The Sacramento Kings took a very different approach in this year’s draft; an approach we haven’t seen the Kings take in a number of years.
The Kings could have drafted a player with the 8th and 59th pick and left with that. Instead, Vlade Divac turned the 8th pick in the draft, and Marco Bellineli, into three first round talents, and one of the best players in Europe right now, Bogdan Bogdanovic.
This was meant to be the year that the Kings draft a player who could come in right away and contribute. A tactic the Kings have tried to employ the last couple of years, but how has that worked out?
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Vlade Divac tried something new. It was unorthodox, and maybe that’s why many Kings fans were upset with the selections that Vlade and his staff made. However, the assets and talent that Divac was able to acquire on Thursday night will be hugely beneficial to a Kings team in desperate need of assets.
On the surface, it doesn’t look too pretty; but once you dive deep and look into how much profit the Kings were able to make on draft night, it won’t seem so dire.
There is always the possibility of players not panning out, but there is a much higher chance when you have 4 or 5 young players, as opposed to 1 or 2.
The Kings are much better off taking a chance on the 5 players (including Bogdanovic) they drafted, instead of hoping the 1 or 2 players they were going to draft will pan out; because putting faith in one player hasn’t worked out too well for the Kings in the past (Jimmer Fredette, Thomas Robinson, Ben McLemore, Nik Stauskas etc).
All of the players may not be great straight away, but they all have a ton of potential. The players mentioned above were all considered to have a ton of potential too, however, but the difference is this year we have three first round talents, instead of just one, like in recent years.
Georgios Papagiannis has pretty underwhelming stats, but 7’2″ center possesses some impressive skills for an 18-year old. Papagiannis may not get many minutes this coming season, but Vlade Divac believes that at some stage he will have the potential to be an All-Star, and may follow a similar path to Marc Gasol.
Don’t write him off too early, because I think many Kings fans and NBA fans, in general, are going to be genuinely surprised at how he will perform this season.
Malachi Richardson fills a need for the Kings. He’s a 6’6″ and 200-pound shooting guard with a 7’0″ wingspan.
His stats were also underwhelming. During his one season at Syracuse, Malachi shot just 36% from the field and 35% from 3.
It remains to be seen how big a role Malachi will play on the Kings this season, but he could be used as a source of offense off the bench when the Kings are in need.
Getting Skal Labissierre with the 28th pick is great value for the Kings. Skal was considered a sure fire top ten pick before the season, and he still was in the top ten in many mock drafts before the draft.
Skal probably won’t play much this season, but he has the potential to be a real nice piece for the Kings. If he can add some muscle and work on refining his game, particularly on the defensive end, he could turn out to be a very good player for the Kings.
His potential is undeniable, but Skal slid so far down in the draft because teams were unsure just how soon he will be able to contribute to an NBA team.
While he may not be able to contribute for a couple years, especially with how many big men the Kings have, it was worth the gamble for the Kings.
Working with one of the best big men in the game in DeMarcus Cousins will certainly help the development of Skal’s game as it will with the other young big men on the team.
Bogdan Bogdanovic was arguably the Kings best acquisition on draft night.
Considered by Vlade as ‘the best player in Europe’, Bogdan Bogdanovic is a supremely talented player. Vlade had next year in mind as the Kings may be without a draft pick. Bogdan is due to come over next season when the salary cap increases.
So if the Kings do end up losing their pick next year, they will still receive a very talented and young player who can come in and contribute right away at both the point guard and shooting guard positions.
The Kings may not have acquired players that will come in and contribute from day one, but they did acquire five talented young prospects who could turn out to be very good players in the NBA.
Vlade Divac decided to take a different approach this time around. An approach which should have been taken years ago.
All we can do now is wait. Wait to see if Vlade was right, or whether this draft was yet another one that went to waste.