Sacramento Kings

Draft Notes: Aldridge, Robinson, McIntosh, Kuzma

The Celtics are likely to select one of the top two point guards, Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball, rather than moving their pick, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com. Boston has to protect itself with a tough decision coming on whether to re-sign Isaiah Thomas in the summer of 2018 and Fultz would make the most sense, Aldridge continues. Ball would be a natural fit with the Lakers, while the Sixers will probably go with small forward Josh Jackson, though Kentucky’s Malik Monk is an intriguing alternative, Aldridge adds. A trade in which the Suns move up a spot to snag Jackson to settle their small forward issues isn’t out of the question, according to Aldridge, who goes through each team’s need on a pick-by-pick basis.

In other news involving the draft:

  • Austin Peay’s Josh Robinson will hire an agent, meaning he won’t be able to return to the university, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). The 6’2″ guard, who missed time this season after being suspended from the school’s basketball team, will look to play overseas.
  • MiKyle McIntosh is working out for the Raptors today, Goodman tweets. The Illinois State product has until Wednesday to make a final decision on entering the draft.
  • Iowa State point guard Monte Morris headed the list of prospects worked out by the Kings today, Sean Cunningham of KXTV tweets. Morris is considered second-round material by both DraftExpress and ESPN’s Chad Ford.
  • Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss and Indiana big man Thomas Bryant were among the prospects the Lakers worked out on Monday, Robert Morales of the Orange County Register reports. None of the players Los Angeles brought in are considered first-round prospects.
  • University of Utah forward Kyle Kuzma, who has already hired an agent, will work out for the Jazz on Tuesday, according to Aaron Falk and Tony Jones of the Salt Lake City Tribune. The 6’9” Kuzma, who is considered a second-round prospect, was one of the other hopefuls who worked for the Lakers on Monday.

Draft Notes: Fox, Ntilikina, Chartouny

De’Aaron Fox was eyeing Sacramento as a destination even before the Kings moved up in the lottery, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com tweets. The Kings need a long-term option at the point guard position and Fox could be the answer when they pick at No. 5. Howard-Cooper notes that Fox is friends with center Willie Cauley-Stein.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) hears that the Knicks, Mavericks, Sixers and Kings are the franchises which spent the most time scouting Frank Ntilikina in France over the past month. Ntilikina is the 10th best prospect in the draft, according to Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony.
  • Joseph Chartouny will withdraw from the draft and return to Fordham next season, sources tell Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). The point guard scored 11.9 points and dished out 4.6 assists during his sophomore campaign at the university.
  • While it appears the Ball family may get their dream outcome of Lonzo Ball playing for the Lakers, Adi Joseph of USA Today lays out four scenarios that could hurt LaVar Ball‘s master plan.

Kings Looking To Rebuild Winning Culuture Under New Leadership

  • Despite no playoff appearances since 2006 and a slew of disappointing draft picks, new executive vice president of basketball operations Scott Perry is optimistic on the Kings’ future. Speaking to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Perry wants to bring a winning culture back to the team.“I am very excited about this opportunity to help Vlade and ownership to get the Kings back to the culture they had a while back,” he said. “There is a lot of young talent in the fold. Through the draft, we can create some pieces. It’s an exciting time.”
  • NBA.com has the full list of prospects scheduled to participate in a pre-draft workout with the Kings this upcoming Monday. Among the scheduled participants are Pittsburgh’s Jamel Artis, Georgia’s J.J. Frazier, Vanderbilt’s Luke Kornet and more.

Draft Notes: Smith Jr., Kapita, Motley

Dennis Smith Jr. is drawing interest from several lottery teams, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog reports. The Knicks, Sixers, Wolves, and Kings have all reached out to the point guard to set up a workout. Smith is projected to be one of the top point guards taken on June 22 with Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony ranking him as the fourth-best player at the position and seventh-best player overall.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

Draft Workouts: Bucks, Knicks, Raptors, Kings, Lakers

With the lottery out of the way, pre-draft workouts are starting to intensify around the league. We bring you a roundup of several that we heard about today:

Ford's Latest Mox: De'Aaron Fox To Kings

2017 NBA Draft Lottery Results

The Celtics will pick first overall in the 2017 NBA draft, having won Tuesday night’s lottery one night after they advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. The C’s, who exercised their rights to swap with the Nets, entered the lottery with the best odds (25.0%) to land that No. 1 overall pick.

The Lakers were the other big winners in the lottery, moving up to No. 2, ensuring that they’ll keep both this year’s pick and 2019’s first-rounder. Had Los Angeles’ pick fallen outside of the top three, it would have been sent to the Sixers, and the Lakers would’ve owed their unprotected 2019 first-rounder to Orlando. Instead, the Lakers will keep this year’s pick and 2019’s, and will send Philadelphia their unprotected 2018 first-round selection.

