The No. 4 overall pick, currently held by the Kings, is generating significant trade interest from teams further down in the draft order, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said during NBA Countdown on Thursday night (video link).
With Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero widely expected to be the first three players off the board next Thursday, teams interested in acquiring the No. 4 pick have a specific target in mind, according to Wojnarowski.
“That No. 4 pick that the Sacramento Kings hold is very much in play. There are a lot of teams trying to get deals done with Sacramento so they can move up to select Jaden Ivey,” Wojnarowski said. “That’s teams close to them in the lottery – (the Pistons and Pacers), who are five and six – the New York Knicks at No. 11, (the) Washington Wizards at No. 10, and even some teams outside of the lottery.”
While not everyone agrees on how many players make up the top tier of the 2022 draft class, Ivey has frequently been included in that group alongside the three big men, making him the odds-on favorite to be picked fourth overall. However, there are a number of reasons why the Kings may be inclined to pass on the opportunity to select him.
For one, Sacramento badly wants to make the playoffs and might prefer to use the No. 4 pick to trade for win-now pieces. Additionally, Ivey may not be an ideal fit next to De’Aaron Fox, since both are offense-first guards who aren’t great outside shooters or defenders. On top of all that, a report this week suggested Sacramento isn’t Ivey’s preferred landing spot.
Still, the Kings won’t trade the pick if they don’t like the return, according to Wojnarowski.
“Sacramento’s asking price is going to be significant to move in there,” Woj said. “I think they see this as essentially a four-player draft — there’s a drop-off after No. 4.”
The teams mentioned by Wojnarowski as potential trade partners would all make sense as landing spots for Ivey. He’d fit nicely next to Cade Cunningham in Detroit or Tyrese Haliburton in Indiana, given the size and versatility of those guards. The Knicks and Wizards, meanwhile, are in the market for a long-term solution at the point guard spot and could view Ivey as the answer.
Quinton Mayo reported on his Substack this week that the Wizards’ front office is “really high” on Ivey and has spent a good amount of time exploring trade-up scenarios.