Five freshmen who could be drafted by the Kings
The Kings moved into the top five of this year’s NBA draft, getting the fifth to go with the 10th selection following Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery.
Moving up is big because it gives the Kings the opportunity to land one of the elite prospects in a draft where many believe the top five picks could be franchise players.
Below are some players who could be Kings, thanks to some luck with the ping-pong balls Tuesday.
De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
Height/weight: 6-3, 187
Skinny: Fox is a realistic option at five. Along with Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, Fox is among the elite playmaking prospects and the Kings are in desperate need of a young point guard. Fox averaged 16.7 points and 4.6 assists as a freshman and admittedly needs to become a more consistent shooter.
Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Height/weight: 6-8, 205
Skinny: If Fox is not available at five, Tatum is likely to be the prospect there for the taking for the Kings. He averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds as a freshman and would give the Kings the young small forward they have not had in many years. With plenty of guards on the roster and Rudy Gay soon to be a free agent, Tatum would be a nice addition.
Dennis Smith, PG, North Carolina State
Height/weight: 6-3, 195
Skinny: Smith would be a point guard to consider at 10 if he is available. He averaged 18.1 points and 6.2 assists as a freshman. He’s strong and explosive and could fit well with a Kings team that wants to get up and down the court.
Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
Height/weight: 7-0, 230
Skinny: Freshman phenom from Finland is a proficient perimeter shooter. The Kings are always looking for more outside shooting and he made 42.3 percent of his 3-pointers with the Wildcats. The Kings have drafted three bigs in the previous two years, but none were shooters like Markkanen. He averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds last season.
Jonathan Isaac, PF/SF, Florida State
Height/weight: 6-10, 210
Skinny: Versatile player who will need to bulk up to be able to help a team. But with the luxury of having two lottery picks, the Kings would not have to rush Isaac onto the court. He averaged 12 points and 7.8 rebounds in his freshman season for the Seminoles.