Pacific Notes: Kings, Lakers, R. Wallace, Payton, Poole

The Kings are willing to listen to inquires on the No. 4 overall pick in this month’s draft and are open to making a move with it if the price is right, according to James Ham of The Kings Beat, who explores a handful of options the team will have with that lottery selection.

As Ham writes, it would be an easy decision for the Kings to keep the pick if Chet Holmgren or Jabari Smith is available, but they’ll likely be gone by No. 4, along with Paolo Banchero. Jaden Ivey is widely viewed as the fourth-best prospect in the draft, but would be a risky bet alongside De’Aaron Fox in Sacramento’s backcourt, given his defensive limitations and inconsistent three-point shot.

Still, in Ham’s view, if the Kings hang onto the pick and view Ivey as the best player available in that spot, they should be willing to roll the dice on him — if he and Fox prove to be a poor match, the Kings can cross that bridge when they come to it.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Asked today about the status of Rasheed Wallace, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway said Wallace may be headed to the Lakers to join Darvin Ham‘s coaching staff, per Jason Munz of The Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). Wallace was an assistant with the Tigers in 2021/22.
  • Gary Payton II returned to the Warriors‘ rotation on Sunday for the first time since fracturing his left elbow in the Western Semifinals vs. Memphis and made an immediate impact, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. As Slater details, Payton – whose point-of-attack defense helped slow down Boston in Game 2 – looks capable of playing a major rotation role going forward.
  • Through the first six quarters of the NBA Finals, Warriors guard Jordan Poole struggled against a Celtics defense he describes as “extremely lengthy,” according to Slater. However, he got going in the second half of Game 2 on Sunday and finished with 17 points. Poole, who was 5-of-9 on three-pointers, will be looking this series to put the final touches on his case for a lucrative offseason extension.
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