The Kings were widely applauded for their offseason acquisitions, both through the draft and free agency.
But calling Sacramento a potential superteam? ESPN says it could happen.
An article published Monday points out how nine teams could become the NBA’s next big thing. Using three different models, ESPN selects three teams for each, selecting a winner, runner-up and darkhorse.
The Kings are considered a darkhorse under the “2014 Golden State Warriors model” – which is building through the draft. The Denver Nuggets are named the favorite, with the Milwaukee Bucks as the runner-up.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
As for the Kings?
“Look, we can’t believe we’re mentioning Sacramento and Golden State in the same breath either,” wrote ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh. “But the young core in Sacramento is tantalizing. Youngsters De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles represent a sky-high ceiling in Sacramento. With George Hill, Zach Randolph and Vince Carter presenting some much-needed veteran infrastructure, the kids could bring trouble to the rest of the NBA in a few years.”
As most analysts believe, success won’t come overnight.
“We’re a long ways away from seeing if the Kings have something that resembles a playoff team, but the seeds have been planted,” Haberstroh wrote. “Look for the Kings to pounce in 2019 free agency with as much as $55 million in cap space with nine players under contract (all first- or second-round picks).
“If they hit a couple home runs in the draft and manage the cap shrewdly, could they steal Klay Thompson in 2019? We like what’s brewing up the coast in Sacramento.”
The other superteam models are the 2011 Miami Heat (build through free agency) and the 2008 Boston Celtics (build using trade assets).