Sacramento Kings: 2022 NBA Draft Team Needs and Targets
With the 2022 NBA Draft fast approaching, we're taking a look at what each lottery team needs to target with their draft selections, continuing with the Sacramento Kings.
Welcome back to our No Ceilings 2022 NBA Draft Lottery Team Series!
Over the next few weeks, we as a team are going to dive into the needs and targets of each lottery squad. What are the weaknesses and holes of each franchise? Are there players targetable in the lottery who can help fill those gaps?
We will answer those questions and more 5-on-5 style, continuing with the Sacramento Kings!
Without further ado, let’s see where Sacramento should look for some help with the fourth overall pick.
1. What do you think is the biggest weakness for the Kings that NEEDS to be addressed on draft night?
Nathan: Defensive versatility. The Kings don’t have a defensive identity, and if Domantas Sabonis is going to get the majority of his minutes at the center spot, then the team doesn’t have a traditional rim protector either. The players available in their range would likely be guards, but getting one who is a wing that could cover multiple positions at one point would be ideal.
Tyler Rucker: Versatility on the wings. Sacramento is still in a position in which the team is trying to carve out an identity. Davion Mitchell showed great signs of progression throughout the second half of the season. Sabonis will be the focal point of the offense in the front court. De’Aaron Fox still is going to be a dangerous weapon…now this team needs to find some strategic depth around them. Adding perimeter depth with defensive versatility could help out a bunch.
Tyler Metcalf: Perimeter defense. They’ve had one of the worst defenses for the last few seasons, and their lack of wing stoppers is a major reason.
Nick: Defense, and defense on the wing in particular. Donte DiVincenzo provided a huge defensive boost for the Kings down the stretch of the season despite his inability to hit a shot on the other end. Assuming the Kings re-sign him, any additional help for him on the wing could do wonders for a Kings squad that has been atrocious defensively for years.
Albert: Some wing defense might be good, right? Teams need that, especially this one.
Alex: Defense, defense, defense.
Evan: Sacramento ranked in the bottom five last season in defensive rating, opponent’s points in the paint per game, opponent’s second-chance points per game, opponent’s field goal percentage, and opponent’s three-point percentage. They clearly need a lot of help on the defensive end of the floor.
Maxwell: Defense and shooting.
Stephen: Players that can shoot and cut off Sabonis.
2. Which position group would you target most for the Kings: Guards, Wings, Forwards, or Centers?
Nathan: Wings. There are a few names to look at here with one guard as well, but getting the size in between De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, and Sabonis should be a priority for the team.
Tyler Rucker: Forwards and Wings. Although a certain guard might have something to say about that...
Tyler Metcalf: Wings.
Nick: Wings, no question. This team traded Tyrese Haliburton to try to free up some backcourt minutes; the wing situation is less dire than it was before they picked up DiVincenzo and Justin Holiday in a trade, but the two of them plus maybe Moe Harkless just isn’t enough wing depth for the Kings.
Alex: Anything but Centers.
Maxwell: Wings and forwards.
Stephen: Wings or Forwards.
3. Is there any argument for the Kings to draft based on fit around a core group of players, or should “BPA” be in play at all times for Sacramento on draft night?
Nathan: BPA. The Kings need more talent to build around their new(ish) core, so finding the best players should be the priority no matter what, even if that guy available happens to be another guard.
Tyler Rucker: It’s becoming the most confusing debate when it comes to this year’s NBA Draft. The problem with drafting for fit this high…is you continue to find yourself picking in the lottery. Sacramento has got to go with BPA, even if it could create some future headaches with positions. Add talent, and figure it out later.
Tyler Metcalf: BPA. I expect them to draft for need, given their playoff mandate, but they must just take the top name available.
Nick: BPA. I’ve changed my mind on this approximately 752 times since the Kings moved up to #4, but I think that they should take the best player left on the board even if they aren’t a great fit.
Albert: BPA works for me; this team just needs to keep adding talent.
Alex: BPA all day as long as that BPA isn’t a Center.
