As we all know, The players selected in the NBA Draft are not everything. Although Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero are considered to be the top three prospects, there will be a lot more going on behind the scenes in the days leading up to and during the selection on Thursday.
The NBA Draft Has Scheme But No Clear Cut Superstars!
There are plenty of opportunities for trades this year because several teams are willing to sell their picks. With NBA parity at an all-time high, there are plenty of opportunities to make a significant move and shake things up.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, who are looking to bolster their young squad with more elite talent, enter the NBA Draft on Thursday with two lottery picks and the No. 34 overall pick.
They defied the odds in the draught lottery to advance to the No. 2 pick, and in a group with a clear consensus top three all competing for the No. 1 overall pick — they find themselves in the fortunate position of having their decision largely made for them, choosing from two players, rather than three.
These three players, Jabari Smith of Auburn, Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga, and Paolo Banchero of Duke, all possess star potential and, more importantly, all address the Thunder’s biggest area of need in terms of size. They compete to be among the Top 3.
The Thunder are stocked with guards and have two talented backcourt players in Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but they need a big man to improve their play on both sides of the court.
The Thunder needs both size and scoring on the inside with Derrick Favors, Mike Muscala, and 20-year-old challenger Aleksej Pokusevski returning the next season.
Last season, they were among the league’s worst pick-and-roll teams, ranking twenty-fourth in terms of points per roll and twenty-eighth in terms of points per possession from the ball-handler.
After all these, The Portland Path Blazers and the Detroit Pistons reached an agreement on Wednesday to acquire Jerami Grant in exchange for a guaranteed first-round pick in 2025 and other draught concerns, marking the start of NBA draught week.
Thursday is expected to be a busy day for business, according to league executives, and talk about the Kings has been ongoing every day.
Sacramento is a byword for puzzling draught picks: After passing on obscure center Georgios Papagiannis in the lottery for 2016, among other misses, the Kings chose Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic and Trae Younger in 2018.
This year, the Kings own the No. 4 pick, but Purdue’s Jaden Ivey, the consensus No. 4 prospect, has given them the cold shoulder.
Ivey said he hadn’t worked out for or visited with the Kings on a call with reporters this week. According to the reports, Ivey continued, “If I got drafted there, it wouldn’t be the worst choice.”
That isn’t exactly a ringing recommendation or a statement deserving of a T-shirt. It’s also important to point out that Ivey is represented by the same agency as Tyrese Haliburton, who was traded to the Indiana Pacers by the Kings in a last-minute transaction.
Ivey, a scoring guard with an offensive mindset, would fit in well with a number of lottery teams, including the Pacers, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, and New York Knicks. This puts Sacramento in a position to decide if it believes De’Aaron Fox and Ivey have redundant talent units or not.
The Kings always have the option to fall back on a different prospect, such as Keegan Murray of Iowa or Benedict Mathurin of Arizona, if they are unable to find a trading partner.
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