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NBA Draft Rumors: Kings Expected To Take Calls For 4th Pick Up Until They Are On The Clock

Jun 22, 2022, 9:21 AM | Updated: 2:03 pm
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)...
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Being another day closer to the 2022 NBA Draft means that we get another big rumor in regards to what the Sacramento Kings will do with the fourth-overall pick.

The Draft will finally take place on Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, meaning the speculation that currently surrounds this draft will cease and answers will come into the light following weeks of rumors, smokescreens, and whispers.

Sacramento’s fourth-overall selection is a hot–if not the hottest–topic around the NBA as it is still unknown what Kings general manager Monte McNair plans to do with the highly coveted pick.

Although signs have recently pointed to the Kings selecting Iowa forward Keegan Murray with the selection, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shared on Tuesday night that McNair will be taking calls up until Sacramento is on the clock to make its decision.

“Number four with Sacramento, and I think that there are a lot of people in the league who really think the draft starts there, because that pick is very much in play in trade talks. It is the target of a number of teams who would like to get at Purdue’s Jaden Ivey. Sacramento is going to take calls, they’re going to make calls on that pick all the way up until Thursday night when they’re about to send that pick into New York.

“There are a number of teams near them in the lottery–Detroit, Indiana, further back in the lottery in New York… Washington would love to get a better point guard this week or a potential star in Jaden Ivey. A number of other teams who are making calls are seeing if they can put a package together to get to number four.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski – June 21, 2022

McNair is playing his hand the right way by refraining from jumping into any deals before the first three picks of the night unfold.

Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr., Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, and Duke’s Paolo Banchero are widely expected to be drafted within the first three picks, although it’s unknown in what order. The possibility of Ivey jumping into the top three also remains a real possibility, as teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder (second pick) and Houston Rockets (third pick) have shown interest in the explosive guard.

If one thing is certain, it’s that a majority of NBA executives see this draft as a top-four-heavy talent pool, with a drop-off at pick number five. This means that Sacramento holds plenty of power come Thursday night, something that McNair–and the teams around them–know very well by this point.

One report that had not been out there for quite some time was that Sacramento could stand pat and select Ivey, who is widely believed to be the best player available at fourth. The Kings have met with Keegan Murray twice, including a dinner that the incoming rookie had with franchise stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

All signs have pointed to Sacramento drafting Murray at fourth or trading back to fifth or sixth to select the forward, but Wojnarowski threw some water on that notion by dropping a hint that the Kings are ‘growing comfortable’ with standing pat and selecting Ivey:

“I also think that Sacramento is growing more comfortable with the idea of perhaps selecting Ivey there, but they see a drop-off, that the value in number four is selecting Ivey and that the draft falls off from there.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski – June 21, 2022

Wojnarowski’s report could be another form of smokescreen from McNair, a ploy to increase the return in trade offers from teams that are hoping to jump up to fourth. If the Kings are going to move this pick, they have to maximize the return and get the right pieces back in any deal–pieces that can turn this struggling franchise into a postseason contender.

The answers are coming. Strap in for a wild couple of days ahead, Kings fans.

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