Kings

NBA draft lottery 2019: Kings' five worst-case scenarios that could play out

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AP

NBA draft lottery 2019: Kings' five worst-case scenarios that could play out

For over a decade, Sacramento Kings glue themselves to a television set watching the NBA’s Draft lottery. More often than not, the ping pong ball betrayed Kings fans, leaving them cursing and the team sliding down the draft board.

The last two draft, the Kings miraculously moved up the board, where the team selected De’Aaron Fox at No. 5 in 2017, followed by Marvin Bagley at No. 2 last summer. 

Sacramento improved this season, moving all the way down to the last team in the lottery, but the selection is long gone. One of Vlade Divac’s first moves as an executive was to deal Nik Stauskas, Jason Thompson and Carl Landry to the Philadelphia 76ers in a salary dump. The cost was a pair of potential pick swaps and a 2019 unprotected first round pick.

It wasn’t a good deal at the time and it looked even worse when the Kings jumped from No. 8 to No. 3 in the lottery, but were forced to swap the No. 3 pick to the 76ers for the No. 5 pick in the 2017 Draft. While it could have hurt the team greatly, Divac still landed the player he wanted in Fox and it looks like he made the right move.

While the excitement of the lottery is all but extinguished in Sacramento, there is still plenty of reasons to watch.

Here are five of the worst-case scenarios that could play out and leave Kings fans distraught on Tuesday evening. 

1. The Revenge of Sauce Castillo

Dealing a future first-rounder in any trade is treacherous, but the Kings’ improved record helps take the sting off of the 2015 Nik Stauskas aka Sauce Castillo salary dump deal. Sacramento’s pick currently sits at No. 14, putting it at just a .5 percent of moving into the top spot in the draft. If the pick lands at No. 1 overall, the Sixers keep it. If lands in any other spot, it belongs to the Boston Celtics, who acquired the pick in a 2017 draft day deal. 

The pick is gone either way, but if by some miracle it moves into the top three, Divac’s nightmare starts all over again. If it stays at No. 14, the trade has a much lower chance of being rehashed for the next month leading up to draft night.

2. LA Story

The Kings and Lakers had an incredible rivalry early in the 2000s, whether the good people of Los Angeles believe it or not. With Luke Walton leaving the Lakeshow and joining the Kings, the rivalry may heat up again. The two teams finished the year just two games apart in the standings, leaving LA with just a two percent chance of moving into the top spot. If the Lakers boast a starting lineup that includes LeBron James and Zion Williamson for the next few season, it’s a blow to Sacramento’s chances of breaking their 13-season playoff drought.

3. Getting Hot in Phoenix

As a young team, the Kings are looking around and wondering who might be a team to beat in the coming decade. Phoenix is a hot mess, but they have a ton of young talent from their recent history of drafting at the top of the lottery. The Suns have a 14 percent chance of landing a top spot in the lottery. Pairing Williamson with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton could create a young super team. 

4. Luka and the Unicorn

Dallas made a bold move last summer, handing over a top five protected 2019 first rounder to move from No. 5 to No. 3 in the draft. They selected Luka Doncic with the third selection and the early returns point towards stardom. There is six percent chance that the Mavs jump to the top selection and a 26 percent chance they land in the top four. If they do that, Dallas keeps their pick and adds another major piece to their expanding treasure chest that includes Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Adding talent to young Western Conference teams is not a good thing for the KIngs.

[RELATED: Ham's NBA mock draft]

5. KAT Scan

Like Dallas and Phoenix, the Minnesota Timberwolves have young talent and a lot of issues. Thibs is gone, but Karl-Anthony Towns is about as strong a building block as you can find in the league. Minny made the postseason during the 2017-18 season, so they aren’t that far away. There is a three percent chance of pairing Towns and Williamson, but a 14 percent chance of the T-Wolves stealing away a top four pick. The best case scenario is Minnesota, Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles all losing out on a top spot and having to build through free agency like the Kings and plenty of other teams.

How Kings players reacted on social media to Orlando bubble arrival

How Kings players reacted on social media to Orlando bubble arrival

It’s going down in Orlando … in a bubble. 

The Kings have arrived at the NBA restart at Walt Disney World in Florida, and it’s truly a bubble by the looks of it.

Center Richaun Holmes was asking Twitter for suggestions on what to binge-watch while he waits for games to begin. After all, they’ll be there for quite a while -- at least five weeks. 

#BubbleLife

Guard Yogi Ferrell was bringing his followers into his workouts from his balcony on Instagram Live: 

Bogdan Bogdanovic showed off some of the scenery that the players get to take in:

The main NBA Twitter account noticed their arrival as well:

The #BubbleLife is beginning to take shape and the Kings have received their practice schedule and will start on Friday afternoon at the Coronado Fiesta. That will be the first time the team will be able to meet up as a group. 

[RELATED: Photo gives Kings idea of food to expect in NBA bubble]

For now, they’re able to participate in weight training, begin teammate meetings and have individual workouts.

The Kings’ first scheduled scrimmage is against the Miami Heat on July 22. 

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Practice? Are we talking about practice?

The Sacramento Kings left behind their shutdown practice facility on Wednesday morning. They headed out on a non-stop flight to the Orlando bubble where they’ll spend the next five weeks at a minimum.

They’ll head straight to their assigned rooms in The Yacht Club resort on the Disney World campus where they’ll initially be quarantined before jumping onto the practice court.

On Wednesday morning, the NBA released the practice schedule for the first few days of the bubble. The Kings will have their first practice session Friday evening at the Coronado Fiesta from 2-5 p.m. PT.

That's the first time the Kings are allowed to meet as an entire group. They are cleared to practice, hit the weight training and begin team meetings. Individual workouts are also available during this time.

[RELATED: How Kings are handling leaving family behind for Orlando]

Sacramento returns to the practice court on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. PT on Coronado 2. It’s a quick 11-day build-up before the team has its first scrimmage on July 22 against the Miami Heat.

Barring a major setback, the Kings won’t have long before they are playing real games. They open their schedule on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs and they’ll play at least every other day until the conclusion of their eight-game schedule on August 13.