De’Aaron Fox and Jonathan Isaac. That’s all I ever hear about when it comes to the Kings’ draft. Many fans have in ingrained in their head that if we leave this draft without De’Aaron Fox, we failed. This, however is extremely incorrect. Even though I do believe that this will occur for the Kings, it might not be the correct choice.
Look back at when Dave Joerger was the coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. His likely lineup barring injury was Mike Conley at the one, Tony Allen or Courtney Lee at the two, Jeff Green or Matt Barnes at the three, Zach Randolph at the four, and Marc Gasol at the five. With this lineup, Joerger really emphasized smooth and methodical passing in order to get deep into the paint for easy baskets. At times when Tony Allen was in the game to defend the opposing team’s star, Mike Conley really struggled on offense, as Allen’s defender was able to help off of him. If De’Aaron fox becomes a King, a similar effect could take place on Buddy Hield. De’Aaron Fox shot under 30% from the college three point line, exhibiting that he will not only struggle from three, but also from midrange, allowing Buddy Hield no space to play isolation which he showed potential flashes of last season. I think a player like Frank Ntilikina makes a lot more sense for Sacramento. He has shown flashes of being just as good of a defender as Fox, along with an improving jump shot, and a size advantage over almost all of the other point guards available. He may not make as big of an immediate impact as Fox but the Kings are one of the youngest teams in the league anyway, not expecting to win right now.
Selecting Jonathan Isaac at ten I also have an issue with. At Florida State, he primarily played a power forward role, even occasionally playing center in a small ball lineup. We saw a great example of what may happen to Isaac if he does get converted into a small forward in the NBA, which most teams would plan to do. Frank Vogel of the Orlando Magic believed he saw many qualities of Paul George in young forward, Aaron Gordon. Before Vogel, Gordon was able to overwhelm most conventional power forwards with his uber-athelticism which he put on display at the 2016 dunk contest. The move to small forward not only hindered Gordon’s ability to outplay other guys, but also forced Nikola Vucevic into playing an outside role for the Magic to rectify Gordon’s lack of a jumpshot. A similar action may effect Skal Labissiere. We all want Skal to develop, and he’s not going to be able to do so as quickly if two other guys are standing in his driving space.
Obviously with Dave Joerger, I think we could almost make anything work in Sacramento, but if the King’s draft goes ideally, I think we take Jayson Tatum at five and Frank Ntilikina at ten. If tatum isn’t available, then we should take Dennis Smith Jr. at five and Justin Jackson at ten.