The Kings selected Marquese Chriss of Washington with the No. 8 pick in Thursday night's NBA draft. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Sacramento is drafting Chriss to send him to the Suns as part of a trade in which they will receive Bogdan Bogdanovic and the No. 13 and No. 28 picks.
Chriss averaged 13.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 53% for the Huskies.
Chriss arrived in Washington as a Top 100 recruit who flew under the radar until his senior year. The Sacramento native impressed in his lone season at Washington and could be used as a perimeter player in the future. He is still young as he will just turn 19 in July.
Strengths: Chriss has moved from relative unknown to probable top-10 pick on the heels of a strong two-month run to close his freshman year. His mobility, bounce and expanding offensive game make him an intriguing piece in an increasingly positionless league. He’s more comfortable facing up than posting up, but can attack off the dribble and make spectacular plays. He’s also displayed a serviceable jumpshot (he shot an impressive 35% from three). As he puts his offensive game together, the potential payoff on Chriss is drool-worthy. “I think his understanding has grown as far as what he’s capable of doing,” one scout says. “That’s encouraging.”
Weaknesses: Foul trouble plagued Chriss all season, as he fouled out in 15 of 34 games and registered four fouls in nine more. He’s athletic enough to be an excellent defender, but the discipline isn’t there yet. Those issues extended to the defensive glass, where Chriss grabbed less than three boards per game. He needs to embrace the contact and show he can do some dirty work, because offensively he’s not ready to hang at small forward. Chriss has a lot to prove defensively if he wants to stay on the floor.
Grade: B-. The Kings sent this pick to Phoenix for Nos. 13 and 28, a 2020 second-rounder, and Bodgan Bogdanovic, a shooter currently stashed overseas. It’s a net gain in terms of high-end talent for the Suns—a major need for them—but taking a player whose position resembles the guy they just took, Dragan Bender, makes it a bit of a head-scratcher. Chriss has star upside, but also may have further to go than any of the elite talents in the draft. You can’t fault the Suns for taking the highest-upside guy left, but their long-term plan is slightly fuzzy at the moment. — Jeremy Woo