The Sacramento Kings have struggled mightily for the last few seasons. While they have some talented young players on their roster, the team appears destined for at least one more year of rebuilding before thoughts of the playoffs can be taken seriously.
The process of overhauling the Kings into a contender has been hampered greatly by some bad luck at the NBA Lottery. It seems like Sacramento has picked two or three spots higher than their spot in the final standings, which has caused them to miss out on guys such as Blake Griffin and Kyrie Irving. At the same time, it has given them DeMarcus Cousins and (a frustrating at times) Tyreke Evans.
Will the Kings be in for better fortunes on Wednesday night?
Sactown Royalty has a nice recap of the Kings' bad luck the last few years.
The Kings have been the unluckiest team in the lottery since 2009, when Sacramento had the league's worst record and fell to No. 4. In 2010, the Kings had the third worst record and fell to No. 5. In 2011, the Kings were the league's fifth worst team, fell to No. 7 in the lottery and amazingly dropped to No. 10 for the grace of Geoff Petrie and John Salmons. (Hallelujah.)
If there's good news, it's that nothing -- even bad luck -- lasts forever. The Grizzlies had been terribly unlucky in the lottery going back to 2003 before landing the No. 2 pick in 2009. (The Hasheem Thabeet pick showed why the Basketball Gods never trusted Memphis with a top-3 pick upon its relocation.) The Wolves had recently been unlucky, but landed No. 2 last season. The Wizards had fallen as far as the Kings did in '09, but landed No. 1 from behind the Kings in '10.
As the snippet above kind of alludes to, just because a team receives a high draft pick does not instant success at the draft. Guys like Thabeet, Evan Turner and even John Wall were all top-three picks who have failed to live up to expectations, and their futures don't exactly look as bright as many projected a few years ago.
While there are no guarantees with a prospect, this year's crop of talent looks to be pretty superb. Anthony Davis will do wonders for whichever team lands him with the No. 1 pick, and their is a wide range of talent littered throughout the top six or seven picks.
The Kings have the fifth-best odds of landing the top pick at next month's draft, and you can bet fans everywhere will have their fingers crossed around 5 p.m. on Wednesday evening. If recent history is any indication though, it's probably best to not get your hopes up.
For more on the Kings, check out Sactown Royalty.