moment” Sacramento was number three in the order.

bar fight

There were many loud and demonstrative discussions going on over beer and shots in sports bars all over the Sacramento area on Tuesday night about what had just happened to their beloved Kings.

The Kings will also pick at number 10 thanks to DMC and the Pelicans

The Kings will have two lottery selections because of the DeMarcus Cousins trade to New Orleans. That pick was protected if it had been an one to three pick. It held at its pre-lottery spot of number 10. In this talented laden 2017 draft, the Kings are sure to have the opportunity to draft a high quality prospect with that selection.

Will that player be another DeMarcus Cousins? Probably not. Will he be a highly talented player that Kings can build around to become a playoff contender? The answer is probably yes.

Who will be available at number five?

isaac

Tankathon.com (my new personal favorite site for many reasons) has the Kings taking small forward Jonathan Isaac out of Florida State at number five. He is 6-11 and would have just turned 20 years old as the season starts. He averaged 12.0 points per game along with 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game. If Rudy Gay does opt out of his contract, the Kings will need a small forward.

DeAaron-Fox-2

Draft Express says the Kings will wind up with Kentucky’s fine point guard De’Aaron Fox with the number five selection. Finding a young point guard who can be with the club for the long-haul has been a goal the Kings have been trying to fulfill for some time. Fox scores 16.7 ppg, 4.6 assists per game to go with 4.0 rebounds per game. Sacramento loves Kentucky Wildcats players (see Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere).

tatum

NBAdraft.net has the Kings taking Duke small forward Jayson Tatum at number five. Tatum is a 6-8 SF that is seen a good wing prospect. Again if Rudy Gay is opting out, the Kings need to replace that talent on the floor. Tatum is a good mid-range scorer who can score from multiple spots on the floor. He is also known as a good defender. By the way, he is also a Duke guy. If Coach K liked him, that is a pretty high recommendation.

And who will be there when the number 10 pick is on the board?

CS Bakersfield Arizona Basketball

Tankathon.com projects the Kings taking Arizona big man Lauri Markkanen with the number 10 selection they picked up from the Pelicans. He will be 20 years old by the beginning of the season. He is a seven-footer who weighs 225 pounds. Markkanen averaged 15.6 ppg with 7.2 rpg and shot 42.3-percent from beyond the 3-point line. Can you say “stretch four”?

collins

Draft Express says that the Kings will bring the “Zags” Zach Collins to Sacramento with the number 10 pick. The 7-0 foot power forward/center averages 10 points per game to go with 5.9 rebounds per game. Drafting Collins could mean that Koufos could be on the move.

Ntililinilna

NBAdraft.net has Sacramento going with point guard with the number 10 selection. They see the Kings taking international sensation Frank Ntilikina tenth. This kid is the darling of the Euroleague. He is 6-5 with a seven foot wing span! He is a true point guard with a pass first mentality. The drawback is that he is young – just 18 years old. He is a project. Ntilikina needs to learn how to play at the next level, but everyone says he has a very high basketball IQ. The reality is – he is not NBA ready yet. Well, neither was Skal Labissiere. Some time in Reno took care of that problem.

It’s now a war room problem

Between now and June 22, 2017 there will be multiple scenarios that will be run through the war room in Sacramento about who should be drafted by the Kings. Players will be brought in for tryouts and teams will be calling about possible trades for the draft slots that Kings have available.

What happens in the next 30 days may be the most important decisions that have been made in the history of this franchise in the last 20 years. What decisions are made will most certainly set the direction of the franchise for the next five to seven years. This is high drama if you are a fan of the Sacramento Kings.

 

Sweet Sixteen Bound Cardinal Punches Ticket to Regionals With Win Over Florida State

By: Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal will be returning to Maples Pavilion next weekend as they will be continue on to the Sweet Sixteen, after a victory over the Florida State Seminoles on Monday afternoon.  The second-seeded Cardinal defeated the tenth-seeded Seminoles 63-44 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The Seminoles grabbed an early seven-point lead, as they went on a 7-0 run to start the game in the first 1:52.  It wasn’t until the 18:08 mark where Amber Orrange was able to get things started for Stanford with a field goal.  The largest lead for Florida State was stretched to eight points at the 12:31 mark, when the Seminoles had the 14-6 lead.  However, this is when the Cardinal were able to turn the game around, as Stanford went on a 26-2 run, including a 13-minute scoring drought for Florida State to end the half.  Stanford went into halftime with a 32-16 lead.

