The best and worst-case scenarios for the Kings in 2018 NBA Draft Lottery


The best and worst-case scenarios for the Kings in 2018 NBA Draft Lottery

SACRAMENTO -- Five years ago today, the NBA made the decision to save the Sacramento Kings. Fans are hoping for a little more of that same luck Tuesday evening when the NBA’s Draft Lottery takes place in Chicago.

It’s an annual event in Sacramento. Like a bad karaoke singer on open mic night, the Kings come back to the lottery show every year hoping to hit the high notes. More often that not, they are sent off the stage disappointed.

De’Aaron Fox, last season’s 5th overall selection, will represent Sacramento at the lottery, which is scheduled for 4:30 pm PST. He’ll be joined by Assistant General Manager Ken Catanella, who will hang out in the lottery room and oversee the process.

The Kings finished the season tied with the Chicago Bulls with a 27-55 record. After losing a coin flip to the Chicago, Sacramento currently sits in the seventh spot in the draft lottery. Both the Bulls and Kings have an equal 18.3 percent chance of landing in the top three of the lottery.

Due to lottery restrictions, the Kings can select at 1, 2 or 3 if they luck their way into the top of the draft. If they don’t move up, they will select at 7, 8 or 9, depending on whether another franchise behind them in the lottery moves into one of the top three spots. They can fall as low as 10 in the draft, but the chances of three lower seeded teams moving into the top three is less than .0 percent.  

Sacramento has a 5.3 percent chance of landing the top overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. Waiting at the top spot is 7-foot-1 center, DeAndre Ayton, out of Arizona. Ayton is a franchise altering big with superstar potential. The Kings would have to re-balance their roster if they landed the top spot, but Ayton has an NBA ready body and should be able to start in year one.

The Kings have a 6 percent chance of landing the second spot in the NBA Draft Lottery. Ayton will likely be gone with the No. 1 overall selection, but Luka Doncic looks like option 1B. The smooth shooting point forward would fit perfectly alongside De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic in the starting lineup. He’s a high basketball IQ player that has played professionally in Europe for years. Doncic has star potential, but his ceiling is not considered as high as Ayton’s.

If Sacramento misses out on the top two selections, the draft opens up at No. 3. Big men Marvin Bagley III and Jaren Jackson Jr. are slated to go in the top four, but if he clears all the medical hurdles, 6-foot-10 small forward Michael Porter Jr. would fit nicely in the Kings lineup. All three of these players have star potential. Porter Jr. fits a major need for Sacramento, but he underwent back surgery in his freshman year at Missouri, which adds a major question mark.

If the Kings miss out on one of the top spots and no one leap frogs past them, they will at No. 7. It’s not a bad place to be and Sacramento has a 57.3 percent chance of landing this spot. Porter Jr. might fall this low. Shot blocking specialist Mo Bamba out of Texas might be here as well. The Kings can get quality at this spot and possibly even luck into a star level player.

Dropping a spot isn’t a death blow for the Kings, but it likely changes the potential impact of the players available. Bamba and Porter Jr. might slip this far, but it’s unlikely. Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr. is an option, but Sacramento has plenty of bigs. Small forwards Mykal Bridges and Miles Bridges are both options, although they project slightly lower than this on most draft boards. Falling a spot isn’t ideal, but there are still quality players available and you might find a diamond in the rough here. Sacramento has a 22.6 percent chance of falling to No. 8.

There is only a 1.8 percent chance that two teams move ahead of the Kings in the lottery and they end up drafting No. 9. It’s unlikely, but Sacramento has made defying lottery odds an artform. If they fall here, all options are on the table. Carter Jr., both Bridges and maybe even a player like Kentucky’s Kevin Knox become targets. This is the point of the draft where you balance need with best player available.

Divac explains why Bagley over Doncic was an 'easy choice' for Kings

Divac explains why Bagley over Doncic was an 'easy choice' for Kings

SACRAMENTO -- Deliberate. Calculated. Secretive. The Sacramento Kings held the NBA in suspense throughout the 2018 NBA Draft process. It wasn’t until Thursday morning that anyone knew for sure what Vlade Divac and his group were going to do and even then, there was a possibility of a last minutes swap.

With the second overall pick the Kings selected Duke big man, Marvin Bagley III. According to Divac, Sacramento focused on the 19-year-old leaper early in the draft process.

“He’s a guy who works hard, wants to improve, learn, coachable, good teammate, checks all the boxes of what we want,” Divac said.

Bagley tore up the ACC in his lone season as a Blue Devil and has been vocal about his want to be the first overall selection. He reiterated that desire on his post draft phone call with Sacramento media members on Thursday.

“That’s just the kind of player I am, I have confidence in my game,” Bagley said. “I still think I’m the best player in the draft and I stand by that. I put a lot of work into it and I’m glad I’ll be able to show it with Sacramento and I’m super excited.”

With Bagley in tow, the Kings now have six big men, including veterans Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos, as well as young players Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Harry Giles. It’s a crowded frontline that Divac will need to adress, or maybe not.

“He can play small forward,” Divac said of Bagley. “He can play 3, 4 and 5. Marvin’s a unique talent. He can play multiple positions.”

[RELATED: How Marvin Bagley fits with Kings]

Whether or not Bagley can play the wing is unknown at this time. He played primarily at the power forward and center position at Duke. At 6-foot-11, 234 pounds, he is a lean athlete and he shot nearly 40 percent from behind the 3-point line last season.

Much to the ire of plenty of Kings fans, Sacramento’s front office passed on Slovenian star, Luka Doncic. When asked about the decision, Divac made it clear where his group ranked Bagley.

"Marvin, for us is better fit, better player. Great talent. So it was an easy choice for us," Divac said.

Bagley will land in Sacramento Friday morning. The Kings will introduce him to fans during Music in the Park at Cesar Chavez Plaza at 5pm.

He will meet with the media on Saturday for his introductory press conference and according to Divac, fans won’t have to wait long to see him in action. The plan is for Bagley to see action in both Sacramento and Las Vegas summer league tournaments beginning in early July.

Kings trade No. 37 overall selection in 2018 NBA Draft for two future second-round picks


Kings trade No. 37 overall selection in 2018 NBA Draft for two future second-round picks

SACRAMENTO -- With all of the fanfare focused on Marvin Bagley III, the Sacramento Kings snuck in another Duke Blue Devil with the 37th overall selection, taking guard Gary Trent Jr. with their second round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Moments later, it was announced that they had a deal in place to ship Trent to the Portland Trail Blazers for two future second round selections.

With eight players on rookie scale contracts already on the roster, plus the addition of Bagley, the Kings were expected to move off of their second-round selection this season. 

Trent, 19, averaged 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds a game as a freshman this season for Duke. He is the son of former Trail Blazers big man, Gary Trent.