As a team in the middle of a rebuilding project, the Sacramento Kings should simply take the best player available with their second top 10 pick and figure things out later on. Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen is the top option here and his fit with Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox is as a pick-and-pop duo is definitely interesting.
Markkanen will be the best shooting center to enter the NBA in recent memory, which will help invert the floor and open driving lanes for the lightning quick point guard. The 7-footer made 42.3 percent of his 3-point attempts as a freshman, firing up attempts at a high volume while shooting well from the free throw line. Markkanen’s release is high and quick as well, which makes his shot difficult to challenge. To maximize his value, though, Sacramento would need to expand beyond the traditional pick-and-pop game and allow Markkanen to run off of some screens and put other centers into odd positions they aren’t used to defending.
On the defensive end, there are plenty of questions about Markkanen because of his lack of rim protection. He rebounds sufficiently and moves reasonably well laterally, but he didn’t block many shots at the college level. That’s due to a lack of athleticism and playing in a system with two big men at Arizona, but just how much he’ll be able to deliver as a stopper at the next level is up for debate.
Learn more about Lauri Markkanen at The Step Back.