Evan: With De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell already in place, I could see the Kings bypassing any guard at #4. They really just need talent too, though, so I feel the mindset should be BPA.
Maxwell: Their roster construction is super wonky, so I understand the impulse to draft for fit. But this is still a team on the outside looking in, and you need to take the player with the highest upside.
Stephen: I’d say BPA. Sacramento could be in a spot where one of the Big 3 falls to them, and any of them would have a role to play alongside Sabonis and Fox.
4. Who are the Top 5 targets for the Kings to select with the fourth pick?
Nathan: Jaden Ivey, Keegan Murray, Shaedon Sharpe, Dyson Daniels, and Johnny Davis.
Tyler Rucker: Keegan Murray, Jaden Ivey, Johnny Davis, AJ Griffin, and Shaedon Sharpe.
Tyler Metcalf: Keegan Murray, Johnny Davis, Shaedon Sharpe, Jaden Ivey, and AJ Griffin.
Nick: Jaden Ivey, Keegan Murray, Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr., and Paolo Banchero.
Albert: Johnny Davis, Jaden Ivey, Shaedon Sharpe, Keegan Murray, and Dyson Daniels.
Alex: Jaden Ivey, Jaden Ivey, Jaden Ivey, Shaedon Sharpe, and Keegan Murray.
Evan: Bennedict Mathurin, Jabari Smith Jr., Johnny Davis, Keegan Murray, and Paolo Banchero.
Maxwell: Jaden Ivey, Dyson Daniels, Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr., and Paolo Banchero.
Stephen: Jabari Smith Jr., Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, Shaedon Sharpe, and Jaden Ivey.
5. Who is an under-the-radar surprise target for the Kings?
Nathan: He isn’t under-the-radar in terms of his prospect grade, but I think the general public assumes one of Ivey or Sharpe will be the draw for Sacramento. ESPN was right to publish a mock immediately after the lottery, saying Keegan Murray should be the fourth pick. We even mocked him there on our livestream show! He may not have the same “upside” as those other two, but it’s difficult for me to imagine a world in which he isn’t playing significant minutes in the playoffs down the road. And that’s where the Kings want to be next year.
Tyler Rucker: There’s a Freddy Krueger-like trio of Jalen Duren, Bennedict Mathurin, and Dyson Daniels that are all staring Kings fans right in the eyes. I’d actually like the fit with Mathurin a good amount, but I still would be completely shocked if the Kings don’t go with Jaden Ivey/Keegan Murray or trade back.
Tyler Metcalf: I really don’t think there is one, which is dumb given that it’s the Kings. I think the “surprise” would be if they traded the pick and didn’t take one of the players we’ve mentioned.
Nick: I suppose that anyone besides Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith, or Jaden Ivey would be a surprise here. With that in mind, I think that Keegan Murray would be a bit of an under-the-radar pick for them, even if there are a lot of reasons why Murray would make sense.
Albert: I know he’s starting to enter the conversation, but I think I’d be pretty shocked if the Kings took Dyson Daniels that high. I really like Dyson a lot, but I’d be genuinely shocked if he went as high as #4.
Alex: Anyone but Jaden Ivey, Shaedon Sharpe, or Keegan Murray.
Evan: I’m not sure how many people view Bennedict Mathurin as a Top 5 talent in this class, but he’s been fifth on my board for quite a while now, and I believe he could maybe be a candidate for the Kings to select at #4. Mathurin would provide Sacramento with the much-needed two-way impact they need on the wing.
Maxwell: Bennedict Mathurin is a super clean fit with this roster. He’ll provide them with spacing options, and his ability to act as a lob threat makes him an interesting pairing with a facilitating big like Sabonis.
Stephen: Jalen Duren at #4 could be surprising to a lot of people—especially considering who would be on the board. That being said, the Kings adding a player that could be one of the best at his position if he hits could help Sacramento’s fortunes. Sabonis and Duren might be clunky in theory, but there could be some sets that emphasize the playmaking of Sabonis and the finishing of Duren that could be scary for the league.