2007-08 Record: 38-44; 4th Pacific
Draft Picks: 12, 42, 43
Key Free Agents
G Beno Udrih
F Ron Artest (early termination)
How they got here and what they need
The Mike Bibby era came to an end this season. With the Kings struggling, their longtime point guard was traded to Atlanta for four players and the Hawks' second round selection in this year's draft. Kevin Martin continued his growth, becoming one of the league's better young players as the season progressed, and Francisco Garcia and John Salmons also had solid season. But the key for Reggie Theus' team in the future will be their willingness to play some defense. If that can come along, in addition to drafting a point guard, then the Kings can improve their standing in the Western Conference.
The Kings need a point guard, but there's a lack of proven lead guards in this draft. So do they go for post depth and hope to be able to re-sing Beno Udrih and/or make a deal for a proven option? Or do they take a project in Russell Westbrook (if D.J. Augustin is off the board) and hope he learns the position?
Who they take
I think the Kings will go out on a limb and select Westbrook. While largely unproven as a point guard, Westbrook is an outstanding athlete who will also be a helping hand on the defensive end.
Draft History (since 2000)
2007: Spencer Hawes (10)
2006: Quincy Douby (19)
2005: Francisco Garcia (23)
2004: Kevin Martin (26), Ricky Menard (49)
2003: No Picks
2002: Dan Dickau (28), Corsley Edwards (58)
2001: Gerald Wallace (25), Maurice Jeffers (55)
2000: Hedo Turkoglu (16), Jabari Smith (45)