The Sacramento Kings will have plenty of behind-the-scenes drama going on throughout the 2012-13 NBA season, one expects. For the time being, however, they are looking forward to the 2012 NBA Draft, where they are sitting in the catbird seat with a very high first-round pick.
In Sam Amick's latest mock draft for Sports Illustrated, he believes that the Kings will use their No. 5 overall pick to select the immensely talented small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of the national champion Kentucky Wildcats.
The No. 5 team in the draft is having a hard time getting top five prospects to visit. The Kings haven't worked out Beal, Kidd-Gilchrist, Barnes or Robinson (or Davis, for obvious reasons). That doesn't mean those prospects won't come in before June 28 rolls around, but the Kings should feel good about their options nonetheless. All four players would provide yet another solid piece to their young core, but they'd be elated if Kidd-Gilchrist is available to fill what has been a musical-chairs position in recent years. The latest idea was to shift point guard Tyreke Evans to small forward this season, a move necessitated by the poor play of veteran swingman John Salmons. Francisco Garcia has started at times but is better served coming off the bench.
Weber State point guard Damian Lillard impressed in his workout in Sacramento, but the Kings aren't expected to pick a player like him just one year after adding Jimmer Fredette. Drummond could be a good fit eventually, but the Kings' win-now mentality is likely to preclude them from making that pick. Kentucky forward Terrence Jones played well in his Sacramento workout last week and has some fans within the organization, but I'm pretty sure Kidd-Gilchrist would get the nod here.
It seems as though it would be hard to go wrong with the No. 5 pick, but Kidd-Gilchrist would be a huge and valuable addition to the Kings.
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