The history of the 13th pick in the NBA Draft

May 13, 2024, 11:00 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - APRIL 08: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz drives into Devin Booker #1 ...

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The ping pong balls have spoken.

Sunday’s NBA Draft Lottery has ended, and the Sacramento Kings will hold the 13th pick in June 2024’s NBA Draft.

Sacramento will use its first-round pick on Wednesday, June 26th during the first round of the draft, where they will have a chance to add to its current core of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Keegan Murray.

While Sacramento might not have a top-ten pick, impact players have been discovered at 13th in the NBA Draft in recent years:

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2023 (Toronto): Gradey Dick | Kansas | G/F

While many are optimistic about Dick’s upside, it’s hard to have any strong feelings about this pick after just one season. In 60 games played throughout his rookie season, Dick averaged 8.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists on 42.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from three on four attempts per game.

A projected elite shooter at 6’6, who is also expected to be able to defend and be capable in other offensive areas, hypothetically, should be good value. But his career has to play out a bit more before any strong takes about Toronto’s decision with the 13th pick in the NBA Draft can be formed.

2022 (Detroit via Charlotte): Jalen Duren | Memphis | C

A steal, no two ways about it. During his rookie season, Duren was the youngest player in the NBA, but he didn’t play like it. He started his 25th game in year one and hasn’t looked back since — appearing to be the center of the future in Detroit.

Last season, Duren started in 60 of his 61 games, averaging 13.8 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 0.8 blocks on 61.9 percent from the field. Great value for Detroit at 13, undeniably.

2021 (Indiana): Chris Duarte | Oregon | G/F

Sacramento is familiar with Duarte, who was on their roster this season after being acquired via trade. While there was optimism about his two-way ability, it didn’t pan out in his first season playing in California’s capital. The Oregon alum appeared in 59 games in 2023-24, tallying 3.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.7 assists on 38.1 percent from the field, 34.6 percent from the field, and 78.8 percent on free throws. Not great.

He’s headed into restricted free agency, and it wouldn’t be surprising if his leaguewide market and interest were minimal. Having spent four seasons in college, Duarte is already 26 years old, but still has room to continue growing from here.

2020 (New Orleans): Kira Lewis Jr. | Alabama | G

Lewis Jr. drew comparisons to De’Aaron Fox from college due to his elite speed, particularly in transition. Unfortunately, he hasn’t worked out as New Orleans would have hoped. After two and a half seasons with the Pelicans, they essentially dumped Lewis’ contract to avoid the luxury tax in 2024.

He hardly played with New Orleans before the deal and just one appearance with Toronto before they elected to move him once again, ending the season with Utah. It’s unideal production for the 13th pick in the NBA Draft, but Lewis just turned 23 at the beginning of April.

2019 (Miami): Tyler Herro | Kentucky | G

No matter how you feel about Herro’s polarizing All-Star potential, this was easily a worthy selection from the Heat. The 6’5 guard has averaged more than 20 points in each of his last three seasons, converting 44.1 percent from the field, 39.6 percent from three on 7.9 attempts (!!) per game, and 85.6 percent from the free throw line in 2023-24.

The only other players from the 2019 NBA Draft averaging more points per game in their first five seasons are Zion Willamson (24.7), Ja Morant (22.5), RJ Barrett (18.4), and Darius Garland (18.4). All four were selected in the top five, making Herro’s value at 13 exceptional.

2018 (LA Clippers): Jerome Robinson | Boston College | G

This one isn’t great, especially with Michael Porter Jr. going to Denver with pick 14. Robinson and Zhaire Smith (who suffered from a medical issue) are the only two players picked in the top 20 in the 2018 Draft who have yet to play 200 games, with the Boston College product appearing in 135 games.

The Clippers moved on quickly, trading Robinson just one and half seasons after taking him 13th in the NBA Draft. Since then, he spent time with Washington before making his way to the Warriors’ roster last season. He logged 22 games but only one occasion of double-digit minutes.

2017 (Utah via Denver): Donovan Mitchell | Louisville | G

Denver’s recent championship probably eliminated any pain from the decision to trade Mitchell on draft night, but he’s had a phenomenal career. Five All-Star appearances and one All-NBA team in seven seasons is really all that needs to be said.

In 2023-24, the former 13th pick in the NBA Draft led the Cavaliers with 26.6 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.1 rebounds on 46.2 percent from the field, 36.8 percent on 9.0 three points attempts per game, and 86.5 percent from the line. Elite production from the end of the lottery.

2016 (Sacramento via Phoenix): Georgios Papagiannis | International | C

There’s no need to discuss the specifics of this one to avoid triggering Sacramento’s fanbase. It shocked everyone then and has only grown more confusing in hindsight.

2015 (Phoenix): Devin Booker | Kentucky | G

Booker needs no introduction either, for reasons opposite of Papgiannis. He was the best player on a team that went up 2-0 in the NBA Finals before eventually collapsing. A four-time All-Star and All-NBA in 2021-22, he’s not only a value pick but probably the best player in the entire 2015 class, including Karl Anthony-Towns, Kristaps Porzingis, and D’Angelo Russell.

Sacramento finding a way to get this sort of production from their (likely) 13th pick in 2024 could dramatically alter the trajectory of their franchise. It’s unusual to get a talent of Booker’s caliber late in the lottery, but he’s proof that it does happen.

2014 (Minnesota): Zach LaVine | UCLA | G

Most of what was said about Booker applies to LaVaine as well. The only two players from the 2014 Draft who have averaged more career points have won the last three MVP awards: Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.

A two-time All-Star, the UCLA product has dealt with injuries throughout his career but is an electric scorer when active. He is another example of outstanding value at the 13th pick in the NBA Draft.

When is the next Sacramento Kings off-season date of interest?

The NBA Draft is now a two-night event.

Wednesday, June 26th will act as the first night of the 2024 NBA Draft, where the Sacramento Kings will make their first-round selection (13th). The second round of the draft will be held on Thursday, June 27th, where the Kings will use its 45th overall pick.

Sacramento hasn’t had a first-round pick since 2022, when it selected Iowa product Keegan Murray with the fourth overall pick.

Stay locked into Sactown Sports for all of your Kings draft coverage, including player profiles, reports regarding pre-draft workouts, draft night coverage, and much more.

NBA Offseason Schedule

  • Wednesday, June 26-Thursday, June 27th – 2024 NBA Draft
  • Sunday, June 30th – Free Agent negotiating window opens (3 PM PST)
  • Saturday, July 6th – Free Agents can officially sign contracts
  • July 12-22nd – Las Vegas Summer League
  • July 27-August 11th – 2024 Olympic Games
  • Friday, September 27th – NBA training camps begin

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