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The Kings are succeeding in working out high-quality prospects

The Kings have historically struggled to get top prospects to visit, but have had success this summer.

The Sacramento Kings have struggled for years to convince top draft prospects to visit Sacramento. Even in years when the Kings had higher picks, Sacramento was often left deciding whether or not they should draft a player without ever having met with the player or put them through a workout. It ended poorly at times, especially in the cases of Thomas Robinson and Ben McLemore where the Kings passed over players who'd had impressive workouts such as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

But this year seems different.

The Sacramento Kings have brought in a string of players who are very much in the range of the 9th pick. Our own Tony Xypteras has been updating our tracker with each new workout or interview that leaks. But in case you haven't been paying attention, here are a few of the bigger names that have had either a workout or an interview with the Kings:

Moses Moody
Scottie Barnes
Ziaire Williams
Jalen Johnson
Keon Johnson
Alparen Sengun
Kai Jones
Corey Kispert

Those are just the big names, the tracker has the full list. And those are just the ones we know about. Since the Kings have inexplicably decided not to communicate who they have visit for workouts, this is just what's been compiled through social media and relentless legwork Jason Anderson has been doing for the Bee.

The Kings are very unlikely to have worked out any of the top 5 names in the draft (Cunningham, Suggs, Green, Mobley or Kuminga), but otherwise have at least met with the majority of the players expected to be in their range. The only notable players missing from the list right now are Davion Mitchell, James Bouknight, Franz Wagner, and Josh Giddey. Due to the Kings' secrecy, it's entirely possible they've worked out or interviewed those four players as well.

At the risk of celebrating the Kings for achieving what most teams would simply consider normal, I feel it's worth celebrating progress. I'm impressed that the Kings have been able to get a good look at the majority of the players in their range.

We've yet to get any clear indication which way the Kings might be leaning, although there are plenty of people who would tell you they know exactly who the Kings will pick. It's also entirely possible the Kings end up trading the pick altogether. Whichever decision they make, it's nice to know that it will at least be based on first hand knowledge of the prospects.

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RikSmits
July 19, 2021 1:32 pm

I hope it works out for us.

Kosta
July 19, 2021 1:38 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

We’re at episode IV of hoping.

“I hope we can be like the Suns.”
comment image

TerzoM
July 19, 2021 2:32 pm
Reply to  Kosta

And all daddy issues fixed

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Carl
July 19, 2021 3:48 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Where’s the one where Luke likes a tweet that says he should leave the rebels?

Also, note the lack of a right hand.

Last edited 16 days ago by Carl
TheOldFalcon
July 19, 2021 6:30 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Not quite:
“Luke, I am your father…”

Portland Trail Blazers Hello GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

Last edited 16 days ago by Johnathan Herold
TheOldFalcon
July 19, 2021 6:27 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Star Wars GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Kosta
July 19, 2021 6:45 pm
Reply to  TheOldFalcon

If we can draft another Wookie of the Year candidate like Haliburton I’ll get my hopes up!

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
July 20, 2021 6:29 am
Reply to  Kosta

Haha! This was good

Amonk81
July 19, 2021 6:45 pm
Reply to  Kosta

The Kings are succeeding at failing.

Bummer this pittance of normalcy represents hope.

bignerd
July 19, 2021 9:15 pm
Reply to  Kosta

You think the Kings could go to Tatooine, bring back the universes most kickass R-2 unit, a protocol droid, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Luke Skywalker? Then go on to rescue a princess, blow up 2 Death Stars, defeat an Emperor, Darth Vader and the entire Galactic Empire? Nope not these Kings.

Vlade Wan Kenobi would have picked out a ho-hum Sandman. Luke would have been killed by Stormtroopers. Vlade gets double crossed trying to by a ship from Jabba and turned over the Empire. On the way out he talks *#[email protected]$ about Han Solo/Chewbacca for getting enslaved by the Huts to make himself feel better … and ain’t never heard of no robots.

The closest the Kings have ever come to anything Star Wars is probably Episode 8??? Three-ish decades later the Empire has rebuilt into the First Order, has an entire fleet, new super-weapon plant and ready to take over the galaxy again. The Kings’ Alliance has 3 mouth-balled ships, a skeleton crew and no plans or clue to contact anyone else for help … THAT IS KINGS MANAGEMENT!!

Kangz_Landing
July 19, 2021 1:42 pm

High quality you say?

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Kosta
July 19, 2021 1:52 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

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Kosta
July 19, 2021 1:53 pm
Reply to  Kosta

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Dub_TC
July 19, 2021 1:45 pm

Come on, Monte. Make it 2 for 2!

MaybeNextYear
July 19, 2021 1:51 pm

Seems like most of us aren’t in favor of trading down with OKC. Would adding a Bagley/Dort swap entice Kings fans more? Too one-sided for Sac?

