The NBA’s chaos rolls on and though the order of the top-3 picks aren’t decided, it’s become pretty clear who will be included in that mix.
Jabari Smith from Auburn is rumored to be the Magic’s choice at No. 1. Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren’s been linked to the Thunder at No. 2, and Duke’s Paolo Banchero is expected to go No. 3 to the Rockets. Their odds to go No. 1 (-260, +260 and +400 respectively) give weight to that theory, considering the next-highest odds belong to eight different players at +20000.
The real adventure starts at the Kings pick at No. 4, where the consensus next-best player doesn’t play a position Sacramento needs, and he doesn’t seem super interested in playing for them anyway.
Most teams looking to move up in the draft have their eye on Jaden Ivey, the 6’4 Purdue guard and son of Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Niele, who averaged 17.3 points on 46.0% shooting with 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in his sophomore season. The speedy playmaker has great finishing instincts around the rim, and his quick bursts of speed make him tough to guard.
Sacramento is in a weird position in terms of drafting him or not, though. Aside from the questionable fit next to De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell, ESPN’s Jonathon Givony reported that the Kings aren’t Ivey’s preferred destination, and later, Ivey confirmed he hadn’t worked out for them. “If I got drafted there, it wouldn’t be the worst option,” Ivey said. Yikes.
With that in mind, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Pistons, Pacers, Knicks, Wizards and others were interested in making a trade to land him.
The options are endless for Sacramento. Should they opt to trade the pick, it’ll command a high asking price to the tune of a veteran player and a first-round pick at least. Or, they could choose to draft Ivey anyway.
Or, the franchise can choose between versatile combo guard Bennedict Mathurin, defensive stud Dyson Daniels, sharpshooter Keegan Murray (who’s been rumored to have dined with Fox and Domantas Sabonis via an arrangement with the Kings), or mystery man Shaedon Sharpe.
Whatever happens at pick No. 4 is sure to change everyone’s draft boards for the rest of the night.