2014 NBA Draft: 5 Players Sacramento Kings Should Target
5 Players the Sacramento Kings Should Target in the NBA Draft
The Sacramento Kings have been toiling in irrelevance for some time now. The team's last playoff appearance was in 2006, and it's now been a decade since the Kings won a playoff series. The team is finishing up another terrible campaign, currently sitting at 20-39. To make matters worse, the Kings play in the much tougher Western Conference, so the path back to the playoffs seems even more daunting.
However, there are signs that brighter days are ahead. The Maloofs are finally out of the picture, giving way to an energetic new ownership group led by Vivek Ranadive. DeMarcus Cousins has taken a big step forward this season, averaging over 22 points and 11 rebounds a game, and Isaiah Thomas is having a breakout season, becoming one of the most exciting players in the league.
The interesting thing about the Kings is how one player's decision changes the entire outlook of the team's offseason. If Rudy Gay opts out, the team will lose a starter, but gain some actual cap room to sign free agents. Gay will not find anywhere near the $19 million he is set to make next year on the open market, but he could still opt out if he thinks the Kings are not the right situation for him.
If Gay opts into his contract next season, the Kings will not have much cap space. Therefore, the easiest way for Sacramento to take a step forward next season is to hit on its presumably high draft pick. Here are five players the Kings should consider.
5. Noah Vonleh
The Kings need players who don't need the ball. Vonleh is already an excellent rebounder, and has the potential to be a daily double-double player in the NBA. He can score off offensive rebounds, and could grow into a defensive presence next to Cousins.
4. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Hollis-Jefferson might not even come out from Arizona this year, and if he does, he could be taken late in the first round. However, if he is still available, the Kings shouldn't hesitate to grab him. He projects as an excellent perimeter defender, something the Kings sorely lacked.
3. Tyler Ennis
Ennis would be a reach where the Kings are projected to pick, and probably doesn't make sense as long as Isaiah Thomas is on the roster. However, Thomas was reportedly on the block during the trade deadline, and if he gets moved for a package centered around a draft pick, Ennis could make sense. He would probably be a better fit for the roster, as he is a pass-first point guard an excellent decision-maker.
2. Aaron Gordon
If the Kings end up picking in the 7-10 range, Gordon could make the most sense. He projects as an incredible athlete, and is a willing defender. If he learns how to move without the ball effectively, he could become an excellent addition to the Kings.
1. Andrew Wiggins
If Sacramento wins the lottery, the pick would presumably be a choice among three players: Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker. Of the three, Wiggins fits best with the Kings. Embiid is a project with good low-post potential, but it'd be difficult for him to get the number of post touches required to develop on a team with Cousins. Parker is another player whose best attribute is his scoring, and the Kings have several players like this. Wiggins, however, can be a great addition to a team needing an elite defender. He'd be the best perimeter defender on the team from day one, and would be able to develop alongside Cousins offensively. If the Kings are lucky enough to get the No. 1 pick, Wiggins should be the choice.