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Kings Pulse Podcast: Lottery Mock Draft

The Kings Pulse podcast conducts a live mock draft of the lottery. Who will go to the Kings? Aaron Nesmith, Saddiq Bey, Cole Anthony, Tyrese Maxey, or someone else?

This week on Kings Pulse, the Sacramento Kings make their first round pick, and it is not who you would expect.

Brenden and Rich discuss the latest news and notes around the Kings, including the results of the scrimmage against the Milwaukee Bucks. We continue to fall deeper into love with DaQuan Jeffries. De’Aaron Fox’s hair is briefly mentioned before we get into the meat of the episode.

We spin the lottery wheel live and conduct a lightning round mock draft of the first 14 picks. Detroit wins the first pick, Cleveland goes second, and the Hawks pick third. Sacramento does not jump up the draft order.

Brenden and Rich debate each other a few times, mainly over how stupid the Knicks can actually be. The Golden State and Phoenix picks also cause some mild disagreement. Brenden makes a bold move at pick 11 for the Spurs, but Richard approves.

It’s Rich’s job to make the pick for the Kings and he has a complete nervous breakdown. The boys have a long conversation about every option for Sacramento at pick 12. Brenden hates the final answer. Tell us what you think in the comments!

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Bobby Kennedy
15 days ago

What are you hearing about the latest trade talk with the Lakers? We swap this years 1st round picks plus players.
 
We send Buddy Hield with our pick & get their pick plus Kyle Kuzma, Quinn Cook, Danny Green.
 
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ibtimes.com/nba-rumors-los-angeles-lakers-could-trade-lottery-pick-upcoming-draft-3015427%3Famp%3D1

Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  TheBufferZone

Oh man, that’s such a classic fan trade. Sure, the Kings give up the best player and a lottery pick, but look at ALL THE (mediocre-to-crappy) STUFF YOU GET BACK!

Bobby Kennedy
15 days ago

Agreed- I just feel like something is going to go down where we don’t get to keep Buddy & Bogi.
 
I’d do that trade if it was just the pick & Kuzma, no other players on either side. Or the proposed trade & swap Buddy for someone like Bjelly.

Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  TheBufferZone

I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t mind having Kuzma on the roster, but I wouldn’t ascribe any real value to him. I’m totally open to the Kings trading down for a later 1st plus another 1st and/or player, but Kuzma isn’t it.
 
I’m also totally open to trading Hield + the pick, but in that case I’m looking for a much better player coming back than Kuzma.

Last edited 15 days ago by BestHyperboleEver
Kings Guru21
15 days ago

According to Early Bird Rights, I calculated the Kings salary at 102.54 million for 20-21. Assuming the luxury tax threshold is 139 million, that’s a lot of room to work with even with Bogey’s major salary increase. And hell, that’s with Buddy Hield hitting all of his bonuses which is what Jeff Siegel has Buddy’s salary at. (That will get adjusted.)
 
The point is that there will be, roughly, give or take, 45 million in room underneath the luxury tax threshold to work with. Even with Buddy’s massive pay increase, and Jabari Parker on the roster.
 
Of all the things the Kings really should be worried about this point, how to pay for a roster isn’t really the biggest concern. It’s funny how others see this roster, though, I must admit.
 
 
 

Last edited 15 days ago by Kingsguru21
Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

But since you’re above the cap, that space under the luxury tax can only be used to pay your own players. You can’t use it to sign FAs or take on salary in trades. So whatever you’re doing, you’re either ride-or-dying with essentially this sub-.500 roster, or you’re trading some decently highly paid talent, like I said.
 
I certainly agree with this:
 

Of all the things the Kings really should be worried about this point, how to pay for a roster isn’t really the biggest concern.

 
Right, their concern should be if it’s a roster worth paying for and locking yourself into.
 

Kings Guru21
15 days ago

Right, their concern should be if it’s a roster worth paying for and locking yourself into.