The Kings also moved up into the top three, but the Sixers will acquire that pick, exercising their right to swap with Sacramento. The Kings will pick at No. 5, which is where Philadelphia would have selected. Sacramento will also land the Pelicans’ selection at No. 10. That New Orleans selection was acquired by the Kings in February’s DeMarcus Cousins trade and was top-three protected.

The Suns are the night’s biggest losers, having moved from No. 2 in the lottery standings down to No. 4 overall. The Magic, Timberwolves, and Knicks each moved down one spot as well.

Here’s the full lottery order for the 2017 NBA draft:

  1. Boston Celtics (via Nets)
  2. Los Angeles Lakers
  3. Philadelphia 76ers (swapped with Kings)
  4. Phoenix Suns
  5. Sacramento Kings (swapped with Sixers)
  6. Orlando Magic
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves
  8. New York Knicks
  9. Dallas Mavericks
  10. Sacramento Kings (via Pelicans)
  11. Charlotte Hornets
  12. Detroit Pistons
  13. Denver Nuggets
  14. Miami Heat

Tonight’s lottery results are fascinating on a number of levels, but particularly so for two of the NBA’s most-storied franchises, the Celtics and Lakers. Boston is in position to either pick a player like point guard Markelle Fultz, considered by draft experts to be a future star, or to dangle that No. 1 overall pick in a trade for an established veteran star next month. The Celtics are coming off a season in which they earned the top seed in the East, and they also own the Nets’ unprotected first-round pick in 2018, so the franchise is extremely well-positioned for the future.

As for the Lakers, they’ll breathe a sigh of relief after hanging onto their 2017 first-rounder, and they’re in position to create a union that has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks. UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball is widely viewed as the second-best prospect in this year’s draft, and he and his father LaVar have made no secret of the fact that Lonzo wants to play for the Lakers. Tonight’s lottery results make that a very real possibility.

The Kings are another winner tonight, having moved up from No. 8 to No. 5 and having also held onto the Pelicans’ pick at No. 10. Sacramento will be in a great position to pick two cornerstone pieces to kickstart the club’s rebuilding process.

Latest On Hawks’ Front Office Search

The Hawks placed former team president Mike Budenholzer and former GM Wes Wilcox into new roles earlier this month and it appears the team’s search for new front office members is progressing out of its “infancy stage.” 

Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link) hears that Sacramento’s Scott Perry is being considered for the open GM position. The Kings hired Perry as their executive VP of basketball operations less than four weeks ago.

Earlier today, we learned that the Knicks have granted the team permission to interview their Director of Player Personnel Mark Hughes for the Hawks’ open GM position. Like New York, Houston will allow Atlanta to interview a member of its front office. The Hawks have their eye on Rockets VP of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas.

Atlanta is reportedly also considering Cavs GM David Griffin and Joe Dumars. The team also plans on discussing the position with TV analysts Chauncey Billups and Brent Barry.

Bogdanovic Not Ready To Talk About Joining Kings

  • Serbian star Bogdan Bogdanovic turned aside the latest question about whether he will join the Kings next season, according to Noel Harris of The Sacramento Bee. The inquiry came in an interview Monday with Turkish television. “I don’t like to talk about that during the season,” he said. “I have my goals here.” Bogdanovic has led his Fenerbahce Istanbul team to the Euroleague Final Four, earning all-league honors in the process. The Kings acquired his draft rights from the Suns in a trade last summer. “My interest is not only money,” he added. “I want to prove that I can play in the NBA. I don’t want to go there to sit on a bench.”

D-League Affiliate Will Be Moved

Warriors forward Andre Iguodala is listed as questionable for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, the team’s PR department tweets. He underwent an MRI on his left knee Monday, according to ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes, and obviously the results were satisfactory even though the team has yet to provide details. Iguodala could still be rested as a precautionary measure, a source told Haynes. He did not practice on Monday. Iguodala was a non-factor in Game 1, playing just 10 minutes and scoring two points. Stephen Curry also sat out practice but will play in Game 2, acting coach Mike Brown told Haynes and other reporters.

In other developments around the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings plan to move their D-League affiliate out of Reno after next season, according to Scott Howard Cooper of NBA.com. The Kings want their affiliate to be closer to Sacramento and playing games at multiple locations is a consideration, he adds. (Twitter links).
  • The Lakers should try to trade for Pacers star Paul George this offseason rather than waiting to pursue him as an unrestricted free agent after next season, according to a panel of ESPN basketball experts. All but one of the five members on the panel believe that acquiring George now is worth the risk of losing him after just one season. Baxter Holmes opines that the Pacers would want a package of young players, including Brandon Ingram, and a draft pick in return.
  • Rudy Tomjanovich is no longer with the Lakers’ organization, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Tomjanovich has served as a consultant in various capacities for over a decade and was also a scout for the team’s analytics department last season. Tomjanovich’s son, Trey, has also lost his job as a consultant and statistical analyst.
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