Jaden Ivey: Kings ‘wouldn’t be worst option’ in NBA draft

Purdue guard Jaden Ivey (23) during team introduction before an NCAA college basketball game against Illinois, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

Purdue guard Jaden Ivey (23) during team introduction before an NCAA college basketball game against Illinois, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

AP

Purdue guard Jaden Ivey fielded a series of questions about the Kings Monday after a report surfaced suggesting Sacramento wasn’t his “preferred destination” in Thursday’s NBA draft.

Ivey was asked if he met or worked with the Kings during the pre-draft process and how he might fit if Sacramento selects him with the No. 4 in the draft.

“I would just say I haven’t actually had any contact with them, didn’t work out for them,” Ivey said during a Zoom call with reporters. “I kind of let that process happen on its own. If I was moved there, that wouldn’t be the worst option. I can’t choose I’m not the GM that picks the guy, so I’m just trying to enjoy the process, and whatever happens on draft night, I’m just going to stick with it.”

Ivey said he didn’t make a “conscious decision” not to meet with the kings, saying “it just kind of happened”. He went on to discuss his possible fit with Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox and center Domantas Sabonis.

“Obviously they just drafted Davion Mitchell[in 2021],” Ivey said. “You have people like Sabonis. Obviously a great Warden like De’Aaron Fox. You have a lot of talent; I’m just trying to get a few people to fill them in, and I think I’d fit in anywhere, but we’ll see what happens on draft night.

Ivey, 19, is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard who averaged 19.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a sophomore at Purdue. He shot 46% from the field and 35.8% from 3-point range. He’s an explosive athlete with elite burst and finishing skills, but there are questions about his suitability for Fox given their similar strengths and weaknesses.

Ivey, who is widely picked as the No. 4, said he’s studied teams like the Kings, Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks since the draft draft was unveiled at the NBA draft lottery in Chicago.

“I started watching the Sacramento movie,” he said. “Of course there could be situations where I could end up in New York. I’ve seen a lot of Detroit, the plays they have, young talent. OKC is one where I could see myself, but really all these teams, I feel like I could see myself, and we’ll just see what happens on draft night.

Ivey said the Orlando Magic and Pistons are the only teams he’s worked for. He added that he recently had a video conference call with the Indiana Pacers. That was an interesting revelation given the possibility of the Kings making a trade with the Pistons or Pacers to return at No. 5 or No. 6 in the draft.

“I had a Zoom call with them just recently,” Ivey said. “I haven’t trained with them. The Zoom call went well. We’ll just see what happens in the draft. It’s only three days until draft so I’m just trying to soak it all up and see what happens on draft day.”

Jason Anderson is an award-winning sportswriter for The Sacramento Bee. He began his journalism career at The Bee more than 20 years ago and returned in September 2018 to cover the Sacramento Kings.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.