 
I agree, but I think that’s the route they are headed for better or worse. Obviously you see it as worse, and I don’t have a firm opinion yet either way, but I don’t see how letting Bogey walk is going to make this team that much better with the alternatives out there.
 
But that’s a much different point than the idea that the Kings can’t keep their players because of Barnes (LOL) or Hield (LOLOL).

Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I don’t think they can just let Bogi walk. If he’s on another team next season I certainly hope they got something for him.
 
But yes, they can obviously keep their players if they want to. When I said they’ll “have to” move somebody, I didn’t mean “have to because they can’t afford to keep them.” But rather “have to if they want to put themselves in a position to be a winning team, much less a competitor.”
 

Last edited 15 days ago by BestHyperboleEver
T D
15 days ago

I would mind having Kuzma on the roster.
 
He is exactly the type of overhyped player that the Kings FO, coaching staff, and fans would overrate to the point of being a total detriment to team building and strategizing!
 
 

Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  TheBufferZone

As for keeping Buddy and Bogi, honestly, I thing they probably have to move one. Or at least make SOME decently big moves. Let’s say Bogdan gets $15MM per, then you’re likely above the cap next year just to keep together a team that regressed from last season and, thus far, played at a .438 pace earning (by tie breakers) 11th place in the West. With Fox’s likely max extension kicking in the next year.

Kings Guru21
15 days ago

Here’s the problem as I see it: Who in FA is going to help the Kings onto a 50+ win pace that they can acquire? And I won’t even delve into the notion that the Kings have the assets to pull a deal like that off in trade.
 
That’s why I’m struggling with the idea that cap space matters. I’m probably on the side of “keep this group together and see where it goes” because looking for “perfect” fixes is great in theory and something I just don’t see happening in the real world. Especially with this crew running things.

T D
15 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Yup, we have seen how the Vlade-based FO utilizes cap space and the results are … um … not good.
 
Cap space is basically a non-asset in these hands.
 

Last edited 15 days ago by 1951
Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  1951

I feel like if we aren’t going to talk about a theoretical future where whoever is in the FO starts making decent decisions, then there isn’t much point to discussing it at all.

Rik Smits
15 days ago

#HereWeBillboard

T D
15 days ago

I go back and forth:Do I damage my brain trying to conjure a non-existent Vlade-proof way for the Kings to succeed in spite of themselves?
 
Or do cry myself to sleep each night when I lay in bed and realize that my analysis of the Kings success was shit because pretending the FO doesn’t exist failed to make the FO not exist?
 
Asking for a sanity.
 
 
 

Last edited 15 days ago by 1951
Rik Smits
15 days ago
Reply to  1951

I am in the “why not both?”camp.

Kings Guru21
15 days ago

I’m all for discussing logical and rational ways to improve the roster even if the FO won’t do them.
 
What I’m not especially seeing is that FA or even trades for rotation players do much for the Kings at this point. What will move the needle, IMO, is the existing players gaining chemistry and individual improvement. In particular Fox and Bagley. They change the trajectory of a roster, not players like Dedmon and Ariza.

Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Yeah, I think “chemistry” is too fickle to count on and I think this roster with current talent, even if they hit their absolute everything-goes-right-peak development outcome is probably no more than a 6th-8th seed.

Kings Guru21
15 days ago
Reply to  1951

I think cap space is a non entity as long as Vivek Ranadive is included in these discussions. There’s a reason people don’t like the guy: He has no people skills.
 
What’s the most important element of discussions during FA? People skills.

Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Nobody that will sign with the Kings, but as you know and allude to, there are more uses for cap space than signing FAs. But it appears we just have differing tolerances. I’d much rather they be bold and pro-active even if it blows up in their faces than they sit on a sub-.500 roster and hope it magically pops.

Kings Guru21
15 days ago

To be honest with you, when I look at this roster and ways to improve it, I don’t use the Kings FO as the method I use to improve it. I imagine the Kings FO were competent and made decisions that illustrated such. And I move forward accordingly.
 
