Sacramento Kings – Draft a prospect or trade for immediate help?

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

The Sacramento Kings have the 4th pick in the 2022 NBA draft, and it isn’t a secret that they want to return to the playoffs sooner rather than later. This common knowledge has many speculating that the 4th pick can be had for a price.

Most believe that price is a player who brings immediate help, but that shouldn’t be enough for the Sacramento Kings. They should ask for more. They can’t sacrifice the future for near-sighted gains.

As often as the Kings have been in the lottery, they haven’t had a lot of top four picks. Besides picking Bagley No. 2 in the 2018 draft, the last time the Kings had a top four pick was 2009 when they drafted Tyreke Evans.

In fact, since 2006 (the last time the Kings made the playoffs), those are the only two times the Kings have drafted in the top four.

This rare pick for the Kings can’t be taken lightly. The 2022 draft can’t be about immediate help or a high draft pick. This isn’t an either-or moment.

The Kings must trade for immediate help and a high draft pick. They do have assets in players like Richaun Holmes, Harrison Barnes, Justin Holiday, and Mo Harkless.

And there are teams like the Kings who are willing to move their draft picks for players who bring immediate help. Jake Fischer at Bleacher Report has stated that the Trailblazers and Pelicans could also look to trade their picks.

In addition to Sacramento at No. 4, league personnel have pegged the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans—picking seventh and eighth, respectively—as strong trade candidates.

If the Kings trade the 4th pick for immediate help, they should also trade for Portland’s 7th pick or New Orlean’s 8th pick.

With either pick, the Kings would have a chance to draft players like Duke’s A.J. Griffin, Arizona’s Benedict Mathurin, G-Legue Ignite Dyson Daniels, Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan, and Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis.

Players who might have been on Sacramento’s radar if they hadn’t moved up in the lottery.

Moving up has given the Kings more options and a better chance at drafting a top player. However, if the Kings plan to trade away the 4th pick for a proven NBA player, any such deal must also include a mid-lottery pick coming back the Kings way. This will ensure that a talented prospect with plenty of upside still joins the organization.

The 2022 NBA draft isn’t about drafting a high prospect or trading for immediate help. It should be about drafting a high prospect AND trading for immediate help.