- The Sacramento Kings own the fourth pick in the NBA Draft and it is considered a focal point.
- They could choose the best available player, Jaden Ivey, but make offers from interested teams.
- The decision could signal their future plans and have a contagious effect on how the rest of the draft proceeds.
The Sacramento Kings are suddenly positioned to have a big impact on how the 2022 NBA Draft unfolds.
Kings have the fourth overall pick. Many experts say the choice could change the draft, depending on whether Sacramento decides to keep the choice to itself or swap it for another team. What the Kings are doing with the fourth pick could signal either a slow, patient rebuild or a push for the playoffs next season.
Ringer Kevin O’Connor called the fourth election a “turning point.”
Athletics Sam Vecenie said the draft has the potential to get “wild” by the fourth.
ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony wrote: “In the opinion of many NBA teams, the draft starts here: Sacramento’s decision … will represent a key moment Thursday night.”
The consensus is that this draft has a solid top three: Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero.
After that, it is less safe. Purdue Guard Jaden Ivey is often considered the fourth best view and top guard view. In a media call with reporters on Wednesday, Givony said Ivey “has as much stellar power as any player in this draft.”
But Ivey does not fit in naturally with the Kings, who already have point guard De’Aaron Fox on their list. They selected guard Davion Mitchell with the ninth pick in last year’s draft and swapped points guard Tyrese Haliburton on the road at last year’s substitution deadline. Ivey also did not train with the Kings – probably in an attempt to keep them from drafting him.
Several teams have reportedly contacted the Kings about the fourth pick so they can take Ivey. Givony reported that the Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks have all reached out to the Kings to discuss advancing to the fourth quarter.
Kings is at an interesting focal point. They are the league’s most dying franchise on a 16-year playoff drought that has been filled with turnover and coach changes.
Kings could simply take Ivey, the best player on the market, and worry about the fit later. It would signal dedication to a proper reconstruction.
Of course, no one could blame the kings for wanting to speed up their reconstruction. They’ve had eight top-10 picks over the last decade, and only two are still on the team: Fox and Mitchell.
Furthermore, Givony reported that the Kings are demanding a high price for the fourth overall pick: veteran talent, a young player and more draft picks.
said Givony further “The Lowe Post” podcast that a frequently mentioned trade involves the Atlanta Hawks forwarding John Collins, guard Kevin Huerter and the 16th pick to Sacramento in exchange for No. 4.
The Knicks, known for coveting Ivey, could also send a similar package involving veteran guards like Alec Burks or Evan Fournier, young prospects like Obi Toppin or Immanuel Quickley, their 11th overall pick this year, plus a future draft pick.
For a Kings team with core players in their prime, like Fox and the big man Domantas Sabonis, it’s the type of deal that could help push them toward long-awaited playoff battle.
What the Kings decide to do with the fourth choice could have ripple effects. If they keep the choice and go with a player besides Ivey, it could cause a match among teams trying to get the fifth choice to take Ivey.
Draft experts believe there is a decline in talent after Ivey. If the Kings take Ivey, other teams may be happy to take the one that is available, instead of swapping more assets for less exciting players.
There is also the possibility that teams will switch back if Ivey is off the board. The draft class 2022 is not considered to be very strong. According to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Reportis it possible that teams can look to swap back if their best prospects are gone, and maybe even swap out of the 2022 draft altogether if it means getting selected for the 2023 draft, which is considered deep and talented.