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March Madness Preview: NBA Draft 2022 Prospect Watch

The best month of the sports year is here, and the NCAA Tournament is full of potential members of the 2022 NBA Draft class.
By | 85 Comments | Mar 16, 2022

Mar 13, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers guard Jaden Ivey (23) shoots the ball while Iowa Hawkeyes forward Keegan Murray (15) defends in the first half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the best time of the sports year! The Madness is nearly upon us, and the NCAA Tournament features a big number of 2022 NBA Draft prospects. According to our buddy Brett Huff’s updated Consensus Rankings board, which combines rankings from the top draft prognosticators, a whopping 27 of the top 30 college basketball prospects are playing in this year’s tournament. For those of you just tuning into the 2022 draft process, this will be a great month to check out some future pros.

I know that if Las Vegas held odds on draft selections, the overwhelming favorite for Sacramento would be “trade the pick.” If the Kings are bound and determined to launch their rebuild next year, a draft pick in the 1 to 8 range is likely to be the Kings’ best trading asset this offseason. But if there is anything I’m most excited for and expecting during March, it’s to see the lottery-level talent in this class continue to shine.

I would not rank anyone in this class in the same tier that I had Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley in a year ago, but the class does have a great collection of lottery level players who, conveniently for Sacramento, offer real upside at positions and skillsets Sacramento doesn’t have and does need. If we take anything from Keegan Murray’s explosion – and the strong seasons of AJ Griffin, Bennedict Mathurin, Johnny Davis, Tari Eason, Ochai Agbaji, Jalen Duren, on and on – it should be the idea that the Kings shouldn’t default to trading their 2022 pick if it isn’t in the top 2. There’s real talent here, and talent that could help the Kings quicker than might be expected.

Here are some NBA prospects to keep your eye on during the tournament run, roughly ranked according to my ever-changing Kings-Centric Big Board. At the end of the Madness, I’ll dive into more prospects, so if I haven’t covered your draft crush (any Ochai Agbaji fans around here?), leave a comment! All stats come from Synergy Sports, sports-reference.com, or Tankathon.com..

If you missed the the Kings Pulse podcast where Brenden Nunes and I chatting about these prospects in detail, check it out! And finally,  make sure to join the 2nd Annual Kings Herald Bracket Challenge on ESPN! –  the password is LakersSuck.

Jabari Smith Jr.

Forward, Auburn, 6’10, 210 lbs, 19 Years Old at Draft (YOAD)

Jabari Smith Jr. is one of the best shooters in this or any draft class. He’s averaged 17 points and 7 boards per game for the 2nd seeded Tigers, while shooting 42.8% from three (on 5.4 attempts per game) and 81.6% from the line. He’s also connecting on 41.7% on all jump shots (89th percentile in the country), 44% on all catch-and-shoot shots (92nd percentile), and 39.6% on shots off the dribble (83rd percentile). His 6’10 size, long arms, and fade ability makes his shot all but impossible to block, and this insane efficiency has made everything work for Auburn this year. He’s also an excellent defensive prospect with strong reaction time, quick feet, and the ability to guard multiple positions (but he plays for Auburn, so is that really a surprise?). Plus, he’s been doing this all at just 18 years old, and is one of the youngest players in this class.

The biggest concern for Smith is his limited sample size and success around the basket; only 14.9% of his shots in the halfcourt come from within 17 feet of the basket, and he’s shot just 35% on those attempts, (50th percentile). That’s a very unusual shot diet for a player at his size and likely draft spot, but it does make his efficiency all the more impressive considering how reliant he (and Auburn) are on his shooting. Aside from Smith, the Tigers have only one other serious rotation player shooting higher than 32% from three, and they rely on Jabari’s gravity to stretch the floor, open lanes for cutters, and keep the paint clear for center Walker Kessler (another 1st Round prospect).

It’ll be key for Smith to develop more offensive versatility at the next level, and some draft prognosticators won’t have him as high as I will without better evidence that he can be a primary scorer at the next level. But Smith would be a near-perfect fit in Sacramento, giving the Kings an tall, elite shooter on one end and a smart, high-motor defender on the other.

Plus, his dad (yeah, that Jabari Smith) had some badass moments for the Kings back in his day. That’s pretty neat.

Chet Holmgren

Big/Colossal Titan, Gonzaga, 7’1, 195 lbs, 20 YOAD

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are, once again, the top ranked team in the nation. They’re an unbelievably deep team, rostering West Coast Conference Player of the Year Drew Timmie and an exceptional guard/wing combo of Andrew Nembhard, Julian Strawther, and Rasir Bolton. But Chet Holmgren stands tall as the biggest difference maker on both ends, and has been their best player since the calendar flipped to 2022.

He is putting up historically awesome and wonky production; 14.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 3.6 blocks per game while shooting 61% from the field and 41% from deep. He has more blocks this season (103) than he has missed field goals (98). He’s a very smart player whose toolset – 7’1 size, 7’5 wingspan, and quickness and fluidity that shouldn’t be possible at his size – gives him incredible upside on both ends. He’s also one of the tougher, more physical players you’ll find in college basketball this season.

There is one rather giant narrative surrounding Holmgren – he towers over opponents, yet weighs less than many NBA guards. The ESPN duo of Mike Schmitz and Jonathan Givony wrote a must-read piece breaking down why Holmgren is so polarizing amongst NBA teams. They did a great job of framing the concerns – “The closest physical comparisons we can find (for Holmgren) are Aleksej Pokusevski, Bol Bol, Chris Boucher, Isaiah Jackson — hardly the most inspiring or imposing group…” – and the massive positives in his production – “You have to look back to Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon for lottery picks who put up the type of scoring/rebounding/blocking numbers Holmgren has produced on a per-minute basis, and none of them did so as freshmen.”

I don’t want to undersell these concerns, as every aspect of his game will be affected by his lack of mass. Dudes across the NBA will go at him again and again until he proves he can handle it. But any NBA team should want to put Holmgren in their locker room and get him on their physical development program; he plays with physicality and a motor that should overshadow his skinny frame. I wouldn’t put money on him being the primary go-to scorer on a great team, but everything in his game screams that he’s a dude you cannot underrate.

And before I see any more West Coast Conference slander used against Holmgren – the WCC has three NCAA Tournament Schools this year (Gonzaga, USF, and my beloved Saint Mary’s), and Holmgren has played more games so far this season against NCAA tournament teams (11) than Paolo Banchero (10) or Smith Jr. (9). The bottom of the WCC may be significantly worse than the ACC or SEC, but Holmgren has shown up when it matters, and Gonzaga is top of the Tourney seeding in large part to his efforts.

Paolo Banchero

Big, Duke, 6’10, 250 lbs, 19 YOAD

If it wasn’t for Chet, I would say Paolo Banchero was the dude that NBA Twitter is overthinking the most in this draft class. He has the upside of a true offensive hub at the next level, both as a scorer and as a passer; he’s averaged 18.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 47.4% from the field and 30.9% from deep. He’s a nightmare in isolation, able to take bigger defenders to the basket or just pull up in their face. He’s been Duke’s best player all season, running the offense while playing under the brightest lights in the country during Coach K’s ESPN-sponsored retirement tour.

Now, if Banchero doesn’t make continued growth on both ends – maybe the long-range shooting never becomes efficient, maybe he never becomes the most focused defender – he may not end up one of the best three players in this class. But he’s tough, physical, and has flashed so much offensive skill that it’s impossible for me to have him outside the top 4. And before any chuckleheads opt to make comparisons based on schools alone, Banchero is NOT a complicated NBA fit like he-who-shall-not-be-named. I wrote a ton back in 2018 about how potential without a clear niche on either end worried me in a prospect; Banchero’s offensive niche is obvious, and he is absolutely worth a top 3 pick if a team needs a big man initiator.

Jaden Ivey

Guard, Purdue, 6’4, 200 lbs, 20 YOAD

Ivey is the best guard in the draft class, a dangerous self creator with a fantastic combination of speed, explosiveness, and creativity when he goes downhill. He’s dangerous around the rim, converting on 57% of his attempts at the basket (66th percentile), and while his efficiency from three has come and gone this season (currently at 35.6%), I buy it long term. He was great in the Big Ten Tournament, averaging 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists while shooting 48% from the field.

