SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The first game of the NBA season isn’t for another four months, but the Sacramento Kings may be taking an early lead this summer.
After Thursday’s draft, the pundits and experts have graded the Kings’ picks between and A and A+.
It’s a kind of buzz and momentum that had fans in a frenzy when the four draft picks came to town Friday.
“Sac-ra-men-to!” chanted a group of people decked out in Kings gear at Sacramento International Airport. People wearing purple and slate gray were everywhere.
Top picks De’ Aaron Fox from the University of Kentucky, and Justin Jackson from the University of North Carolina arrived by private plane from New York.
Frank Mason from Kansas University and Harry Giles from Duke University weren’t at the draft last night but were met by fans in the airport lobby.
“You the man Frank!” shouted one supporter.
“They need to see what Sacramento is all about,” said Alex Daniels about why he decided to come to the rally.
Later on Friday, the four players were introduced in front of hundreds of people at Caesar Chavez Park.
“Just going hard for the city. Let’s go Sac, baby!” said Harry Giles. His comment met with loud cheers.
The rookies are expected to provide a boost to an already young roster.
“It’s all looking up and that’s all you can ask for,” said Andrew Davies, a lifelong Kings fan.
De’Aaron Fox was the first selection by the Kings. He too is focused on taking the team to the top.
“I wanted to come in and affect the game right away,” said Fox during a post-draft interview, “you know a lot of people say I could be a franchise changer and that’s what I want to be.”
Along with the youth momentum, the Kings also have a war chest of cash to spend on potential free agents.
“In the next two or three years were going to be in really good position with the space.”
The Kings have freed up salary cap space by releasing Arron Afflalo on Friday. Earlier in the year, Rudy Gay opted out of his contract.
Now, fans are fantasizing about the possibility of some big names coming to town.
“We really don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s really looking up,” said Davies.
Free agency begins July 1.