In the final days leading up to the NBA Draft, it is best to take everything with several million grains of salt. Rumors are flying, agents are posturing to get their client to the best situation possible, and nobody has an incentive to leak the truth unless it benefits them personally.
Still, the tea leaves are the tea leaves and you can read them or ignore them at your own risk. The most intriguing question is what the Sacramento Kings will do at No. 4, because, obviously, it directly impacts what the Detroit Pistons will be able to do at No. 5.
At his pre-draft presser, Pistons GM Troy Weaver acknowledged you have to work to be ready for any potential scenario and that he will be “at the mercy of the board.”
There have been intense rumors in recent days that the Kings are shopping the fourth pick because of the interest in teams taking Jaden Ivey at four and the Kings preferring Keegan Murray.
Murray, it should be noted, might not fall past five at the Pistons so all of this rumor-mongering could be designed to try and convince the Pistons to trade up one spot to get Ivey (assuming he sits atop their board at the time) and allowing Sacramento to grab a future asset and still get their preferred player in Murray.
Speculation is only going to intensify after a couple of bits of info dropped on Monday. First, the Kings reportedly organized a dinner for Keegan Murray and the Kings’ top players in De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.
Second, Jaden Ivey told reporters on Monday he’s only held private workouts with two teams — the Orlando Magic (who hold the first pick) and the Detroit Pistons.
In a pre-draft Zoom call with reporters, Purdue G Jaden Ivey says that he's only worked out for two teams: The #Pistons and Magic— Nolan Bianchi (@nolanbianchi) June 20, 2022
Adding even more (hilarious) fuel to the fire was another comment Ivey made when asked about the potential for the Kings to draft him despite him not meeting with the team personally.
“If I got drafted there, it wouldn’t be the worst option,” Ivey said, per Stefan Bondy.
Jaden Ivey said he hasn’t been in contact with the Kings and hasn’t worked out for them.— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) June 20, 2022
“If I got drafted there, it wouldn’t be the worst option.”
Sometimes, you just gotta laugh.
Does this mean the Kings definitely won’t take Ivey at No. 4? No. Does it mean the Kings definitely won’t trade the fourth pick to a team not named Detroit and simply take the best player wherever they land? No.
But it appears Detroit has little motivation to trade that one spot because the player they want might be there anyway.
We’ll have more on Ivey as a prospect and fit in the future as well as news on other players — don’t forget about Murray or Bennedict Mathurin either!
Can’t wait for Thursday to finally arrive.