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:
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.