NBA Mock Draft — As soon as the NBA draft lottery finished up, the Sacramento Kings made it know they wanted out of the eighth pick in hopes to secure a veteran as ownerships hopes the playoffs are in the franchises near future. Fast forward until now and it’s difficult to tell whether they’ll still move the pick or retain it and draft another young prospect.
If they do decide to keep the pick, they’ve three areas that could use addressing: point guard (because for some reason they don’t want Isaiah Thomas), small forward (depends on Rudy Gay), and power forward. At with those areas, three names come to mind: Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon, and Noah Vonleh. If you notice, each player mentioned is often praised for what they showed on the defensive in college and how it may project in the NBA. Each player fits perfectly into what Mike Malone is building in Sacramento. The pick will just come down to preference and how they see fit to continue the rebuild around Demarcus Cousins.
Here is the collection of the latest mock drafts from around the NBA pertaining to the Kings and the eighth overall pick:
NBA Draft Net - F Aaron Gordon (Arizona)
Basketball Insiders (Steven Kyler) – G Nik Stauskus (Michigan)
Draft Express – F Doug McDermott (Creighton)
At one point this may have felt high for McDermott, but with the way he’s been working out lately, it’s not even a guarantee that he’ll be here. The skill-set McDermott brings is highly in demand these days, and it’s difficult to find someone who fits so seamlessly with what the Kings are looking to add to their roster, as the team needs to show some improvement in the short term with a new arena on the way. Sacramento shot 33% from 3 last season, ranking 27th in the NBA. McDermott can help with that right away and help spread the floor for Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins.
Fox Sports - F Aaron Gordon (Arizona)
Outstanding, strong athlete. Does all the little things, except shoot well.
NBA.com - G Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)
Smart will be a physical force, has a chance to be very good defensively and has a great attitude, but the team that takes him will have to see true point guard through an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.8-2.6 on a college squad with other NBA prospects. Some front offices do see it.
Yahoo! Sports - G Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)
The Kings would add a much-needed point guard and defender in Smart to backcourt to join Ben McLemore.
CBS Sports (Gary Parrish) – F Aaron Gordon (Arizona)
I don’t love Gordon as much as most others, but the Kings would be silly to pass on him if he falls this far based on — stop me if you’ve heard this before — the tremendous upside Gordon possesses. No, he wasn’t Arizona’s most important player. But that doesn’t have anything to do with whether he’s worthy of being picked in the top 10.
CBS Sports (Zach Harper) – G Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)
Still don’t really think the Kings keep this pick, but if they do then they can grab Marcus Smart as Isaiah Thomas insurance. Thomas is a restricted free agent and you don’t know if the market for him will be huge when people see his scoring average and don’t get their first options in free agency. Smart would help the Kings not feel like they need to match any offer and he can play the point right away.
CBS Sports (Matt Moore) – F Noah Vonleh (Indiana)
I’d be very surprised if Vonleh falls this far at this point, given the high marks in his workouts. Plus, the Kings are looking to move the pick, up, down, out, whatever. But if they have no option, Vonleh fits nice and snug alongside DeMarcus Cousins. He balances the floor and provides killer length inside. As he adds muscle and conditioning, he could be an exceptional player. Or he could be a tweener with no real identity. Such is the risk with high-upside picks.
ESPN.com (Chad Ford) – G Elfrid Payton (Louisiana-Lafayette)
The Kings continue to be active in trying to trade the pick, with multiple sources saying that a trade is more likely than the Kings drafting where they are. But until a deal materializes, we have to take a look at what they are doing. Point guard seems to be a main area of focus, and both Smart and Payton are in the mix here. If the Lakers or Celtics grab Smart and Julius Randle falls, I think they could shock everyone and take Payton over a player like Randle. Two months ago, having Payton this high seemed nuts, but he’s been one of just two or three guys that have gotten rave reviews in every workout. His size, toughness, defense and leadership abilities would all be welcome in Sacramento.