Ivey is very much used to playing off the ball – Purdue has spread out the offensive initiation duties, to their own detriment at times (I would love to see Ivey get some damn ball screens). He’s averaged 3.1 assists this year (and 2.5 turnovers), but while he has moments of good vision, he should not be viewed as a primary initiator at the next level. My biggest concern from a Kings standpoint is his defense – his success and focus comes and goes as quick as he does. Wait, I guess that makes him a perfect fit in Sacramento!

AJ Griffin

Forward, Duke, 6’6, 222 lbs, 18 YOAD

I’m a huge fan of AJ Griffin’s upside, even amongst a somewhat inconsistent season. At just 18 years old, he already has an elite NBA skill; he is shooting 46.7% from three (on 7 attempts per 40 minutes), 44% on dribble jumpers (94th percentile), and 47% on all catch-and-shoot shots (97th percentile!). His efficiency numbers are absurdly efficient across the board, which is great to see considering he was limited early in the year by a preseason keen sprain (and also by Coach K’s lack of patience). His case for a top 5 pick is best shown in Duke’s ACC Tournament Semifinals win over Miami.

AJ, son of Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin, has a combination of strength and power that doesn’t really make sense for his age. I do think he’s struggling a tad to turn his new strength into functional athleticism, but he has bulk that few college freshmen could dream of. Outside of the shooting, his upside is mostly seen in flashes – his driving ability, self-creation, and passing vision have all improved late into the year, but aren’t fully consistent. You can also tell he’s an 18 year old when it comes to defense – I’m not worried about the tools or his motor, but the instincts. Opponents do get by him with worrying regularity, especially when he’s ballwatching. But if (and I would bet on when, not if) his feel on defense can catch up to his physical tools and drive, he can be a fantastic two-way threat.

Calling him a raw player is fair, but it misses the fact that his shooting ability will earn him playing time very quickly into his rookie career. I think he has the best case for stardom outside of the top 4, although he will certainly need to end up with the right developmental coaching staff to unlock his full potential.

Keegan Murray

Forward, Iowa, 6’8, 225 lbs, 21 YOAD

If you’ve somehow missed the growing bandwagon for Keegan Murray, seats are still available but are going fast. Being the MVP of the Big Ten title team and scoring the most points in the Conference Tournament history will do that for a prospect. He’s just getting it done on both ends – 23.6 points per game on 55.5% shooting and 40.5% from distance (on 4.8 attempts per game) while also grabbing 8.6 boards, 1.5 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 1.3 steals per contest. Given Iowa’s reliance on him offensively, it is utterly amazing that he’s such a defensive event creator –  you just don’t see many dudes with those sort of two-way numbers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHoFCiMj-CE

Aside from his sheer versatility, my favorite aspect of Murray’s game is his composure – he’s never rattled by the moment and rarely makes bad decisions or plays outside of himself. He reminds me of Harrison Barnes, but with significantly better collegiate defensive numbers. He’s so methodical – so much so that in the final moments of the Big Ten title win over Purdue, he threw down a championship-securing dunk… and just ran back down the court to play defense.

Keegan Murray is the great unifier of the Kings fandom, and I’ve yet to see anyone say they wouldn’t want to draft him. I wouldn’t bet on him being a franchise pillar, but he’s as much a lock to be a strong starter as anyone in the class. He’ll make any lottery team better on both ends.

Bennedict Mathurin

Wing, Arizona, 6’7, 195 lbs, 20 YOAD

Mathurin is the Pac 12’s best prospect this season, and is putting up truly efficient numbers as a three-level scorer. His 27 point, 7 assist, 4 rebound outing against UCLA in the Conference Championship game secured Arizona both the Pac-12 title and the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. He’s averaging 17.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting 37.6% three and 60.8% around the rim – and given his explosive athleticism and touch at the basket, I have few concerns about those numbers translating at the next level. He’s also shown improved passing success late in the season, with 3.7 assists per game in his last 9 contests.

Mathurin, much like AJ Griffin and Johnny Davis, isn’t the most consistent or locked-in defender. But if he helps Arizona get to the Final Four, it may not mean much to NBA evaluators. Check out the Wildcats if you haven’t already – first year Head Coach Tommy Lloyd has helped them become one of the most enjoyable offensive teams to watch, and Mathurin is the biggest part of that.

Johnny Davis

Wing, 6’5, 196 lbs, 20 YOAD

In a season with multiple lottery locks coming out of the Conference, Johnny Davis won the Big Ten Player of the Year after averaging nearly 20 points and 8 rebounds a game and taking his team to a No. 3 seed. He’s a super smooth  scorer who isn’t afraid of physical match-ups or double teams flying his way, and he was remarkably clutch for Wisconsin throughout the Big Ten Conference season.

Davis’ success from deep has come and gone this season, and he’s currently just 31.7% from 3 on the season. In addition, he suffered a sprained ankle in the regular season closing game against Nebraska, and was just 3 of 19 in the Big Ten tourney loss to Michigan State. Here’s hoping he’s fully healthy for the tipoff against Colgate this week.

Jalen Duren

Big, Memphis, 6’11, 250 lbs, 18 YOAD

If rim protection is at the top of Monte McNair’s wish list, Duren is the selection. Few bigs have Duren’s combination of footspeed, explosiveness, and ability to defend in space. He held opponents to just 21.4% shooting around the basket, which is in the 99th percentile for defensive success. Duren’s two-way upside reminds me of the role Willie Cauley-Stein could have filled… if he’d been anyone other than Willie Cauley-Stein.

Duren was the Tigers’ best player in their run to the AAC Conference title game, and he tossed up a 21 point, 20 rebound night in the win over UCF. He’s improved throughout the season on a team that has otherwise struggled to find offensive cohesiveness and lacked real playmakers. Basketball fans should be excited to see what he could do playing next to real passers (and he’s not a bad one in his own right).

The Tigers have to get through Boise State in the 1st Round, but if we don’t get the Gonzaga / Memphis matchup in the second round – and a chance to see Chet Holmgren v. Jalen Duren – the basketball gods are cruel.

Tari Eason

Forward, LSU, 6’8, 215 lbs, 21 YOAD

This might seem high for Eason, a fringe lottery pick amongst most mocks, but his defensive success and tough, physical approach to the game should earn him a spot in my lottery rankings. At 6’8 with a 7’2 wingspan and plenty of strength, explosiveness, and coordination, Eason is an excellent defender who is snagging 3.3 steals and 1.8 blocks per 40 minutes… while also leading LSU in scoring. If I was fully confident in Eason’s deep shot, he’d seem a top 10 lock, but despite a 35.5% clip from deep (and 38.2% clip off the catch), his slower trebuchet-style launch from deep is a tad scary.

LSU fired Head Coach Will Wade this week, and you could forgive the Tigers if they don’t get past Iowa State. But getting a chance to see Eason and Johnny Davis on the same floor in the Round of 32 would be a draft fan’s dream.

Other Potential 1st Round Prospects to Watch:
  • Ochai Agbaji, Guard, Kansas, 6’6, 215 lbs, 22 YOAD
  • TyTy Washington, Guard, Kentucky, 6’3, 185 lbs, 20 YOAD
  • Kendall Brown, Forward, Baylor, 6’8, 205 lbs, 19 YOAD
  • Jeremy Sochan, Forward, Baylor, 6’9, 230 lbs, 19 YOAD
  • Kennedy Chandler, Guard, Tennessee, 6’0, 175 lbs, 19 YOAD
  • Malaki Branham, Wing, Ohio State, 6’6, 180 lbs, 19 YOAD
  • E.J. Liddell, Forward, Ohio State, 6’7, 240 lbs, 21 YOAD
  • Mark Williams, Center, Duke, 7’0, 245 lbs, 20 YOAD
  • Walker Kessler, Center, Auburn, 7’1, 245 lbs, 20 YOAD
  • Justin Lewis, Forward, Marquette, 6’7, 245 lbs, 20 YOAD
  • Max Christie, Wing, Michigan State, 6’6, 185 lbs, 19 YOAD
  • Caleb Houstan, Wing, Michigan, 6’8, 205 lbs, 19 YOAD
  • Wendell Moore, Wing, Duke, 6’6, 215 lbs, 20 YOAD
  • Jamie Jaquez, Wing, UCLA, 6’7, 225 lbs, 21 YOAD

March Madness kicks off tonight with two play-in games (Wright State vs Bryant for a 16 seed and Notre Dame vs Rutgers for an 11 seed), and the first round begins in earnest on Thursday.

