The Kings had the fifth pick in Thursday's NBA draft because on-court deficiencies kept them out of the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
The draft left Kings executives with a collective grin when the player they rated second in the draft, Thomas Robinson, fell to them at No. 5.
The 2011-12 unanimous first-team All-American out of Kansas is an exciting player and will help at power forward. But there are still areas the Kings must fill through free agency and trades.
Sacramento still must decide what position Tyreke Evans will play next season. Will he stay at small forward or return to guard?
If the latter happens, will Isaiah Thomas or Marcus Thornton go to the bench? And who will play small forward if Evans doesn't?
Third-year center Hassan Whiteside must stay healthy long enough to prove he's the shot blocker the Kings have lacked in recent years.
Free agency begins at 9 tonight, and players can begin signing with teams July 11.
The Kings have two free agents they could retain. Their top priority is re-signing restricted free agent Jason Thompson.
Sacramento issued the forward a qualifying offer this week that will pay him $4.4 million should he sign it without agreeing to a long-term deal.
The Kings can match any offer made to Thompson by another team.
Also, swingman Terrence Williams looked good in 18 games with the Kings last season, but the 2009 first-round pick by New Jersey is an unrestricted free agent.
Even if the Kings retain both players, it won't be enough to fix what ails the roster. Personnel changes and a change in the thinking of returning players are needed.
The Kings were 26th in field-goal percentage (43.6 percent) while allowing opponents to shoot a league-high 47.6 percent during the 2011-12 season. Sacramento also finished 29th from three-point range, shooting 31.6 percent.
Bringing in defensive-minded players who also can make jump shots must be a priority.
"Our primary focus in free agency initially is going to be with Jason," Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said after Thursday's draft. "We still have other needs, obviously, and we weren't going to fill every need with one player, at least where we were picking. I think shooting is still an issue, and we're going to have to try and address that."
For Sacramento, free agency won't be as simple as using the approximately $15 million the team has under the salary cap on an impact player.
The Kings want to add experience with someone such as point guard Andre Miller, but how much to spend without compromising financial flexibility is tricky.
The team isn't interested in tying up money in aging veterans, especially with a possible contract extension looming for Evans.
And if DeMarcus Cousins' development continues, the Kings might have to offer the center a maximum-level contract in two years to retain him.
There are preferred targets, such as Portland small forward Nicolas Batum, who could start immediately. But Batum is a restricted free agent, and Portland has stated its intent to match any offers.
While the Kings are reluctant to break up their young nucleus, a trade seems to be the logical way to shake up the roster.
In terms of expiring contracts, Sacramento has Francisco Garcia, who has a team option for 2013-14 that could be declined to make him a free agent after this season. Garcia is due $6.1 million next season.
The same goes for the three lowest-paid Kings Thomas, Whiteside and Tyler Honeycutt but moving them appears unlikely and would not generate much financial relief.
The Kings have enough cap space to absorb a contract without moving a player, but they likely would prefer to move a contract when adding another.
The team hopes the young talent will soon mature on the court, even though it's apparent the Kings must balance their youth with experience.
"You can see our team is very, very young," said coach Keith Smart. " Having flexibility is the biggest thing. Now you can go out and do some things you are looking forward to try to get your team a little bit older with some seasoned people."
What: Public appearance by Kings draft pick Thomas Robinson
When: 3 p.m. today
Where: Arden Fair plaza area in front of Nordstrom
ALL THE KINGS' MEN
Isaiah Thomas G
Marcus Thornton G
Tyreke Evans G-F
DeMarcus Cousins C
Jimmer Fredette G
Francisco Garcia G-F
Chuck Hayes F-C
Tyler Honeycutt F
Travis Outlaw F
John Salmons G-F
Hassan Whiteside C
Thomas Robinson F
Donté Greene F (not given a qualifying offer; will be unrestricted July 1)
Jason Thompson, F (restricted free agent)
Terrence Williams G-F (unrestricted)