NBA

Sacramento Kings Share Participants & Footage Of Pre-Draft Workout

Jun 14, 2022, 8:58 AM | Updated: 9:08 am
FORT WORTH, TEXAS - MARCH 19: Jeremy Sochan #1 of the Baylor Bears prepares to shoot a free throw i...
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

At long last, the Sacramento Kings have peeled back the curtain of their pre-draft workouts.

Sacramento is one of many teams that has chosen to hold private workouts during the pre-draft process, meaning that members of the media are unable to view workouts and interview prospects at the Golden 1 Center practice facility.

This is the first time in over 10 years that the Kings have not granted access to media during pre-draft workout sessions.

It’s become clear that general manager Monte McNair is keeping his cards close to his vest as next Thursday’s 2022 NBA Draft approaches, with several question marks still surrounding what Sacramento will do with the fourth, 37th, and 49th picks in the draft.

The Kings broke its silence regarding workouts on Monday night when the team shared footage from a workout that included six prospects:

  • James Akinjo | PG | Baylor | Projected late 2nd round pick
  • Jamaree Bouyea | PG/SG | USF | Projected early 2nd round pick
  • Taz Sherman  | SG | West Virginia | Projected late 2nd round pick
  • Jordan Usher  | SG | Georgia Tech | Projected late 2nd round pick
  • Joshua Minott  | G/F | Memphis | Projected early-to-mid 2nd round pick
  • Jeremy Sochan  | F | Baylor | Projected lottery pick (top 12)

When you look at the lineup from Monday’s workout, two things jump out:

  1. Sacramento is looking at selecting a guard with its 49th pick (Akinjo, Sherman, Usher)
  2. Jeremy Sochan’s participation raises the question, “will the Kings move back in the draft?”

Sochan, a 6’9, 230-pound forward out of Baylor, is a prospect that is seen as a riser on mock drafts around the league. The 19-year-old averaged 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 47-percent from the field and 29-percent from beyond the arc over 30 appearances.

The Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year award winner averaged 15 points and nine boards per game over two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

It has long been rumored that Sacramento could look to use its fourth pick in the draft to move back and obtain assets in the form of rotation pieces or more draft compensation as McNair aims to build a team that can contend on day one of the 2022-23 season.

In the scenario that the Kings trade the fourth pick to a team like the Washington Wizards (10th pick) or New York Knicks (11th pick), Sochan will likely be an option in that 10-13th pick range.

Minott is another interesting prospect that could be on the board when the Kings draft in the second round.

The 6’8 guard-forward combo averaged 6.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 52-percent from the field over 33 appearances (five starts) for a Memphis Tigers team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

If Sacramento is high on Minott, McNair might have to orchestrate a deal to move up in the second round as the 20-year-old is projected to be off of the board by the time the Kings are on the clock at 49th.

Of course, nobody outside of the organization knows what McNair’s plans are for this draft.

Will he keep the fourth pick and draft who he believes to be the best player available? Does McNair have trades lined up to move back in the draft and acquire rotation depth to surround De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis?

The questions regarding what McNair will do start at the pre-draft workout process, something that the Kings have kept very quiet to this point.

Outside of Sochan’s participation and the report that projected top-10 pick Dyson Daniels will work out for the Kings this week, the team has not confirmed if it has brought in any other projected lottery picks in for a meeting or workout.

Daniels is another player that Kings fans should keep an eye on in case McNair chooses to move back in the draft. The 6’7 guard is listed as the sixth-best player available on ESPN’s best player available rankings.

Other NBA mock drafts have the 19-year-old being drafted as high as seventh (Yahoo! Sports), eighth (Tankathon), ninth (NBADraft.net), and 10th (HoopsHype) during next week’s draft.

Aside from the shared footage of Monday’s workout and Daniels upcoming session, here’s what we know about Sacramento’s pre-draft process thus far:

  • During the week of May 16-22nd at the NBA Draft Combine, McNair and other members of the Kings’ front office met with projected top-10 picks AJ Griffin of Duke and Shaedon Sharpe of Kentucky.
  • Sources close to the team recently indicated that Sacramento has met with Iowa forward Keegan Murray, a projected top-10 pick that is seen as an ideal fit for a Kings team that lacks depth at the power forward position. It’s currently unknown if Murray has gone through a workout in front of McNair and the rest of the Kings brass.
  • Lastly, it’s known within league circles that the Kings are very open to moving up in the draft. During the Draft Combine, there were whispers that Sacramento already had a deal in place to move up to second in the draft, but that is also unconfirmed. Sources have shared that the team is very high on Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren, but it’s unlikely the seven-footer falls past Houston at 3rd.

It’s smokescreen season, but everything will come into the light on June 23rd when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announces that the Orlando Magic are officially on the clock to open up the festivities.

We’re almost there, Kings fans. Just nine more days of rumors, secret workouts, and uncertainty before Monte McNair makes his move(s).

NBA

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