I fully admit I wasn’t a big Damian Lillard fan coming into the 2012 NBA Draft – not that I didn’t think he had talent or wouldn’t be a good fit for the Kings, I was just a bigger fan of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and to a lesser extent, Thomas Robinson. Lillard was my distant third choice if both MKG and Robinson were off the board but it appears the Sacramento Kings front office had high hopes for Lillard and the rumors about the Kings thinking about selecting the Weber State product were more than real.
According to Sam Amick, the Kings indeed were very close to selecting Lillard in the NBA’s most recent draft, though opted for the “safe route” in Thomas Robinson because of concerns about the Maloof’s desire to pay impending free agent Jason Thompson:
There was strong support for Lillard among the team’s front-office and scouting staff, but the unexpected chance to grab Robinson when he slid was seen as a safer option in case the Maloofs didn’t pay the market price for Thompson and the team was left with Cousins and veteran forward Chuck Hayes on the frontline.
Dysfunctional isn’t even the word for the Kings organization in recent years and for a front office to not be in-line with ownership is – well – frighting. The blind leading the blind.
I still don’t fault the Kings for grabbing Robinson over Lillard – but for the front office and ownership to not be 100% on the same page? Yuck.