- The Sacramento Kings have a fourth choice in the NBA draft and are considered a turning point.
- They can choose the best player available, Jaden Ivey, but submit bids from interested teams.
- The decision could signal their future plans and affect how the rest of the draft will go.
The Sacramento Kings are in an unexpected position that will have a significant impact on the course of the 2022 NBA draft.
Kings hold fourth place in the overall standings. Many experts say the selection could change the draft, depending on whether Sacramento decides to keep the selection or switch it to another team. What Kings do with the fourth choice could signal either a slow, patient transformation or a push to play-off next season.
Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor called the fourth choice a “turning point.”
Athletic player Sam Vecenie said the draft could go “wild” in fourth place.
ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony wrote, “Many NBA teams think the draft starts here: Sacramento’s decision … is a key moment on Thursday night.”
There is a consensus that the draft has a solid top three: Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero.
After that, not so sure. Purdue Guard Jaden Ivey is often considered the best fourth and best guard. In a media talk to reporters on Wednesday, Givony said Ivey “has as much power as any player in the draft.”
But Ivey, of course, doesn’t fit with Kings, whose list already includes defender De’Aaron Fox. They chose defender Davion Mitchell last year’s ninth-choice and replaced defender Tyrese Haliburton last year. Ivey didn’t get along with Kings either – probably trying to convince them to draft him.
Many teams have reportedly contacted Kings about the fourth choice so they can contact Ivey. Givony said the Indiana Pacers, the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Atlanta Hawks have all approached the Kings to discuss a fourth-choice promotion.
Kings is an interesting turning point. It is too deadly a franchise during the drought of a 16-year play-off that has been filled with list changes and coach changes.
Kings can simply take the best player available to Ivey and worry about suitability later. This would signal a commitment to proper reconstruction.
Of course, no one could blame the kings for wanting to speed up their reconstruction. They have had the top ten in the last decade and only two are still on the team: Fox and Mitchell.
In addition, Givony announced that Kings is demanding a hefty price for the fourth general selection: a talent veteran, a young player and more draft options.
Givony said further “The Lowe Post” podcast that the oft-mentioned trade is that the Atlanta Hawks are sending Sacramento striker John Collins, guard Kevin Huerter, and No. 16 in return.
The Knicks, who are known to crave Ivey, could also send a similar package that includes veteran defenders like Alec Burks or Evan Fournier, young prospects like Obi Toppin or Immanuel Quickley, their 11th choice this year, plus a future draft choice.
For the Kings team, whose core players are at their best, such as Fox and giant Domantas Sabonis, this type of deal could help push them into a long-awaited play-off.
What Kings decide to do with the fourth option could be ripple. If they keep the choice and go to Ivey with a player, it could cause a scramble between teams trying to get Ivey a fifth choice.
Draft experts believe there is a decline in talent after Ivey. When Kings take Ivey, other teams can be content to accept everyone who is available, instead of exchanging a lot of assets for less exciting players.
There is also a chance that teams will switch back when Ivey is off the table. The 2022 draft class is not considered very strong. According to Bleacher Report Jonathan Wassermanit is possible that teams will want to switch back when their biggest prospect is lost, and maybe even switch from the 2022 draft at all if it means 2023 draft choices that are considered deep and talented.
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