Fans have publicly questioned if Purdue guard Jaden Ivey would fit in well in Sacramento. It appears that the sentiment is shared. With just over a week until the NBA draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony stated Wednesday that Sacramento is not Ivey’s “favorite destination.” The Kings are widely expected to select Ivey with the fourth overall draft pick.
With the No. 4 pick, the Kings are considering all alternatives, including a number of trade possibilities. As it aims to end an NBA-record 16-year playoff absence, the club hopes to maximize the value of the choice.
“The King’s aren’t Ivey’s preferred destination but have proved willing to take players without the benefit of workouts and medical information in the past, doing so as recently as a year ago when selecting Davion Mitchell,” Givony wrote.
So, when Kings are on the clock, Ivey, 20, might be the best player available. As a sophomore at Purdue, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound point guard averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists while shooting 46 percent from the field and 35.8% from 3-point range. Ivey’s dynamic athleticism and talent are undeniable, but there are concerns about his compatibility with Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox.
Some observers believe Ivey might leapfrog Smith, Holmgren, and Banchero into the top three, allowing the Kings to select whomever falls to No. 4 among Smith, Holmgren, and Banchero. That might be the ideal scenario for Sacramento, but if that doesn’t happen, the Kings will have to make a huge decision.
“Many around the NBA feel that this pick is available for a team looking to swap picks and move up the draft for Ivey,” Givony wrote. “Detroit, Indiana and Oklahoma City are among those that could potentially exchange an asset to help the Kings’ chances of contending for a playoff spot, with the likes of Jerami Grant, Myles Turner and Lu Dort a few potential options that rival teams point to. “In the event that the Kings elect to hold on to this pick and prefer to avoid the drama associated with picking a player against his camp’s will, the candidacy of Keegan Murray might be gaining steam with head coach-to-be Mike Brown. Owner Vivek Ranadive is also said to be a proponent of selecting him.”