5 Stars the Sacramento Kings missed drafting by a single pick

Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings
Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
1 of 5

Drafting the right player is not always an easy thing to do for NBA teams. Sometimes, the player they pick has immense talent but is simply not a good fit. Other times, the talent just doesn’t pan out as imagined while other players widely exceed expectations. During the 2014 draft process, no one believed, for example, that Nikola Jokic would turn out to be one of the best players of his generation.

Every team makes draft mistakes, but the Sacramento Kings are known for their bad draft decisions in the past sixteen years. Losing for years on end, they often had good picks but did not use them right.

So, let’s look at six stars the Kings missed drafting by a single pick. 

5. Luka Doncic

In 2018, the top three of the NBA Draft featured Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Luka Doncic. One turned out to be an MVP candidate, one was a key player on a finals team, and one never fulfilled his perceived potential. Unfortunately, the Kings drafted the latter.

Marvin Bagley III had some solid statistical seasons in Sacramento, but injuries and disagreements with the coaching staff derailed his career. It was simply not a good fit, and, after three and a half seasons of losing, the Kings finally traded Bagley to the Detroit Pistons. The trade was long overdue but ultimately did not bring quite the return you would hope for when moving a top draft pick. 

The Kings had just drafted De’Aaron Fox with another top pick and probably wanted a young big to pair with him, but missing out on Luka Doncic is still painful. At only 25 years of age, Doncic is one of the most talented scorers and passers in the league already and has had a legitimate MVP case for a few seasons now. Usually, if you have the chance to get such a high-level talent, you go for it, and Doncic has not forgotten that the Kings passed on him.

To make matters worse, the draft also still had Jaren Jackson Jr., Trae Young, Mikal Bridges, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander available. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Mikal Bridges would both solve a handful of problems the Kings are currently facing.