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.

Kings fan makes good on pledge, gets married in Harry Giles jersey

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USATSI

Kings fan makes good on pledge, gets married in Harry Giles jersey

Whenever Richard and Kate Ivanowski look at their wedding photos, they will think of Kings forward Harry Giles.

That's because Richard got married to Kate this weekend while wearing a Giles jersey under his suit jacket.

Why did Richard wear a Giles jersey during his wedding? This all came about in early June when he asked his then-fiancé if he could wear a Kings jersey during their wedding. She said yes, but only if he got 10,000 retweets on Twitter.

It took about one day for Richard to hit the 10,000 retweet mark.

So, this weekend, Richard and Kate got hitched, with a Giles jersey visible in their photos.

Giles himself was pretty pumped about it.

[RELATED: How Giles helped Ivanowski's plan wedding]

So a few decades from now, when Richard and Kate are showing their wedding photos to their grandkids, they'll have to explain who Giles is and why his jersey was a part of their wedding.

That will be a unique story to tell.

Source: Kings unlikely to pursue free agent center Nikola Vucevic

Source: Kings unlikely to pursue free agent center Nikola Vucevic

SACRAMENTO -- The rumor mill is only going to heat up as we approach the start of the NBA’s free agency period on June 30. With $35-38 million to spend, the Sacramento Kings are going to get mentioned plenty, and often the reports will be inaccurate.

Vlade Divac and his team have placed an emphasis on improving the center position, but according to a league source, while the team holds Nikola Vucevic in high regard, the team is not expected to chase the Orlando Magic big man in free agency, despite reports to the contrary.

After posting 20.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.1 blocks per game this season, Vucevic is primed to sign a mega contract, whether it’s with the Orlando or elsewhere.

The 28-year-old is skilled and made his first All-Star team this season, but he’s not a great fit for the Kings’ uptempo style of play.

There are plenty of other centers on the market this summer. Dewayne Dedmon and DeAndre Jordan are both unrestricted free agents and might work as short-term fixes. Jordan is on the wrong side of 30 and Dedmon isn’t far behind, but both are solid rebounders and defenders.

Memphis Grizzlies big man Jonas Valanciunas just opted out of his contract for this season and is an unrestricted free agent. At 27-year-old he fits the age arc of the Kings’ roster, but again, isn’t exactly built for an uptempo style.

The team hasn’t shut the door on a return of the incumbent starter, Willie Cauley-Stein. He is long and athletic, but his inconsistent play continues to concern the Kings.

[RELATED: How Lakers' Davis trade impacts Kings]

Sacramento is likely to extend the 25-year-old a qualifying offer before the beginning of free agency, locking him into restricted free agent status. They will wait to see how the market materializes for the former No. 6 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft before making a final decision on his future with the team.