Sacramento Kings

Kings mock drafts: Sacramento could select a Kentucky guard, but which one is unclear

De'Aaron Fox likes the Kings' young players

Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox discusses the Kings during the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago on Friday, May 12, 2017.
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Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox discusses the Kings during the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago on Friday, May 12, 2017.

With three weeks until the NBA draft, it’s peak mock season among internet sports pundits.

Since the Kings have the fifth and 10th picks in a deep draft pool, there’s an opportunity to bring in players who can make an instant impact. But, given the franchise’s past draft history, there’s also an opportunity to swing and miss on an unknown or less-proven player.

Previous mock drafts had the Kings drafting Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox at No. 5. But the Los Angeles Lakers, who were presumed to pick local prospect Lonzo Ball from UCLA, scheduled a workout with Fox in mid-June, per CBSsports.com. This complicates the Fox-to-Sacramento narrative.

If Fox comes off the board, some analysts think the Kings will select Kentucky’s other backcourt player: Malik Monk.

The Bee’s Jason Jones believes the Kings will wind up with Fox and Arizona sharpshooter Lauri Markkanen.

Here is a sample of updated mock drafts with analysis:

SI.com’s Andrew Sharp

Sharp predicts the Kings will trade both of its picks with the Philadelphia 76ers for the third overall pick.

“It makes sense for Sacramento, too. Fox is the best guard outside Lonzo and Fultz, and he may have the chance to be as good as either one. Of everyone outside Fultz, Fox is probably the safest bet to be very, very good. His defense will be relentless, and on offense he’s got John Wall-speed coupled with a Mike Conley floater.”

NJ.com’s Matt Lombardo

“Point guard remains the Sacramento Kings’ biggest need heading into the NBA Draft, and Vlade Divac fills that void with Kentucky’s Malik Monk, who showed himself to be a prolific scorer last season averaging 19.8 points and 2.3 assists per game.”

“Having added a guard by taking Malik Monk at No. 5, the Kings pair him with Gonzaga center Zach Collins who has the chance to be the best overall center in this year’s class.”

NBAdraft.net

Sporting News’ Sam Vecenie

“The Kings need a point guard of the future, and Fox is the top one on my board at this stage of the draft. He’d be a strong fit next to Buddy Hield, as the former Oklahoma star could provide the necessary floor spacing next to Fox as he works out his shot and gets stronger.”

“Look, the Kings need to come out of this draft with two excellent players in the top 10. Markkanen is the last player in this tier, and would immediately be the best, most polished front court scorer on this roster under contract next season.”

DraftExpress.com

SB Nation’s Tom Ziller

Ziller crafted his mock draft around the possibility that the Los Angeles Lakers select Fox over UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick.

“Surely the Kings would take Ball if available ... right? Well, maybe. Or maybe they’d fill a crucial, gaping hole for a defensive-first wing with excellent physical tools and lots of upside.”

“If the Kings pass up a point guard at No. 5, there might be one left at No. 10, whether it be Smith or (Frank) Ntilikina.”

Tankathon

Los Angeles Times’ Broderick Turner

“Yes, the Kings have a shooting guard in Buddy Hield, but this organization is so unpredictable. Still, a team like the Kings can never have enough shooting, and Monk can shoot.”

“Giles had knee surgery while at Duke and didn’t have a very productive season. But he showed enough to be a lottery pick.”

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