The Sacramento Kings have a franchise-defining decision to make in the 2022 NBA Draft.
The Sacramento Kings jumping up to No. 4 in the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery was an incredible stroke of luck, but given the presumed top three of Jabari Smith Jr, Paolo Banchero, and Chet Holmgren, the Kings will have a challenging decision to make.
In an effort to see what their options will be, let’s take a look at the favorites to get drafted at No. 4 with odds courtesy of DraftKings, but to be clear, these are the odds for the No. 4 pick, regardless if Sacramento is the one making the selection.
Most draft prognosticators seem to have Ivey as the clear 4th guy in the draft, with some even listing him in the top tier.
It’s hard to see someone with the level of speed and athletic ability like Ivey failing in the NBA. His burst in the open court is special to watch, and there are only a handful of players in the NBA as quick as Ivey.
For Sacramento, the fit of Ivey is questionable. Drafting Ivey would be the third consecutive year they have drafted a guard. Could they do it again?
It’s hard to argue that — after the top 3 — Ivey has the best combination of upside and certainty, which might be too much for Sacramento to pass on. And for the Kings, it’s hard to argue for drafting based on need over fit when you just went 30-52 this past season.
Sharpe is undoubtedly the mystery man of the pack, with some touting his superstar potential while others have criticized him in the pre-draft process. A few weeks ago, it seemed that Sharpe was at least considered the 5th guy after Ivey, the larger NBA Mock Draft community seemed to move Sharpe down some spots due to his overall mystery.
His star upside is palpable, as I outlined last month, but even I, a Sharpe believer, have to admit it would be a risky selection. If Sharpe is indeed the pick, you will hope that General Manager Monte McNair has done his due diligence on Sharpe and his game.
Murray is probably the guy that would be the best player in year one, considering his advanced age at 22 years old and his potential fit next to Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt. The question with Murray is whether he has enough long-term upside to justify a selection at No. 4.
For the Kings, getting a star is nearly impossible, so drafting someone who would seem to max out as a solid starter at No. 4 could be considered a questionable decision. Maybe putting this type of ceiling on Murray is premature, but watching his tape, he looks like someone that would help a lot, but not seriously change the trajectory of the franchise.
There are some other guys of intrigue, but at No. 4, Ivey, Sharpe and Murray seem to be the names Sacramento will be choosing from.
If they aren’t drafting one of these three guys, a trade either up or down seems to be a possibility.
For a trade down, it’s hard to find the exact trade partner, but in that scenario, Sacramento could try to drop a couple of spots, still snag someone like Murray and pick up another asset that could factor into the team’s plans. For a trade-up, it’s unclear if Sacramento has the appetite for surrendering future draft capital to move into that top three.
McNair has never seemed to do the expected since taking over the team two seasons ago. No one expected they would draft Davion Mitchell at No. 9 last season, and no one expected Tyrese Haliburton would be the one headed out at last year’s trade deadline.
So be prepared for McNair to throw another curveball at the draft. And whatever happens, it’s going to be a long two weeks filled with speculation and rumors.