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BestHyperboleEver
July 19, 2021 2:10 pm
Reply to  MaybeNextYear

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Dort. There are a number of guys over there I’d rather have than him.

MaybeNextYear
July 19, 2021 2:18 pm

Totally fair. I was mainly looking for someone on a low, value contract to free up cap space.

KangzofLeon
July 19, 2021 2:23 pm

I like Dort, but I agree that there are better options if they are willing to part with them. Bazley, possibly Maledon as well would be a little better. That being said, I like Dort enough and dislike Bagley enough to make something like that work

BestHyperboleEver
July 19, 2021 4:15 pm
Reply to  KangzofLeon

I’d even prefer Kenrich to Dort. I think Dort has gotten a lot of mileage out of being the ultimate “well somebody has to score” guy. He’s a truly terrible offensive player.

Last edited 16 days ago by BestHyperboleEver
KangzofLeon
July 19, 2021 4:59 pm

yeah, I’d probably agree. I think Dort is a decent player, though. Probably less upside than the other guys

BestHyperboleEver
July 19, 2021 5:45 pm
Reply to  KangzofLeon

He’s a decent player. Just highly situational. He’s like Roberson, or Allen, or Thybulle. They’re okay if you have stars around them and literally the only thing you need them to do is defend and hit gimmes. But if you have to ask them to do even the slightest amount of lifting on the offensive end, you’re pretty screwed.

KangzofLeon
July 19, 2021 8:37 pm

oh man, I agree but I’d definitely take thybulle for bagley in a heartbeat

murraytant
July 20, 2021 9:59 pm
Reply to  MaybeNextYear

Dort is limited. And I would not trade down with OKC unless we keep #9 and add some of the OKC picks

TheGrantNapear
July 19, 2021 1:52 pm

I fully trust Monte making this pick, I think he deserves that after the Hali pick.
However, I’m on the fence with Monte in regards to FA and trades.
This is a big offseason for Monte to prove himself.

KangzofLeon
July 19, 2021 2:24 pm

Sort of off topic, but do you guys think we could sign a guy like Khem Birch? I thought he was pretty good last season, but I don’t know what kind of money he’ll be commanding

TheGrantNapear
July 19, 2021 6:03 pm
Reply to  KangzofLeon

I suppose he’d be Holmes’ replacement. He’d cost half of what Holmes would cost.
He’d be okay as bench depth, I don’t see him as a starter.

murraytant
July 20, 2021 3:45 pm
Reply to  KangzofLeon

Best under radar back up center out there is Naz Reid- reminds me of Holmes

Want2win
July 19, 2021 3:37 pm

I guess my pick of Wagner is not being looked at, but I do like moody and possibly Zaire Williams if we trade down and he is available

KangzofLeon
July 19, 2021 5:01 pm

I am not studied up enough on this rookie class, but unless there really appears to be high upside guys in the 16 – 18 range, then I’d probably prefer to keep the pick and get a more reliable player than trade with OKC. We really can’t keep screwing up these drafts, even if we end up with a higher floor, lower ceiling guy

Last edited 16 days ago by KangzofLeon
PlayoffModeT
July 19, 2021 7:15 pm

Anyone else think drafting Moody to play the 3 is another recipe for us to be a smaller team? I get he is 6’6 with a good wingspan but I feel it would be best for him to be a primary 2.

I view SF/PF as 6’7 – 6’10 nowadays. Just food for thought.

kgdobter
July 19, 2021 8:17 pm
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

If he could really play SF, I wouldn’t care if he was 6’0 tall,

richie88
July 19, 2021 8:40 pm
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

I think that 7′ wingspan will allow him to play SF. I’m more worried about whether his poor performance in the tourney could indicate potential problems w/playing in the NBA.

TheGrantNapear
July 19, 2021 8:43 pm
Reply to  richie88

When I watch highlights of him I see a SF, I don’t see a SG at all.

richie88
July 19, 2021 11:49 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I see a wing who should be able to defend multiple positions.

WizsSox
July 19, 2021 9:06 pm
Reply to  richie88

The tourney is a 4 game sample and the only game that was a level up in comp was against Baylor. 4 games prior to tournament he played similar level competition including the SEC tournament. He averaged 22/7 on 73% FG and 43% 3pt.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

richie88
July 19, 2021 11:46 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

The tourney’s a small sample, but it has the brightest lights for college players. Given what happened w/college basketball this year, I think it’s tough to determine which conferences & teams should’ve been considered a level up in competition. What happened in the tourney doesn’t form my full opinion of Moody or any other player (what I’ve seen & read since then is important), but I think it has some importance when evaluating a player.

Last edited 16 days ago by richie88
1951
July 20, 2021 6:10 am

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