Kings Draft Preamble

On Lottery Day, the Basketball Gods looked down upon the Sacramento Kings, and they blessed them with good fortune not seen since the day Chris Webber said “ah shit, man I guess I’ll stay in Sac.” The Kings will pick 2nd in the NBA Draft, the highest they’ve ever picked and buttholes have never been clenched more tightly.

Historical precedent tells us that there is a not insignificant chance that the Kings will fuck this up. This doesn’t weigh as heavily on my mind as it does some other Kings fans, but that’s only because I have resigned myself to the nihilistic embrace of constant disappointment. Anything better will just be gravy. I fully expect one of the following terrible outcomes:

  • The Kings draft Luka Doncic who just becomes a more handsome T.J. McConnell
  • The Kings draft DeAndre Ayton who just becomes Jahlil Okafor with better muscle definition
  • The Kings trade the pick for some combination of players and picks that lead them in the lottery for the next five years before jumping again and we go through the same fucking cursed process

The stakes haven’t been this high for the Kings since 2003, when they were competing for actual championships. The future of Vlade Divac and his handpicked front office compatriots hinges on this draft and its immediate aftermath. Divac’s seat has been getting warmer and warmer since the moment he set his ass on it, with only a handful of successful transactions permeating a minefield of failures: the 2015 Sixers trade, the George Karl saga, the Georgios Papagiannis selection, the 2017 draft selections that weren’t De’Aaron Fox.

If he fails, he continues the cycle of futility Kings fan now know like a second language: lose 50 games, whiff on pick, lose 50 more games, make a promising pick, watch prospect fail, lose 50 more games, repeat.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Pick options

Reports are that the Phoenix Suns will pick DeAndre Ayton, who apparently has a body crossed with Hercules and Patrick Ewing, with the first pick. If that happens, the Kings should take Doncic. Some say his skills overlap with other guards on the roster, which is true. Know what else is true? None of those guards are worth ignoring Doncic over. Buddy Hield might be a starter on a contender. De’Aaron Fox might become an average shooter. Bogdan Bogdanovic is 25 and he also might be a sixth man Manu Ginobili type for a winning team. You don’t ignore a guy like Doncic whose game is perfectly suited for modern NBA teams.

If the Suns take Doncic and leave the Kings with a choice of Ayton or Jaren Jackson Jr., I will plant my flag firmly on the JJJ hill and die there. And as I bleed out watching Dave Joeger’s stupid offense funnel Ayton and Zach Randolph’s geriatric ass post touches while two 40% three point shooters twiddle their thumbs, I will scream out in anguish.*

Jackson showed the tools and skills to be a modern NBA big: a rim-protecting, three-point shooting modern marvel with a nose for help-side blocks and a nascent playmaking skill. He also committed approximately 400 fouls over the season so he needs some work. Again, I’m only right until I’m not.

We won’t know until Woj tweets it out, but we will be here, sphincters ever tightening, hoping against hope that the Kings just don’t fuck it up again.

*i fully reserve the right to contradict this in a bald-faced lie

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