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Can The Kings Find A Solid Player At 12?

(Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The NBA draft is almost here, which usually is a very exciting time for me.

I am always anxious to find out who the next great players will be and who will be the player or players that the Sacramento Kings select. This year feels a little different for a variety of reasons. We didn’t get all of the college basketball season and the last games were played back in early March.

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings are scheduled to have four picks in this year’s draft. They select 12th in the first round and 35th, 43rd and 52nd in the second round.

In the early 2000’s when the Kings were regularly picking late in the first round and not in the lottery, a wise NBA-man told me you want to stay out of the lottery.

The reasoning was because once you get there, you usually stay there for a while. I thought that was crazy but it sure seems to be true.

The Kings are living proof of that.

Others in the NBA have become lottery regulars as well. Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Phoenix are amongst a few that have been in this spot for the last several years.

So how do you get out of this most difficult spot? You have to have a little good fortune and certainly draft well. Drafting well isn’t an exact science at all. Many teams miss, the best, miss less often. The Kings have certainly have had their share of miscues. With a new front office this year they get a chance at a fresh start.

There is no sure fire Hall of Famer at the top of this draft, but there may be one in the draft. If not a Hall of Famer, how about an multi-year all-star? It is possible and most likely probable. You have to find him. Picking at 12 may seem a bit of a disadvantage to find that “gem” but history suggests it is very possible.

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Just looking back at the drafts from 2011 to now you can see this is the case. In 2011, Kawhi Leonard went 15th, Nicola Vucevic was selected 16th and Jimmy Butler 30th.

The next year gave us a 2012 class that gave us two second round all-stars. Draymond Green was picked 35th and Kris Middleton 39th. Two time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted 15th and Rudy Gobert went late first at 27th. In 2014 a second round sleeper was Nikola Jokic at 41st.

2015 Devon Booker was picked 13th. 2016 Pascal Siakam lasted until the 27th pick. Just a couple of years ago Donovan Mitchell and Bam Adebayo went in back to back selections at 13 and 14.

The point is it can be done. Once the player is picked it begins. Player development, full buy-in by the player, and then rely on the talent that you saw on draft night to grow.

It can be done, it has been done, now the Kings need to go and do it.