The Sacramento Kings are in a good position with the NBA draft later this month. By all accounts the draft is loaded with talent and the Kings have picks at 5, 10 and 34. This isn’t the only draft that has been deemed “good” before and others have been called “thin” on prospects but you can find gems anywhere. So what does history tell us? Well, since the best draft of the 2000’s, the 2003 draft that gave us LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Carmelo and more I looked up what 5, 10 and 34 have fetched.
There have been drafts that have given three veterans that made an impact on their teams for years like in 2005. That year produced Raymond Felton, Andrew Bynum and CJ Miles at 5,10 and 34. 2008 was really strong with Kevin Love, Brook Lopez and Mario Chalmers. In 2010 the Kings got DeMarcus Cousins, the Pacers selected Paul George and 34th ended up being Armon Johnson, well the first 2 are All-Stars. You also run the risk of what happened in 2006 when Sheldon Williams, Mouhamed Sene and Paul Davis were selected in those three spots. Only Williams had a career and it wasn’t one that quite materialized like anyone had hoped.
The point being that the NBA draft is difficult. Right now Kings fans are excited about a few names like Fox, Isaac, Tatum and such but what will they become? Some players get drafted and are content, others want to become great and a few experience injuries and are never the same. You need good fortune when drafting and the teams that do it right get their picks correct more times than not. The Warriors have added Kevin Durant which is amazing that their team could add a former MVP but their other core of Curry, Klay and Draymond was built in the draft. Curry was picked 7th, Klay they nabbed at 11 and Draymond lasted all the way to 35th.
This past NBA season should have taught us a huge lesson. Look at the 2016-17 NBA All-Stars and how many were taken outside of the NBA lottery. Giannis Antetokounmpo was taken 15th as was Kawhi Leonard. Kyle Lowry went 24th, Jimmy Butler 30th and the 2nd round featured Draymond Green and DeAndre Jordan taken at 35th in separate years. Also Paul Millsap went 47th, Marc Gasol 48th and the Kings took Isaiah Thomas dead last at 60th. Those players all turned into gems and can be found but that is where the good fortune comes in. What will happen this year? I hope the Kings are on the right side of things for all three of their picks.