Royal Reading: A look back at the Kings draft lottery history

The Kings have only had the No. 1 pick once in franchise history.
By | 0 Comments | May 4, 2020

The Sacramento Kings have been unlucky in the NBA Draft Lottery. For a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006, the Kings haven’t been in a position to take the next NBA superstar.

When the Kings had the No. 1 overall pick in 1989, they selected a player with injury problems in Pervis Ellison, who missed 48 games his rookie season, averaging 8.0 points and 5.8 rebounds before being traded to the then Washington Bullets in a three-team trade. The 1989 NBA Draft wasn’t particularly deep, but did have some All-Star level players in Shawn Kemp, Glen Rice and Tim Hardaway.

Reid Goldsmith of Clutch Points wrote that out of the 24 times the Kings have been in the lottery, the franchise has fallen back 10 times, stayed put 11 times and moved up three times.

Under the current system, the first time Sacramento climbed up was in 2017, when the Kings jumped up for No. 8 to No. 3, but because of the pick swap trade in 2015, the team moved down to No. 5, where it was able to land De’Aaron Fox.

The Kings’ good fortune carried over to 2018, when the team moved up from No. 7 to No. 2, despite having only a 18.3% chance at a top-three pick. Although injuries have stunted his development, Vlade Divac will always catch flack for selecting Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic. Unless Bagley somehow develops into an MVP candidate like Doncic, this will always be considered a miss for Divac.

We don’t know how the rest of the 2019-20 NBA season will play out, but the Kings could use some more lottery luck if they miss out on the postseason. Anthony Edwards would look very good in a Sacramento uniform.

Ultimately, the Kings have been one of the least luckiest lottery teams. There are countless players you look at and think, what if?

Onto some more links:

The player who was selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics, had some high praise for Kings big man Harry Giles. (247Sports)

Speaking of the NBA Draft, if Sacramento is back in the lottery again this year, there will be plenty of talk on who would be the best fit. Bleacher Report released it latest 2020 mock draft and has the Kings selecting a guard from Kentucky, who has been mocked to Sacramento before.

Many members of the Kings, from players to ownership, have tried to help the COVID-19 relief efforts. The latest King to step up for the community was forward Harrison Barnes, who along with his wife donated $40,000 to help victims of the virus.

From around the NBA:

With no clear plan in place yet to resume the NBA season, there hasn’t been a shortage of ideas. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Tim Bontemps dive deep into the potential of having teams sequestered in the same city.

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