Kings Blog

Jason Jones, Sacramento Kings beat writer

Things to think about for the Kings leading up to the NBA Draft

06/25/2014 7:22 PM

10/08/2014 12:02 PM

The NBA Draft is less than 24 hours and what the Kings will do is like a roll of the dice.

The Kings are open to trading up, trading down or trading the the eighth pick all together for veteran help.

I said last month if the Kings were going to trade up it would be for Joel Embiid and they've looked to do that according to CBS Sports.

Embiid had surgery for a stress fracture in his foot last Friday, which seems to have knocked him out of contention for being the No. 1 overall pick.

The Kings want to add length and athleticism next to DeMarcus Cousins and Embiid fits that need. But his foot injury is a legitimate reason to be concerned.

Embiid figures to miss a big chunk, if not all of his rookie season, according to various reports.

• The Kings are looking to upgrade a few areas this offseason, starting with the draft.

The priorities:

• Improved passing – The Kings continue to look at point guards for this reason. That’s why Elfrid Payton is a legitimate option if the Kings stay at eight or trade down. With Isaiah Thomas and Ray McCallum, the Kings believe they have two point guards who are better scorers than facilitators.
• Length and athleticism – The Kings see upgrading this area as a key to improving the defense. It’s why Embiid, Noah Vonleh and Aaron Gordon are players the Kings will consider adding to the frontcourt.
• Perimeter shooting – The Kings finished tied for 27th in three point shooting last season. So it would be hard to argue against selecting Doug McDermott, Nik Stauskas or any other shooter.

The Kings would love to find these in veterans via trade or free agency. If not, the Kings will add someone to the team that fills a need in these areas while also boosting the basketball IQ of the squad.

Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro is open to a deal. His goal is to improve the team ASAP and he won’t hold on to a pick if there’s a deal to be made for a veteran (like a Rajon Rondo).

D’Alessandro is probably on the phone right now, trying to make something happen. If not, McDermott, Stauskas, Gordon and Payton are targets.

About This Blog

Jason Jones, who joined The Sacramento Bee in 2002, has covered the Kings since 2008. Jones, a UC Berkeley graduate, also has covered high school sports, the Oakland Raiders and the Sacramento Monarchs for The Bee. Contact him at jejones@sacbee.com. Twitter: @mr_jasonjones

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