With the order of the upcoming NBA Draft now set, those fortunate enough to have secured a place within the lottery are weighing the many options that come with ownership of a top-10 pick in an obviously talented class.
On Wednesday, the Sacramento Kings, who will be choosing eighth overall, became one of the first franchises to announce its interest in dealing the lottery pick in order to acquire a more seasoned player, and hopefully the Toronto Raptors were listening.
Of course, Toronto isn’t exactly loaded with veterans of any kind, good or bad. But there are a few players who the Raptors could package with the 21st overall pick to entice the Kings into the negotiation process. Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro spoke to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee following the draft in New York City, and while he made it clear that the franchise is exploring its options, trading the pick is definitely a possibility.
”We’re looking at everything right now. We think there will be a good player at eight. We’ll also look at opportunities to move up, down, and at veterans [in trades].”
Rumored to also be looking for a solid defender and possibly someone who can shoot the three, Sacramento has been projected to take Aaron Gordon in several mock drafts. But the highly-touted power forward may already have a job by the time that the Kings are called to the podium.
For the record, Toronto already owns Sacramento’s second-round pick after a trade in 2012 involving James Johnson, and the city is well aware of the success that the franchise has had in past dealings with the Kings.
If it’s a quality defender that Sacramento is after, then Raptors’ swingman Terrence Ross could be the answer. During the regular season, Ross was a steady, one-on-one defender when paired against an opponent’s second or third-leading scorer. And while he disappeared offensively down the stretch and in the playoffs with Toronto, the Kings wouldn’t need Ross to score with the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, and Isaiah Thomas already on their roster.
As far as quality, outside shooters are concerned, the Raptors have only Steve Novak to offer. But a quick look at the numbers indicate that they could easily do without the former, 3-point assassin. Throughout the season, Novak was a constant on Toronto’s bench, averaging just 10 minutes a game with a whopping 3.3 PPG. And since the arrival of John Salmons, he has essentially become a full-time practice player.
While it isn’t likely to be their best offer, packaging Ross and Novak with one of Toronto’s late-round selections if necessary could be enough to convince the Kings to send the eighth overall pick north of the border. And even if the Raptors are forced to part with their own first-round pick, the opportunity to add a top-10 talent from this year’s draft is too valuable to ignore.
Ty is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @abovethefoldTy.