With the 2022 NBA Draft order settled, speculation about who the Kings will take with the No. 4 pick has begun.
ESPN’s latest mock draft has Sacramento selecting Jaden Ivey fourth overall but also hints that the organization could trade the pick to a team looking to move up for the Purdue guard.
“The Kings aren't Ivey's preferred destination but have proved willing to take players without the benefit of workouts and medical information in the past, doing so as recently as a year ago when selecting Davion Mitchell,” writes Jonathan Givony of ESPN. “Many around the NBA feel that this pick is available for a team looking to swap picks and move up the draft for Ivey.”
The Kings reportedly are willing to trade down in the draft so that they can acquire a “win-now” player who can help them return to the NBA playoffs for the first time in 16 years, league sources told The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor earlier this month.
Teams that could be in the picture if that scenario plays out, according to Givony, include the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder, who could offer players like Jerami Grant, Myles Turner or Luguentz Dort, respectively.
Even though Sacramento reportedly isn’t Ivey’s destination of choice with three prominent point guards already on the squad, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound prospect could make an immediate impact, too.
Still, as Givony points out, the Kings could decide to go an entirely different direction, keeping the No. 4 pick but opting to select a player who is a little bit more excited about playing in the 916. He writes that both head-coach-to-be Mike Brown and owner Vivek Ranadive are intrigued by Iowa forward Keegan Murray, who goes to the Pistons at No. 5 in the mock.
And while Ivey wouldn’t be the first player to be drafted by a team that he doesn’t want to play for, exactly how adamant the young guard is about where he ends up isn’t quite clear.
At the end of the day, Sacramento is on the hunt for a player that can help them end the longest postseason drought in NBA history -- and one who is hopefully eager to rise to the challenge. How general manager Monte McNair decides to use the No. 4 pick to achieve that goal remains to be seen.