Leading Off

Kings fans can watch team’s possible next draft pick

Kentucky's Aaron Harrison, left, Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles speak during a press conference at the NCAA college basketball tournament in Louisville, Ky., Friday, March 20, 2015. Kentucky plays Cincinnati in the Round of 32 on Saturday.
Kentucky's Aaron Harrison, left, Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles speak during a press conference at the NCAA college basketball tournament in Louisville, Ky., Friday, March 20, 2015. Kentucky plays Cincinnati in the Round of 32 on Saturday. AP

For college basketball fanatics, the first weekend of the men’s NCAA Tournament puts them in hoops heaven.

For Kings fans, it’s usually a chance to watch the player who might be the team’s next lottery draft pick.

Here are five players who could be in a Kings uniform next season, based on the team’s sixth-worst record and figuring Duke’s Jahill Okafor, Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell will be gone if the Kings don’t land a top-three pick:

Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky: The 7-foot, 240-pound junior is a key reason the Wildcats are undefeated and have such a fearsome defense. His offense is limited, but imagine him alongside DeMarcus Cousins.

Justise Winslow, Duke: The 6-6, 225-pound freshman swingman is a strong defender and can score in a variety of ways, but can he improve his outside shot enough to crack the Kings’ starting lineup?

Stanley Johnson, Arizona: At 6-7 and 245 pounds, he already has an NBA body and is expected to be a top defender at the next level, something the Kings could use.

Devin Booker, Kentucky: Another heralded Wildcats freshman, the 6-6, 206-pound guard is considered an excellent shooter and defender, especially on the perimeter.

Myles Turner, Texas: If you missed Thursday’s upset loss to Butler, you won’t be able to see this 6-11, 240-pound big man play in college again. He’s considered a prospect, and the Kings need immediate help, so he might not be a good fit.

The Kings could go in a different direction; don’t be surprised if they opt for Kristaps Porzingis, a 7-1, 220-pound forward from Latvia, or Mario Hezonja, a 6-7, 200-pound swingman from Croatia.

Tom Couzens

tcouzens@sacbee.com


What to watch

Men’s NCAA Tournament, Ch. 13, TNT, TBS starting at 9:10 a.m.: Eight teams will advance to next weekend’s Sweet 16, but which high seed will be sent home?


Trending on Twitter

#BracketBusted: With several upsets already, the men’s NCAA Tournament is dominating social media.


On this date

1945: George Mikan of DePaul scores 53 points in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament, matching Rhode Island in a 97-53 rout.

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