March Madness: The Sacramento Kings next superstar is waiting!


The “Sweet Sixteen” round of March Madness, AKA the NCAA Tournament begins tonight, and will continue through Friday as teams work towards the Final Four and the National Championship.

As the likelihood of the Sacramento Kings retaining their draft pick continues to increase (It would transfer to Chicago if they fall outside of the bottom ten), its an appropriate time to start focusing on the draft, summer league and the 2015-2016 season. Free Agency could impact which direction the Kings look in the draft, but adding talent with elite potential at this point is a great move regardless of position.

Some of these players will have a major impact in future NBA seasons. Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Stanley Johnson are just a few of the players the Kings could target come Junes draft.


Mar 21, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Jerian Grant (22) dribbles the ball as Butler Bulldogs guard Alex Barlow (3) defends during the first half in the third round of the 2015 NCAA Tournamentat Consol Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame vs Wichita State | 7:15 EST | CBS

Jerian GrantPG
22 | 6’5” | 204

Jerian Grant has been moving up several draft boards because of his stellar play in the ACC Tournament and what he has done thus far in the National Tournament. The senior guard stands at 6’ 5” and 200 pounds. He is averaging 16.8 points, 6.6 assists, and 3.3 rebounds. Much of what Notre Dame does on offense runs through, or is because of, what Grant does on the floor.

He offers outstanding athletic ability. He can score and distribute from the point guard spot. Jerian Grant could be a dual threat point guard that will likely come off the bench initially but could garner starter minutes allowing Darren Collison to run the second unit. It would strengthen the bench and the team as a whole. Although with Ray McCallum improving his play as of late, the Kings may look to go in a different direction.

Feb 7, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Karl-Anthony Towns (12) and forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15) during the first half at Stephen C. O

Kentucky vs West Virginia | 9:45 EST | CBS

Willie Cauley-Stein – C
21 | 7’ 0” | 244

Willie Cauley-Stein is a very intriguing prospect that has improved on both ends of the floor while at Kentucky. This year, Cauley-Stein is averaging 9.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He also adds a block and a steal to his stat line. WCS is a true defensive anchor for 25 minutes a game. He changes shots and forces opposing teams to reconsider when attacking the hoop.

His skills as an elite rim protector is something the Sacramento Kings covet. He would have the ability to play next to DeMarcus Cousins or as a reserve spelling Cousins. His defensive ability would allow him to contribute at a high level right away.

Karl-Anthony Towns – PF
19 | 7’ 0” | 248

Karl-Anthony Towns has been a monster in his first season in Lexington. He is averaging 10 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in just 20 minutes. Between the Wildcats platoon system and their margin of victory, Towns has not been required to log major minutes. His numbers should increase as March Madness continues. With Arizona or Wisconsin potentially looming in the final four, he will be tested.

In a Kings uniform, Towns could create an elite front court pairing with Cousins, but will likely be unavailable when Sacramento is on the clock unless they end up with a top three selection. Towns has GM’s and scouts buzzing about his potential as a pro.

Mar 5, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats forward Stanley Johnson (5) dribbles around California Golden Bears guard Tyrone Wallace (3) during the second half at McKale Center. Arizona won 99-60. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona vs Xavier | 10:17 EST | TBS

Stanley Johnson – SF
18 | 6’8” | 243

In his first season in Tucson, Stanley Johnson has been awesome. He is averaging 14 points and 6.6 rebounds in his 28 minutes per game. He has the ability to impact both ends of the floor. His ability to get to the rim and continues to find himself at the free throw line. He is shooting 75% from the foul line this season per He is also shooting 37% from behind the arc, on over 100 attempts.

Stanley Johnson has the potential to become an elite player at the next level. He has the size to play either wing spot, especially with Rudy Gay continuing to see time at the power forward spot. He has tremendous upside with the size and speed combo that has him compared to Kawhi Leonard and Ron Artest.


Feb 18, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; UCLA Bruins forward Kevon Looney (5) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Wells-Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils defeated the Bruins 68-66. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA vs Gonzaga | 7:15 EST | CBS

Kevon LooneyPF
19 | 6’9” | 220

Kevon Looney has averaged almost a double-double this season with 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Looney has had a solid season despite UCLA being a bubble team leading up to the tournament. Looney doesn’t always give the effort many would like to see, but the potential is there.

At the next level, Looney will need to add upper body strength. While he doesn’t shoot many threes now, he has the ability to develop that at the next level. He is an intriguing prospect with tremendous upside, and could be an interesting fit with Cousins and Gay in the Kings front court.

Mar 22, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor (15) celebrates with Duke Blue Devils forward Justise Winslow (12) during the second half against the San Diego State Aztecs in the third round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Duke vs Utah | 9:45 EST | CBS

Jahlil Okafor – C
19 | 6’ 11” | 272

Jahlil Okafor has everything a NBA team looks for in a big man. He can finish from either side of the key, has great vision, and good footwork. On defense, he protects the rim and provides strong help defense. He is averaging 18.1 points and 8.7 rebounds in what will be his only season at Duke.

While Okafor likely goes number one overall, the Kings should be in the lottery, which gives them a shot at the top overall pick. Okafor could give the Kings a very difficult front court to defend. Cousins ability to step out on the floor gives unlimited potential to the front court pairing.

Justise WinslowSF
18 | 6’7” | 229

While Okafor draws a ton of the attention, it is his teammate Justise Winslow who is currently my favorite player expected to be in June’s NBA Draft. He is an elite wing defender, who also has the ability to get to the rim. My favorite comparison I have heard for Winslow is James Harden with better defensive potential. While expecting Winslow to be the MVP caliber Harden out of college is very unrealistic, expecting him to look like the sixth man version of Harden while with the Thunder is not crazy. He has the ability to impact any team from day one and become a stud within three to four seasons.

The Sacramento Kings could use a wing like Winslow who can stay on the floor with his defense, while allowing his offense to mature. With George Karl taking over and Rudy Gay seeing time at power forward, the Kings could use Winslow at small forward and let Gay be the stretch four Kings fans covet. He could also be a core piece to build around for many seasons to come.

March 20, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Montrezl Harrell (24) reacts following a scoring play against UC Irvine Anteaters during the first half of the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at KeyArena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville vs NC State | 9:45 EST | TBS

Montrezl Harrell PF
21 | 6’8” | 230

Louisville Cardinals junior Montrezl Harrell is currently averaging 15.4 points and 9.2 rebounds a game with a block and a steal. He is a force on both ends, using his athleticism to make plays.

Harrell is probably not at the top of the Sacramento Kings draft board at the moment, but could rise through the pre-draft process. He is a bit of a tweener, and he has the game of an NBA big, but may be too undersized to play the position long-term. His athleticism will be able to make up for some of what he lacks in height, and his long arms that give him a 7’4” wingspan could be a difference maker, but he’s likely more of a solid role player at the next level.

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