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RobHessing
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March 16, 2022 8:12 am

My hope is that none of the guys in the Kings range get bounce out of the tourney early. Really looking forward to following them.

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 8:44 am

There’s Chet and there’s everyone else. Tari Eason looks pretty good too, as I elaborate on below in the context with which Kings fans ought to view this tourney…..

I am done talking about this team for a while, one week break earned, 3000+ words is more than enough opinion. 😉

If you understand the way winners think you already know this. It is not enough to fill in the gaps, add secondary talent to Fox and Ox. You don’t go yard by squaring around to bunt. Here’s a plan guyz, lets go get Joe Harris….or Jonathon Isaac as our next bold addition. That’s the strategy for the modest low T competitor who aims for respectality instead of glory. 

When it comes to the draft, Chet Holgren or bust. LFG. Do you know the best place for Chet to further his career and cement his legend as the Slim Reeper? It is in SAC or HOU. In both spots there is a bruiser in the paint already, Sabonis and Sengun, to absorb the physicality so he can focus on what he does best. Similar to how Allen facilitated the transition of Evan Mobley. 

Whether there was validity to our GM orchestrating Ty to SAC by steering him from other teams picking before us, selling him hard on why our destination made the most sense on and off the court — future earning pontential and lifestyle — our GM should so scheme if we land between picks #2 to #5. 

Compel the agent to make his client unavailable to tryout with teams other than yours. Invent a phantom injury. Hoard the medicals. Resort to sly gamesmanship and apply the maxim “all is fair in love and war” 

When you suck balls for a decade and a half and have a Booze Hound impersonating a coach, the latest act to this nightmare, too scared to make live ball play calls, too content to be a ref antagonist and nothing more, delegating timeouts to assistants, oblivious to the suck that emanates from his aura, saying “you know” 69X in an 8:00 post-game, exemplifying a masterful communication style that would “never” fall on deaf ears, you are in a figurative war.  

And you are losing. 

Alvin Gentry epitomizes losing and failure, a has been who never was. He would lead the Bucks and Suns to the play-in. Tyronne Lue has led LAC (36-35) to the 8th seed with PG playing 24 games and Kawhi zero. No one can convince me that LAC, who start Batum, Morris, Zubac, Coffey and Reggie Jackson, with Mann, Kennard and Hartenstein off the bench are 10 games better than SAC (25-45). 

What is the difference? The answer is obvious. It is coaching, it is in-game adjustments, it is KYP, knowing your personnel, KTP, knowing their personnel, it is intuition and gut, wisdom in the solar plexus, tuning in, listening to, trusting and acting on, to influence the outcome favorably. 

Can the post games be canceled already? Why does an outgoing substitute need to be given a platform, so we can hear his vapid ramblings and know what not to look for in the next coach? 

The Old Man said versus CHI was Donte’s best game “by far”. His performance was a mere extension of what he’s been providing in glimpses, undermined by the idiot in charge. He is implying he’s been far less as a player to justify his decision to play him behind a 32 year old journeyman shooting 15% from 3s. 

Donte should have been starter from Day One and no later than his 14 point game vs OKC, 4-6 from 3s, +20 in 22 minutes, as he was rounding into form, if that standard was required. Since then, Donte continuing to receive second class treatment, often not put into the game until 2nd quarter, we lost 5 out of 6 before last night with Holiday being useless, NOP losing 4 in a row, LAL collapsing, affording us the chance, after all this time, to claw our way into the play-in if the coach was not dumb AF. 

If you want to say Holiday made sense initially, to facilitate the transition of Sabonis, sharing the floor with a familiar face with familiar game, and we needed Holiday’s shooting to replace Ty and Buddy, that is fair, but there was NO reason to etch him in stone relative to the (superior) alternatives. 

Then after his performance went further south, just like with Buddy, this coach doubles down on the futility: 29 minutes vs DAL, 28 minutes vs NYK, 31 minute vs DEN, all losses. Holiday has NO future with the team, NO shot, black hole tendencies, yet the coach treats him like royalty. 

One month ago Davion was inserted as starter by default due to players out, and he was instrumental. He relished the role, hand to glove. He embraced the opportunity to check the best point of attack initiator. Circumstances forced the coaches hand and called into question his lineup choices. This situation with Donte and Holiday is no different, more evidence against, exposing the fraudulence and stubborness of the decision maker. 

Imagine you are the GM. You had a glorious deadline. You brought in the reinforcements, turned water to wine, to allow for end of a season surge. All you need is reasonable minded coach to implement the plan, to be on the same page as you. 

Is it too much to ask your subordinate not to royally eff it up? 

Trading Buddy and Ty cleared the path for your coveted lottery pick to be more instrumental with his awesome burst moves to the rack and unrelenting defense. Donte is a guy you have targeted for two years for his poise and presence and sturdiness and timely shots. Donte is the glue and the scrapper, the missing link to help a disparate team to coalesce. He is better as off the ball defender than Ty, which makes him elite. His freelance ability to anticipate and harass is incredible. He deserves the chance to play through the rough patches too because he is returning from injury and can be neutral to positive player when his shot is amiss. 

You know what I would do when the Big Ragu launches a brick? 

Keep him in the game. 

Donte is coming from championship culture, championship team habits are all he knows, see his college career as well, giving him instant credibilty with teammates who have known a lot of losing. This is obvious to anyone not on a bender or in between. 

We know this coach is good friends with Johnny and Jimmy B, so what is obvious to a sober thinker may escape his foggy mental grasp. 

How else to explain guaranteeing your demise by elevating Holiday over Davion and Donte, belying your boss, probably infuriating him, treating a throw-in like the second coming. To add injury to insult, the coach can not take credit for Donte performance into the starting unit; he knows it, hence the backhanded compliment. 

The intrigue (and fun) of scouring the NCAAs, tuning to March Madness is to find the nuggets, and to establish the value of our pick in the range where we are inclined to pick, so we can get on with it already, wheel and deal and steal: (1) Siakam or (2) Pascal or (3) #43 for TOR (4) TBD, as long as TBD, not THT, is a player also on the same quality tier as Fox and Ox, not below.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If Player A is fairly enticing, but you envision a counterpart falling madly in love, admitting as much through subtext, you have the makings of a fruitful negotiation and an asymetric opportunity. I have done almost NO draft research but three players could have other GMs acting irrationally, smitten by the love bug, deluded by a temporary crush, lost in the fog of exuberant affection, hence becoming vulnerable prey to our predatory GM:

Shaedon Sharpe 
Nikola Jovic 
Tari Eason 

Sharpe was supposed to play for Kentucky, but best laid plans and all. He has +7 wingspan (6’6”; 7’0’) and a 45 inch vertical. What is cool about this dude, beside his hairdo, is for an amazing athelte he has polish to his game, step backs, side steps, atypical sophistication. Green and Kuminga were the last phenomenal athletes to go high in the draft. Sharpe has relative tree trunks for legs compared to Green. Kuminga was not nearly as crafty with his face up game as Sharpe. 

If hyping him thusly, why not nab him with the 5th or 6th pick or thereabouts? Exactly. This is the value of a superior talent evaluator at the helm. If Sharpe can become the best athlete on your team from Day One, a multi positional defender, best projected player in 2-3 years, joining Ox and Fox, proceed accordingly. Otherwise, pretend he is going to be magnificent in your valuation. Assign inordinate value as if giving up a destined all-star in exchange for one past his prime.  

I would love to declare Player X is the savior. I am not going there, except for Chet, who jumps off the screen as extraordinary. Outside this kid, the value of the top prospects will likely never be higher than before we swap their rights for a third star.  The most exciting aspect of this upcoming NBA draft will likely be when Adam Silver steps to the podium and says “We have a trade to announce….”

Eason is the long wing we need. Conceptually, anyway. He has drawn Jerami Grant comparisons. He impresses with aggressive defensive and offensive mentality. He has managed to log 34 PER and 61% TS%. Our GM likes guys who rank high in steals (2 SPG) and blocks (1 BPG). 79% from FTs is good despite the unorthodox shooting stroke, where he puts the ball near his shoulder before launch. Unorthodox shot mechanics did not deter our GM two drafts ago. 

