Articles | Commentary | NBA Draft

There’s no shortage of good options for the Kings at 9

This draft class presents many solid choices for the Kings to improve the team.

The NBA Draft will kick off this evening at 5PM PT, airing on both ESPN and ABC (the second round will only be on ESPN). As we enter the draft there's a flurry of trade rumors and draft speculation, and I'm finding myself strangely at peace with it all.

The Kings can go a number of different directions with the pick. Franz Wagner, Moses Moody and Alperen Sengun are the three names that feel most likely if the Kings stay at the 9th pick. And strangely, I don't have a strong preference between the three. Wagner and Moody would both provide versatile two-way players. Neither is projected to become a superstar, but it's easy to see the ways either player would help Sacramento. Sengun is a bigger risk, but with bigger upside. I'm a fan of young players who have dominated a competitive international league. So if the pick is any of those three, I'd be pretty happy.

But if the pick isn't one of those three, there are plenty of other players I'd still get excited about. Ziaire Williams doesn't jump off the stats sheet, but has tantalizing upside. Josh Giddey is a gifted playmaker with size, and would have defenses on their toes when paired with Fox and Haliburton. And if a player like Jonathan Kuminga unexpectedly slips, I'd be thrilled with adding a wing with superstar potential, even understanding the risks involved.

This year just feels like a draft class where there's a plethora of solid options available at the 9th pick. I know there will be busts. I know some of the picks will look crazy in the future. But right now when I look at the draft class I don't really see anyone in the top 15 or so that wouldn't want the Kings to pick.

Some of this is because I am not a draft expert. I defer to my wonderful colleagues who spend countless hours watching college and international games and then break it all down for us. I know just enough these prospects that I can have an opinion on them if the Kings pick them. But normally, even from that casual standpoint, a favorite usually emerges along with players I'm not convinced are worth picking. I think it speaks to the talent in this class.

This could be a very busy and exciting day for Kings fans, and I'm excited to find out which of these great options is going to come to Sacramento.

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TerzoM
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July 29, 2021 11:18 am

Please no more players with “Big Upside”. Kings are cursed with this BU fascination, pick best player available please?

ScottyPop
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July 29, 2021 11:46 am
Reply to  TerzoM

Kuminga it is then!

TerzoM
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July 29, 2021 12:12 pm
Reply to  ScottyPop

Lol yes after a taste of BB Hell, very few claw their way up to The Upside

cloudyeyes
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July 29, 2021 1:02 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Best player available can mean many things to many different people.

Hobby916
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July 29, 2021 11:21 am

Cautiously Optimistic. That is my feeling when it comes to the Kings.

TheGrantNapear
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July 29, 2021 11:27 am

Should be a dandy of a draft and if you don’t like that, you don’t like King’s basketball. Ohhhh boy!

1951
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July 29, 2021 11:42 am

All this TKH optimism makes me more nervous than ever that the Kings will screw it all up by not trading anyone and taking Kispert at No. 9!

BasketballHella
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July 29, 2021 11:56 am
Reply to  1951

Hahaha this is the way. This is the day over the last few years I have come to loathe because it’s like being next to a degenerate gambler at a blackjack table. Never know the new and exciting ways they can justify splitting 2’s or hitting on 20. Last year was blind luck but let’s see if monte can be a little less of a degenerate.

TheGrantNapear
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July 29, 2021 12:27 pm
Reply to  1951

That’s so Kangz

cloudyeyes
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July 29, 2021 1:03 pm
Reply to  1951

But he will be the best player available.

extra
July 29, 2021 1:05 pm
Reply to  1951

But, Kispert at 22 wouldn’t be so bad.

Hobby916
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July 29, 2021 1:06 pm
Reply to  extra

I would be happy with that.

Want2win
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July 29, 2021 3:03 pm
Reply to  1951

Shut your mouth when you are talking to me€¦ man that would be jimmer 2.0

WhiteChocolate
July 29, 2021 11:58 am

Hope is a dangerous thing.

Kingsguru21
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July 29, 2021 12:32 pm
Reply to  WhiteChocolate

That’s also why it’s so amazeballs.

Henry
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July 29, 2021 12:01 pm

This is where I’m at, I could be talked into any of the above. While I don’t have complete blind trust in McNair, I am confident that this FO is at least doing the proper due diligence, as opposed to whatever Vlade’s methods were.

Leaning towards Sengun – I get a Sabonis vibe from him and think he’ll be a real nice fit with Fox and Hali. If the Kings are active with trades, as reported, could be a fun night.

… and if it’s a disaster, I don’t give a shit at this point. I’ll just enjoy the comedy. There’s not much to loose anymore as a Kings fan.

