Kings

Kings Have Plenty of Draft-Day Options

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The pressure is on!  Can the Sacramento Kings do it right?

The Kings got lucky in the draft lottery, moving up from seventh to fourth.  What will General Manager Monte McNair do with his good fortune? Does he surprise everyone and trade up into the top three to grab Jabari Smith, Jr., Chet Holmgren or Paolo Banchero?

Does McNair instead pick the best player available at number four — which could be Jaden Ivey — even if the Purdue guard might not be a perfect fit next to De’Aaron Fox?

Does he take Keegan Murray?  The Iowa power forward fills a big need, but may not have the upside of Ivey.

Should the Kings trade down?  Should they swing for the fences by trading completely out of the draft to grab a veteran player?

Trade rumors have been circulating for some time, but they are starting to heat up with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks and Washington Wizards are among teams interested in making a swap.

If McNair has been checking social media, he’s gotten plenty of advice. The Kings Herald took Ivey in their mock draft.

On the other hand, ClutchPoints thinks McNair and the Kings should take Murray.

https://twitter.com/KingsNationCP/status/1536377531644841984?s=20&t=E_ulbwDfkJQeXq4MLyfyAw

And then there are those who think the Kings should trade the No. 4 pick.

OK, so we’ve got all kinds of ideas.  Let’s put on McNair’s cap for a moment.  Here are a couple of ideas we would pursue.

THE OPTIMAL OPTION

Use the pick to take Ivey, the best player available.  His upside is too much to pass on, but the Kings still need to address their hole in the front court and on the wing.  To do that, we are going to sign Pacers power forward Jalen Smith, who will be an unrestricted free agent because the Suns — his original team —  declined his third-year team option.

The Kings traditionally have not had luck signing free agents, but they can give Smith more money than the Pacers and an opportunity to start from Day 1.

Other Potential Options

  • Trade the No. 4 pick to Detroit for Saddiq Bay (preferred) and the No. 5 pick, then take Murray, Bennedict Mathurin, AJ Griffin or Shaedon Sharpe.
  • Trade the fourth pick to Indiana for Malcolm Brogdon and the sixth pick, then take Murray, Mathurin, Griffin or Sharpe.

Smith would be a free-agent target in all three options.

WHAT’S MCNAIR THINKING?

This is obviously a big spot for the Kings.  They need to get it right if they are going to snap their 16-year playoff drought and build a foundation so that they can compete for a championship.  That is — or at least should be — the ultimate goal.

No doubt, McNair has had lots of conversations with other teams.  He doesn’t show his cards.  Nobody outside of the Kings’ inner circle knows what McNair is thinking.  Kings fans can only trust in McNair

About Dave Andrade

Sports Director, KRCR-TV Redding 1968-81; Shasta College football & basketball play-by-play; marketing rep; retired, but still doing a daily sports report & commentary for KKXS 96.1 FM, Redding; contributor at Kings Lead

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