By Mardeio Cannon | OBSERVER Columnist
With the knowledge that this pick in the 2022 NBA draft will most likely decide his future as the Sacramento Kings’ general manager, Monte McNair, as you all know by now, chose Keegan Murray, the first-team All-America sophomore from the University of Iowa. Although some draft pundits had the Kings selecting Murray, the pick most expected of the Kings was freshman point guard Jaden Ivey out of Purdue University. In fact, the chatter was so loud for the Kings selecting Ivey, the Murray pick came as somewhat of a surprise.
Because Ivey has such tremendous athletic talents, many draft experts tab him as a future NBA star. There was also the fact that Ivey reported no contact with the Kings prior to the draft and was not excited about being drafted by the Kings, which is no reason not to draft a player if he is your pick. Drafting Ivey also would add another guard to the Kings’ crowded backcourt and there was concern with how he would fit with star De’Aaron Fox.
Now that the Kings went with the player with the most fit out of the gate instead of the player with the perceived star potential, the Kings have to hope Ivey doesn’t become an NBA star with the Detroit Pistons. I don’t believe Kings fans can stomach another draft pick who was available but bypassed who turns into an NBA superstar.
If Ivey does become an NBA star, he will showcase his talents in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and at least not visit Golden 1 Center twice a year.
All of this chatter will not matter if the Kings somehow make the play-offs next year.
I believe the Kings missed an opportunity to engineer a predraft trade that would have netted the team a solid player while preserving an opportunity to draft a lottery player who could have added more depth. Murray does fill a need at power forward. However, the Kings do not have enough quality wing players to compete in today’s NBA. All of this means that as it stands right now, the Kings do not have enough to make the playoffs next year, even if Murray turns out to be a good player.
Kings fans will be watching and paying a lot of attention to the Detroit Pistons next season!