The Sacramento Kings have their eyes set on guard Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State University in the 2014 NBA draft, but if he’s gone by the time their No. 8 pick rolls through, they may have to set their sights on some other options.
Chad Ford of ESPN.com reports in his latest Mock Draft that both Brandon Knight of the Milwaukee Bucks and Dennis Schröder of the Atlanta Hawks are seen as players the Kings could look to acquire if they can’t land their man of the future on June 26.
The No. 8 could be dangled as trade bait to land either one of those players.
In his first season as a Buck after coming over from the Detroit Pistons, Knight averaged a career-high 17.9 points on 42.2 percent shooting from the field, including 4.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals.
Schroeder is coming off a rookie season where he put up 3.7 points and 1.9 assists in 49 games for the Hawks. He failed to garner considerable minutes behind Jeff Teague in Atlanta’s rotation.
These reports don’t bode well for current Kings starter, Isaiah Thomas. He had the best season of his career in 2013-14, averaging 20.3 points and 6.3 assists in 34.7 minutes. He became the starter after the Kings dealt Greivis Vasquez to the Toronto Raptors in a move that brought forward Rudy Gay to Sacramento. His small stature (5-9 and 175 pounds) has always been a knock against him.
The Kings were also hoping to be players in landing All-Star power forward Kevin Love, but it’s looking more and more like Love will not sign long-term with a rebuilding club.