SACRAMENTO - The NBA Draft Lottery has lost its luster in Sacramento. Fans tune in every year with the hopes of not seeing Sacramento’s logo card turned until the final three picks are announced. Like the previous nine draft lotteries, Kings fans looked for the nearest item to throw when the results were unveiled Tuesday night.
Last year’s first round selection Willie Cauley-Stein was on hand to represent the team and even he couldn’t bring good luck. The Kings entered the night with the eighth pick and that is exactly where they stayed.
It could have been worse. The Kings could have fallen all the way to No. 11 and forfeited their pick to the Chicago Bulls as part of an earlier trade.
Sacramento hasn’t moved up in the draft since 1989, when they moved up five spots and landed the top pick in 1989 where they chose Pervis Ellison out of Louisville.
Widely considered a two-man race for the top selection, the Kings will not have the opportunity to land either Ben Simmons out of LSU or Duke’s Brandon Ingram. Both forwards would have instantly infused the Kings with another high-level talent at a position of need.
Reports coming out of the Chicago Combine also have the Kings interested in Oklahoma Sooner shooting guard Buddy Hield and point guard Kris Dunn out of Providence is an interesting draft target as well for Sacramento. But both are expected to be off the board before the Kings draft at No. 8.
Following a disappointing season, the Kings have been busy adding talent behind the scenes. Assistant general manager Ken Catanella was added to the front office and former Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger was hired to replace George Karl.
There is a positive vibe surrounding Sacramento as the Kings move towards opening the Golden 1 Center in October. Losing out on the draft lottery will do little to deter that momentum.
The NBA Draft will be held on June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The Kings will begin running potential selections through Sacramento for workouts in the coming weeks.