When the Sacramento Kings expected to be picking 8th and 10th, international point guard Frank Ntilikina was a common pick for the Kings in mock drafts. After jumping to 5th thanks to the lottery and pick swaps, most mocks have Ntilikina off the board before the Kings pick at 10. A lot can change between now and the actual draft, but should the Kings take De’Aaron Fox 5th as many think they will, would the Kings still consider Ntilikina if he was on the board at 10?
Hearing the Knicks, Mavericks, 76ers, Kings have scouted guard Frank Ntilikina the most in France this past month
— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) May 19, 2017
Wasserman’s tweet indicates that the Kings were scouting heavily in the past month, which of course means that it was before the lottery. But we know the Kings are looking for their point guard of the future. It doesn’t seem crazy to think the Kings might take two lotto tickets instead of just one, right?
Let’s assume the draft plays out pretty much as expected. The Kings have taken Fox at 5, and in some order Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk, Jonathan Isaac, and Dennis Smith Jr are off the board. The means the 9th pick would have been Lauri Markkanen or maybe a guy like OG Anunoby. So if you’re looking at picking Markkanen, Anunoby, the recently-profiled Zach Collins, or Ntilikina, what would you do?
I don’t have an answer to this question right now. It’s still early in the draft process and the perceived value of players is going to rise and fall between now and June 22nd. So instead let’s take the temperature of the room with a quick poll.