4. Domantas Sabonis – 2016
While today he’s an All-Star and likely All-NBA talent for the Kings, it’s a shame to think he could have been wearing royal purple a lot sooner. 2016 was another year Sacramento elected to trade down. They moved to 13th and selected a different Euro big man, Georgios Papagiannis, who, for all intents and purposes, was a bust.
Sabonis had some success in years prior but has really found his niche in Sacramento. He has been nothing short of spectacular in this, his first full season as a King. But it’s hard not to wonder how things would have gone had he been a homegrown in Northern California instead of bouncing around from Oklahoma City to Indiana before being traded for Tyrese Haliburton in 2022. Being drafted just one year before De’Aaron Fox would have been too perfect given the state of things now.
Regardless, at least this one has a happy ending. Sabonis, next to Fox, is the most important player on this third-seeded Kings team going into the 2023 Playoffs. His offensive game is truly at a higher level. Sabonis is a playmaker through and through and would be the best passing big out there if Nikola Jokic didn’t exist.