NBA team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 16 years suddenly holds the keys to the draft

Jaden Ivey is considered the top guard prospect in the draft.Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

  • The Sacramento Kings own the fourth pick in the NBA Draft, and he’s considered a pivotal point.

  • They could select the best player available, Jaden Ivey, but are presenting offers from interested teams.

  • The decision could signal their future plans and have a ripple effect on how the rest of the project unfolds.

The Sacramento Kings are suddenly positioned to have a major influence on how the 2022 NBA Draft plays out.

The Kings hold the fourth overall pick. Many pundits say the pick could swing the draft, depending on whether Sacramento decides to keep the pick itself or trade it to another team. What the Kings do with the fourth pick could signal either a slow and patient rebuild or a push for the playoffs next season.

Kevin O’Connor du Ringer called the fourth pick a “pivot point.”

Athletic’s Sam Vecenie said the draft had the potential to get “wild” in the fourth.

ESPN editorial expert Jonathan Givony wrote“Many NBA teams believe the draft starts here: Sacramento’s decision…will be a key moment on Thursday night.”

The consensus is that this draft has a solid top three: Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero.

Afterwards, it is less certain. Purdue guard Jaden Ivey is often considered the fourth-best prospect and the top guard prospect. In a media call with reporters on Wednesday, Givony said Ivey “has as much star power as any player in this draft.”

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive.Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

But Ivey isn’t a natural fit with the Kings, who already have point guard De’Aaron Fox on their roster. They selected guard Davion Mitchell with the ninth pick in last year’s draft and traded playmaker Tyrese Haliburton at last year’s trade deadline. Ivey hasn’t worked with the Kings either — presumably in an effort to talk them out of signing him.

Many teams reportedly contacted the Kings about the fourth pick so they could take Ivey. Givony reported that the Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks have all reached out to the Kings to discuss moving to the fourth pick.

The Kings are at an interesting turning point. They are the league’s most moribund franchise, following a 16-year playoff drought that was marred by roster turnover and coaching changes.

The Kings could just take Ivey, the best player available, and worry about their form later. This would signal dedication to proper reconstruction.

Of course, no one could blame the Kings for wanting to speed up their rebuild either. They’ve had eight top-10 picks over the past decade and only two are still with the team: Fox and Mitchell.

Additionally, Givony reported that the Kings are demanding a high price for the fourth overall pick: veteran talent, a young player and more draft picks.

Givony said on Podcast “Le Lowe Post” that a frequently mentioned trade involves the Atlanta Hawks sending forward John Collins, guard Kevin Huerter and the 16th pick to Sacramento in exchange for No. 4.

The Knicks, who are known to covet Ivey, could also send a similar package involving veteran guards like Alec Burks or Evan Fournier, young prospects like Obi Toppin or Immanuel Quickley, their 11th overall pick this year, plus a future pick at the draft.

For a Kings team with core players in their primes like Fox and big man Domantas Sabonis, it’s the type of deal that could help them head into the long-awaited playoffs.

What the Kings decide to do with the fourth pick could have ripple effects. If they keep the pick and go with a player besides Ivey, it could cause a scramble among the teams trying to get the fifth pick to take Ivey.

Draft experts believe there is a drop in talent after Ivey. If the Kings take Ivey, other teams might just take whoever is available, rather than trade multiple assets for less exciting players.

It’s also possible for teams to trade if Ivey is out of the draw. The 2022 draft class is not considered particularly strong. According to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Reportit’s possible teams will look to trade if their best hope is gone, and maybe even drop out of the 2022 draft altogether if it means getting picks for the 2023 draft, which is considered deep and talented.

Read the original article at Initiated



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