NBA Draft Lottery promises nothing but pain for Kings

Karl_Towns

The NBA Draft lottery is a yearly ritual in Sacramento.  It’s that moment where Kings fans line up in one super long, single file and a giant sword made of white ping pong balls is thrust through their chest cavities, piercing hearts and leaving them in a pool of purple blood.

It’s brutal.  It’s like getting only socks and underwear at Christmas and nothing else.  It’s like buying a car and having it break down a block later.  It’s like wishing on a shooting star only to find out it was really frozen waste from an airliner that just went through the roof of your house.

Here we are again.  Another draft lottery that promises only pain.  Karl-Anthony Towns might fit nicely next to DeMarcus Cousins, but despite being the sixth-worst team in the NBA, the Kings have just a 6.3 percent chance of landing the necessary top overall pick.  D’Angelo Russell is a next-level playmaker that could speed the Kings’ rebuild, but he’ll likely be gone by pick four.

Yet the odds mean nothing to Kings fans.  After a 17-win 2008-09 season, Sacramento had a 25 percent chance of landing the top overall selection.  Blake Griffin was there for the taking, but instead, the Kings fell the maximum allotted three spots to number four.

Tyreke Evans was a nice consolation price, especially after Griffin missed his rookie season with a knee injury, but how would a front court of Griffin and DeMarcus Cousins look now?

The Kings fall in the draft lottery almost every season.  In 2010, they went from the third-worst record to the fifth pick.  In 2011 they dropped from five to seven, and single spots in both 2013 and 2014.  2012 was the lone season that the Kings actually picked where they were supposed to and they chose Thomas Robinson over Damian Lillard.

This marks the ninth straight season the Kings will take part in the NBA’s Draft Lottery.  Over the previous eight years, they have fallen a total of nine spots and never once moved up.  For a depressing look at the stretch of years, visit our friends over at Sactown Royalty for the sad year-by-year breakdown.

It’s a brutal stretch that no team deserves.  The Kings are more than a lucky lottery pick away from relevance, but it would be nice to have options.  Drafting one, two or three in this year’s draft would give them the opportunity to land one of a very solid top four that includes Towns, Russell, Jahlil Okafor and Emmanuel Mudiay.

Staying at six puts them in the running for Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein.  But slipping to seven, eight or nine might force them to seriously consider moving the pick or gambling on one of the young European players in this year’s draft.  Either way, the risk potentially increases with every spot they drop.

This is a crap shoot, but one that has often felt like a roll with loaded dice.  Vlade Divac will represent the Kings in New York as the new Vice President of the Basketball and Franchise Operations.  The festivities can be seen on ESPN beginning at approximately 5:30 pm.

The Kings’ odds for each pick are listed below.  They have a 21.5 percent chance of landing one of the top three selections and a 74.4 percent of choosing either sixth or seventh in this year’s draft.

2015 NBA Draft Selection Sacramento Kings Odds
1st Pick 6.3%
2nd Pick 7.1%
3rd Pick 8.1%
6th Pick 43.9%
7th Pick 30.5%
8th Pick 4.0%
9th Pick 0.1%

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About: James Ham

James Ham is the senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news since 2010. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also contributes to ESPN.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".