The Sacramento Kings will likely be picking at the end of the lottery in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft. Should they trade the pick away or stand pat?
This is the time of year when we typically start talking about draft placement and scouting reports for potential Sacramento Kings’ prospects. The Kings find themselves in an unlikely playoff push with roughly a month left in the season, and the focus has finally been on the current on court product rather than the future one.
Whatever happens to the Kings down the stretch of the season, their pick is unlikely to deviate from the 12-14 range. They are fighting for end-of-the-lottery position with a handful of teams, but the gap between 11 and 12 remains rather large. Sacramento is also unlikely to move up by virtue of the ping pong balls; the team with the 13th pick (Kings current position) has a 3.8 percent chance at a top-4 pick, and just 0.8 percent chance at the first overall selection.
The 2020 NBA Draft is projected by most to be a rather weak class with a noticeable talent drop off after the first five picks or so. The back end of the lottery will likely be a crap shoot, or will feature some franchise who does their homework, makes the right pick, and leaves everyone else in the dust. Don’t expect the Kings to be that team.
So What’s The Move?
So what should a team that shows draft ineptitude (even with the top picks) do with a mid-first round selection in a weak draft that is heavy on point guards?
They could package together another asset and trade up for a player they covet (not likely). They can stand pat and draft whoever falls in to their lap (risky). Or, the Kings can do the smart thing and trade out of the spot altogether.
Depending on how the first 10-12 picks pan out, there might be a playoff team that is hungry to add a complimentary piece that might still be available when the Kings are on the clock. It is unclear what kind of, if any, value that Sacramento would be able to get in return, but the pick could also be a sweetener in a bigger deal. The Kings will have a few holes to fill during the coming offseason, and nabbing a veteran might be something that they value over drafting a project rookie.
Flexibility is the one thing that the Kings will have plenty of during the 2020 Draft, given their projected lottery pick as well as three second rounders. Sacramento could also pull from their arsenal of late picks in order to pull off a deal for a veteran, or package them to move back in to the first round if they see value falling to the late picks.
Unlike last year, the Kings have plenty of options in the upcoming draft. But don’t get your hopes up. History tells us that whatever decision Sacramento decides to make, it will likely be the wrong one.