I think if there was a new FO that inherited this group, FA and money driven trades using cap space might not be a huge focus. Especially since there’s a huge push league wide to get cap room for the ’21 FA class.
 
As far as having different methods to building, that’s always the case. There’s nothing wrong with it. But I think part of the problems with the Kings is they are constantly turning over their roster. I wonder what patience might do for this group.

Brian Garbarino
15 days ago

How about Buddy for Terrence Ross (4yr @ $12) and Mo Bamba (3yr @ $6).
Ross backs up Bogi and Barnes. Bamba rotates with Holmes and Bagley.
Draft Precious at 12. He’s a beast.

Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  busybe

I mean, I’m not really the arbiter of good/bad trades. Personally, I don’t like that deal because I’m not especially high on any of those players. But that’s probably just me. Personally, I tend to value BBIQ over all else and none of those guys have shown much of it. Precious at least has good defensive versatility, but I have a hard time getting excited about him. I see his best case outcome looking pretty Jerami Grant-ish. But I tend not to bet on the best case outcome. The more likely outcome is probably more like Vonleh.
 

Last edited 15 days ago by BestHyperboleEver
Fifth Mookie
15 days ago
Reply to  TheBufferZone

This is a horrible trade for the Kings. comment image
 

Kevin Lam
15 days ago
Reply to  TheBufferZone

No….
 

Last edited 15 days ago by Klam
Rik Smits
15 days ago
Reply to  TheBufferZone

If Vlade does that it really shows that he is a Laker plant.

Eric W
15 days ago

I highly recommend listening to hear all the discussion and rationale and simply to give the Podcast the clicks, but for the sake of conversation and my memory so I don’t have to keep going back to the Podcast:
 
DET – Ball
CLE – Edwards
ATL – Vassell
CHI – Hayes
GSW – Okoro
MIN – Halliburton
NYK – Toppin
CHA – Wiseman
WAS – Okongwu
PHX – Avdija
SAS – Williams
SAC – Anthony
 
 
 

Eric W
15 days ago

I think I’m having trouble getting over how weak this draft is. I mean, a guy like Vassell is a nice 3-and-D prospect. But he’s basically a poor man’s Mikel Bridges. Who I really liked last year, and had him higher than most! But he went 10th. In a normal year, Vassell is much more of a 15-20 type of prospect IMO. But honestly, so are most of these guys.
 
I’d also say I think high floor role players vary more in value depending on the team as “fit” really does and should take on major importance. A guy like Vassell is much more valuable to a team with high level play makers already rostered than to a team like the Kings IMO.
 
All that said, if Anthony is the best guy on the board, I’m trying like crazy to trade out of the pick. Somebody foolish like the Knicks may very well decide to give up some combination of Robinson, 27, and future picks to go get him. And I personally don’t rank Anthony meaningfully higher than a number of other small guards (Riller, among others) if that’s the type you’re after.
 
 

Adam Dieter
15 days ago

Yeah, I’m no fan of Anthony really. He’s a smallish PG with smallish wingspan, high usage, can’t shoot, and a high turnover rate coupled with a low assist rate. Hard pass if he is there at #12. Either trade back or reach for someone else with better upside, IMO.

Rory Cornell
15 days ago

Obvious preface that I didn’t watch college basketball this year, but it’s pretty obvious watching the mixtapes that Vassell basically doesn’t get to the rim except on putbacks and in transition. He seems like he’d be a fun player to watch on defense though.
 
Who would you say is the most interesting playmaker who’s also a difference maker on defense? It seems like it’s imperative that they find a player who they can at least project will check both those boxes. .
 
Also what are your thoughts on Elijah Hughes? I’m a bit partial to those linebacker type players for some reason. Also, he kinda has DaQuan Jeffries vibes.

Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

That really depends on how much you’re asking for in “interesting” and “difference-maker.”
 
I mean, Edwards is pretty Mitchell-y looking from some angles.
 
Halliburton may be the most likely to be useful at both. Not “difference-maker” on defense, but useful. I think Avdija could be above average in both but is unlikely to be great at either.
 
