6 Sacramento Kings Draftees Who Had Better Careers Elsewhere

Hedo Turkoglu (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
Hedo Turkoglu (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Worse than drafting a player who ends up being a bust is having one succeed after you’ve let him go. The Sacramento Kings have plenty of those.

The Sacramento Kings are not exactly known for their excellence when it comes to the NBA Draft. There have been far more busts than star players that have been selected by the organization, a discouraging resume given the amount of lottery picks that they’ve had.

Even when the Kings do make the right pick, they have trouble holding on to them. The front office either gives up too early on the player or includes him in some kings of boneheaded trade and he goes off to find success in greener pastures some place.

We did a little bit of research and found six Kings draftees who went on to have better careers in other cities. We went as far back as 1985 and did not include Billy Owens since he never actually played a game in a Sacramento uniform.

#6. Kenny Smith

Kenny Smith had one of the better careers with the Kings out of any player on our list, but it is the accolades that he added to his resume that secure him a spot.

Smith made the All-Rookie First Team in his inaugural season in Sacramento by averaging 13.8 points and 7.1 assists in 1987-’88. He only improved the next season by upping his scoring to 17.3 points per and his assists numbers to 7.7.

At the trade deadline of his third season, the Kings traded Smith to the Atlanta Hawks, who traded him to the Rockets seven months later. It was in Houston where he finally found a home and a place to make a legacy for himself.

Smith was the starting point guard and regular contributor on a Rockets team that won two championship trophies in the mid-90s. He never matched the 17.7 points that he averaged in his first year in Houston, but he could put up solid scoring numbers with high efficiency. He led the league in effective field goal percentage during the 1992-’93 season.