Every year, the NBA draft breathes new life into fan bases around the league as teams welcome a new crop of promising, young talent.
Unless you’re a fan of the Kings that is, in which case the 2022 draft might bring harsh reminders of the not-too-distant past as opposed to an overwhelming sense of optimism. In fact, most NBA fans likely wouldn’t fault Sacramento’s supporters (and sympathizers) for having a strong sense of humor despite having another top-end pick (No. 4) at its disposal.
An ESPN graphic shared by one NBA fan on Twitter hours before Thursday night’s festivities perfectly, and perhaps frighteningly, summed up some of the Kings’ biggest draft lottery misses. It should come as no surprise, however, that this list also includes some of the biggest whiffs of all-time:
2011: Kings acquire 10th pick Jimmer Fredette via trade, Warriors select Klay Thompson 11th.
2012: Kings select Thomas Robinson fifth, Blazers select Damian Lillard sixth.
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2018: Kings select Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 pick, Hawks select Luka Dončić with the No. 3 pick (and trade him to the Mavericks for No. 5 pick Trae Young).
For a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006, Kings management probably still wishes it could’ve landed at least one of Thompson, Lillard or Dončić. To make matters worse, Fredette and Robinson were off the team by 2014 while Bagley was shipped to Detroit in February after a subpar four-season run.
With another two selections (Nos. 37, 49) and an opportunity to make more moves on the table, Sacramento enters draft night looking to add more hits than misses, like 2017 No. 5 pick De’Aaron Fox and 2021 first-rounder Davion Mitchell.
“Better luck next year” has never sounded so promising.
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