Hobby916
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July 29, 2021 12:05 pm
Reply to  Henry

15 years already, what’s another one going to do to us all anyway? Hope for the best, expect the worst. After 2018, I don’t think I can become more disappointed in this team.

SPTSJUNKIE
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July 29, 2021 1:23 pm
Reply to  Henry

Very well said. The FO still needs to prove themselves, but at least the process and methodology feel right, which wasn’t true under Vlade.

nonstripedzebra
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July 29, 2021 12:03 pm

I am definitely on team Sengun, to the point I will be marginally disappointed if he is not the pick. That said I’m expecting as much. The rumored Lakers deal is also not helping that hope in relation to him being the selection. Despite being a good deal for us broadly.

I expect it to be Wagner, which I will live with. I am very fearful of some aspects of his game translating in the jump of speed and physicality. On both ends but most seriously on offense. That said his ancillary on off ball competence and general playmaking knack I can appreciate. Skills I value possibly more than anything else. And the production and analytical indicators, I respect and take seriously.

That said Sengun I think is such a worthy and intriguing bet for our range. One rarely afforded that late in the lottery. Or for a team who is trying not to pick this high again in the next two plus years. It wouldn’t be particularly close if I was in the war room. But our range its true is strong in relation to the class.

Last edited 1 year ago by nonstripedzebra
Hobby916
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July 29, 2021 12:09 pm

The track record of productive European players on his level has translated to the NBA very well. They all basically hit. He is on par with the production of Valanciunas, Jokic, Nurkic, Doncic, Bogi etc. from European basketball. It’s the unproductive players like Frank Ntkilina, Mario Hezonja, etc. that often fail in the NBA.

rockbottom
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July 29, 2021 12:10 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Great point that seems overlooked much too often !

Henry
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July 29, 2021 12:17 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Yes! Not to mention production at such a young age (a la Luka) which I feel translates to a high floor with lots of room to develop.

nonstripedzebra
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July 29, 2021 12:22 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Exactly right. This is not a Denii Avdija, Dragan Bender even Frank Ntilikina, Kilian Hayes case thats largely based on projected scalable production. Some of those players were engaging or worthy of selection regardless. Their case was made with less example be it sample, minutes or production.

Sengun has produced in the 2nd best European league to an MVP season. I personally don’t see much risk in relation to a median. He might not replicate Turkish numbers but he’s made an assuring case he will hang at NBA level. Something only supported from what seems an aggressive physical edge he plays with and willingness for contact. Again a trait that wasn’t present in a lot of those above names. As said it wouldn’t be particularly close if I was making the pick.

Last edited 1 year ago by nonstripedzebra
AmateurNerd
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July 29, 2021 2:24 pm

The word about Sengun’s physicality is what makes me more enthusiastic about his selection. Players with an “edge” tend to pan out way more than comparably skilled/gifted players who come into the league with concerns about their “motor” or “passivity.”

Want2win
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July 29, 2021 3:10 pm

I also think that the European game is based on solid fundamentals vs athletic and that is why productive Euros do well when they come to the nba. Bogi is not quick but gets his shot and there are lots of these cases

Bbmuteman
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July 29, 2021 12:52 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

So, the kings should be looking for a way to get sengun and garuba this draft.

AmateurNerd
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July 29, 2021 2:22 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

A great point that I’ve never heard spoken/written before. The best international leagues are on par with NCAA major conferences or above. If a player can excel in such a league, they are likely to pan out in the NBA if their physical attributes are good enough. If they can’t excel in such a league, how are they different from a college kid who can’t get playing time at Duke, or even Vanderbilt? Too often, we forget that being a successful pro basketball player requires actual, well, basketball skill–not just Potential.

RikSmits
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July 29, 2021 12:14 pm

I know that there is less trepidation that this FO will screw things up, but the hyping of prospects is not something new. We do that every draft, unless I remember incorrectly.

This is our (off)season of hope, and it usually lasts until we actually start to play games that matter.

I hope that this year will be really different. Like all the previous years were supposed to be…

RobHessing
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July 29, 2021 12:19 pm

Trying to decide whether if I want M&M to go with my Rese’s Passes, am I band Wagner, or am I a Sen goon? I guess I’ll know this evening.

AmateurNerd
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July 29, 2021 2:25 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

“Sen goon.” Have a rec.

Kingsguru21
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July 29, 2021 12:53 pm

There is no shortage of options. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I don’t think the draft is going to fix the Kings, in all likelihood.

Hobby916
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July 29, 2021 1:05 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Fixing the Kings will take a miracle.

