Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

June 23, 2008
Draft preview: Pacific Division

Wednesday: Southwest Division.
Thursday: Atlantic Division.
Friday: Northwest Division.
Saturday: Southeast Division.
Sunday: Central Division.
Today: Pacific Division.

Los Angeles Lakers (57-25 in 2007-08)

Pick: 58.

They're gladly out of the first round -- the selection went to the Grizzlies as part of the trade to acquire Pau Gasol. Pick well spent.

Phoenix Suns (55-27)

Picks: 15, 48.

No contender, and the Suns have to still consider themselves a contender, is picking as high, thanks to a deferred payment from the Joe Johnson sign-and-trade with Atlanta in 2005. Three years later, Phoenix gets the first-round Hawks selection.

The Suns are positioned nicely to address the glaring deficiency on the boards, with the likely opportunity to choose among several big men. After talking about focusing more on defense, they can do something about it. Robin Lopez is a possibility to backup Shaquille O'Neal and Amare Stoudemire, a pick that would delight the Stanford power forward / center.

Golden State Warriors (48-34)

Picks: 14, 49.

They know they need a power player, everyone knows they need a power player... and it still may not happen. Chris Mullin, the vice president of basketball operations, will not draft a bruising inside presence, no matter how many points the Warriors gave up and rebounds they lost. (Answer: lots and lots and lots.)

Sacramento Kings (38-44)

Picks: 12, 42, 43.

No, you can't draft a new arena.

As for needs the Kings can do something about here, point guard is pressing, with the options ranging from the possibility that D.J. Augustin may be available at 12 to looking at potential trade scenarios already developing on paper to plugging the hole via free agency. Incumbent Beno Udrih is among those on the market. Plus, defense and rebounding.

Los Angeles Clippers (23-59)

Picks: 7, 35.

Time for a very tough call. Point guard Shaun Livingston, once a foundation of the future, once among the top young prospects in the league, has not played since Feb. 26, 2007, because of a career-threatening knee injury. The Clips can go point guard here and make a decision on re-signing free-agent Livingston in the weeks ahead or trust, with little actual evidence, that Livingston will make it back and use the lottery pick to do something else about the terrible offense, the bad defense or the horrible rebounding.

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