Posted by: natehughart | May 17, 2011

Kings picking 7th in draft; Kings fans curse lottery gods again

It’s a rite of passage for Kings fans; you know your a fan when you watch the lottery in hopes of wanting a better pick only to drop in the lottery process one way or another. And what are Kings fans doing right now? Cursing the lottery process yet again.

Now, this is ignoring the obvious. Does it matter? Who knows. I honestly can tell you I don’t care, I don’t think the Clippers trading their pick to Cleveland is that big of a deal either. There is a reason the Clippers did it, and why should they care? The bigger news in my mind is that Cleveland has 2 top 4 picks in a draft particularly weak, but a chance for them to get 2 potential high end rotation players. Maybe a borderline All-Star in Irving. So good for Cleveland. For Sacramento? What does this do?

Eh. Not sure. If you were of the opinion that trading the pick was a good idea, I’m not sure the 7th overall pick in this draft, and I don’t know this for a guarantee, I know the Kings would probably love to bring in a veteran who can help the team immediately upon coming to the team. I personally want Andre Iguodala (most StR readers already know that) and I wonder how this would entice the Sixers at this point.

I don’t know. Again, it matters for what you want or something to that effect. Would the Kings use the pick to get a vet like Iggy? Of course they would. Would the Sixers trade Iguodala for the 7th overall pick in a less than stellar draft? (Which sometimes is wrong. But, something tells me this draft is not the greatest on talent. The 7th pick may not be the easiest sell.)

I’ll be honest here. If you were thinking about Andre Iguodala, I was thinking this earlier: The Kings trade a top 5 pick to Philly, the 2013 1st rounder, 2 or 3 2nd round picks, Omri Casspi and Hassan Whiteside. Now with the 7th overall pick? That still may not be enough. Kate Fagan has made this point repeatedly that makes me think Philly will pull back thinking it has better options in the future: The Sixers must make a deal that is a guaranteed win in terms of a trade of Iguodala.

That’s the problem I think in getting a deal done. Philly wants star level value for Iggy and few teams, if any, will be willing to give up that kind of value to Philly. Now, would I trade Iggy for multiple picks in the 1st and 2nd round, Casspi and Whiteside? Yeah, I would if I knew that value for Iguodala had a reasonable chance of dropping on the other side of a new CBA. But, again, that’s the wildcard here: We don’t know what the new CBA looks like.

What I think the Kings need to do is keep the full court press on Philly, wear them down and find a way to use the things I mentioned above (Casspi, Whiteside, 1st rounds pick this year and 2013, 2 or 3 2nd round picks and cap space) to get a deal done for Iggy. What I just mentioned is a lot of assets that, by themselves, don’t mean much, but for a team in Philly’s position? It means more. The Sixers can be players in Free Agency in 2012 which is not something they even have an option of doing so now. They can use Elton Brand’s expiring contract in the 2012-13 season
that gives the Sixers a great flexibility to get something done. Additionally, the Sixers would have roughly a 10 million TPE (a 10 million dollar credit that works like cap space but isn’t quite cap space in reality) as well. That gives the Sixers a lot of shots to get something done, and the Kings? It’s all within reason. The Kings have lots of young players now, and do not necessarily need another project player who will take some time to gain traction in this NBA. The Sixers need more young talent and need some reason to rebuild. Trading Iguodala may not prove to yield the greatest assets ever, but Iggy’s salary is prohibitive for a lot of teams. It’s not for Sacramento.

Which means Geoff Petrie and the Kings staff has to do this right. It doesn’t matter if Philly wants to do a trade in 2 days or a month from now. It makes no difference to me. A trade is a trade. The only thing that I can guarantee is off the table from the Kings end (and it was probably a hangup when the Kings & Sixers assuredly discussed Iguodala during the season) is Jason Thompson. For a guy like LeBron James JT is in the equation. For Iguodala? It’s not even worth discussing as it simply won’t happen. Not when you’re talking about 2 1st round picks, multiple 2nd round and a young player like Omri Casspi that can certainly help you moving forward.

