Kings Blog

Q&A: Kings scouting next top pick in Europe? Would ‘Slovenian Wonderkid’ be good fit?

Some believe Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic could be ready to play right away as a rookie in the NBA.
Some believe Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic could be ready to play right away as a rookie in the NBA. AP file

Throughout the season, Jason Jones answers readers’ questions about the team in a weekly Twitter mailbag. Tweet your questions with the hashtag #JonesHoldsCourt.

Q: I remember reading recently that Kings AGM Brandon Williams was in Europe. Slovenian Wonderkid and potential top pick Luka Doncic plays in Europe. Any insight into Kings draft rumblings? Or is it too early at this point?

– Max Mathews, @MaxMathews15

A: Doncic certainly has his fans in the front office, but the assistant general manager’s visit to Europe isn’t a sign the Kings are locked in on him.

Some believe Doncic could be ready to play right away as a rookie. The easy assumption is general manager Vlade Divac, a former European standout, would be focused on Doncic, but the front office is surveying the landscape.

As with last year’s draft, the Kings are excited about the depth of talent at the top, and they expect to land a potential impact player in the first five or so picks.

Q: If given the chance, will you draft Luka Doncic for Sacramento? Will he harness our youth potential?

– Claudine, @KlaudineCleine

A: The Kings have a long history of ignoring my opinion when it comes to the draft (I still weep on the inside knowing the Kings didn’t care for my opinion on Kawhi Leonard), but I would not put the pressure on Doncic to be a savior.

I’m still intrigued by Arizona center Deandre Ayton, whom I might lean toward before Doncic. Another player who is intriguing, partially because he’s out with a back injury, is Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr.

He was viewed as a possible No. 1 pick as a 6-foot-10 forward with the skills of a perimeter player. If healthy, that’s the kind of talent the Kings might not be able to pass on. And as the Kings have shown with Harry Giles, they’re willing to wait on a prospect to become healthy.

Of course, this all depends on where the Kings are picking in the draft. There’s a lot of time before that is sorted out.

Q: What do you think about our #Kings rookies as of late? Do you feel any of them have been making progress or little of it or like to see more out of certain rookie whether scoring, rebounding, etc?

– Jes Wolven, @Xargon_83

A: De’Aaron Fox and Justin Jackson are the rookies who have made a noticeable leap lately.

Fox’s understanding of how to use his speed to his advantage and his improvement as a floor general have stood out.

Jackson looks more relaxed, which coincides with his playing time is becoming more consistent. He’s shooting better, but what might be more important is the improvement he has shown on defense.

De'Aaron Fox scored 26 points and made all six attempted 3-pointers in the Kings' loss Sunday to the San Antonio Spurs.

And for this week’s non-Kings question:

Q: What’s the best thing about Northern California compared to Southern California?

– David Stauffer, @TheDstauff

A: Ah, a question designed to make sure I’m not welcome when I return to my hometown. This is actually quite simple. The best thing about Northern California is the University of California.

There is no more perfect a university than Cal. It is the one institution I truly favor over anything in Southern California.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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