After Anthony Davis goes to the New Orleans Hornets with the first pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, questions will loom. The possibility of talents like Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist or Thomas Robinson dropping to the Kings selection spot are feasible, but, both dropping appears to be extremely unlikely as of this current moment, so getting another DeMarcus Cousins like coup at the fifth spot might be asking too much.
What will be in play for the Kings though come their selection is size, assuming they feel the need to pair another big body with Cousins who could use the help on the defensive side. Barring a complete shock (less of a shock in Drummond’s case), University of Connecticut big man Andre Drummond and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger should still be left remaining on the big board come the Kings pick, both viewed as two of the best better men in the draft with Drummond being the better of the two.
Drummond’s twenty-two pound weight loss since the end of the collegiate season (Sullinger has also lost twenty-two pounds) has spiked his draft stock, many originally feeling he’d be a mid-round lotto pick, but some mocks are projecting him to go as high as third to the Washington Wizards. And while that’s possible, expecting the Washington Wizards to pass on either a Robinson or Kidd-Gilchrist seems like a current long shot.
The former Huskie is filled with potential, but as we all know, potential is a dirty, dirty word. The Kings’ roster is youthfully filling out – and while more talent is needed, it appears the main ingredient for success is veteran talent, not another rookie who’ll need a few years of seasoning like Drummond who’s leaving UConn after his freshman year. There’s no doubt Drummond has a skill set that can easily be successful at the NBA level, assuming he puts the work in and there’s no reason as of now to believe he wont. He’s a willing raw talent, raw being the key word. Expecting Drummond to come in and be effective, like a Cousins, in his rookie year can’t be expected as he’s a few years of development away from making a big time impact. For the Kings, can they wait that long in hopes of Drummond becoming the player so many believe? Is he worth the risk when more NBA-ready talent is available?
Outside of Drummond, there are a handful of other talented big man who will certainly be available to the Kings – the previously mentioned Sullinger or one of the two North Carolina Tarheel big men, Tyler Zeller or John Henson. All three have the skills and body types to become at worst rotation bigs in the league, but none come with the potential of Drummond nor are any of them (outside of Drummond) worth the fifth pick in the draft. They do come a bit more NBA ready, but with lower ceilings when all is said and done.
Whatever route the Kings decide to go with, if they want size, it’ll be there for them – either at the fifth pick or further down in the draft, if they decided to move out of their spot.
Is it the right choice? That remains to be seen, but it’ll be there if they want it.
A Royal Pain’s draft profile on Andre Drummond – click here
Drummond highlights –
Sullinger highlights –
Zeller highlights –
Henson highlights –