The Kings will hope that one of their new franchise cornerstones is also a good luck charm.
Domantas Sabonis will represent Sacramento at the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery next Tuesday, with the Kings sporting a 7.5 percent chance at landing the top pick.
Sacramento also has a seven-to-eight percent chance at the second through fourth picks, though the likeliest result is either the eighth pick (34.1 percent) or the seventh selection (19.7 percent).
The Kings, who hired Warriors’ associate coach Mike Brown as their next head coach this week, finished with the seventh-worst record in the league at 30-52.
The 26-year-old Sabonis was acquired by the Kings midseason from the Indiana Pacers in a trade that included Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield going to Indiana.
He averaged 18.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 15 games with the Kings, but missed the last several weeks of the season with a knee injury.
The Kings have a lot riding on Sabonis, giving up a budding talent in Haliburton and an established sharpshooter in Hield in exchange for the two-time All-Star, with the hopes that he will help snap the franchise’s 16-year playoff drought.
And selecting Sabonis over other key players like De’Aaron Fox or Harrison Barnes to represent the Kings at the lottery may be a tacit sign of how highly the organization views their new star.
If the ping pong balls bounce Sacramento’s way on Tuesday, perhaps the Kings will have first dibs on adding another star piece on next season’s roster.