Prior to the 2017 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings seemingly had no stars and no direction. After Trading DeMarcus Cousins in the middle of the 2016-17 season, the Kings were immediately backtracking.
Knowing full-well that winning in a loaded Western Conference takes more than one star, they decided to start the rebuilding process over again. The Kings then looked to rebuild their roster through the NBA Draft.
This offseason, the Kings have put themselves in great position, and look poised for a bright future.
How they got there
Cousins was traded to the Pelicans in the middle of February.
The Kings received Buddy Hield and what ended up being the 10th pick in the 2017 draft (traded later).
Hield is a 23-year old-guard who was an offensive star in his four years of college.
In the NBA he has slowed down a bit. However, post All-Star break, he managed to shoot 42 percent from three and added strong defensive value.
On draft night, the Kings traded the 10th pick for two later first round picks and set themselves up to have four picks in the draft, three of which were picks in the first round.
What started as a small return for Cousins turned into three players that could play a roll in the 2017-18 Kings’ lineup.
2017 NBA Draft
Draft night brought in four players that all have many accolades and skillsets to improve the Kings.
De’Aaron Fox: The fifth pick of the draft is an electric guard out of Kentucky who can change the pace of the game. Fox would compliment Hield due to his ability to draw defenders to the paint.
Justin Jackson: The Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year is a great scoring small forward. Jackson can be a strong two-way player who will help spread the floor to open up Fox.
Harry Giles: The No. 1 player in the country out of high school, Giles become the 20th pick in the draft. Giles is a player who saw injuries ruin his lottery chances. However, if he could go back to his pre-injury days, he would be a steal for the Kings.
Frank Mason III: Mason III is the National Player of the Year, and a proven scorer. Mason can provide a solid back up for Fox and can score the ball off the bench.
Most teams who are rebuilding make the mistake of trying to make a big splash and overpaying for a star but end up striking out.
The Kings brought in three veteran players to mix in with their young talent.
They did that by signing George Hill (three years, $57 million), Zach Randolph (two years, $24 million) and Vince Carter (one year, $8 million).
By signing more experienced players for shorter contracts, the Kings open up the chance to go after a strong free agent in three years.
Once the veteran contracts expire, they can pursue an established free agent to match with their growing young talent.
The Kings are looking to the future. With their nucleus of young stars, they are poised to make a run at the playoffs sooner than expected.
And for the first time in a while, the Kings finally have a foundation and a direction.
Obviously the group doesn’t have a lot, if any playing experience together, but for the time being, there is a lot to look forward to in Sacramento.
Featured Image Courtesy of NBA.com
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