Looking around the internet, there couldn’t be more praise being heaped onto the Sacramento Kings for selecting DeMarcus Cousins at #5 and Hassan Whiteside at #33. They got two guys who were bandied about the lottery without having to move any assets in order to acquire them. They just stood pat while Geoff Petrie worked his mind control over the rest of the league.
Here’s what the heavy hitters have to say about the draft:
Fifteen feet of wingspan for the price of their naturally allotted picks. What remarkable luck to get two high-upside players at these spots. Final Grade: A++++++ Would draft again!!!
From Chad Ford at ESPN.com on why he gives the Kings an A:
For a second straight year, I think the Kings had a terrific draft. Some GMs believe Cousins has more talent than anyone else in the draft. And as a No. 5 pick, it would be hard to find a better value.
Whiteside is very intriguing as a second-round pick. As a lottery pick, he would have been a huge risk, but as a second-rounder, he’s all upside.
Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie gives the Kings an A:
It’s the biggest “if” in the draft, and because we’re four months away from playing anything, we’re allowed to go glass half-full with this. If Cousins gets his act together, he’ll fight former teammate John Wall to be the best player coming out of this draft.
From Kevin Pelton at Basketball Prospectus on why the Kings are “big winners”:
In this case, you can take the term “big” literally. The Kings, who dealt for center Samuel Dalembert last week, added two more fives to the mix, taking Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins fifth overall and Marshall’s Hassan Whiteside with the No. 33 pick in the second round. In both cases, Sacramento took the best player available. I would have had Cousins fourth on my imaginary draft board, behind John Wall, Evan Turner and Derrick Favors, but saying that probably overstates the difference among the group. On statistics alone, Cousins was the best player in the draft, and while I don’t think he will overwhelm opponents with his size as he did in college, I think he’ll be an excellent pro.
Kurt Helin at NBC Sports also gives the Kings an ace:
They got a potentially very good big man in DeMarcus Cousins that could be the inside to Tyreke Evans’ outside. The second-round flyer on Hassan Whiteside was a good one — big upside with little risk.
The only poor grade the Kings received from the main guys was Chris Mannix at SI who gives them a B- :
After acquiring the disgruntled Samuel Dalembert from Philly, the Kings drafted another disgruntled big man: DeMarcus Cousins. Hard to argue with Cousins’ potential — 6-foot-10 without shoes, with a gigantic 7-6 wingspan and a standing reach of 9-5 — but he earned a reputation as a sulker with a questionable attitude at Kentucky. Will he mature in the NBA? If he does, he has scary talent and could blossom into an elite center.