Draft Notes: Jaden Ivey Has Not Worked Out For Sacramento, Kings Arrange Dinner With Keegan Murray & More
Projected top-four pick Jaden Ivey shared on Monday morning that he has not worked out or met with the Sacramento Kings prior to Thursday’s NBA Draft.
The talented Purdue product is expected to be selected within the first four picks of the draft, with several draft evaluators and experts predicting that the Kings will use its fourth pick on the 20-year-old.
“I haven’t been in contact with them, didn’t work out for them. I’m kind of just letting this process handle itself,” Ivey said during an NBA Draft media session on Monday morning.
“If I got drafted [by Sacramento], it wouldn’t be the worst option.”
Rumors that Ivey was hoping to avoid being selected by Sacramento took social media by storm last week, as ESPN’s Jonathan Givony shared that the guard doesn’t view California’s capital city as a ‘preferred destination’.
Although Ivey hasn’t worked out for the Kings, he did share that Sacramento has been among the teams that he has watched film on as he anticipates being selected early in the draft process.
“They recently just drafted Davion Mitchell, they have guys like Sabonis, a great guard like De’Aaron Fox.,” Ivey said of what he likes about this current Kings squad. “I think I fit in anywhere, but we’re going to see what happens on draft night.”
When asked why he has chosen to not work out or meet with the Kings, Ivey stated that the decision wasn’t his and added that it was just something that hasn’t happened.
“It’s not a conscious decision. I never really made the decision to not talk with Sacramento. It just kind of happened.”
Ivey shared that he has logged official workouts for just two teams: the Orlando Magic (first-overall pick) and Detroit Pistons (fifth-overall pick). The Oklahoma City Thunder, who select second and 12th in the draft, traveled to watch Ivey work out privately after the guard’s pro-day last month.
The fact that Ivey, a player who is unlikely to fall below fourth in the draft, has worked out for the Pistons at fifth raises questions of a potential draft-day pick-swap between Detroit and Sacramento.
It has long been speculated that the Kings are interested in Iowa forward Keegan Murray, who is expected to be drafted in the fifth-sixth pick range.
According to Yahoo! Sports Chris Haynes, Sacramento recently arranged a dinner between Murray and franchise cornerstones De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, thickening the ‘Murray-to-SAC’ theories:
The Sacramento Kings — owners of the No. 4 pick — are high on Murray and even arranged for the prospect to have dinner with team stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, league sources told Yahoo Sports.Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports – June 20, 2022
Murray, an athletic forward that possesses the ability to defend at a high level and knock down shots on the perimeter, has already held a meeting with the Kings in Sacramento.
The reported dinner between Murray, Fox, and Sabonis might not seem like much on the surface, but this would mark the team’s second meeting with the All-American. It’s possible that McNair has established his guy in Murray, and is now assessing avenues that result in acquiring the forward and other assets in the process.
Sacramento needs depth at the forward positions. Detroit needs a guard with star potential to pair with last year’s number-one selection, Cade Cunningham. A draft-day trade between these two teams seems like a beneficial move for both parties.
This all makes sense on paper, but will McNair aim to trade back with the Pistons to net another asset, or will he just select Murray outright with the fourth pick?
These are the questions that will be answered in a matter of days–if not hours.