The Kings got their enlistment steal in 2020, landing Therese Halliburton at number 12, and they’re hoping for some similar luck this summer. General Manager Monty McNair is hoping to add another talented young player to join Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox as the team’s key pieces for years to come.
It’s a mixed bag when we look back at the No. 9 picks since 2010. Here’s every pick that’s had a ninth place overall over the past eleven drafts.
2010: Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)
2011: Kimba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats)
2012: Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
2013: Trey Burke (Minnesota Timberwolves)
2014: Noah Funnelly (Charlotte Hornets)
2015: Frank Kaminsky (Charlotte Hornets)
2016: Jacob Boltel (Toronto Raptors)
2017: Dennis Smith Jr. (Dallas Mavericks)
2018: Kevin Knox (New York Knicks)
2019: Roy Hatchimura (Washington Wizards)
2020: Denny Avdega (Washington Wizards)
Hayward Walker and Drummond have combined for seven All-Star games and are easily the best in the group. Each player is still going strong in their NBA career and has provided great value for the place they were chosen.
Burke, Kaminski (who had a short stint with the Kings last season) and Bolttle have both been strong contributors since joining the league and are likely to continue for years to come with their seasoned veteran status.
Although Smith’s game has been on the decline in recent years, he had a good start to his career. Smith averaged 15.2 points and 5.2 assists during his junior season with the Mavericks and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
Of the choices made prior to 2017, Vonleh was the worst of his career. The 25-year-old has only played in four matches with Brooklyn Networks before giving it up last season. It looks like Vonleh will have a hard time staying with the NBA team next year.
The three most recent picks #9 showed both positive and negative returns. At the age of 19, Knox had a solid rookie season with the Knicks. He averaged 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in his opening campaign, but as New York became a better team, he found himself pushed further down the depth chart.
Knox averaged just 11 minutes per game for the fourth seed Knicks last season and hit a career low of 3.9 points per game. Although his shot has improved, Knox may not be in coach Tom Tebodeau’s plans for next season.
Washington has landed a few talented pieces in ninth place over the past two years. Hachimura has averaged over 30 minutes per game since he was drafted by the Wizards and has put in 13.7 points and 5.8 rebounds over two NBA seasons. Hashimura appears to be a long-term piece that Washington could paint as a start for years to come.
Prior to last year’s draft, Avdija was getting some attention as a top five pick. The Israeli attacker slid onto the tow board and landed with the magicians. Avdija had some growing pains early on but started to improve before suffering a broken ankle on April 21. Avdija started 32 games during his rookie year and averaged 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds.
Given Sacramento’s current situation, adding a cost-controlled young option who can contribute next season and improve steadily as his career continues would be a win for the franchise.
If McNair is able to impress a player like Moses Moody or Keon Johnson, who can help with the team’s defensive issues while also posing a threat on the offensive end, it would help lay the foundation for the future.
The Kings are well positioned to add a talented ninth rank piece. What prospects do you hope will be on the board when Sacramento makes its pick?