The Curse Of The Sacramento Kings
Year after year, we see "sure fire" guys get drafted. These are players that will be future All Stars or MVPs...or at least that's what we think. While the NBA Draft isn't my typical beat and I actually find it quite boring because about 80% of these guys will never be heard from again, I find joy in teams wifing on picks; and no team has missed more in the NBA Draft since 2010 than the Sacramento Kings. In the Kings case though, they literally miss by one pick. ONE MISSED PICK has caused them to be a bottom ten seed 7 of the last 8 seasons.
The 2011 NBA Draft
In the 2011 NBA Draft, the Kings held pick number ten. Not a bad spot to be at in a draft class as loaded as this one. The Kings were in desperate need of a guard and boy were they in luck. Tons of talented guards littered this draft class; names like Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, and Iman Shumpert. Kyrie went number one to Cleveland and Walker number nine to Charlotte. Now the Kings were on the clock.
With a guard on their mind, they had to make a choice. Option one was a 3 point sniper who averaged 17.9 ppg and had a 39% 3 point percentage at Washington State named Klay Thompson. The other was an electrifying scorer out of BYU who averaged 19.4 ppg named Jimmer Fredette. Fredette was a bucket in college, but didn't play against elite level competition at BYU while Thompson battled it out in a tough PAC 12. The Kings took the raw scorer Fredette; and at pick 11, the Golden State Warriors grabbed Thompson.
Since the two guards entered the league, I'd have to say that one of them has had a more fruitful career than the other; spoiler alert, it isn't Fredette. In 6 sporadic NBA seasons, Jimmer Fredette has played for the Kings, Bulls, Pelicans, Knicks, and Suns. Over that span, he's averaged 3.7 ppg and 1.3 apg. On the other hand, Klay Thompson has been nothing short of outstanding. He's made 5 All Star Games and averaged 19.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg. He also has 4 rings.
The 2012 NBA Draft
Misses happen. They really aren't a big deal once in a while; but somehow, Sacramento botches back-to-back NBA Drafts. After not taking Klay Thompson and going 22-44, the Kings had the 5th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. Once again, we encounter a talented draft class headlined by Anthony Davis and Bradley Beal.
After blowing their pick on a guard the previous year, Sacramento wanted to shake things up and take a forward. They selected Thomas Robinson out of Kansas who averaged 9.8 ppg and 7.3 rpg. Not an overly impressive stat line to go 5th overall if you ask me. What really has to burn the Kings ass is the fact that with the 6th pick, Portland took a small school guard who averaged 18.6 ppg and 4.3 rpg; that of course is 6 time All Star Damian Lillard. Robinson would go onto average 4.9 ppg and 4.8 rpg. The Kings even dealt him before his rookie season could conclude. Brutal, absolutely brutal miss on behalf of the Kings. But hey, they can't miss like this again...right?
The 2018 NBA Draft
A few years go by and the Kings continued to have mediocre draft classes and kept losing; their one saving grace though was that they didn't miss by one pick on a big time star like in 2011 and 2012. Well, it happened again in 2018. The Kings had a lot of needs on their team and with Ayton being the consensus number 1, they had a shot at players like Trae Young, Jaren Jackson Jr., or even Luka Doncic. But of course in typical Kings fashion, they take Marvin Bagley III.
Don't get me wrong, Bagley was a good college player that averaged 21.0 ppg and 11.1 boards and has averaged 13.6 ppg and 7.4 rpg in the NBA, but Doncic has been an MVP caliber player from day one. In 4 seasons with the Mavs, Doncic has made 3 All Star Teams and averaged 26.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, and 8.0 apg. Just an agonizing draft history since 2010 for Kings fans; really a tough one to overcome as an organization and fan base.
Jaden Ivey Will Be A Hall Of Famer
It's difficult to call a player who just got drafted a Hall of Famer, but if the Kings Curse works, it's a lock for Jaden Ivey. Sacramento took Iowa guard Keegan Murray with the 4th overall selection; a player I really like, which sucks now because I'll never hear of him again. As for Jaden Ivey, the shooting guard out of Purdue was taken right after Murray by the Pistons. So now after reading this, you can bet your mortgage on Ivey being a 6 Time All Star and winning 2 NBA Finals.