The Kings didn’t move up or down in Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery and received the eighth overall pick.
The draft is June 23 at Barclays Center in New York.
After finishing 33-49, the Kings were slotted in the eighth spot after winning a tiebreaker with the Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks. If the Kings had fallen out of the top 10, the first-round pick would have gone to the Chicago Bulls. That was a stipulation in a 2011 trade that brought J.J. Hickson from the Cleveland Cavaliers to Sacramento. The Cavaliers dealt the rights to the pick to the Bulls.
In their 10th consecutive lottery appearance, the Kings had only a 1.9 percent chance of rising to No. 1. Had the Kings won the lottery, they would have lost the top pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia had the right to swap picks with Sacramento as a condition of last year’s trade that sent Jason Thompson, Carl Landry and Nik Stauskas to the 76ers.
The 76ers, who had the best odds (25 percent) of winning the 14-team lottery, wound up with the No. 1 choice. The Los Angeles Lakers, which had the second-best odds (19.9 percent), will select second, and the Boston Celtics (15.6) will choose third.
No team moved up in the lottery, with the rest of the clubs slotted in the inverse order of their record.
The Kings spent the last few weeks of the season strategically resting players in an attempt to add losses and give them the best chance of keeping their pick. They would have gladly given up the pick had they made the playoffs, but once the postseason was out of the question, the focus shifted to adding another young player.
Sacramento likely will look to draft the best player available, but a strong defender would be a plus.
The Kings might be in position to select Cal freshman Jaylen Brown, an athletic wing player who could be an energetic defender.
Oklahoma star Buddy Hield also might be available and could fill the Kings’ void at shooting guard. The Kings have struggled to find a consistent shooting guard after using first-round picks on the position in 2013 (Ben McLemore) and 2014 (Stauskas).
The Kings could trade the pick to move up for a point guard such as Providence’s Kris Dunn, or they might move back if a center is available and a team covets that player.
Center is the position where the Kings have the least need, with All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, veteran Kosta Koufos and last year’s first-round choice, Willie Cauley-Stein on the roster.
The Kings own one second-round pick, 59th overall. They acquired it from the San Antonio Spurs for point guard Ray McCallum last year.