Any mock draft should be taken with a grain of salt at this point. There are plenty of evaluations and judgements to be made by the Kings front office within the next month. But, the progress of the following players tabbed seventh for Sacramento is worth watching leading up to the June 23.
Chad Ford, ESPN: Kemba Walker, PG
Jonathan Givony, Draft Express: Bismack Biyomobo, PF
Sacramento’s fall from five to seven is a bit more painful considering it likely takes them out of the mix for upgrading their backcourt situation, which clearly seems to be their biggest need at the moment. There are still some solid frontcourt prospects available, though, particularly Biyombo, who seems like a perfect fit alongside DeMarcus Cousins, where his offensive limitations wouldn’t look quite as glaring.
David Aldridge, NBA.com: Brandon Knight, PG
Kings have been looking for a legit point guard since Mike Bibby left town, and can move Tyreke Evans to shooting guard by taking Knight.
Jason Jones, Sac Bee: Kawhi Leonard, SF
An athletic defender, exactly what the Kings need.
Sam Amick, Sports Illustrated: Donatas Motiejunas, PF
The Kings could have one of the most dynamic young frontcourts in the game if they go with Lithuanian 7-footer Motiejunas. Last year’s lottery pick, DeMarcus Cousins, had a solid rookie season and showed plenty of offensive versatility in the post, but the creative Motiejunas, 20, would take it to another level. Defense would be a concern, making it all the more important that the Kings re-sign center Samuel Dalembert in the summer as they plan to do.
Tom Ziller, SB Nation: Kawhi Leonard, SF
The Kings desperately need help at small forward, where none of Francisco Garcia, Donte Greene or Omri Casspi stood out (for good reasons) in 2010-11. Leonard is a big SF, and less of a shooter than the Kings would like, but the team is being rebuilt with an eye on energy and toughness. He fits that.
Dave Del Grande, CBS Sports: Jimmer Fredette, PG
Saved by the bell at the end of the 2010-11 season, the Kings’ franchise desperately needs a ticket-seller more than any in the league. Few have fascinated the masses more than Fredette this past season.
Ben Golliver, CBS Sports: Kemba Walker, PG
Tyreke Evans is probably better as a two long-term. The Kings would probably prefer Knight, but Walker is an excellent consolation prize and yet another exciting puzzle piece on a roster full of them.
Aran Smith, NBADraft.net: Kemba Walker, PG
The Kings have a bit of a mess on their hands after the Tyreke Evans at point guard experiment failed. Walker brings exactly the type of mental toughness and leadership that this team needs to surround their young talented players (Cousins and Tyreke) with. Taking Kemba in the mid-lotto and turning him into a starting PG could be overly optimistic. There’s no disputing the incredible impact he had on the college game this year. Had a sensational junior year leading the Huskies to the National Championship. Walker is a fearless warrior. He wants the ball in his hands and delivers in key situations, as he proved all season. It will be interesting to see how his game translates to the the next level. He’s undersized and doesn’t have the freakish athleticism or defensive intensity of a Nate Robinson. But on the offensive end he’s like a mini-Iverson in some ways with his tremendous quickness and ability to get shots off using his crossover and step back. Regardless, he’s put himself in position to be taken in the mid lottery.
Sean Deveney, Sporting News: Brandon Knight, PG
The Kings will keep G Tyreke Evans at shooting guard, so they are in the market for a point guard.