Ultimately, the guy that probably best fits your description (+ defense/above average playmaking, as I read it) that appears in the lottery most often is Okoro. Though he has less-than-ideal length and real questions in his shot.
 
For guys likely to be available to the Kings, there are guys that show the skills but need A TON of projection (like Poku).
 
I do think there are guys later than can offer both to some degree. Like Bane. I would have said Tillman (as more of a screener/short roll playmaker) but it looks like he’s going back to school. Heck, I think Trevelin Queen could be a better shooting version of Bazemore and he may end up being an UDFA.
 
As for Elijah Hughes, I hate Syracuse. For Hughes to be good he’s going to have to be a good defender, and it’s just so hard to scout that in their 2-3 zone. Offensively, his decision-making is pretty bad and he doesn’t have much handle, but he’s a good cutter and promising shooter. I’d say he’s a good option at the King’s 43 or 53 pick. Before that I’d have a hard time imagining him being among my top choices.

Rory Cornell
15 days ago

Thanks!

Rory Cornell
14 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

ok never mind. I’m officially changing my late pick obsession to Paul Reed. I was literally cracking up watching his highlight vids. He has an irrational confidence on offense that would bring me so much joy to watch on the Kings.

He’s got this I’m a guard trapped in a big body mindset combined with what can best be described as pterodactyl wing-like arms. I saw him try (and partially succeed) to eurostep, try (and fail) to dribble behind his back one on one, and grab and go in transition looking like a baby giraffe learning how to run. Combine that with a jumpshot that looks like he’s purposefully waiting until the last second to release the ball, and I’m all in.

Sidenote, I think I’m actually going to enjoy “scouting” this draft class. They all have such obvious flaws they make the strengths/weaknesses videos a joy to watch.

Eric W
14 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

I actually love Reed. His shot is just sooooooo broken. It needs a full rebuild from the ground up. But he’s going to be an impact defender from Day 1 and plays with a huge motor, which I love.

Rory Cornell
14 days ago

this is a completely butt pulled opinion, but if a guy literally does not give a fuck about firing away with a jumper that looks that bad, then I’m confident he can improve his form over time. I call it the Lonzo Theory.

Vincent Serrato
14 days ago

Thats why I am high on Deni. There is no guarantee he is a starter, but a guy who can defend/playmake/shoot at the forward spot is more valuable than a lot of these guys. Of course we don’t know if he will ever be a consistent shooter, but I am looking at all these players as role players and he is the hardest to find.
 
But I look at the Warriors as a team that may be willing to move down, Barnes/12/34 for Wiggins and 3 or wherever their pick is.
 
If we can’t move up with limited assets, I am interested in moving down for Balmaro though.

Eric W
14 days ago
Reply to  Chent

I’m buying on Deni’s shot. I’d honestly be surprised if he isn’t an above average shooter in the NBA. His upper body mechanics are clean and consistent now. He has good touch and easy range. His foundation is still inconsistent, but he’s hitting his shots pretty well.
 
 

Rik Smits
15 days ago

Hard to see Avdija fall out of the top 7 but this could be a weird draft.

Eric W
15 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Yeah, I think there’s a TON of volatility in this draft. I wouldn’t even feel comfortable saying that any single player is a guaranteed top 5 pick. I could even see guys like Ball & Edwards falling out of the top 5. I don’t necessarily expect it, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Rob Hessing
15 days ago

12th pick, weak draft, Kings front office.comment image

Rob Hessing
15 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

Come to think of it, 2nd pick, strong draft, Kings front office.comment image

Rik Smits
15 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

You can only evaluate draft picks after they have 164 games under their belt. So in our case, by 2024.

T D
15 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

I would like Seattle to get an expansion franchise soon, just so that we can have some real world data to help answer my mailbag quesion:
 

What do you opine would be the more efficient path to Kings success: (a) maintain the status quo of team building with the current FO and coaching structure; or (b) tearing down the entire FO, coaching staff, and even roster and just starting over as the equivalent of an expansion franchise?