I am not going to say much about Nikola Jovic other than he is frigging good, resemblance to Luka, charismatic with game to match, but it is going to take time to actualize the goodness. The length of time depends on ability to handle the physicality of the league. Many fans have selective memories, as if they knew all along Luka was destined to be one of the GOATs. But his ability to navigate traffic, where he commands his space on the floor, bullying his way to an advantage was not a foregone conclusion before the draft.

I was wrong about Scottie Barnes. I do not mind to admit it, I do not mind a blip on my radar of near perfection, and his play increases the possibility for TOR to trade Siakam. I am still NO fan of Barnes, the methodical tediousness about him, but the guy is a physical freak. I knew he was big, but holy begeezus! At 19, he is the same size as Bam Adebayo. When he fills out he is a modern day Karl Malone. I get why TOR took him over Suggs. 

The more you command your space in advantageous area the more you can do with the skills you possess. Luka makes so many plays because he wards off defenders. He treats defenders like a horses tail treats flies. Barnes is not that different in this regard. This special trait, exerting your physicality with aplomb, applies to Sabonis and what bodes well for Davion. Fox obviously goes wherever he wants to go too, even more so when he lost the excess and the miraculous healing occured. 

Relatedly this is also why Marvin has had such a shockingly shoddy career. Imagine if Marvin liked contact, did not go onto the IR wth a hangnail, gave more than he gets instead of the exact opposite? Imagine if one time he set one respectable pick, then multiply infinitely to estimate the effect on his effectiveness. 

Does Jovic have an NBA body as Davion does, as Luka did, as Barnes does, or is there going to be a protracted waiting period? Will the wait be eternal as with Marvin? Or in the interim, can he be productive, like Mobley? I don’t have defintive answers but I know one man who does or will get them precisely as possible. 

This is the perpetual prevailing theme, then and now, for better or worse, swim or sink, identifying and acquiring players who are able to seize their space through size, strength and speed with the basic fundamentals to execute within this space. This is the name of the game whether you want to bet on Jovic or Eason, Jabari or Chet, Ty or Fox, Luka or Marvin, Buddy or TD, Jones or Holmes, or draft rights for Siakam. 

As an aside as it relates to Scottie Barnes, the awkward behemoth, if Keegan Murray is bigger than HB, he becomes enticing. The listed vitals are one thing but to see recent draftees on the floor against pros is another. Marvin is listed at 240 6’11 but plays two inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter. Woodward was supposed to be an imposing beast with the plus wingspan but it did not translate. Chet may disappear into the background from side silhouette, but seems to play bigger than Mobley, the probable ROY. 

This is an exciting time to be a fan despite the THUD to end this seaon, record wise, and the coach who has no business being in charge, the one regrettable move by a GM who has done almost nothing else erroroneously. 

The excitement is a continuation of the excitement into the deadline and the validation of those excited before the announced trades. Fans have every basis to be confident and hopeful. We have the right man in charge to make the right bet, inclined to think big and deliver big. He’s proven as much with the heist of the Pacers, retaining the pick. He has shown he has the shrewdness and discipline to repeat the feat, emboldened to complete the formidabble task of transforming this sorry franchise. 

A single or double is nice, a line drive into the gap, but nice is not enough. McGenius is looking for more than nice, he is looking for spectacular, to hit another homerun. Siakam for the pick, or Chet with the pick if we get lucky or need to trade up, qualifes. Think big or go home. 

Act transformatively or Vlade. 

Our GM is not going to be content with a dynamic duo. 

He wants to form a triumphant trio. 

Remember where you heard it first. 

Babe Ruth is at the plate again and will be satisfied only to connect with the sweet part of the bat. The same fans who will tell you he is going to swing and miss are the same who thought the deadline would come and go with Buddy for an expiring and Marvin for a second rounder. Don’t listen to them, don’t fall prey to the cynics and pessimists, the glass half-empty crowd, the traumatized fans acting out past traumas, as if Ws and Ls of your favorite team are life and death. 

Being pollyanna without rational foundation is equally suspect, but the teams with whom we may do business are going to underperform in the play-in, playoffs, or be on the outside looking in. It is inevtiable. There is only one team whose season ends the way they ultimately aspire to. The others, 28 teams in total, or as I prefer to view them, potential victims, may get restless and impetuous. This is when we offer relief, dangling hope and better days in form of a high pick, and take Holmes while you are at it. 

It does not matter if it is fools gold or running in mud. It only matters that they buy what we are selling and become fixated on the perceived remedy to their problems. 

We have the consummate negotiator to pull off the ruse, the man who knows that cunning and patience is rewarded, and his masterpiece requires a few more strokes.

To make history it helps to know it, capable to seize the present through knowledge of the past. A few storied threesomes in no particular order include (1) Bird, McHale, Parish. (2) Scottie, MJ, Grant. (3) Giannis, Holiday, Middleton. (4) CP3, Ayton, Booker. (5) Curry, Klay, Green. (6) Curry Klay, Durant. (7) James, Wade, Bosh (8) Bibby, Vlade, Webber. (9) Harden, Westbrook, Durant (10) Parker, Manu, Duncan. 

Two elites are nice, a splendid start, but nicer if you can form a trio of complementary all star talents, in which the third player can be the best on the floor, if not for whole games than significant stretches, with takeover ability and undeniable dominance. 

As good as HB is he does not qualify. He’s a keeper, a pros pro, but he falls short of this lofty designation. He does not demand doubles. He is not a stopper defensively. He never sniffed an Allstar bid. He disappears too frequently, too content not to assert his will and skill upon the outcome. Maybe the third cog can be Davion someday, when his offense catches up to his defense, but hes not there yet. 

We acquired a player on level of Fox when we traded for Sabonis. We formed our dynamic duo brilliantly. The upcoming task is to find one more piece, borrowing from the mold of the most dominant teams in history. Our trio is made complete with Chet, Siakam, or perhaps a darkhouse candidate like Sharpe. Dillon Brooks and Jerami Grant are intriguing talents to ponder. Kyrie Irving and Bradley Beal meet the talent threshold but their contract situations likely preclude acquistion. 

Iit would be nice and almost mandatory to add a two way player to shut down the opponents who have recently torched us, usually a wing: Dimwiddie (36 points), Randle (46 points), Ingram (33 points), Clarkson (45 points), DeRozan, away game (38 points), all outbursts resulting in wins for the opponent.

John Collins does not qualify, as a stopper or a third cog; the talent is not there. He’s a 3.5 who drifts and disappears and has found little chemistry with Young. I don’t think Jabari or Panchero have a lot of appeal, but defer to the GM who has expertise, experience and the advantage of evaluating these prospects in an intimate competitive setting. 

Getting Monk or Portis as free agents, and Keegan Murray is fine and dandy, nothing to sneeze at, following the prescription of the French Lick Legend, but I do not think it is ambitious enough. We want to be so damn good when operating at, say, 70% capacity, due to injury, which inevitably occur, as in the case of DEN without Murray, GSW without Green, MEM without Brooks, we are able to win 45+ games and qualify for a top seed. Not only do we want want to end the ignominious streak in indisputable style, we want to create margin for error, too good for the play-in if and when things go less than optimally. 

This necessitates a third star, better than HB, while retaining him. This is the mission, more than tickering around the edges. This is my prediction also of what is to come, formulating a grand design that manifests into grander form. 

We already have one of the best bigs in the game and one of the best guards in the game. It is strategically appropriate we complement this duo with one of the best wings in the game (#43) or a generational talent (Chet) that transcends positional limitiation.

The game vs CHI was a taste of what it is to come, our probable best win of the season, without the third head of the hydra, and with the coach stumbling his way into a big game from his 4th or 5th rated guard. Even with this messy incomplete picture, the masterpiece is taking shape. 

The analytical underdog is in the zone, rising in authority and power. He is close to the realization of an audacious vision to endear him to a city and fanbase for a lifetime. The basketball world will watch in jaw dropped awe and admiration of the artistry brought to fruition. Eat your heart out, Aldeman Era. 

cloudyeyes
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March 16, 2022 9:48 am
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Whoa

R.gif
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March 16, 2022 1:58 pm
Reply to  cloudyeyes

Username checked out.

