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Kings' best draft fits: Who could be the answer at power forward? Or is he here already?

Duke's Marvin Bagley III (35) is defended by Rhode Island's E.C. Matthews during the second half of an NCAA Tournament second-round game, in Pittsburgh, Saturday, March 17, 2018. Duke won 87-62.
Duke's Marvin Bagley III (35) is defended by Rhode Island's E.C. Matthews during the second half of an NCAA Tournament second-round game, in Pittsburgh, Saturday, March 17, 2018. Duke won 87-62. AP

This is part of a series breaking down the Kings' roster by position and identifying the draft prospects who best fit those spots.

Power forward

Level of need (scale of 1-10): 7

Description

A physical presence who will rebound with tenacity and score in the paint when needed is what the Kings seek at power forward. And in today's NBA, it wouldn't hurt if this player can step out and knock down a 3-pointer.

The best power forwards in the league – such as Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge and Draymond Green – also have the ability to fill in at center and are versatile.

Perhaps the Kings' biggest need at power forward is someone capable of defending the position all over the floor. Mobile power forwards compromised the Kings' defense too often.

Who's there now?

Zach Randolph, 36, is the oldest King under contract for next season and when he played was the Kings most reliable option for an easy basket. Randolph is so skilled offensively that he'll be able to play for a few more years. His style of offense is more about smarts, guile and technique and not superior athleticism. He led the Kings with 14.5 points per game.

Defensively, Randolph fared better against centers and teams routinely tried to pull him from the basket when they had athletic power forwards.

But Randolph is not the future of the team, and there are question marks at the position.

Skal Labissiere was inconsistent in his second season, which included being sent down to the G League. He shot just 44.8 percent and struggled defensively, especially when forced to defend on the perimeter. Labissiere shows flashes, but not enough to solidify himself as the power forward of the future.

Harry Giles is a source of hope. He didn't play at all as a rookie while recovering from knee surgery, but if Giles is as good as some inside the Kings believe, the former top high school player in the country could be a cornerstone piece. But that's a lot to put on a player who has only practiced.

Willie Cauley-Stein is another wild card. He has mostly started at center but looks a lot more comfortable playing power forward, where he can play away from the basket. When Cauley-Stein played center next to Randolph, he struggled to find his offense. The key for Cauley-Stein is maintaining intensity. His ability to defend on the perimeter is also a bonus, but he might be locked in at center to start next season.

If the Kings draft Arizona center Deandre Ayton, Cauley-Stein could begin the season at power forward.

Best fits

Marvin Bagley III, Duke: In his freshman season for the Blue Devils, Bagley proved to be a capable scorer and rebounder. Those are two things the Kings desperately need at the position. He averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds last season and is considered by many draft analysts no worse than the third-best player in the draft.

Bagley (6-foot-11, 234 pounds) shot 39.7 percent from 3-point range in college, so he's not bound to playing in the paint.

Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State: The son of the former NBA player, Jackson (6-11, 242), has the size teams covet. He made 39.7 percent of his 3s in his only season for the Spartans, too.

His statistics aren't eye-catching (10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds), but he could blossom in the NBA's more open style of play.

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