2022 NBA Draft: The Kings shouldn’t overthink it. Just draft Jaden Ivey

The Sacramento Kings landed a golden ticket by jumping up the lottery and finishing No. 4 in the 2022 NBA draft, and they can’t afford to screw up another lottery pick. So in SB Nation’s annual sitewide blogger mock draft, I picked Jaden Ivey after the first three picks were chalk.

Ultimately, regardless of their position, kings need star power above all else. After a lot of back and forth thinking about the election over the last few months – plus – I finally ended up with Jaden Ivey as my #4 pick.

I question Ivey’s suitability for Sacramento, but ultimately I don’t see enough reason not to pick him. A Kings team that went 30-52 last season just can’t draft based on their fit, and Ivey offers a mix of advantages and reassurance that no other prospects outside of the top 3 seem to offer.

About a month ago I was pretty pumped about the idea of ​​drafting Shaedon Sharpe on the premise that Sacramento needs someone with star power, but ultimately it’s hard to imagine the Kings taking such a risk here. Ivey has combined much of what still fascinates me about Sharpe with far fewer risks.

Ivey has elite traits and movement skills reminiscent of elite leadership guards like Donovan Mitchell and Ja Morant. At 6’4 with a nearly 6’9 wingspan, Ivey has the length advantage over the above players. A drafted player is always unlikely to reach the heights of a Mitchell or a Morant, but it’s not that hard to imagine Ivey coming close.

Ivey’s most notable shortcomings are probably defensive consistency and commitment, and a consistent midrange jumper or floater. Defensively, Ivey wouldn’t significantly improve Sacramento’s defense, where they’ve been bottom of the table year after year.

Ivey and his camp don’t seem all that keen on ending up in Sacramento, and it’s hard to blame him for that given the fighting and flooding of organization in the backcourt. Ultimately though, I would hope the Kings wouldn’t pass Ivey on for that reason. Many players, including Stephen Curry, weren’t thrilled with who designed them, only for it to end up working.

There’s a reason at least five different teams are said to be interested in trading for 4th place Ivey. If Sacramento is completely blown away by an offer from either of these teams, I’d understand if I trade down, but other than that, I just don’t see why they should do that.

Part of my reasoning here is that it’s far more likely that the Kings would regret passing on Ivey, given the potential for him to play alongside Cade Cunningham with the Detroit Pistons — or some other scenario — than delaying the election.

Anyway, it’s a really tough decision and I don’t envy General Manager Monte McNair and the decision he has to make on Thursday. And in just a few days, we’ll learn the outcome of one of the most important decisions in franchise history.

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