RobHessing
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March 16, 2022 2:59 pm
Reply to  cloudyeyes

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andy_sims
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March 16, 2022 9:48 am
Reply to  kings4ever

tldr: Alvin Gentry is an alcoholic, and everyone but me is stupid.

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 10:43 am
Reply to  andy_sims

TLDR, that is, Too long didn’t read is your first mistake.

I am the best writer and analyst on this site and it is obvious to anyone being honest.

I am unhinged and unihibited, I am a BEAST, I do not clear my opinon with the hive mind, I do not seek your approval.

I dont think other people are stupid. I love people and value their opinion.

I do think other fans are boring, if I am honest, but not stupid.

And I do think I am a genius. I think everyone possesses the capacity to be a genius too.

You are a genius, if you just embrace this God given potential!

Calling Gentry a Booze Hound is satire, it is sardonic, it is hilarious (in my mind) with a basis in truth based on his statements and his appearance, he’s a mess.

He’s a mess physically and professionally. Hes an asterisk, a joke, a fraud, and why he gets a pass by this forum is beyond me.

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March 16, 2022 10:54 am
Reply to  kings4ever

“Any man who must say ‘I AM THE KING’ is no true king.”
-Tywin Lannister
-Will Griffith

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 11:39 am
Reply to  WGriffith

Who the hell is Tywin Lannister?

andy_sims
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March 16, 2022 11:48 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

He’s the king.

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 12:00 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Oh No Fire GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 12:03 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

The king who was shot to death by his bastard midget son while taking a dump… LOL!

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March 16, 2022 11:59 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

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kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 12:02 pm
Reply to  WGriffith

Notice how none of the content of my post is challenged…..LOL.

Challenge my content, Will, go ahead, I will wait….

And I also said I do not want the crown, come and take it, if you can earn it with the merit of your opinion….

Tywin was also shot to death while he was sitting on the crapper if I recall correctly, is this the esteemed opinion of whom you wish to reference?!?

RikSmits
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March 16, 2022 12:03 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

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You don’t “shoot” a crossbow bolt, you “loose” a crossbow bolt. Your content is wrong!

Last edited 2 years ago by RikSmits
kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 1:31 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

LOL, Okay then, God forbid, when you take an arrow to the torso you can say you were not shot, you were loosed. I am sure as your skin & internal organs are punctured you will not feel as though were shot and instead scream in agony ” who loosed me?!”

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 12:04 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

You want me to challenge your shit line by line? Don’t dare me boyo. I don’t think you got enough fiber, or at least enough pet food, to last.

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kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 12:16 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Go ahead… challenge the content of my post..LINE BY LINE….lets go! ……as long as you do not attack me personally,….otherwise I will destroy you on substance…. go ahead….bring your best….just be prepared to be decimated and humiliated…..you are better to make an excuse to back out now…..you are NO match…it is a newborn vs Tyson in his prime and I am not the one in diapers

Melmoth
March 16, 2022 12:22 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

I’ll take a shot at the “unhinged genius”…

I have done almost NO draft research but three players could have other GMs acting irrationally, smitten by the love bug, deluded by a temporary crush, lost in the fog of exuberant affection, hence becoming vulnerable prey to our predatory GM:

How exactly do players outside of Kings control become an asset for Monte McNair? And I’d prefer my answer without mixed metaphors, please.

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 1:17 pm
Reply to  Melmoth

Fair question, simple answer, which I addressed in my original post.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

You ask, how do players outside Kings control become an asset….?

Again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Here’s an example, SAC perceived pairing Sabonis with Fox as beautiful, more appealing than status quo. IND perceived remaking their team with Ty leading the show as more beautiful than Sabonis as centerpiece to their offense.

It is not relevant at the outset as to whether which perspective has the most merit but rather that the variance in perspective faciliates a deal.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, for better or worse.

To extrapolate from this example there are teams who may value a player like Jabari or Panchero or Sharpe or Jovic, as preferrable to the status quo, running back with the same personnel, hence valuing the pick we have to offer in excess of their status quo.

This is patently obvious, is it not? We prey on teams who have either rational or irration affection of a player in the draft with whom we hold in lower regard.

This is how we land a player like Siakam, hypothetically, if TOR thinks that a player like Keegan Murray or Eason or Sharpe is the better and cheaper version more fitting of their timeline.

Do you understand? I think it is obvious but hope this helps to clarify.

Melmoth
March 16, 2022 1:23 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Did you just explain relative value to me? If so, thanks for that graduate seminar. You didn’t address how, non-hypothetically, you match someone else’s value grades for the assets we have. To me, it looks like you used 3400 words to state “trade the pick”, which is a typically pretty standard take. Boring, one might even say.

But I’m just learning how to exercise my genius. Maybe if I keep repeating nonsensical mantras…

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March 16, 2022 2:04 pm
Reply to  Melmoth

I don’t understand the need for sarcasm. Just talk to me as person as if we were face-to-face, you would not be so nasty, I guarantee it.

You asked “How exactly do players outside of Kings control become an asset for Monte McNair?” and I answered the question sincerely.

Why would you ask the question if you already knew the answer?

And are you angry? I sense hostility. I don’t understand.

FYI I don’t count words when I create a post, I am a creative, I am right brain thinker, words pour out of me.

My brain is like a faucet, do you want me to turn off the faucet and apologize for the neverending stream?

I did not spend 3400 words on trade the pick, I said much more than that.

Stop embarassing yourself with mischaracterization when all the content is there for review and verification.

Maybe you are hostile towards me because your brilliance is not as accessible as mine?

Is your faucet clogged? Do you need a plumber?

I did NOT say we should trade the pick. That is not what I said at all.

You just embarassed yourself by:

(1) asking a question you claimed to know the answer to after you asked it and….

(2) misinterpreting something that was not difficult to accurately interpret.

What are you even saying….

You didn’t address how, non-hypothetically, you match someone else’s value grades for the assets we have.

GMs are going to differ in their assesment of their personnel, the personnel of other teams and the prospects who may be drafted.

It is a FALSE premise to talk about matching value, who says such a thing…. LOL….c’mon now, stop talking like the Old Man!

Melmoth
March 16, 2022 2:14 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Your circular logic and “flood the zone” bullshit wins today. I knew you were my favorite Russian author, but the doublespeak is too much. If you can’t even follow your own thread, don’t expect any of us to try in the future either.

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 2:27 pm
Reply to  Melmoth

Thank you for the laughs today. I rather enjoyed your back and forth.

Melmoth
March 16, 2022 2:29 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

If only I could say the same.

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 2:38 pm
Reply to  Melmoth

For me the long response was more cathartic and getting it out of me than anything. His reponse was pretty predictable, IMO.

Unless you’re just calling me a dumbass low key. Which is cool, too. I am, most of the time, probably.

Melmoth
March 16, 2022 2:47 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

No, I appreciated your deeper dive- I didn’t have the bandwidth to get that granular in my response. Maybe I need to turn my brain faucet on a little higher flow.

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 3:02 pm
Reply to  Melmoth

No, I appreciated your deeper dive- I didn’t have the bandwidth to get that granular in my response. Maybe I need to turn my brain faucet on a little higher flow.

I didnt have all day to go through that War and Peace novel to rebut…what? That Chet Holmgren should be the #1 pick? Literally a point made on the Mailbag by THREE FP writers here? And yesterday at that no less?

The only person around here that I’ve seen say they would take Jabari Smith ahead of Chet Holmgren, outside of Bryant on the podcast, is Kings Rebuild.

Maybe I need to turn my brain faucet on a little higher flow.

I’m laughing so hard at this, it’s impossible for me to not cry while laughing. It’s nothing if not original. This is how my dumbass brain works.

“Maybe if I just turn the PSI up to 75 shades of ridiculousness I might actually become as smart as Brain. Speaking of which, what are we going to do tonight?”

“Same thing we do every night, Pinky.”

At some point all you can do is laugh. And I’ve been laughing a lot this thread.

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 12:33 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Attack you personally? You give yourself way too much credit.

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 1:20 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

When you say I dont have fiber that is a personal attack.

