2022 NBA Draft Rumors: Kings Still Unsure If To Hold Or Trade

Less than 48 hours into the night, the Sacramento Kings will be on the clock with draft pick #4 overall, and they’re currently in the process of making a final decision on what to do as rumors persist throughout the league.

Sacramento is one of the hardest project teams to make in the top ten draft, as their choices to trade an established player in the league and increase their talent in their mid-20s or recruit a promising young athlete have caused confusion over their intentions throughout the NBA.

But despite conflicting rumors, one thing was agreed upon: No one knows what the Kings’ decision on enlistment day would be.

During a television appearance, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said the future of Sacramento will likely be hesitant until the moments when the bell rings and Adam Silver steps up on the podium to announce his selection.

“I think it’s going straight to the wire. I think it’s going to come down to Thursday night, maybe when they’re on the clock and they see Jaden Ivey’s best performances… If you (Sacramento) take the best player on the board, that’s not necessarily a position of need, And because the value is in Ivy, that’s why they’re open in Sacramento to see what they can get back in the trade,” Wojnarowski said. “This is a team that has had the longest drought in the NBA. They want to get back in the postseason. They are trying to put together a group with new coach Mike Brown to have them play in the playoffs for the first time in a decade and a half.”

They might be cold feet in taking the top player available because – as Mark Stein pointed out in his recent Substack and was widely reported – Ivey doesn’t seem to want to be in Sacramento (via Stein):

Purdue University’s Jaden Ivey confirmed Monday during a press briefing for his projects that he had not been in contact with Sacramento prior to Thursday’s draft. Several rival teams noted Ivey share the same CAA representation as Tyrese Haliburton, and thus concluded that Ivey would never audition for the Kings after Haliburton’s dealings with Indiana seemingly without warning in February — and after Haliburton repeatedly voiced How excited he is. To be at the center of Sacramento’s efforts to end the league’s longest drought (now in 16 seasons and still running).

But despite the cold from Ivy, talk of Byrdie star casting has remained heated, with Keegan Murray (who has already expressed interest and attraction in joining Sacramento) to add:

Yahoo’s Chris Haynes and Bleacher Report’s Jake Fisher report that the Kings appear to be deeply interested in drafting Keegan Murray in Iowa rather than Ivey if they choose to keep the No. 4 pick rather than trade it. Ivy, for his part, said Monday that “it wouldn’t be the worst thing” if he ended up recruiting kings, but the way he spoke glowingly about the Knicks (“enormous opportunity, tremendous organization”) certainly sparked curiosity about New York’s ability to rise from the Rank 11 and get into the Ivy range.

And while the No. 4 pick remains in limbo, the league is poised to move into the draft with the amount of talent this category is so proud of. Several teams have reportedly inquired about the selection of Sacramento, so a deal this week before the draft is still out of the question as a result.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report writes that teams from both conferences are very interested in taking Murray or Ivy for fourth place:

The Kings continue to receive a lot of commercial interest for the fourth set, with the Pacers, Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards and others making efforts to make leaps and bounds in the lottery. Among those teams, the Pacers and Tottenham are believed to be targeting Iowa forward Keegan Murray, while New York and Washington have their sights set on Purdue guard Jaden Ivey.

The timing would take the kingdom to the brink, Fisher reports with Waugh, and writes that the decisions will come to an end:

Competing teams prepare for Sacramento to gauge all the commercial benefits until the arrival of the Kings around the clock. If there is a surprise pick in the top three, Sacramento could receive a host of offers from teams coveting one of the class’s top stars.

Adding to the chaos is that despite the certainty on many cloud panels, the two stars continue to fluctuate as the week progresses.

Many of the teams that pick behind the Kings are also gearing up for Sacramento to pick Murray if he stays fourth and the top three picks reveal without any surprises. Sources said the Pistons had a strong expectation that Ivey would be available for them to pick in fifth if the Kings stand up well.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givoni added in his latest mock draft that Sacramento is open to changing its high price if the price is right – and McNair does not accept small offers:

Competing teams say the asking price will be substantial, with a mix of well-known vets (Malcolm Brogdon, Kyle Kuzma, Jeramy Grant, John Collins) picking the 2022 draft and rookie contract players like Pacers Chris Duarte believed to have studied some options teams. Even if the Kings stood up – which is the most likely scenario so far – Ivy could make some sense here even though Sacramento isn’t his favorite destination. He is seen as the best prospect available by many across the league thanks to his superior long-term advantage, physical gadgets and his knack for creating shots, giving him the kind of star power that Kings might not want to pass on, even though Ivy isn’t a suitable player. Absolutely on paper with the likes of De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell.

This list will look different by the end of the week – whether by adding familiar Dory faces or a bright young prospect. In a perfect world, it might be both. McNair’s feet are on alert as closing hours will begin to make a deal or pick his player. It looks like all eyes in the association are on Sacramento – and this is their chance to make some noise with an upper hand.