SACRAMENTO KINGS

NBA Draft Player Profile: Dariq Whitehead

Jun 6, 2023, 8:26 AM

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 20: Dariq Whitehead #0 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a tea...

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

We are just over two weeks away from June 22nd’s NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, meaning that it’s time to look at some potential picks for the Sacramento Kings’ 24th selection.

After drafting All-Rookie First Team forward Keegan Murray (fourth pick) last summer, the Kings will look to build off of its recent draft success by adding another young talent to its up-and-coming roster.

What type of player does Sacramento need to add to a team that just enjoyed its first NBA Playoff experience in nearly 20 years?

Over the next two weeks, Sactown Sports 1140 will provide you with profiles and players expected to be on the board near the Kings’ 24th pick.

Let’s dive in.

Dariq Whitehead | SG/SF | Duke

Age: 18

Height: 6’6

Weight: 220

2022-23 stats: 8.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 42% FG, 43% 3PT

YouTube video

Whitehead was a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school as the second-ranked recruit in the country.

The New Jersey native committed to Duke along with fellow top recruits Dereck Lively II and Kyle Filipowski to form a strong freshman core, but Whitehead fractured his right foot in August, an injury that forced the wing to miss the first three games of the season.

Whitehead came off the bench for 21 of his 28 appearances for the Blue Devils while missing eight games over the course of the season.

How would Whitehead fit with the Kings?

When Whitehead is on the floor, he poses as an elite catch-and-shoot threat, something that could fit well in a Sacramento offense that involves plenty of ball-movement and dribble-hand-offs.

During the 2022-23 season, Whitehead shot 44 percent on catch-and-shoot triples while leading Duke in three-point field goal percentage (43%).

Whitehead’s 6’10 wingspan could come in handy for a Kings team that needs impact defenders, and the incoming rookie is believed to posses the ability to defend multiple positions on the floor.

If Sacramento wants to add more shooting to a team that rosters legit threats Keegan Murray and Kevin Huerter, Whitehead is one of the best shooters in the draft with plenty of scoring upside and defensive potential that an NBA coaching staff can work with–especially when you factor in Whitehead’s age (will turn 19 on August 1st).

Spacing the floor, catch-and-shoot threat, potential to turn back into the explosive scorer that he was coming out of high school, defensive upside. Those are the positives that Whitehead could bring to the 916.

YouTube video

When it comes to concerns about Whitehead, it’s simple to look at the wing’s injury history.

The fractured right foot that Whitehead suffered in August did not properly heal, per the prospect’s representatives at Excel Sports Management.

Whitehead met with foot specialists last month that determined he would need another operation to fully repair his injured foot, but Excel stated that the incoming rookie is expected to be ready for start of the NBA’s regular season in October.

Expect the Kings to look into Whitehead’s medicals and be cautious in its approach to the 18-year-old, but there is a real chance that Sacramento takes a long look at the sharpshooter.

With Terence Davis entering free agency and the Kings lacking true depth at the wing positions, drafting Whitehead–assuming his foot comes out of the second operation okay–makes sense on paper.

NBA Offseason Schedule

  • Thursday, June 22– 2023 NBA Draft
  • Friday, June 30– Free Agent negotiating period begins
  • Thursday, July 6– Free Agents can begin signing deals
  • Friday, July 7–Monday, July 17– NBA Summer League in Las Vegas
  • August TBD– 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
  • Late September – Training camp begins

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