During the build up to the 2011 NBA Draft, a fan hid in the bushes near the Kings’ practice facility waiting to welcome BYU star Jimmer Fredette to Sacramento before his workout.
In 2013, the Kings brought C.J. McCollum in for three separate meetings, including a last-minute visit just days before the draft. They eventually settled on Ben McLemore with the No. 7 overall pick, which is one of several major gaffs by the franchise over the last 15 years.
Just two summers ago, the Kings brought in a stunning 101 prospects for draft workouts, even though they only had three second-round selections. Two or three prospects spoke following each of these sessions.
While a steady stream of prospects are rolling through Sacramento before the 2021 NBA Draft, the process is different this year.
NBC Sports California has confirmed that the Kings have begun bringing groups of players in for workouts, but in a change from past regimes, they are not announcing the workouts or making prospects available for media interviews either in person or via video conference call.
It’s a substantial shift in policy by general manager Monte McNair and his staff, but one that is not against league rules.
In late June, the Kings interviewed plenty of players at the NBA’s Draft Combine in Chicago, including top 10 prospects like Moses Moody, Scottie Barnes, Keon Johnson and James Bouknight.
There is potential for some of these players to make their way to Sacramento for a second or third interview in the coming weeks as the July 29 NBA Draft approaches, but the Kings plan to keep everything under lock and key.
Sacramento isn’t the only NBA franchise shifting their pre-draft policy, but they are a team that should be looking for any and all positive press. If being secretive leads to a stellar pick, that’s great. If not, it’s a missed opportunity to promote your product during the dog days of summer.