I think we can officially say that the NBA draft lottery isn’t rigged. For the second year in a row, one of the smallest markets in the NBA has skyrocketed by way of the lottery. Last year, the Kings’ eighth pick became the fifth, and this season the Kings’ seventh pick became the second.
This should be the dream for all fans of underperforming NBA fans. Unfortunately for me, I’m more than a fan. I am a superfan, and that forces me to overthink every single win, loss, or change in pick number. While it may seem stupid or selfish to be screaming at my TV hoping we don’t land the first overall pick, I have justifications. Don’t worry.
I believe in Willie Cauley-Stein, and I’m not afraid to admit it. In my opinion, he has the best chance on our team to become an all-star and he is undoubtedly a starting center in the NBA. (For more information on Cauley-Stein’s potential you can read this article: https://916kingscourt.com/2018/03/27/willie-cauley-stein-from-draft-bust-to-potential-superstar/) This is why concerns rose for the Kings potentially selecting first. While Ayton will likely be a great player no matter where he goes, he doesn’t fit in with our goals.
Luckily for Phoenix, he fits perfectly with theirs, so we shouldn’t have to worry about contemplating Ayton with our second pick.
Luka Doncic has widely been regarded as the second-best prospect in the draft trailing only Deandre Ayton. He is a great representation of where the NBA is going with his combination of size, dribbling, and shooting. While he lacks the athleticism that many of the American prospects possess, he makes up for it with craftiness.
While Doncic’s floor and ceiling are relatively high, he would have a questionable fit in Sacramento. Bogdan Bogdanovic was acquired in last year’s draft from the Phoenix Suns, and his playstyle closely resembles that of Doncic. While I think they could succeed together, Doncic would be redundant, joining a Kings’ backcourt filled to the brim with potential.
Michael Porter Jr.
If the Kings choose not to select Doncic for the reasons listed above, Michael Porter Jr. is the only other option. I have been one of Porter’s biggest fans ever since he committed to the University of Washington and transferred to Missouri shortly after. His game closely resembles that of Jayson Tatum, and potentially even Kevin Durant.
While that all sounds great, Porter’s injury history is his reasoning for falling so far in the draft. He missed nearly the entire college season recovering from a back surgery and didn’t have enough college playtime to be scouted off of. There is a chance that Porter could fall into the 7-10 region, which could be an unbelievable value.
Enter the Sacramento Kings. Last season the Kings traded the tenth overall pick for the fifteenth and twentieth overall pick. Two years ago, the Kings traded the eighth overall pick for the thirteenth, twenty-eighth, and the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Kings are known to trade down if their targetted players would be reaches for their original picks. We could see it one more time this year.
How about this for a trade:
Kings Receive: 6th Overall Pick, 2019 Top-2 Protected First Round Pick, Bismack Biyombo
Magic Recieve: 2nd Overall Pick
The Magic need a direction. They’ve been drafting young players year after year, and none of them have worked out the way they intended. They need a leader. They need a guy that can take the ball in the last possession of the game. They need Luke Doncic. Especially if Doncic turns out the way we’re expecting, the Magic can finally find a solution for their own “process.”
The Kings draft Porter and receive another first round pick to replace theirs next year. The contract of Biyombo is going to hurt, but we aren’t going to contend for the next two years anyway. It’s a seamless move and could change the fortunes of both teams for the next decade.