The draft is and always will be a crap shoot. With a few rare exceptions, most franchises do the best they can with the resources they have and hope for the best. That being said, in the 2010s, the Sacramento Kings might have had a little more than their share of bad rolls as far as lottery picks go. Looking at the decade, there is just a lot of what could have been.
5. Kemba Walker – 2011
This is a light way to start the list but it still hurts considering how this draft ultimately went for the Kings (selecting Bismack Biyombo, who was traded for Jimmer Fredette). Walker was coming off of an NCAA Championship, but there was a lot of trepidation on how his game would translate, mainly because of his size. Guards under six feet don’t have the best track record and can wear down quickly.
Still, Kemba was a known name at the time and was selected just two spots later by Charlotte at ninth overall. The Bobcats/Hornets were by no means a well-run team over that time, and still, Walker made a name for himself. Over his career, he had four All-Star appearances and one Third Team All-NBA, putting up averages of 19 points and five assists. Kemba had an electric offensive game that everyone soon found could translate on the professional level, maintaining the nickname ‘Cardiac Kemba’ he earned at UCONN.
He spent probably too long in Charlotte but had he gone to Sac instead, pairing with a young DeMarcus Cousins, who knows what might have happened. It’s a story of two stars that could have really been built around had things rolled a different way.