Stop embarrassing yourself with your nonsense.

Think before you hit “post comment”

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 1:46 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Actually the fiber bit was a joke from Ace Ventura. But clearly, that was not in your wheelhouse today. You’re welcome to chew on it for a bit and have McGenius review it for you if that floats your boat.

Think before you hit “post comment”

Otay Dah dah.

andy_sims
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March 16, 2022 2:07 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

I could put down 1200 words about your absolute misunderstanding of what ellipses are, and how punctuation is used.

But I’m a very busy person.

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March 16, 2022 2:14 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

When you first graced us with your presence on this site, you let loose some flat-earth, COVID-denying bullshit that got you within an inch of getting booted.

I don’t need to challenge your content, because I bore witness to your character that day and you have never once proven my assumptions about you wrong since.

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 2:18 pm
Reply to  WGriffith

What does my opinion on the shape of the earth and covid have to do with my character? WOW! I do not understand the hostility when I like you and others on this site. I have NO animosity towards anyone.

I only choose to rarely interact with others because I prefer to just post my opinion and let others consider it. Is that a problem?!

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March 16, 2022 2:27 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Outside of your mockable world views? You pride yourself on arrogance and small mindedness, you mock others, using third grade level names and cheap shots at them rather than tangible analysis, you marvel at the majesty of your own intellect and the stupidity of the crowd without truly engaging with either.

You yawp into the chasm of these comments sections about your genius and then hearing the returning echo think it’s confirmation, rather than realizing you’re alone and most are staying quiet till you’ve passed.

Your basketball opinions are fine. It’s the the seven layers of navel gazing masturbatory bullshit that comes with it that guarantees no one will ever take you seriously as anything other than a threat to your own mental health and well-being.

Last edited 2 years ago by Will Griffith
Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 2:36 pm
Reply to  WGriffith

Outside of your mockable world views?

Mock me on the COVID part,too, because I’ve thought it’s bullshit from the beginning, too. Still do. Well the reaction to it, of course. COVID of course is real, but the severity and the response to it is what I’ve never agreed with. It is not actually any different than the flu, depending on which research you read.

The flat earth thing? Friend of mine at work made a compelling argument for it last week while we were bored at work (and we were bored ALLLLLL week). And mostly what it comes down to is the gravitional pull and how the continents are laid out.

***

What all of this comes down to, quite frankly, is which sources of news you trust. I have not, for a very long time, much longer than I’ve been aware of you young man (I’m kidding, couldn’t help it, still in smartass mode!) ever trusted the mainstream media.

And this comes down to what sources you want to believe. I just don’t choose to debate this here because, well, it’s bad enough I have to deal with all the COVID nonsense out there. I want to talk about the Kings here TO GET AWAY from that bullshit.

Just my .02$.

But to the other part…..

It’s the the seven layers of navel gazing masturbatory bullshit

This might actually be better than Melmoth’s line:

But I’m just learning how to exercise my genius. Maybe if I keep repeating nonsensical mantras…

I dunno, both are awesome. Thanks for the chuckles u2. Disagreements on life problems and all, be damned.

WGriffith
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March 16, 2022 2:47 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

And I appreciate you NOT debating it here, Pookey. If you’d have said the same level of shit he had, I’d have had to warn you too… which would have sucked because I’ve respected your takes for years.

Difference is, you were smart enough NOT to have that conversation here, and he wasn’t. That said more than enough to me.

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March 16, 2022 3:27 pm
Reply to  WGriffith

Difference is, you were smart enough NOT to have that conversation here, and he wasn’t. That said more than enough to me.

I have actively avoided every single face mask, and vaccination discussion as much as humanly possible. But just to give this context, here’s why.

I walked into a restaurant maybe a month ago now, and this lady working the front desk said “next time please wear a mask.” I just nodded and went to the bar. I had no intention of wearing a mask to walk 20 feet and just take it off. The next time I walked straight in as I had for many years pre COVID: No mask. Noone telling me to wear one.

There was never a real mandate anywhere to wear masks that was going to be enforced. (Especially if you needed law and enforcement to do so.) Especially when you start eating and or drinking, what are you going to do? Eat and drink through your mask? Where I was at last night, there were both servers wearing masks and servers not wearing masks. Every Indian casino I’ve been in (and I’ve been in Thunder Valley, Red Hawk and Cache Creek in the last 6 months) has a sign saying the CDC recommends wearing a mask, but make no attempt whatsoever to enforce it. Their security, and many of their personnel in all areas, do not wear masks. This was before the state dropped the mask requirement, mind you.

There are lots of people out there not wearing masks. The funniest thing I’ve seen was a T Shirt on one lady that said “Fuck your face diaper.” That was just straight up funny, ain’t gonna lie.

My point here, in long form, is protesting the issues with COVID and all that imply are not going to be done on a Sacramento Kings website where the majority, right or wrong, believe that COVID is a serious medical pandemic. So that’s why I do not. But do not confuse silence for conformity or compliance, neither is what is happening here.

murraytant
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March 17, 2022 1:04 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

KG21- I have always appreciated your basketball comments.
I will differ with you on infectious disease. COVID is far different than the flu. The US is closing in on a million deaths despite less than perfect attempts at mitigation (masks and shots) During flu season there are few masks and far less shots (less mitigation) and far less serious illness. Some of us- and I am not sure about your experience, suffer from “personal experience bias”- if the serious illness and death are not personally experienced, we just don’t see it. I work in healthcare, and I see it and have seen it. This is not research I read or news media I trust. I see this with my own eyes, touch with my own gloved hands and try to console the loved ones of those who have passed. I, like others in my profession, are tired and deeply saddened.

Back to basketball- My great escape as well We share that. Kings are better than at onset of year. Hope McNair has a good plan. Don’t trade the pick, beware of Chet (and I might be wrong), start DDV and get a third “player”

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 2:37 pm
Reply to  WGriffith

God Bless. I have nothing to say to that except I have no iill will to you or anyone and your characterization of me is inaccurate and reflects more on you than me. I enjoy your podcast and this site and I do NOT apologize for being a genius and the best commentor on this site when I say in the same breath everyone has within the a genius they can awaken.

andy_sims
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March 16, 2022 3:17 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

See? A full paragraph to say “I’m rubber, you’re glue…”

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 1:18 pm
Reply to  Bryant

Everyone can be a genius, I am not taking credit from an ego perspective for being one.

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March 16, 2022 2:22 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

I am the best writer and analyst on this site and it is obvious to anyone being honest.

House Plant says hi.

Last edited 2 years ago by Adamsite
Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 10:33 am
Reply to  kings4ever

19 wheel rolls it took me to read this. I know I run long commenting, but what is this? Lawd. Almost 3400 words. Now that’s a comment if I ever saw it.

Now if only I could figure out who that Aldeman guy is…..

Last edited 2 years ago by Kingsguru21
kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 10:43 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Thanks for reading!

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 11:22 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Sure. I had 15 minutes to kill. And it’s not even the dumbest thing I’ve read here in the last 24 hours (even more impressive).

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 11:38 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

What do you mean? If you diasagree with something I said, go ahead and challenge the content odf my post, instead of being a passive agressive person.

It is rare I choose to interact with other members of this forum, now is your chance….

ZillersCat
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March 16, 2022 12:12 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

I got through it .. well most of it ..
comment image

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March 16, 2022 1:40 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

There’s Chet and there’s everyone else. Tari Eason looks pretty good too, as I elaborate on below in the context with which Kings fans ought to view this tourney…..

Right because there are only two players in any draft that can help you…..jeesh. It’s one thing to have Holmgren at the top of your board, but to say he’s the only guy worth taking? No consideration for Jabari Smith whatsoever? That ain’t doing your due diligence, and Monte McNair has certainly proven to be both diligent and patient in what is now 18 total months on the job.

When it comes to the draft, Chet Holgren or bust. LFG. Do you know the best place for Chet to further his career and cement his legend as the Slim Reeper? It is in SAC or HOU. In both spots there is a bruiser in the paint already, Sabonis and Sengun, to absorb the physicality so he can focus on what he does best. Similar to how Allen facilitated the transition of Evan Mobley. 

Oh. That’s the only way Chet Holmgren will be valuable at the NBA level. Couldn’t be like Rudy Gobert, eh? Nah, such things not possible. Kings4ever hasn’t deemed it such!

