Posted by: Kingsguru21 | May 8, 2009

Lower 1st round ramblings

Since the Kings have the 23rd and 31st overall pick, it stands to reason that they could get a rotation player, or two, out of this deal. I like that. The Kings need more talent, and if it’s through 3 cheap young talented players, so be it. I’ve heard of worse things.

I’m going to assume, partly because I’m a jerkoff know-it-all asshole who believes in the power of his own self importance, in that the Kings take Ricky Rubio, or another G like Tyreke Evans or Brandon Jennings. Because of this, the Kings will be looking at depth for their front line at their lower picks. They might even consider taking another PG or another SG or SF. It’s hard to say.

Currently, DX has the Kings taking Daye at the 23rd slot. I think it’s a stretch to say that the Kings would take him, but hey, whatever. Fanhouse’s Tom Ziller (yes he blogs at StR AND Fanhouse–also BallHype–and guest blogs other places too) had an interesting mock draft that had the Kings taking Danny Green, a 2/3 swing type from Carolina. NBA Draft.net has the Kings taking Gani Lawal. (They also have the Kings taking Taj Gibson at the 31st overall pick.)

I like the idea of Lawal even though he’s very raw. He’s also athletic, and because the Kings have 2 talented young pivot’s in Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson, they can afford to look at players who are smaller and are probably more simply prototpyical PF’s. It’s true that every team would love to have 4 guys who can play 2 positions at the PF/C position, but that’s simply not how the real world works. It’s a luxury for the Kings to have 2 talented young core pieces in Hawes and Thompson who can play the PF/C. While I’ve argued repeatedly that the Rubio/Griffin debate is just simply about upside and who has the greater chance of being a franchise player, or getting close to it at the very least, this debate is a bit easier. Needs comes into play here because it should. The Kings need to get deeper up front, and they need more athleticism, low post defense, shot blocking and rebounding. Players like Lawal and Gibson could help. So could Derrick Brown.

My personal feeling is that rolling the dice at this lower point of the draft will help the Kings more than just taking the BPA. If the BPA is a role playing SF, than how does that really help the Kings? In 2005, the Kings left David Lee on the board because they wanted a multi-positional talent who could handle the ball in Garcia. They also believed that Kenny Thomas and Brian Skinner could capably man the position. I won’t second guess the decision, but now, the need to get a player who could develop at the power position is needed. So the point is, I guess, that there is precedent here.

Lawal, Gibson and Brown don’t need to head this debate. I wouldn’t mind if the Kings looked at BJ Mullens, but I would mind if they moved up to get him. Why waste a resource on a player like Mullens? If he drops to you that’s one thing. Petrie won’t necessarily leave Mullens on the board if that’s the case. But, again, this is BJ Mullens who is dropping like a stone. He’s a perfect project player for the Kings that they need to consider heavily if they want to develop a quality rotation of bigger players.

Beyond those 4, Tyler Hansborough might not be a bad idea at all if he drops to the 31st overall pick. Or, maybe you can trade down and get him with a lower 2nd round pick. Either way, Hansborough has had a successful NCAA career at UNC, and is not likely to be more than a hustling role player big. The Kings could use one of those too. Hell, Hansborough and Mullens might be the best mix of hustle role player and upside that they might get the best out of both. The Kings aren’t good enough to throw any possiiblities away. That’s why I won’t discount Hansborough even though his physical abilities are not considered high end talent. There is absolutely no shame in that. (Of course, some team in the later 1st round might take Hansborough for the same reason.)

Milan Macvan is a guy who might be best served taking in the 2nd round (especially if Petrie is able to get multiple picks in the 2nd round somehow someway).

Victor Claver is a player who might not last past the 2nd round because some team in the late 1st round could easily take a flier on him (OKC, Chicago, San Antonio, LA or Cleveland could all work here).

Omri Casspi is not a player I’m greatly interested in because he seems to be a total SF/PF tweener (similar to several other players I won’t mention here). I think the Kings have enough of those already in Donte Greene and Andres Nocioni, and as such, there’s no real great need in this area. Still, if you think one of them can make a real impact that trading either guy is worth doing so, then I suppose this should be up for consideration.

I re-iterate one more time, when you’re as bad as the Kings were, you don’t simply settle for 2 or 3 solutions. You owe it to yourself to look at EVERYTHING. Hence why I’m looking at everything too. I don’t want to be saying on draft day “who the fuck is so & so”. I owe it to myself, and all 3 of you readers out there, to know what I’m thinking on draft day. I think.

Anyway, back on track. I think.

Michael Washington is a possibility as well, although he doesn’t really intrigue me.

DX has a list of draft eligible PF’s. Today, Patrick Patterson announced he was going back to Kentucky. That means Gani Lawal is 6th on DX’s list of draft eligible PF’s. But, Jarvis Varnado is an intriguing prospect to me that the Kings should be able to pick up at the 23rd overall pick. I know he’s raw offensively, but defensively, he brings some of what Hasheem Thabeet has. Without the level of having to use a top 10 pick to get him. Again, this is where having Hawes and Thompson come into play. It’s a luxury the Kings get to have when choosing their bigs in their future.

I would say these are the guys who really stick out to me. Gani Lawal (despite whatever you think of his success at Georgia Tech he does do things well), Derrick Brown (his rebounding and defense stick out to me reading his write-ups), and Jarvis Varnado all intrigue me. One reason is because they’re all defensive role players, and they’re all likely to be there when the Kings select at 23.

I’m not naive. I don’t think these guys are stars, or even have a great chance at becoming awesome rotation players. But, they might become them with time. The Kings have time. They are not on a track to winning a ring next season. They can afford to take a risk with a low 1st round pick because it’s not likely to happen again for awhile. Usually Petrie takes a patient, and subdued, approach to adding young players to his team. He consistently adds them, but only adds 1 (maybe 2) at a time. Geoff Petrie since coming to Sacramento has not had an overly young roster. Yet, that’s likely what will happen with 6 players (at least today) who will be 23 or younger. (And thats only Greene, JT, Shawes and the 3 draft picks. There could be other youth added as well via other avenues.)

Because this team is going to have a lot of youth, it’s going to struggle because young players adapt to the league at different rates. That’s the juggling trick of keeping veteran talent (like Nocioni) around while having young talented players in your rotation (Greene) fighting for playing time.

The Kings cant fill every hole this year. They aren’t going to try and fill every hole. I’ve criticized Petrie’s patience with regards to the coaching search. Whether that nets Eddie Jordan or not, his patience in dealing with young players is valuable beyond calculation to this franchise. The single greatest way to ensure your franchise keeps winning is developing successful young talent. Petrie has proven that with lesser lottery picks, and lower non-lottery picks. It would be nice if he hit a few home runs at the exact time the franchise needs it most. It might even, dare I say it, cement his legacy as the most important/influential piece of keeping the Kings in Sacramento.

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