Kings to learn draft position on Tuesday

Published: Monday, May. 20, 2013 - 5:56 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 3, 2013 - 5:38 pm

One of the many questions about the Kings this offseason will be answered Tuesday.

When the NBA draft lottery concludes shortly after 5 p.m., the Kings will know where they will pick in the first round of the June 27 draft.

The Kings had the sixth-worst record (28-54), giving them a 6.3 percent chance of winning the lottery and landing the top pick. Under league rules, the lowest the Kings can pick is ninth.

Coach Keith Smart, under contract through next season, will represent the Kings at the lottery, a decision made before the Maloofs agreed last week to sell the team to a group led by Vivek Ranadive. Basketball president Geoff Petrie, whose contract expires June 30, continues to oversee basketball operations, but who will have the final say in the draft remains unknown as the transition in ownership continues.

Considering their record and the fact they missed the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season, the Kings could look in several directions in the draft.

"I think right now you're trying to focus on a best-player order," Petrie said. "And once you know where you're drafting, you'll get a better handle of what happens in front of you, and you really have to try to sort through that.

"There are so many things that can factor into that as you get closer. Trades, discussions about what you're going to purse in free agency, how much money you can spend, what you want to do with your existing roster. Those are all subjects of discussion that have some impact on what you decide to do."

In those seven nonplayoff seasons, the Kings have never improved their selection through the lottery.

When the Kings finished with the worst record in the 2008-09 season, they ended up with the worst possible pick, No. 4.

"You certainly can't say the gods of chance have been smiling on us in that regard," Petrie said.

The Kings had the fifth-worst record in 2011-12 and stayed in the fifth spot. That pick was used on Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, who was traded to Houston in February.

This year's draft is considered to be lacking in potential superstars.

Ryan Blake, senior director of NBA scouting operations, said, "This is a very, very deep draft," and there are plenty of talented college and international players.

"We really don't know if we're going to get any franchise players," Blake said. "But we're going to get a lot of good players, a lot of players in the second round and even free agents that will make teams. It's that deep."

Leading the way is Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel, who could make an impact on defense when he returns from a torn left ACL suffered in February.

Other top prospects include Kansas guard Ben McLemore, Michigan guard Trey Burke, Georgetown forward Otto Porter and Indiana guard Victor Oladipo.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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