The beauty here is the Kings have a lot of asset’s to get a deal done. The question is will the Sixers be amenable to a deal of any reason. With Rod Thorn, that’s very much a difficult question to answer. Even though Ed Stefanski is the GM of the Sixers, Thorn likely would be just as involved in negotiating a trade with Iguodala as Stefanski would. Thorn is a heavy handed deal maker who does not deal a player who wants to be dealt. Thorn knows quite often that players get frustrated.

But the real question is will Thorn have that kind of power to stall for what he wants (likely JT) or for a player like Rudy Gay (likely not available). Thorn has done so with that type of power, and will likely do so again regardless of what the new CBA looks like. Thorn believes, correctly, that you do not just make a deal to make a deal. Even more so when you’re talking about unique talent like Iguodala. I’m sure Thorn would prefer to keep Iguodala if he could and then trade Iguodala on the even of the 2012 Free Agent bonanza. But Iggy’s value may become less as his contract is more expensive. And there aren’t many teams that will cut off the value of a contract like Iggy.

The worst part is both Minnesota and Cleveland (2nd and 4th picks) can get involved in an Iguodala deal as well. Both teams could use a player like Iggy and both teams have packages that could rival what Sacramento could offer. But I think Sacramento can offer the most things to Philly that offer the potential best package. I’m not of the opinion that the 7th pick has worse quality than the 1st overall pick (especially if you have someone running your franchise who knows what they are doing) in this particular draft. I think that because, if nothing else, when you have 4 players whom I’d consider top 10 picks in terms of the best players in the draft (Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, Terrence Jones and Harrison Barnes) who are no longer in the draft, that does 2 things. First it makes the 2011 draft, and the 2012 draft stronger. The Kings, assuming they are a playoff team next season (assuming there is a season) will have a deeper draft to make a quality pick in. Those players will likely not likely be at where the Kings pick, but the possibility that quality players would not be there due to a deeper draft is one that is certainly a stronger possibility.

So while there is many possibilities at this point, what is known? Just that the Kings have the 7th pick, and come June 23rd will have a new Kings player to root for. Whether that is a vet or a rookie? No clue. That is just another question to be answered. Are the Kings thrilled to be at the 7th pick? Probably. It makes getting a quality player they were looking at, or perhaps not. It may not make a difference.

The only thing we know today is that the Kings have the 7th pick in the draft. Everything else is speculation and until it becomes finalized, all speculation is just that. So with that said, hopefully the Kings can find a vet that helps the team significantly if not Iguodala.

Here’s to another draft season full of hope. And please, do not despair. Things do not always seem as dire as they typically may seem on the surface.


Responses

  1. Pook – can only think that you had the body of this post done before the lottery was held. Once you get past the second pick, or possibly the 1st depending on how you feel about this years draft, Sac’s position doesn’t make that much difference.

    This is the most boring draft I can remember in years or most likely I’m the most bored I have been in years, too early to tell. The only thing I’m convinced of is that the lottery is not rigged despite every lottery teams feeling. I was actually more excited with the Kings taking Whiteside last season (now meh) than I am about the 7th pick this season.

    I agree that Iguadala would be a great trade for the Kings but don’t see Philly making the trade for the bits and pieces you suggest. Philly has always overvalued him and don’t see them making a trade for less than established skill which the Kings don’t have to offer. Assuming we have a 11/12 season, I have a full belief that the Kings will be better next season than this last one but think at this point that the playoffs are too big a jump to make when looking at next years draft.

    • Actually BJ, I wrote the entire post after the lottery. I had no idea how to write something in advance without knowing where the Kings would be. I knew that dropping or jumping wasn’t a big deal though, and I wanted to make my feelings on that clear.

      Interesting point about the playoffs and this team BJ. I think if the Kings can get a vet like Iggy, the playoffs become a lot more attainable with all the gaps Iggy fills. But without Iggy? That falls squarely on the development of Reke, and, to put things in their best light, hopefully Reke succeeds in the task.

      However, it would just be nice to have a veteran wing who can do the things Iggy does. That’s why I happen to be so focused on Andre Iguodala.

      Thanks for the comments BJ (here and the recap thread).


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