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  • Elise Amendola / Associated Press

    Pittsburgh's Steven Adams, blocking a shot by Providence's LaDontae Henton, could help the Kings address their defensive weaknesses.

  • Carlos Osorio / Associated Press

    Michigan's Trey Burke is considered the top point guard in the draft and likely won't be around when the Kings' turn comes.

With the seventh pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the Sacramento Kings select ...... who knows?

Published: Thursday, Jun. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 3, 2013 - 5:38 pm

Sorting out the NBA draft this year has been more difficult than in recent years.

Kentucky center Nerlens Noel is considered the top prospect, but he's coming off surgery for a torn ACL and isn't considered the clear-cut favorite when the No. 1 pick is announced shortly after 4:30 p.m. today. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Cavaliers pass on Noel and select Maryland center Alex Len, who is recovering from foot surgery.

A handful of top players could be selected in any number of spots by the time the Kings pick at No. 7, forcing the team to consider numerous options.

And don't be surprised if, because of the uncertainty this year, the Kings make a deal to move up or move down – or acquire additional picks or players.

It's also the first draft run by new general manager Pete D'Alessandro, so there's no track record on what he might do.

D'Alessandro said he plans to take the best player available, regardless of position, but who that is depends on how the first six picks play out.

If the Kings keep the No. 7 pick, here are six players who might be available, listed in order of how the Kings might select them:

Trey Burke – It's hard to imagine the player considered the top point guard in this year's draft falling to the Kings. But if he slips to No. 7, it would be hard for the Kings to pass on him. He's a leader and a playmaker, and he would instantly upgrade Sacramento's ability to push the pace on offense.

C.J. McCollum – The Kings last season shot 36.3 percent from three-point range, tied for 11th in the NBA, but they still need to upgrade their perimeter shooting. So why not add the player who might be the best shooter among the point guards?

Michael Carter-Williams – Carter-Williams is criticized for not being a polished outside shooter, but he's a gifted passer and he's 6-foot-6, putting him among the tallest point guards in the league. And his size and athleticism likely would help the Kings improve defensively, too.

Shabazz Muhammad – On the surface, Muhammad isn't a great fit. His strength is his one-on-one offense, and the Kings have plenty of one-on-one scorers. But as the Kings reshape their roster, Muhammad could be insurance if Tyreke Evans leaves via free agency or trade – or he could play alongside Evans, giving the Kings a big backcourt.

Steven Adams – Though this would be considered a surprise pick at No. 7, it makes sense. The Kings, who allowed the most points in the NBA last season, need another rebounder, shot blocker and interior defender. Adams needs to improve offensively, but on a team with plenty of scoring, there would be no rush to become a big scorer.

Cody Zeller – Before the season, Zeller was considered a top-three pick. He's athletic, with great shooting range, and he might be a stretch power forward, much like Ryan Anderson. Zeller's strength in the paint is a question mark, but in an era when floor spacing is a premium, he has value.

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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