2017 NBA draft grades: Kings nail No. 5 pick on De'Aaron Fox, trade down for Jackson, Giles
Despite playing in a new arena last season, the Sacramento Kings didn't have much of a new look last season. The team finished 18 games under .500 and nine games out of a playoff spot, enduring their 11th consecutive year without a postseason berth. The biggest story of the season came about midway through when the Kings parted with big man Demarcus Cousins after six a half seasons in Sacramento, sending him to New Orleans in a deal that netted the Kings, in part, the 10th overall pick in this year's draft.
Last year the team drafted Marquese Chriss and promptly flipped him to the Suns for Brogdon Bogdanovic, Skal Labissiere, Georgios Papagiannis and a couple future draft picks. With two picks in the top 10 this year, the Kings are primed to take advantage of one of the strongest draft classes in recent memory.
Here's the full list of picks the Kings hold in the 2017 draft, which will be updated with grades and analysis as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 5 (No. 5 overall): De'Aaron Fox, Kentucky
The Kings coveted Fox throughout the predraft process and get their man at No. 5. He’s exactly the building block Sacramento needs and was the best prospect left on the board. Fox is one of the fastest players in the draft with the ball in his hands, could become a high-level defender at his position and has star potential if his jump shot improves. This long, winding rebuild just got a lot more legitimate. — Jeremy Woo
Round 1, Pick 15 (No. 15 overall): Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina (in reported trade with Portland Trailblazers)
The Kings made a nice decision to move down with no clear choice at No. 10, but this feels a little high for Jackson. The idea of him as a shooter and defender remains a little stronger than his actual skill level at this stage. He’s not an above-the-rim athlete, which many saw as a limiting factor for his best-case scenario. It’s not sexy, but credit Sacramento for making a relatively conservative pick for once. It’s conceivable the Kings were concerned about him going before their next pick at No. 20. — Jeremy Woo
Round 1, Pick 20 (No. 20 overall): Harry Giles, PF, Duke (in reported trade with Portland Trailblazers)
Giles was once a potential No. 1 draft pick, but a run of serious knee injuries sapped his draft stock. His camp declined an invitation to the draft’s green room last-minute, likely concerned about his wide range of outcomes given the injury risk. A guaranteed first-round deal is a big win for Giles. The Kings are taking a big swing here, and it’s completely justifiable given the potential value. Props for the ballsy thinking, and perhaps going safe with Justin Jackson at No. 15 mitigates the risk. — Jeremy Woo
Round 2, Pick 4 (No. 34 overall): Frank Mason, PG, Kansas