- The Sacramento Kings have the fourth pick in the NBA draft and is considered a pivotal point.
- They may be selecting the best player available, Jaden Ivey, but they are fielding offers from interested teams.
- The decision could signal their future plans and have a ripple effect on how the rest of the draft goes.
The Sacramento Kings are suddenly positioned to have a major influence on how the NBA 2022 draft plays out.
The Kings hold the fourth overall pick. Many experts say the pick could rock the draft, depending on whether Sacramento decides to keep the pick alone or trade it with another team. What the Kings do with the fourth pick could signal a slow and patient rebuild or a push for next season’s playoffs.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer called the fourth choice a “pivotal point”.
Athletic’s Sam Vecenie said the draft has the potential to go “wild” in fourth place.
ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony wrote, “According to many NBA teams, the draft starts here: Sacramento’s decision … will be 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 certain. Purdue guard Jaden Ivey is often considered the fourth best prospect and the greatest prospect. In a media call with reporters on Wednesday, Givony said Ivey “has as much star power as any player in this draft.”
But Ivey isn’t a natural fit with the Kings, who already have point guard De’Aaron Fox on their roster. They picked guard Davion Mitchell with the ninth pick in last year’s draft and traded point guard Tyrese Haliburton on last year’s trading deadline. Ivey also didn’t work with the Kings, possibly in an attempt to dissuade them from enlisting him.
Numerous teams have reportedly contacted the Kings regarding the fourth pick so they can catch Ivey. Givony reported that the Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Atlanta Hawks have all contacted the Kings to discuss moving to fourth pick.
The Kings are at an interesting tipping point. They are the most moribund franchise in the league, in a 16-year playoff drought that has been filled with roster turnover and coaching changes.
The Kings could just take Ivey, the best player available, and worry about being in shape afterwards. It would mean dedication to proper rebuilding.
Of course, no one could even blame the kings for speeding up their reconstruction. They’ve had eight top-10 picks in the past decade and only two are still with the team: Fox and Mitchell.
Additionally, Givony reported that the Kings are asking a high price for the fourth overall pick: veteran talent, a young player and more draft picks.
Givony said above Podcast “The Lowe Post”. that an oft-mentioned trade involves the Atlanta Hawks sending John Collins forward, guard Kevin Huerter, and 16th pick to Sacramento in exchange for number 4.
The Knicks, who are known for coveting Ivey, might 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 pick at the draft.
For a team of Kings with leading players like Fox and big man Domantas Sabonis, it’s the kind of deal that could help propel them into the long-awaited playoff contest.
What the kings decide to do with the fourth choice could have ripple effects. If they keep the pick and walk away with a player other than Ivey, it could cause a brawl between the teams trying to get the fifth pick to take Ivey.
Draft pundits believe there is a drop in talent after Ivey. If the Kings take Ivey, other teams may be content to take whoever is available, rather than trading more resources with less exciting players.
There is also the possibility that teams will return if Ivey is off the scoreboard. The 2022 draft class isn’t considered particularly strong. According to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher ReportIt’s possible that teams could try to trade if their best prospect has gone missing, and maybe even give up on the 2022 draft altogether if that means getting picks for the 2023 draft, which is considered deep and talented.