For lower-echelon NBA teams, the annual draft is a time of hope and expectation.
Fans look at available players and see potential for improvement. Coaches regard it as an opportunity to build an outfit that meshes seamlessly, passes unselfishly, defends tenaciously, shoots accurately and carries out game plans flawlessly. Team owners appreciate the annual chance to burnish their brand, crank up their marketing apparatus and sell the concept of coming success to their win-starved audience.
The Kings pick fifth in Thursday's draft with interesting, if not earth-shattering, possibilities.
The problem, though, is that the players the Kings choose are not coming to a can't-miss cradle of professional development. With owners widely considered saboteurs of a deal to build a new arena a critical factor in creating an image of stability there is no feeling that the Kings are built on a bedrock foundation.
The team's brief Golden Age when it was the league's most exciting show is long gone, as is the aura that it will be a long-lived part of the capital's landscape.
It's possible that whoever is picked sees the outdated arena, the inscrutable ownership and the recent record of failure and looks ahead to the day he can pack up and go.
Or maybe the Kings find that player who can make a difference, who sees other young talent on the floor with him and decides here is a great place to be part of building a champion.
What to do
Baseball, L.A. Dodgers at Giants, 12:45 p.m., AT&T Park: It's always an adventure when Tim Lincecum's on the mound this season.
What should the Kings do with the No. 5 pick in Thursday's draft?
Draft a small forward.
Draft a big man.
Trade the pick.
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
If the Kings draft small forward Michael Kidd- Gilchrist, what happens to Tyreke Evans?
Keeps small forward job: 7%
Plays shooting guard: 32%
Plays point guard: 8%
He's benched: 2%
He's traded: 51%
Total votes: 548