Kings Blog and Q&A

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

May 31, 2012
Mulling the Kings' options at five

The mock drafts are out there ... everywhere. I even put one together for the lottery teams.

For the second year in a row I'm assuming the Kings try to fill their glaring need for a long-term small forward and select North Carolina sophomore Harrison Barnes.

There's no way to guarantee Barnes will be available when the Kings select with the fifth pick in next month's NBA Draft.

Here's my rationale behind Barnes:

*The Kings haven't been set at small forward since Ron Artest.
*Barnes is noted for being a smart player. The Kings are not known for having the highest collective basketball IQ.
*Barnes is a good shooter. The Kings are in desperate need of another shooter.
*Barnes is said to be aware on defense, another plus.
*The Kings can pass on a power forward if they re-sign Jason Thompson.

Of course I could be horribly wrong like I was last year when I was convinced Kawhi Leonard was the obvious pick.

UConn center Andre Drummond could fall to the Kings as could Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson. There was talk the Kings were intrigued by North Carolina big man John Henson. If that's the case, the Kings could trade down and land Henson or decide he's worth the fifth pick.

Considering the financial investment the Kings made in forward/center Chuck Hayes and the presence of Cousins and possibly Thompson, Barnes makes sense.

The Kings will likely have trade options, too if a player like Florida guard Bradley Beal slips and the Kings decide not to add another guard.

But we've got 29 days to sort all this out, right?

More predraft notes

Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof couldn't contain his excitement about the job Keith Smart is doing this offseason.

DeMarcus Cousins is in town working out and Maloof said Tyreke Evans will also be around this summer to work with Kings coaches.

He said he couldn't recall the last time the Kings had an offseason program run like this, noting he didn't even thing Rick Adelman ran anything like this.

Smart is requiring all players return for training camp at least 10 pounds lighter than they ended the season.

Smart also wants players in town well before the start of training camp to begin working together on their own.

Don't be surprised to see Smart borrow from the structure used by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. The Spurs are a model for how a team operates during the offseason.

It helps that the Spurs have several veterans that have been with the team for some time. Smart, however, wants to begin instilling professionalism off the court and unselfishness on the court long before training camp.

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