Stanford would also control the second half as well, outscoring the Seminoles by three points to complete the victory.

All-time Pac-12 leading scorer, Chiney Ogwumike, led things for the Cardinal as she finished the game 8 of 11 from the field for 21 points.  She ended the game just one rebound shy of the double double.  Lili Thompson had another outstanding performance, as she contributed 14 points in the win, including a perfect 4 for 4 from the charity strike.  Bonnie Samuelson completed the list of players that got into double figures, as she came off the bench to score 11, with nine points coming from beyond the arc.

Florida State was able to achieve something that few teams have been able to do against Stanford this season, and that is to out-rebound the Cardinal.  The Seminoles won the rebound battle  35-32 with 12 of them coming on the offensive side of the glass.  Natasha Howard, Brittany Brown and Kai James all finished the game with seven rebounds for FSU.  Howard was also the Noles leading scorer, as she finished the game with nine points.

The Cardinal will be returning to the Sweet Sixteen for the seventh time in a row, and now they will be coming back to their home floor for possibly the next two games.  Up next for the Cardinal will be the winner of Penn State and Florida, before what is expected to be an Elite Eight matchup with the number one seed in the region, South Carolina.

Michelle Richardson on the NCAA

by Michelle Richardson

Texas A&M 51 vs. Mississippi 41 : Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel threw for 446 yards and five touchdowns, but he also had three interceptions and that’s something he didn’t do last year, he didn’t throw picks much. So I don’t know if that’s an advisement on him as a quarterback or his receivers and his communications between him and his receivers.

Manziel he didn’t have any picks last year he still is playing great that’s something that can turn when it comes to his performance. He’s not that guy he’s really smart with the ball, Still a great game last Saturday more so than Texas A&M playing great the fact that Mississippi stayed in over the past two years their recruiting got better.

It’s really starting to challenge other SCC teams that have talent but other teams are starting to come up you got a Texas A&M team and although Mississippi State isn’t ranked they’re 1-5 and 1-4 in the SCC but their just playing better ball. They’re being more competitive, so I can’t wait to see what happens in the future of the ACC and what’s going to happen.

Florida St 59 vs. Wake Forrest 3: I love Florida State and I was a Florida State alum and they haven’t been a champion in a long time. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is really giving Florida State something to be excited about but you have to take into consideration Winston is a really great quarterback but please understand he’s a great quarterback because he has some great players on the bench that are really making great catches for Florida State.

The defense is really, really doing their thing, Wake Forrest had seven turnovers and that reminds how Florida State went down to Clemson part of that was because Winston was managing the game and he was smart. That’s because the Florida defense made their move they went in there and they cleaned house. They cleaned house they let them know they were going to hit and hurt Wake Forrest and they made them cough up a ball.

You have to take a lesson from Winston he’s definitely the man as far as the Heisman Trophy is concerned, traditional Florida State was fantastic what can you say. This game was just a bludgeoning and they took it to Wake Forrest the fact they even got three points I’m surprised. For Florida State 21 points in the first quarter, 21 in the second, ten in the third, and seven in the fourth.

Charleston Classic basketball Nov 21st: I’m so excited about being able to cover the Charleston Classic starting November 21st, in this series you have Nebraska, UMass, New Mexico, Georgia, Davidson, Temple, Clemson, this match is going to be chalked full of talent. I haven’t seen Temple play in years. It’s going to be an interesting group of teams, you want to be the blazers of UAB.

UAB kills dragons, they are dragons, they know how to kill a dragon. UMass, Clemson this is all the beginning of the year, Georgia is there, this is going to be great, this is going to be a good way to start the season. New Mexico is in the top 25, they at number 23 this will be a good chance for them, Nebraska their the big kid on the block now in the Big Ten.

Nebraska got to go up against teams like Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio State, who are perennial in the top 25 of NCAA basketball. In football it’s just as difficult, in basketball they got to deal with the likes of an Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Kentucky, this is going to be a great tournament I look forward to seeing everybody a lot of new faces out there and a lot of old faces out there from some of my former alums.

One thing guaranteed it’s going to be a great time.

 

Michelle Richardson does commentary on the NCAA each week