Whether there was validity to our GM orchestrating Ty to SAC by steering him from other teams picking before us, selling him hard on why our destination made the most sense on and off the court — future earning pontential and lifestyle — our GM should so scheme if we land between picks #2 to #5. 

Yeah, because there was no apparent flaws whatsoever in Tyrese Haliburton at Iowa State. It was all McGenius’ Jedi Mind trick over Hali and his dummy cubes agent to maneuver him away from all those other weak willed teams. My goodness McGenius, should we write that on your epitaph big dawg?

Tyronne Lue has led LAC (36-35) to the 8th seed with PG playing 24 games and Kawhi zero. No one can convince me that LAC, who start Batum, Morris, Zubac, Coffey and Reggie Jackson, with Mann, Kennard and Hartenstein off the bench are 10 games better than SAC (25-45).

I really dont see what Tyronn Lue has to do with this. The Clippers, in context, are having a wonderful season. The players, and Lue, deserve credit for that. One could easily argue Lue is the frontrunner for coach of the year.

But who has argued that Alvin Gentry is a more valuable coach than Tyronn Lue? 

I was wrong about Scottie Barnes. I do not mind to admit it, I do not mind a blip on my radar of near perfection, and his play increases the possibility for TOR to trade Siakam. I am still NO fan of Barnes, the methodical tediousness about him, but the guy is a physical freak. I knew he was big, but holy begeezus! At 19, he is the same size as Bam Adebayo. When he fills out he is a modern day Karl Malone. I get why TOR took him over Suggs. 

Too bad you didn’t realy your updated feelings on the House Plant, here. After all, admittance of wrong is good for the soul. Catharsis, all that shit. Whether Franz Wagner ever is an impact player for Orlando or elsewhere, who knows. But I think a far bigger miss of yours was on Wagner than Barnes since…simply put, the Kings never really had much of a shot at drafting Scottie Barnes.

This is the perpetual prevailing theme, then and now, for better or worse, swim or sink, identifying and acquiring players who are able to seize their space through size, strength and speed with the basic fundamentals to execute within this space. This is the name of the game whether you want to bet on Jovic or Eason, Jabari or Chet, Ty or Fox, Luka or Marvin, Buddy or TD, Jones or Holmes, or draft rights for Siakam. 

This is a good point. But you’re hardly the first to make it. Here or elsewhere.

This is an exciting time to be a fan despite the THUD to end this seaon, record wise, and the coach who has no business being in charge, the one regrettable move by a GM who has done almost nothing else erroroneously. 

At least you blamed Monte McNair for something. That’s….something.

The excitement is a continuation of the excitement into the deadline and the validation of those excited before the announced trades. Fans have every basis to be confident and hopeful. We have the right man in charge to make the right bet, inclined to think big and deliver big. He’s proven as much with the heist of the Pacers, retaining the pick. He has shown he has the shrewdness and discipline to repeat the feat, emboldened to complete the formidabble task of transforming this sorry franchise. 

Hey McGenius, what’s going to happen in June? Huh? Huh? Cmon, McGenius Cleo. I know you gots this! Let us rubes know homeskillet! Oh, and when can I get the numbers for the Mega Millions? I gots to buy tickets to the G Spot for the next Kangz dynasty!!! WOOOOOO!

Our GM is not going to be content with a dynamic duo. 

He wants to form a triumphant trio. 

Remember where you heard it first. 

Me: Head? You mentioned this thought of needing a 3rd wheel to me back on February 8th, right?
Head: Yep.
Me: Danke.

Imagine you are the GM. You had a glorious deadline. You brought in the reinforcements, turned water to wine, to allow for end of a season surge. All you need is reasonable minded coach to implement the plan, to be on the same page as you. 

It’s kind of a shame you weren’t around for The Last Supper, McGenius. You’d fit right in with that crowd, lemme tell ya!

Trading Buddy and Ty cleared the path for your coveted lottery pick to be more instrumental with his awesome burst moves to the rack and unrelenting defense. Donte is a guy you have targeted for two years for his poise and presence and sturdiness and timely shots. Donte is the glue and the scrapper, the missing link to help a disparate team to coalesce. He is better as off the ball defender than Ty, which makes him elite. His freelance ability to anticipate and harass is incredible. He deserves the chance to play through the rough patches too because he is returning from injury and can be neutral to positive player when his shot is amiss. 

Gee McGenius, why didn’t anyone else think of this idea? My goodness, you DO have all the answers.

Being pollyanna without rational foundation is equally suspect, but the teams with whom we may do business are going to underperform in the play-in, playoffs, or be on the outside looking in. It is inevtiable. There is only one team whose season ends the way they ultimately aspire to. The others, 28 teams in total, or as I prefer to view them, potential victims, may get restless and impetuous. This is when we offer relief, dangling hope and better days in form of a high pick, and take Holmes while you are at it. 

I am McGenius, you must take Richaun Holmes, he of the 69 TS%, the .146 WS/48, The 127 ORtg (BRef), the 23 DRB% because, I, McGenius command you to!

McGenius: Pssst: Just hypnotize Richaun and let him know he’s starting even though he’s now your 3rd big man, okay Arturas? Or Masai? Fuck, which of you is which? I can’t tell you foreign mutha’z apart!

It’s so hard being McGenius, I swear. /McGenius out

McGenius snaps fingers, Arturas Karnisovas and Masai Ujiri march out in unison goose-stepping to the beat the McGenius theme: Tears for Fears ‘Shout’.

It’s good to be the King(s).

John Collins does not qualify, as a stopper or a third cog; the talent is not there. He’s a 3.5 who drifts and disappears and has found little chemistry with Young. I don’t think Jabari or Panchero have a lot of appeal, but defer to the GM who has expertise, experience and the advantage of evaluating these prospects in an intimate competitive setting. 

So how would you feel McGenius if Monte McNair had the #1 pick and chose Jabari Smith instead? That would probably put you in the majority of Kings fans who feel the same way. Not that you deign to pay attention to others because marveling at your magnifence has to take up all your free time.

How would you feel if the Kings end up with the #4 pick but trade it for John Collins (and keep Harrison Barnes?)?

We already have one of the best bigs in the game and one of the best guards in the game. It is strategically appropriate we complement this duo with one of the best wings in the game (#43) or a generational talent (Chet) that transcends positional limitiation.

Gee, I wonder why the Booze Hound, aka Alvin Gentry, didn’t think of such things. Like, why would he ever bother to say that De’Aaron Fox has been playing like one of the best players, not just G’s, in the entire league.

****

Okay, I don’t have in it me to do more. But, you keep doing you McGenius. If nothing else you’re entertaining and great for killing time homey. Thanks for the laughs. My heart, and lack of moral fiber apparently, thanks you.

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 2:07 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Nothing here is all that compelling for me to debate. Cheers.

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 2:12 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Debate? Me? Puh-leez. I wasnt debating, i was smartassing.

Sacto_J
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March 16, 2022 2:04 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

If you don’t like that you don’t like narcissistic, self aggrandizing analysis!

Coarse sand paper, pumice, hell even Grant Napear finds you abrasive AF. So even if you’re analysis were accurate (its full of holes big enough to fly a Warthog through) it’s presented so ridiculously there’s zero chance anyone takes it seriously except to shoot more holes through it, making it hardly worth the effort it took you to write. In fact, I’d say the best part of that entire diatribe was the part where you say “I’m done talking about this team for a while.” Hopefully you follow up on that soon.

kings4ever
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March 16, 2022 2:06 pm
Reply to  Sacto_J

So angry. Yikes!

Sacto_J
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March 16, 2022 2:16 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

So angry honest.
FIFY.

murraytant
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March 17, 2022 12:35 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

That was a lot. and I read it all. Thanks for the effort.