Gregoryl
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July 29, 2021 1:27 pm

From Mark Stein:
The Lakers’ talks with Sacramento on a potential deal headlined by Buddy Hield and Kyle Kuzma are the most serious so far, league sources say, but San Antonio is also believed to have interest in Kuzma in possible sign-and-trade scenarios involving free agent-to-be DeMar DeRozan.

jlandweh
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July 29, 2021 1:34 pm

Trade Buddy and stuff for a person who can play as a big. Resign Holmes. Draft Moody, Mitchell, or Bouknight. Trade Bagley for anything. Sign a few contributing free agents.

Unfortunately, that’s only chicken salad but that’s the best I could do with the mess that the Kings are in.

1951
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July 29, 2021 2:01 pm

Welcome to the Kings!

Gregoryl
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July 29, 2021 2:02 pm
Reply to  1951

Lets go!

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
July 29, 2021 2:04 pm
Reply to  1951

DO IT!!!!

1951
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July 29, 2021 2:04 pm
Reply to  1951

1951
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July 29, 2021 2:04 pm
Reply to  1951

Oh shit!

SneakerKing
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July 29, 2021 2:05 pm
Reply to  1951

Need #22 as well IMO

TheGrantNapear
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July 29, 2021 2:06 pm
Reply to  SneakerKing

yep, no deal unless 22 is included.

1951
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July 29, 2021 2:06 pm
Reply to  SneakerKing

Hmm.

Amonk81
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July 29, 2021 2:10 pm
Reply to  SneakerKing

Exactly. As I stated above. No deck chair rearrangement.

If can’t be done till Aug 6 does that eliminate the 22?

Amonk81
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July 29, 2021 2:07 pm

Trez just opted in. Unless Kings get the 22, I don’t like this trade.

They need to be building. Not adding average.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
July 29, 2021 2:14 pm

OT: Things starting to pick up.

1951
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July 29, 2021 2:14 pm

Wait, what?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 29, 2021 2:16 pm
Reply to  1951

WTF? That would basically end the Buddy deal.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 29, 2021 2:17 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Fuck.

Gregoryl
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July 29, 2021 2:18 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

OMG Monte…

1951
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July 29, 2021 2:18 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Buddy is so pissed!

02kingsfan
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July 29, 2021 2:20 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I am guessing buddy’s value is never that high and then was used by fakers to get leverage€¦guess we can thank vlade and Walton for that ha

Amonk81
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July 29, 2021 2:44 pm
Reply to  02kingsfan

I don’t believe that. Sounds like Lakers simply wanted Westbrook more. Which I think is a bad fit for them.

Sixers? Want buddy?

SMF-PDXConnection
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July 29, 2021 2:22 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

They know everyone knows they need more shooting, so they’re zagging and getting even worse shooting.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 29, 2021 2:23 pm

This could also be leverage by the Lakers to not include the #22 and forcing Monte to just take Harrell and Kuz.

AmateurNerd
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July 29, 2021 2:27 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

One can hope, but on the other hand…. Kangz.

SneakerKing
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July 29, 2021 2:27 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t think so. Woj reporting it now. Feels like the Kings are just being used by GMs all over the place now. We’ll be lucky to get a ham sandwich now for Buddy. 🙁

TerzoM
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July 29, 2021 2:31 pm
Reply to  SneakerKing

$44M Westbrook. Good luck Fakers

nonstripedzebra
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July 29, 2021 2:33 pm
Reply to  SneakerKing

Not sure what Monte could have done differently. Think it’s pretty clear that Pelinka likely had this in mind. Doubt the pick ask would have been the difference. One can complain we are being used as leverage but the caveat is the Lakers are accepting a worse deal IMO.

Last edited 1 year ago by nonstripedzebra
Bbmuteman
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July 29, 2021 2:37 pm

I’m guessing Westbrook will just replace Schroeder at double his cost. This lets lebron rest longer on the bench, maybe?

TerzoM
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July 29, 2021 2:23 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Buddy Suc… I mean Buckets here to stay

SneakerKing
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July 29, 2021 2:23 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

You know this doesn’t make the Lakers much better. Westbrook isn’t bringing shooting/floor spacing. If anything, he and Lebron will clash over who gets the ball.

SneakerKing
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July 29, 2021 2:18 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Buddy trade blown TF up

Bbmuteman
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July 29, 2021 2:26 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Let’s hope the sixers offer up something decent for buddy then.

AmateurNerd
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July 29, 2021 2:28 pm
Reply to  Bbmuteman

That’s the best hope if this is a thing.

SMF-PDXConnection
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July 29, 2021 2:24 pm

Bitgod
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July 29, 2021 2:32 pm

So if it happens, who do we want at 22?

Bitgod
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July 29, 2021 2:36 pm
Reply to  Bitgod

Reads further down the thread and sees the news about Westbrook, lol kangzed

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