Kings

NBA mock draft: Expert predictions for Kings' No. 4 pick

Kings

The 2022 NBA Draft is days away and the speculation is reaching a boiling point. 

While there's a lot of uncertainty looming as the big day inches closer, the Kings do know they will pick fourth in the draft after moving up three spots thanks to a little luck in the draft lottery. 

But who will Sacramento bring in to help reshape the franchise and end the NBA-record 16-year playoff drought under new head coach Mike Brown? 

Here’s a breakdown of what mock drafts around the league believe the Kings will do with their lucky No. 4 pick. 

Jonathan Givony, ESPN 

Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue

"In the view of many NBA teams, the draft starts here: Sacramento's decision to either trade this pick to a team vying for Ivey, or retain it and pick from a group expected to consist of Ivey, Bennedict Mathurin and Keegan Murray, will represent a key moment on Thursday night. Almost every team picking after Sacramento in the lottery and even beyond has approached the Kings in exploratory conversations, a source says, a group including Indiana (No. 6), Washington (No. 10), New York (No. 11), Oklahoma City (No. 12), Atlanta (No. 16) and others.

Rival teams say the asking price will be considerable, with a mix of established vets (Malcolm Brogdon, Kyle Kuzma, Jerami Grant, John Collins), a 2022 draft choice and rookie-scale contract players such as the Pacers' Chris Duarte believed to be some of the options teams have studied. Even if the Kings stand pat -- considered the most likely scenario as of now -- Ivey could make quite a bit of sense here despite Sacramento not being his preferred destination. He's viewed as the best prospect available by many around the league thanks to his superior long-term upside, physical tools and shot-creation prowess, giving him the type of star power the Kings might not want to pass on, despite Ivey not being an ideal fit on paper with the likes of De'Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell."

 

Sam Vecenie, The Athletic

Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue

"This is where the draft has the potential to get wild. The Kings have picked De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell in recent years, which might make you think they wouldn’t take a point guard again. And yet, I’m slotting Ivey here at No. 4 right now for a few reasons. The most important reason is that this pick has been thought to be available in a trade since the lottery, given the fact that it is seen as a four-person top group with Ivey likely being available at No.4 but the Kings still being loaded at the lead guard spot with Fox and Mitchell despite having already moved Haliburton. There have since been reports published publicly, the most prominent of which was ESPN’s prior to Game 6 of the NBA Finals, stating that most teams from the No. 5 to 11 range have reached out.

Honestly, if the Kings’ front office has been told by ownership they need to make the playoffs next year, it makes sense that this pick would come available and is logical this pick would move before the draft. If it does, I would expect the target is Ivey. And even if it doesn’t, the Kings should just take the best player and figure out the roster crunch later. Having said that, the connection here with Keegan Murray is real, and if the team does not get an offer to its liking, Murray is legitimately in play. Our Shams Charania noted earlier this week that the Kings are getting more comfortable with making a selection here."

Krysten Peek, Yahoo Sports

Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue

"Ivey is the best prospect at No. 4, but he duplicates what Sacramento already has in De'Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell. The Kings could trade down and have reportedly been in talks with the Pistons, Pacers, Wizards and Knicks. If they decide to keep the pick, this could be an entertaining backcourt filled with speed, highlight after highlight in transition and crafty shots around the rim. Ivey brings a consistent outside jump shot and can add a lot of value to Sacramento. If the Kings are looking for size in the lane, they could move down in the draft and get a lot in return."

Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated 

Keegan Murray, F, Iowa

"A healthy trade market for Sacramento’s No. 4 pick has emerged in recent days, putting the Kings in a fascinating position as the draft approaches. There’s internal impetus to improve the team with experienced talent, and the presumed availability of Jaden Ivey—who could become the best player in the draft with the right level of nurture—has drawn suitors around the league. If another team is willing to meet the asking price, which seems certain to be steep, there’s a nonzero chance the Kings make a move here and trade back. If they keep the pick, rival teams believe they’re leaning toward Murray, who worked out for them in Sacramento and is believed to be a favorite of ownership.

 

While there’s a valid argument to take Ivey in spite of concerns about he and De’Aaron Fox’s overlapping skill sets, as I understand it, Ivey has not worked out for Sacramento and appears to be comfortable landing elsewhere. Murray has plenty of upside in his own right and splits the difference between winning now and building for the future. He’s good at pretty much everything, and improved playmaking and jump shooting would make him even more dynamic. Teams love Murray’s serious-minded, no-frills approach, and he’s an excellent fit in a smaller market. His floor remains Indiana at No. 6."

Kevin O'Connor, The Ringer

Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue

"The Kings are a pivot point in the draft with multiple teams inquiring about trading for the pick, likely to take Jaden Ivey. Last year, Sacramento drafted Davion Mitchell in the lottery, and De’Aaron Fox just averaged 28.9 points following the Tyrese Haliburton deal. Mitchell didn’t show enough to necessarily stop Sacramento from taking another guard, but there’s still belief in his long-term potential so going with a different type of player would be ideal. Trading down would be a wise decision if a strong offer is on the table to gain assets and still draft a top prospect. If the Kings stay put, Keegan Murray is a strong fit since he can thrive on offense playing off Fox and Domantas Sabonis while defending multiple positions. But Ivey gets the nod today because of the possibility of a trade."