Kings Blog and Q&A

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

June 29, 2012
Kings enjoying NBA Draft, Xmas in June

So, after another crazy NBA Draft, and we say crazy because the flurry of major trades never materialized, but there were several curious selections, here are a few late-night thoughts:
* The Kings are receiving overwhelmingly great reviews for taking Thomas Robinson, the Kansas Jayhwawks power forward at No.5. While it's always interesting to look back on can't miss high Lottery choices, and noting how many are complete busts, it's easy to understand the enthusiasm. The 6-foot-9, 244-pound Robinson is a prototypical, modern day power forward. He rebounds, is a physical defender, runs the floor, hits the 15-foot jumper, and doesn't dominate the ball. He pencils out as a very, very good NBA player. This is Xmas in June.
* I can't remember the last time I've seen Geoff Petrie this happy. When he approached the gathering of media types in the practice facility late Thursday night, he was almost giddy. As coach Keith Smart noted, Robinson was the "clear cut" choice within the organization if he was available. And, of course, no one thought he would be available.
* This is all started because Charlotte Bobcats owner/boss Michael Jordan decided to take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist instead of grabbing Robinson or moving the pick. MJ, of course, has never lacked guts. He drafted Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison - tough even for the game's greatest player to live down - but that didn't stop him from following his instincts again on Thursday. Big guts. Always. Gotta admire that.
* The news that Tyler Honeycutt has a fractured foot was overshadowed by the evening's events. The Kings were hoping to get a long look at the second-year small forward during the Las Vegas Summer League (July 13-20). Instead, Honeycutt is in a boot and expected to be sidelined for six weeks.
* Rod Thorn (retiring) and Doug Collins have had their differences in Philadelphia, but the 76ers had a terrific night. They drafted St. John's Moe Harkless, whose stature has risen dramatically in recent weeks, and then obtained Arnett Moultrie in a swap with the Miami Heat.
* The Cleveland Cavaliers' selection of guard Dion Waiters is at least a little reminiscent of Minnesota's drafting of Ricky Rubio with the No.5 pick in 2009. Waiters didn't start a game during his two college seasons. Rubio similarly came off the bench while playing professionally for FC Barcelona and for Spain's talented national team. But though the dynamic point guard is recovering from major knee surgery, and everyone can only speculate on how completely he recovers from the injury, not too many people these days think Rubio was a bad pick for the Timberwolves.
* The frontcourt pairing of Robinson and DeMarcus Cousins, the No.5 pick in 2010, and let's just say it now -- a steal by the Kings - is beyond intriguing. The talent base of Cousins, Robinson and 2009 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans at small forward/two guard, gives the franchise a solid foundation. The Kings still lack perimeter shooting and a playmaker, but with the addition of Robinson, the future suddenly looks a lot brighter. It actually looks like there is a plan ....
* A final thought about the reaction at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., when Stern was introduced and walked to the podium to start the selection process: the Commissioner was good-natured, even jocular when he was booed by the crowd, which obviously was reacting to the Nets' departure from East Rutherford to Brooklyn. It's not all that terrible, though. Brooklyn is just across the river.
PHOTO CAPTION: Thomas Robinson, the first unanimous first-team All-American since Blake Griffin in 2009, poses with NBA Commissioner David Stern at the draft in Newark, N.J. Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

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