NORTH NATOMAS — The Sacramento Kings were busy and active for the 2016 NBA Draft. With the No. 8 pick going into the draft, the Kings walked out of the first round with three selections, adding two guards and two centers.
With the No. 8 overall selection, a lottery pick, the Kings traded the pick to the Phoenix Suns and drafted center Georgios Papagiannis out of Greece with the Suns’ No. 13 pick.
The Kings drafted Elk Grove product Marquese Chriss out of Washington with the No. 8 pick for the suns. The Kings also had the Suns’ No. 28 pick and used it on Kentucky’s center Skal Labissiere.
Malachi Richardson, a 6-foot-6 guard out of Syracuse, was selected with the No. 22 pick. Richardson and Labissiere played one year of college basketball before entering the draft.
With 18-year-old Papagiannis, 20-year-old Labissiere and last year No. 5 pick Willie Cauley-Stein, the Kings have four centers going into training camp in October.
DeMarcus Cousins, the starting center and two-time All-Star, wasted no time tweeting out his emotion after the Kings selected Papagiannis with the No. 13 pick.
“Lord give me strength” Cousins tweeted, with an emoji of two hands bonded in a prayers stance.
Papagiannis played for Panathinaikos in Greece where he averaged 6.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 11.4 minutes on the floor in 21 games for the 2015-2016 season.
Richardson, 2o, a 6-6 guard, averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists as a freshman for the Orangemen. He also made 79 out of 224 attempts behind the arc.
Labissiere averaged 6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 15.8 minutes for the Wildcats of Kentucky last season. He is originally from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and survived earthquake in 2010 before moving to the United States.
Isaiah Cousins, no relations to DeMarcus Cousins, was picked at No. 59 in the second round of the draft. Cousins played all four season for the Oklahoma Sooners.
NBA First Round Draft Order — No. 1, Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), LSU; No. 2, Brandon Ingram (L.A. Lakers), Duke; No. 3, Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Cal; No. 4, Dragan Bender (Phoenix Suns), Croatia; and No. 5, Kris Dunn (Minnesota Timberwolves), Providence.
No. 6, Buddy Hield (New Orleans Pelicans), Oklahoma; No. 7, Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets), Kentucky; No. 8, Marquese Chriss (Sacramento Kings traded to Phoenix Suns), Washington; No. 9, Jakob Poeltl, (Toronto Raptors), Utah; and No. 10, Thon Maker (Milwaukee Bucks), Australia.
No. 11, Domantas Sabonis, (Orlando Magic), Gonzaga; No. 12, Taurean Prince (Utah Jazz traded to Atlanta Hawks), Baylor; No. 13, Georgios Papagiannis(Phoenix traded to Sacramento Kings), Greece; No. 14, Denzel Valentine (Chicago Bulls), Michigan State; ND No. 15, Juan Hernangomez (Denver Nuggets), Spain.
No. 16, Guerschon Yabulese (Boston Celtics), France; No. 17, Wade Baldwin, (Memphis Grizzlies), Vanderbilt; No. 18, Henry Ellenson (Detroit Pistons), Marquette; No. 19, Malik Beasley (Denver Nuggets), Florida State; and No. 20, Caris LeVert (Indiana Pacers traded to Brooklyn Nets), Michigan.
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer