During its more than 70 years of outstanding history, the NBA has become one of the best sports league in the entire world. The Association has given us plenty of good moments and lots of stories to tell; there have been success, defeat, sacrifices and joy, plenty of joy.
Luckily for all the fans and the league itself, the NBA is a land full of opportunities, as we have witnessed it throughout the years, seeing the variety of way teams with no hopes at the certain moment used in order to become a huge one and annihilate all possible competition.
However, not everybody has known how to take advantage of these factors and gifts that NBA delivers, and the annual draft is one of the best scenarios to watch this.
Along the years, every team on the association has had the chance to become a contender and fight for the title, but as we said before, not everybody knows how to handle those kinds of situations. Maybe, the Portland Trail Blazers appear as the winners in these cases, but recently there have been more squads with terrible mistakes at the time of selecting new players.
Today we’re going to talk about one of those teams with big chances to do great things if they picked the right players, but unfortunately they didn’t. This is the case of the Sacramento Kings and their five biggest mistakes in the draft.
5. Bismack Biyombo (2011 NBA Draft)
The Congolese player was selected by Sacramento as with the seventh overall pick in 2011, just to be immediately dealt to the Charlotte Bobcats. During that draft, we had some good prospects that nowadays are ruling the league while Bismack… He is doing his best.
After Bismack we saw players like Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and even Jimmy Butler, but the Kings passed from them and picked Biyombo instead. He is a good rotation player that could get 20 minutes per night, but obviously, he isn’t as half as good as the three mentioned above.
4. Thomas Robinson (2012 NBA Draft)
This one was a huge screw-up, with the Kings drafting former Kansas University players with the 5th overall pick in 2012, missing several players who were way better than Robinson. Just to say something, Portland selected Damian Lillard with the following pick. We all know what Lillard is capable to do and the guy only gets better after five years in the league.
And that is not the only mistake they made that night, as they missed the arguably best power forward of that draft, the one and only, Draymond Green. Imagine what would have been of Kings if they put together Draymond and Klay plus Boogie.
3. Tyreke Evans (2009 NBA Draft)
2009 was one of the hardest years ever to pick a talent, but Sacramento had a plan, a plan that appeared was going to pay off very fast, but that was far from true. They drafted Tyreke Evans with the fourth overall selection in that draft and it looked like he was a lock to become a star, displaying a great performance out of the gate before winding up as just a fluke.
Sacramento missed great talents that night. Sure, Evans looked good enough to make them a competitive team, but they passed from players like Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan and Danny Green among others. It looks like Sacramento had the chance to become the current Warriors, but the only thing they did was pick in the worst way possible.
2. Ennis Whatley (1983 NBA Draft)
Back in 1983 there was a prospect that was set to become a huge star in the best basketball of the world, and Sacramento was pretty of close of picking him, but they did their thing again; they picked Ennis Whatley, an unknown player for basketball fans nowadays but apparently an exciting player for the Kings and its front office at that time. Luckily for them, there were only two players from that draft who became Hall of Famers later, but they were really close to have one of them: Clyde Drexler.
Drexler was selected by Portland just after Kings picked Whatley making one of their biggest mistakes ever. Drexler was great both in Portland and Houston and who knows, he might have been able to bring some quality to Kings, but they missed him.
1. Phil Ford (1978 NBA Draft)
With the 2nd overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings selected Phil Ford, a guard from North Carolina, missing one of the best that ever played the game, none other than Larry Bird. Perhaps Bird could become Sacramento the dynasty that Boston was with him, but again, the Kings failed picking Mr. Ford instead of Larry.
As you may notice by now, the Kings have been the league’s laughingstock for a very, very long time now and with good reason, having a lot of opportunities to turn their lousy franchise around but constantly messing things up to be one of the worst teams in major sports.