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Inside the Kings’ NBA draft war room (video)

NBA Draft Basketball

Nik Stauskas, right, is greeted by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected eighth overall by the Sacramento Kings during the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


This Grantland video is a really fascinating look inside the Kings’ NBA draft war room – including the presence of an amateur analytics team.

Among the highlights:

  • Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro was convinced the Cavs would take Jabari Parker No. 1. Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive is very high on Andrew Wiggins.
  • The crowd-sourced analytics rankings had Noah Vonleh No. 3 and Elfrid Payton ahead of Nik Stauskas due to fit with the defensively deficient Kings. Both Vonleh and Payton were on the board when Sacramento selected Stauskas at No. 8.
  • The 76ers offered No. 10 and two second rounders for No. 8. Obviously, the Kings passed, and I think that was probably wise. My guess: Philadelphia would have taken Vonleh, and the Hornets at No. 9 very well could have taken Stauskas.
  • The Kings actually did explore trading up to draft Joel Embiid.
  • There’s a surprising amount of deliberation – i.e., more than none – about Stauskas and Payton when the Kings are on the clock.
  • Ranadive leads a very awkward “Nik rocks!” cheer for Stauskas over the phone.

Here’s the first video of the series, which aired before the draft and features more details about the Kings plan to crowd-source their analytics. An interview with Kings coach Michael Malone foreshadows the eventual Stauskas selection: