5 Stars the Sacramento Kings missed drafting by a single pick

Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings
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1. James Harden 

Since leaving the Houston Rockets in 2020, James Harden has had a tumultuous couple of years, forcing his way out of Brooklyn and then Philadelphia to eventually land with the LA Clippers. No matter how you feel about those moves, no one can deny Harden’s All-Star talent and the impact he had on the league during his prime. 

Unfortunately for the Kings, they missed drafting Harden by just one pick. He was the third pick in 2009, and Sacramento had the fourth one in that year’s draft. Not able to get Harde, they selected Tyreke Evans. 

Evans had some good years in Sacramento, winning Rookie of the Year and averaging as much as 20 points a game, but never reached the same level of stardom as Harden. Over the course of his career, Harden has made 10 All-Star teams as well as 7 All-NBA teams, won the 2018 MVP award, and led the league in scoring and assists several times.  

Furthermore, while Harden is still going strong, Evans’ career ended on a sour note. In 2019, Evans was banned from the NBA due to violations of the league’s Anti-Drug Program. He was reinstated in 2022, but never made it back to the league.