|Thomas has been anything but irrelevant.|
I'll start off by pointing out that the only significant loss to free agency will be center Jason Thompson. Thompson has shown flashes of dominating the glass in his career, but his inconsistency will probably make the team lean against resigning him.
At point guard, the Kings drafted Jimmer Fredette with their lottery pick last year. While he hasn't panned out like a lottery pick usually does, Mr. Irrelevant Isaiah Thomas has certainly been a revelation. Despite his size, Thomas has converted himself into a stellar point guard at the next level. He still has a knack for scoring even in the NBA and his guard skills are top notch. At the 2, Sacramento is loaded with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton. The two young guards are very talented at scoring, even though Evans has declined since his rookie year. What's even better is that Evans has the ability to play PG even at 6'6" and Thornton could eat some minutes at SF if necessary. It seems like the Kings' backcourt is set.
At small forward, the only remaining players are Travis Outlaw and Tyler Honeycutt. While Honeycutt was just drafted last year, he is more of a defensive specialist, so a SF may be on Sacramento's wish list. Francisco Garcia and John Salmons both play the position, but their skills have greatly declined. DeMarcus Cousins occupies the power forward spot and he is getting better with every season. While he still has his attitude issues, he's a keeper for the Kings and a player to build the franchise around.
The center spot is empty with the departure of Thompson, and the only actual C left on the roster is Chuck Hayes who averaged 3.2 points per game last year and stands at 6'6". Time to find a new center.
The Kings pick 5th and 36th in the draft. Who do they take?
|Drummond has a lot of work to do to reach his potential.|
While Barnes is still a bit raw, he has the potential to be a great player in the NBA. His scoring both on the perimeter and attacking the rim would be greatly valued by the Kings. However, he still has work to do on his game on both sides of the ball, and his sophomore season, specifically the end of it, left a sour taste in some people's mouths.
Arguably the riskiest prospect in this year's draft is Drummond. He is a physical specimen that is very athletic, fast, and explosive for a man of his stature. His work down low, on the glass, and on defense both patrolling the paint and blocking shots make him a monster. However, his skills are incredibly raw, he's limited offensively, and he has bust written all over him. Personally, I think he's going to be one. However, I see the Kings taking the risk here. He would be a good fit pairing with the offensive minded Cousins and if Sacramento develops him the right way, they'll have struck gold. Barnes wouldn't be a bad pick either, but the Kings have a pressing need on defense that Drummond could fix.
With the #36 pick, Sacramento should then try to fill that void at small forward. Here are a few players they'll be looking at.
Darius Miller from Kentucky is a sharpshooter with great size and solid all around skills. His experience at Kentucky is valuable, but the fact that his minutes were limited may be a cause for concern. Kostas Papanikolaou from Greece is an international forward with a high motor and good defensive ability. He can shoot the three ball as well, but his athleticism is something to be desired. Jae Crowder from Marquette is another high energy player that the Kings could plug into their squad. While his physical tools are not at an NBA level, he can score from anywhere on the court and be a factor on the glass.
|Mitchell is underrated, but will make an impact in the NBA.|
To sum it all up, I would suggest the Kings take Andre Drummond with the 5th pick and Tony Mitchell with the 36th pick. That would give the team a starting five of Thomas, Evans, Thornton, Cousins, and Drummond and a bench of Mitchell, Honeycutt, and Fredette. While there's still a ton of youth on this roster and it will still be some time before they are competitive, as long as Drummond turns out alright, they'll get there.
Next up are the Portland Trailblazers, who have two lottery picks and are in a puzzling situation as they seem to be rebuilding, but still have a lot of talent on their roster.