When the Sacramento Kings dealt their former franchise player in DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins to New Orleans last season, many including myself thought Sacramento made the wrong move. Who ships out arguably the best true center in the league today for a 23 year old rookie, a former King and Rookie of the Year, and a guard who came off the bench? Crazy? Yes. Preposterous? Absolutely. Yet the Kings saw more than just attempting to build around Boogie Cousins with sub-par pieces in a stretch 4-5 league and put the team into full reset mode. The trade also gave Vice President, General Manager, and Kings great Vlade Divac future draft picks to play with.
Enter the 2017 NBA Draft, a night that the Sacramento Faithful will remember for numerous reasons. The Kings drafted all the right pieces, made all the right moves to trade down into the draft to acquire more value, and ultimately were the winners of Draft Night. Vlade and President Vivek Ranadive stole the show, and shocked many with the power moves that they made. Sacramento drafted Kentucky speedster De’Aaron Fox with the fifth overall pick, traded down to get UNC forward and Nat’l Champ Justin Jackson with the 15th pick, Duke’s explosive big man Harry Giles with the 20th pick, and Wooden Award winner Frank Mason III from Kansas. All I could think while watching this draft was “Wow”. The amount of valuable assets selected who will make an immediate impact for Sacramento is insane. Not to mention what Sacramento already has to offer on their current roster, trading Cousins last season seemed to be a win-win situation. With the Kentucky Towers in Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere protecting the paint and making electrifying plays, and sharpshooter Buddy Hield playing at a high level hitting three after three, The Sacramento Kings have a young nucleus that just got even better. Although Sac-Town will still be scratching and clawing their way for wins in the West, improvement and potential to become great is always a positive sign for years to come. Vlade and Vivek are now looking like geniuses instead of looking down upon by many.
It is not only the talent they acquired, it is the class and character of the players drafted to represent Sacramento. Changing the Culture of the Kings is what Divac and Ranadive had in mind as the end goal and they sure nailed their plans to do so. The prospects selected by Sacramento in this draft are all winners, hard-workers, and have a true passion and love for the game. Justin Jackson of UNC led the Tar Heels to the ship after losing a heart breaker to Villanova, Frank Mason III, an undersized guard from Kansas had his best season, in which he won the Wooden Award and the Bob Cousy Award, De’Aaron Fox of Kentucky, was one of the best defensive guards in the country and displayed his passion and fire for the game night in and night out, and Harry Giles from Duke was regarded as one of the best physical talents coming into Duke.
The Kings are built and loaded for seasons to come and fans can thank Mr. Divac and Mr. Ranadive for that.
Written By Daniel Malakismail