With the 2023 NBA Draft slowly approaching, many prospects will jump up and down draft boards in the coming weeks. The Sacramento Kings hold the 24th overall pick in the draft, as I am sure they are already looking for the guys that will be available for them. The Kings want to improve the roster this offseason, so drafting an impact rookie is vital.
Since the Kings have a late first-round pick, it is difficult to predict who will be available for them. The Kings will not get one of the top prospects in the draft, so they have to find guys that have the potential to be special. The top three prospects I would be ecstatic about if they fell to the 24th pick to the Sacramento Kings:
3. Dereck Lively
Dereck Lively, a 7’1″ big man, is 19 years old and ranked the 2nd best center prospect in the draft. Lively is a talented defender who uses his length and athleticism to protect the paint at an elite level. In his freshman season at Duke, he averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in 20.6 minutes per game.
While his stats do not jump off the page, his potential to improve on offense, combined with what he already does on the defensive end, makes him an intriguing prospect. He has natural defensive instincts and an impressive ability to contest shots without fouling.
Dereck Lively is an elite rim protector.
Lively’s offensive game in college was centered around second-chance points and alley-oop finishes. His size and grit allowed him to get over any defender for an offensive rebound, and his instincts to decide whether to go up with the ball or pass it out are impressive for his age. He uses his athleticism and height to go up and catch any lob that comes his way.
His ability to run the floor is impressive, as there are many instances of him running on the break and finding the right spot on the floor to catch the ball for an easy dunk.
Sacramento should be interested in Lively because he has the tools that the Kings lack. His size coming off the bench would be fantastic, especially if he can develop his offensive skill set more. His rim protection and the ability to run the floor should make him a target for the Kings if he falls to the 24th pick.