Fifth Mookie
15 days ago
Reply to  1951

I was about to write that I’d take the expansion in a heartbeat, but then realized that there’s more to the Kings than basketball ops, and they get the off-the-court stuff right most of the time, which isn’t guaranteed with other ownership, so I paused on this one.
 

T D
15 days ago
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

Dolan and Jones excluded, most franchises get a lot of the stuff off the court right eventually. Yes, the Kings are in the upper tier in that arena, but the gap between them and median isn’t nearly as geologically massive as is the gap between the Kings inept BBOPs and the NBA median for on-court operations.
 
 

Last edited 15 days ago by 1951
Rob Hessing
15 days ago
Reply to  1951

I just don’t see a way for this organization to succeed on the basketball court. I mean, they just can’t get out of their own way, and they can’t stand anything that even sniffs of prosperity. From firing Malone to getting lucky in ’17 even after having to move down two spots after moving up to third to whiffing on the 2017 #10 pick with a lot of good players left on the board (and whiffing again at #15 and deciding not to pick up the $4m option on the best part of that deal) to whiffing massively after being blessed with the #2 pick in 2018 to firing Joerger…this organization has simply shot itself repeatedly in the foot way too many times for a small market team that has far less room for error than teams in LA and other larger markets.
 
I think it starts with Ranadivé getting 100% out of basketball ops, or hiring a GM that is so strong and well-regarded that there’s no way for him to have large amounts of influence without it biting him in the ass, hard. And I don’t see that happening. But I sure don’t see success coming with Ranadivé sock-puppeting Divac while Walton keeps trying to shove beta tapes into a VHS player.
 
The soap opera that is this organization is entertaining as hell, but my take is that if you take the Kings as anything more than guilty, empty calories right now you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

T D
15 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

Yeah, I agree. Which is why in my question I include Ranadive as part of the FO.
 
So, this:
 
 

(b) tearing down the entire FO, coaching staff, and even roster and just starting over as the equivalent of an expansion franchise?

 
includes having a new chairman to hire the GM and start a new FO from scratch.
 

Last edited 15 days ago by 1951
Rob Hessing
15 days ago
Reply to  1951

With you. Absent of a huge change at the very top, I think the this team is mired at the level of eight seed wannabe, with any decent player leaving or demanding out. I’d be fine with saying goodbye to even my favorite current players if it meant new, effective management.

T D
15 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

Indeed. The problem with a bad FO is that they waste their good moves.
 
Fox was a solid get. Acquiring Bogi was a perfectly competent move. Heck, even unloading Boogie and getting back only Buddy could be spun into a competent move.
 
However, we are watching this FO waste Fox just like prior bad front offices wasted a young Boogie. And the bad FO makes bad hires that fail to maximize the good (Bogi and Buddy) and minimize the bad. In the end, the good moves aren’t really all that positive because they get lost and swallowed up by the vortex of shit decision making, under-utilization, and lack of support (both at a coaching and roster level, and maybe even training level too!).
 
So, while I enjoy Fox and Bogi and Buddy (when he is just shooting) and Holmes, etc, I would trade them all for a new FO without hesitation!
 

Last edited 15 days ago by 1951
Maxwell Huss
15 days ago
Reply to  1951

The crazy thing about this FO is that they have turned their best move (drafting Fox) as rationale for making their worst moves (passing on Mitchell and Doncic).
 
They are literally one step forward, two steps back.

Zane Lawrence
15 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

Couldn’t agree more. I’m at the point that I look at the Kings as nothing more than a source of comedic entertainment. Getting rid of season tickets year before last (after 10 years) was the most freeing thing I have done. I no longer feel frustrated by the losses and incompetence because I am not investing the money or time anymore. They are going nowhere with this ship of fools in the FO. Now, I watch for free and it’s easy to sit back and wait for the next misstep. Not what I prefer to be doing as a “fan” but you have to work with what you are given.

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