Posted by: natehughart | May 19, 2009

Kings select 4th

Lots of disappointment to go around, although to be honest, I’m not that disappointed. I can’t really say i care. I can find tons of instances where teams went down in the draft on lottery day, and then ended up with the best players from the draft. (New Orleans in 2004; Portland in 2006 for instance.)

The Kings have the 4th pick in the draft. There have been lots of quality players throughout this pick’s history. And, I have to believe this draft is not different in that respect.

Here is the lottery order for those who aren’t aware:

Phoenix (14th pick)
Indiana (13th pick)
Charlotte (12th pick)
New Jersey (11th pick)
Milwaukee (10th pick)
Toronto (9th pick)
New York (8th pick)
Golden State (7th pick)
Minnesota (6th pick)
Washington (5th pick)
Kings (4th pick)
Oklahoma City (3rd pick)
Memphis (2nd pick)
LA Clippers (1st pick)

Now, among those teams, I can see Memphis trading down. I can also see OKC trading down as well. I can see the Kings doing a deal with Memphis to take Marko Jaric off the Grizzlies hands. (Maybe a trade of draft picks.)

I can also see Geoff Petrie keeping the pick, and picking someone like Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, or someone from that pool. (I could also see Jrue Holiday being the pick honestly.)

I can see the Kings not making a trade, or using an asset to get a pick they do want. I can see the Kings staying put. I can see the team using their later 1st round pick (23rd overall) or the 31st overall pick and try to package them along with the 4th overall pick to Memphis for that 2nd round pick. (I don’t think the Clippers will try and do that trade.)

Anything is greatly possible. Even if you’re suicidal, don’t be. There is much evidence that supports the notion the Kings will be okay if they have a good management team. If you’re not a BIG Blake Griffin fan, then you should be very happy. If you aret, then well, I can’t really help you now.

What I can tell you is that the Kings had a shot to finish in the top 4, and because the worst they could finish was top 4, they did the worst they could do. But the worst you can do in this draft is not necessarily the worst thing that could help this franchise. Those two terms are definitely not mutually exclusive.

***

Now, that previous paragraph is from a strict basketball sense. From a financial perspective, and possibly from a competitiveness perspective, having the 1st overall pick would have juiced this franchise tremendously. It would have gotten a lot of people talking about how great this franchise would have been with Blake Griffin. (That’s the name that would have caused most casual fans to talk.) Now, it’s a bit harder for the ticket sales department to sell up a top 4 pick. Even though as a diehard fan I know better, most casual fans don’t know. They likely, and hell many of my friends on Sactown Royalty feel the same way, think it’s the end of the world.

It’s not the end of the world. It’s just going to be that much harder to sell this team that was awful on the court, and had a difficult time getting fans to see this team. Fans would have come out to see Blake Griffin, or possibly Ricky Rubio (and that possibility still exists).

But the chance to hype this franchise is all gone. The chance to see this franchise soak itself in positive light for a month is gone. This franchise needed that hype, and they needed that glory. It didn’t happen.

With all that being said, the worst case scenario was the 4th pick. And, the 4th pick has netted some damn good players over the years:

Russell Westbrook (2008)
Mike Conley Jr (2007)
Tyrus Thomas (2006)
Chris Paul (2005)
Shaun Livingston (2004)
Chris Bosh (2003)
Drew Gooden (2002)
Eddy Curry (2001)
Marcus Fizer (2000)
Lamar Odom (1999)
Antawn Jamison (1998)
Antonio Daniels (1997)
Stephon Marbury (1996)
Rasheed Wallace (1995)
Donyell Marshall (1994)
Jamal Mashburn (1993)
Jimmy Jackson (1992)
Dikembe Mutombo (1991)
Dennis Scott (1990)
Glen Rice (1989)
Chris Morris (1988)
Reggie Williams (1987)
Chuck Person (1986)
Xavier McDaniel (1985)

That’s not a bad list. In fact, many of those players were All-Star caliber players in the league, and several are Hall of Famers. Other than the 1st overall pick, I doubt that wouldn’t be the case for every other pick. And, I’m very sure of this, the odds go down with every pick selected in the draft.

One other thing. As important as this draft is, and the lottery selection is a part of this, the Kings were likely to not finish near the playoffs next season regardless of what pick they chose. History has told us that the Kings being at the bottom of the pack for several years will net this team a quality pick. Only luck can give you the top pick, and quite frankly, that does excite me. Sure, this team won’t be great next year, but the chance to improve this team greatly over the next 2 drafts still very much exists. I’m excited about this team, and the lottery result I can live with. I knew it was possible. I still very much care about this team. All this does really, for Sactown Royalty anyway, is keep the bandwagon morons off the boat for awhile. Any time you get the 1st overall pick you’re going to get bandwagon fans. It happens every year. Then the real games start, and those players are exposed to real NBA players, and suddenly a fans opinions will change. That will, no doubt, be the case with every player in the draft. Players whose stock dipped at draft time will rise again once the season starts. It works the other way with players at the top of the draft, too.

In other words, to quote Henry Abbott from earlier today, I’m going to bet on the field. And, I believe Geoff Petrie can make this work for the team. I even believe it’s possible that the team has the best player in the draft after all it’s said & done. I just hope it works out that way, and regardless of what happens on draft day, don’t lose hope. That’s the greatest thing any fan can have. Losing hope is not cool. Losing hope cuz the Kings don’t have the first pick is definitely not cool. Great things can even happen to this franchise. If you don’t believe that. Stop being a fan. Seriously. So, in otherwords, keep believing, and believe that this franchise can, and will, get the player it needs to move this team forwards. Let’s keep hope people. The last time the Kings had a top 5 pick, they selected Billy Owens and came away with Mitch Richmond. Jes sayin…….


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