Kings mailbag: NBA draft, trade talk, Jaden Ivey draw

FILE - Purdue guard Jaden Ivey (23) heads for the basket next to Iowa forward Kris Murray (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten tournament on March 13, 2022 in Indianapolis.  Ivey is the headliner among the potential point guards in next week's NBA draft.  (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

FILE – Purdue guard Jaden Ivey (23) heads for the basket next to Iowa forward Kris Murray (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten tournament on March 13, 2022 in Indianapolis. Ivey is the headliner among the potential point guards in next week’s NBA Draft. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

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The Kings are the subject of many trade rumors as anticipation grows for Thursday’s NBA draft.

Sacramento jumped three spots in the lottery to secure the No. 4 pick, giving general manager Monte McNair the hottest product in this year’s draft. With Auburn forward Jabari Smith, Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren and Duke forward Paolo Banchero expected to be the top three picks in the draft, teams are gearing up for the opportunity to sign Purdue guard Jaden Ivey at No. 4.

The Kings can keep the choice to themselves or trade to acquire additional assets. What do the Kings want from this year’s draft? What do they need? What should they do?

You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers in this NBA preliminary edition of the Kings’ mailbag.

Note: Some questions have been edited for length or clarity.

@MaddenDude_ request: What are the three main needs of the Kings, not only the position, but the type of player at each position that they would like?

The Kings have identified their biggest needs as shooting, size/length and defense.

They need to shoot to expand the ground for Fox and Sabonis, who need proper spacing to maximize their respective strengths. They need size, length and defense to keep opposing teams from knocking them out of the gym after finishing 27th in the NBA in defensive rating, 29th in opposing points per game (115.8) and 29th in rebounding percentage. (.484).

Sacramento wants to build around Fox and Sabonis, neither of whom are known for their 3-point shooting or defense. The Kings will need to surround Fox and Sabonis with 3 and D wings that can help fill their gaps.

@dark_gone request: Are the first three really better than #4? If someone in the top three “hits” someone other than the top three, who is most likely to jump?

The “Big Three” of Smith, Holmgren and Banchero have been widely projected as the top three picks for some time, but I’ve been saying for weeks that this is actually a four-man draft.

The rest of the league seems to have embraced this idea with Ivey emerging as a top talent. Ivey, the most coveted goaltender in this year’s draft, could be destined for stardom. Some of the scouts, executives and agents I’ve spoken to have him in their top three. A top league source considers Holmgren and Ivey the top two players in the draft.

Ivey, 20, is 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds with terrific athleticism and extraordinary jumping ability. He is a force around the rim and a capable 3-point shooter, although his ball handling, play and mid-range play needs work. He is considered a combo guard who spent a lot of time operating on the ball at Purdue, but many see him becoming more of a playmaker as he develops his game.

Shaedon Sharpe is another young guard with star potential, but with so many question marks around him, Ivey will be the one to jump into the top three if Smith, Holmgren or Banchero fall.

@PAULGUGLIELMIN1 request: Should Sacramento come back from No. 4 to No. 7 in the draft since Jaden Ivey doesn’t want the Kings to pick him? Why?

Absolutely not. There are reports that Sacramento isn’t Ivey’s “preferred destination,” not to mention questions about his fit with Fox, but the Kings aren’t expected to trade unless there’s a move that has some effect. meaning to them.

Ivey and the No. 4 pick are in high demand, so that kind of deal could come to fruition, but frankly, it doesn’t matter what Ivey wants. Asset management is an important part of running an NBA team. The Kings have made more than their share of mistakes in this department over the years. They can’t afford to do it again this time.

@sac_kings_daily request: Who do you think the Kings should draft, will draft and want to draft?

Should write: Jaden Ivey unless one of the ‘Big Three’ drops to No. 4 or gets a trade offer he can’t refuse.

Will write: Jaden Ivey unless one of the ‘Big Three’ drops to No. 4 or gets a trade offer he can’t refuse.

Keen to draft: Smith and Holmgren are likely at the top of the Kings big board due to their talent, two-way versatility and potential compatibility with Sabonis. Iowa forward Keegan Murray must also be high on their list given his talent, fitness and preparation.

@JbTochterman request: Which team wants enough of Ivey to trade him if he’s there at No. 4? And what would that team realistically offer the Kings?

Teams seem to be lining up for the opportunity to get Ivey at No. 4. We’ve already heard reports that the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards are trying to reach a deal with the Kings. The New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks and others could also try to get involved.

It’s hard to say which team wants Ivey more without being aware of each team’s internal discussions, but the Pistons, for example, should probably offer the No. 5 pick with Jerami Grant or Saddiq Bey and possibly additional draft compensation. . The Pacers should pack the No. 6 pick with someone like Malcolm Brogdon or Myles Turner. The Blazers should offer the No. 7 pick and someone like Josh Hart. The Wizards are expected to drop the No. 10 pick with Kyle Kuzma and a young player like Rui Hachimura or Deni Avdija.

@bandz81 request: What is the best recovery scenario for Sacramento?

The Kings might be able to get the most out of the No. 4 pick by trading twice. For example, they might be able to come back from No. 4 to No. 5 to acquire Grant from the Pistons, then come back from No. 5 to No. 7 to get Hart from the Blazers.

In this scenario, Sacramento would add a starting guard in Hart and a starting forward in Grant. The Kings could then use the No. 7 pick to select the best available player from a pool that could include Murray, Sharpe, G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels, Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin, Duke small forward AJ Griffin and Baylor striker Jeremy Sochan.

This story was originally published June 20, 2022 4:00 a.m.

Jason Anderson is an award-winning sportswriter for The Sacramento Bee. He began his reporting career at The Bee over 20 years ago and returned to cover the Sacramento Kings in September 2018.

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