Comments:
I do think DDV should be the starter. He is a bit risk/reward and a bit erratic but the effort is there, and the D and the enthusiasm. And he has settled in a bit lately. Cannot score like Buckets but plays far better all-around game.
Draft- you love Chet. I do not. Honestly, I would avoid him. I see Shawn Bradley. or Markenon or Porzingus
Kings will probably get 7th slot. Big bad bottom four have that sewed up. Then Pacers. And despite Blazers having 11 straight games with no team with a win total over 28, they will slide. They have SAS 3 times, Houston and OKC twice. + Detroit and Pacers. etc. But I think they fall below Kings which leaves our lads at 7. If there is no by-pass on lottery day, that’s 7th. In the rankings above, this gives the Kings a shot at one of the “C” guys. I would go for any of the “A” or “B” except Chet. We can all argue about Chet but it is just opinion.
Then Murray
Griffin
Davis
Mathurin
Sharpe
At 7, that is a choice of a potentially good player. I would not trade the pick unless the deal was overwhelming.
Kings have played noticeably better lately and we all hope this translates to “next year”. Often it does not.
Fox has been freed up. Davion has settled down. And he + DDV are tough perimeter defenders. Still need third scorer- draft or FA? But FA in Sac is a problem.
Holmes has regressed and any trade thoughts about him and PJ are now void with Harrell in Charlotte. I would love to get a first rounder for him but his salary is a bit high.
If Quetta emerges (big if) there is flexibility. Q needs some court time.

SlamsonsRollerskates
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March 16, 2022 8:58 am

I’ve got my monopoly money on eggs Benedict Mathurin to be the player that helps his draft stock the most this tournament. AZ is dangerous. Same amount of losses as Gonzaga with 4 more wins in a tougher conference. Only non-conference loss was at Tennessee. Benedict is clearly their best player. Plus he’s not a freshman so you know Monte is in love with him as a lottery prospect (half-joking).

RAP87
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March 16, 2022 9:28 am

Excited to see how these guys perform in the big stage.

My very early mock draft:

  1. Smith
  2. Holmgren
  3. Banchero
  4. Sharpe – If he declares for the draft
  5. Murray
  6. Ivey
  7. Griffin
  8. Davis
  9. Daniels
  10. Jovic
andy_sims
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March 16, 2022 9:47 am

I agree with you, there is strong incentive to keep the pick, even if you don’t jump into the top three. Even if the Kings drop a spot, there’s a decent chance that Keegan will be available, and he looks like a guy who can contribute quickly.

Rewatch the clip of the Duren block. Look where he is in relation to the ballhandler when he begins his move to get into the paint. Even at the point where the offensive player begins his gather to shoot, Duren is still a good distance away, and then Duren just glides in and knocks the air out of the ball.

And he doesn’t even look like he was running that hard. Really impressive.

RikSmits
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March 16, 2022 10:35 am

Great stuff. Thanks!

I am really not keen on Banchero.
And Duke players rarely become very good in the NBA.

RikSmits
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March 16, 2022 11:35 am
Reply to  Bryant

I’ll give you Tatum and Kyrie. The rest are perhaps good, but not very good in my book. YMMV, but for such a vaunted college program with lots of players drafted high, they don’t bring forth many All-NBA players.

I still think Banchero will be no more than decent. But I have been wrong before.

andy_sims
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March 16, 2022 11:50 am
Reply to  RikSmits

But I have been wrong before.

No you haven’t!

Oh, shit. Paradox.

RikSmits
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March 16, 2022 11:56 am
Reply to  andy_sims

comment image

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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March 16, 2022 2:31 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I worry about Banchero too, especially paired with Sabonis and Fox. I get the whole BPA thing when taking someone in top 10 or so, but he’s the one guy, along with TyTy, that I really don’t want to see on the Kings with how the roster is currently constructed.

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 2:39 pm

Love your piece Bryant. But there’s so much information I can’t digest it all! I’m not like you millenials where I can absorb 3 trillion bits of info in 8 nanoseconds. Gotta give us Gen X’ers more time!

Last edited 2 years ago by Kingsguru21
WGriffith
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March 16, 2022 3:09 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

You have 61 days and a few hours until the draft lotto. Take your time and pace yourself!

andy_sims
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March 16, 2022 3:19 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Don’t saddle the rest of us with your developmental disorder.

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 4:09 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’m sorry Mr Baby Boomer sir!

andy_sims
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March 17, 2022 4:53 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Don’t ever insult me that way again.

Bbmuteman
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March 16, 2022 5:27 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Chad Ford and Rafael barlowe are excellent sources on YouTube regarding prospects. Sam vecenie also.

Kingsguru21
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March 16, 2022 5:31 pm
Reply to  Bbmuteman

Never had a problem with Ford but I haven’t read much of his stuff lately.. Don’t know Barlowe, and I’ll echo your sentiment on Vecenie. He’s a reason I have The Athletic subscription.

Bbmuteman
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March 17, 2022 12:54 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Rafael does international scouting for Chad Ford. He started solo, but Chad Ford gives him a much bigger audience. Rafael knows all the international prospects very well seeing them up close.

BrettHuff
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March 16, 2022 3:02 pm

I updated the Consensus Big Board with ESPN and The Ringer’s latest:

RobHessing
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March 16, 2022 3:03 pm
Reply to  BrettHuff

You rock, Brett. Thanks!!!

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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March 16, 2022 3:20 pm
Reply to  BrettHuff

I see Keegan keeps rising. I’m gonna be pissed if some team like the Spurs or Portland jump the Kings in the lottery and take him.

murraytant
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March 17, 2022 1:09 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

good chance Pacers take Murray. They have guards.

andy_sims
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March 16, 2022 3:21 pm
Reply to  BrettHuff

Keegan on the rise, he’d be a pretty good prize at six, should the order hold.

andy_sims
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March 16, 2022 3:42 pm

I’m seeing a fair number of boards slotting Shaedon Sharpe in the 6-7 range, with some putting him ahead of Ivey. Does anyone have any thoughts about him as a potential pick?

I looked at some video, and he’s a long armed shooting guard, who at 6’6″ could potentially play wing. He seems to do a lot of things well, but to my eye, he didn’t seem particularly quick, although great players can work around such problems. No idea if he’s a great player, obviously.

I’d think a keener eye than mine might be able to divine more from watching video, should anyone be so inclined.

WGriffith
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March 16, 2022 4:25 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I like the idea of Sharpe more than Sharpe himself. There’s nothing I’m more allergic to in the basketball world than trying to discern the quality of a player based on high school tape. The Kings have taken high school Youtube Hall of Famers in Skal and Harry Giles and I’m admittedly biased against trying too hard to pull blood from the high school stone. Obviously, Skal and Giles had physical and psychological blocks that held them back, but even they had a college tape (and weren’t picked in the lotto).

He certainly could be Canada’s next big thing. He could be the next Jonathan Bender. I’ll watch the tape regardless, because I want the next big thing to be a Kings but man am I going to drag my feet doing it.

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March 16, 2022 7:05 pm
Reply to  WGriffith

I agree with you. I’m a hard pass on 5 star recruits from high school that either did not play college ball or did not meet expectations in college ball. Your examples of Skal and Giles are spot on. Let someone else roll those dice. Give me a proven player with lots of game tape. This is part of the reason Keegan is so high on my list.

andy_sims
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March 17, 2022 4:58 pm
Reply to  WGriffith

I didn’t realize he was from Canada. The last thing I need is Mark Jones mentioning it a dozen times per game.

Pro Tip: A player being from Canada is not even remotely interesting.

Bbmuteman
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March 16, 2022 4:21 pm

If the kings luck into picks one or two, I’d take holmgren then smith in that order. Outside of getting those two, I’d trade down to get two of mathurin, Murray, griffin, agjabi, dieng, jovic, and brown.

jwalker1395
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March 17, 2022 7:01 am

Thanks for the breakdown. I don’t watch college ball like I used to, and normally get caught up with Hoop Intellect’s annual scouting reports.

AJ Griffin looks like a jumbo-sized shooting guard ala Dillon Brooks, but with a more consistent shot. I wouldn’t mind that next to Fox, but I need more reliable defense and I’d prefer to use the pick on a forward.

Keegan Murray seems like the dude if the Kings don’t luck into Jabari/Chet. Banchero and Ivey are both going to be quality players, if not stars, but I question their fit on this roster. Murray looks like a lock for a 3&D wing, but I just wish I could play him at PF next to Sabonis.

My early and mostly uninformed draft board probably looks like:

  1. Chet
  2. Jabari
  3. Banchero
  4. Murray
  5. Ivey
  6. Griffin
  7. Mathurin
  8. Davis

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